Fleet new car demand puts brakes on falling retail registrations
Figures show a 11.1% rise in new car registrations to the fleet sector last month, up to 83,120 compared to 74,786 in May 2010.
Registrations to the sub-25 business sector saw a marginal rise of 0.7% to 6,347 compared to 6,302 for the same month last year.
The gains in the fleet and business sectors compare to a 15.3% decline in private registrations for May 2011. Overall registrations were also down for the 11th successive month although the SMMT says that the 1.7% decline was the smallest since registrations began to drop in July last year and is in line with expectations.
The latest rise in fleet registrations means that the sector has boosted its market share from 48.8% in May 2010 to 55.3% last month, while the market share for the business sector also increased, from 4.1% to 4.2%.
Year-to-date, the fleet sector has registered a total of 435,606 units, up by 3.8% on the first five months of 2010, and holds an increased market share of 51.5% compared to 45.89% for the same period last year. Meanwhile the sub-25 business sector has risen 5.7% and now holds a 5.4% market share compared to 4.7% for January to May 2010.
Commenting on the drop in private demand, the SMMT said that the market is constrained by the unsettled economic backdrop, with consumer confidence suppressed by concerns over employment levels, low wage growth and rising costs of living.