Fleet sales streak ahead in September
The SMMT data shows that fleet registrations rose 6.7% in September compared to the same month a year ago, reaching a total of 146,026 units.
Meanwhile retail sales were down 19% while overall registrations also slumped 8.9%. Smaller businesses were also more cautious and September registrations dropped 8.5% to 18,269 units.
The rise in fleet sales led to an increase in the fleet marketshare – up to 43.6% from 37.2% a year ago.
The latest increase in fleet business has further boosted the sector's performance year to date. Fleet sales are now ahead by 12.9%, compared with a rise of only 4% for retail sales, with the latter accounted for by scrappage-fuelled sales earlier in the year.
The SMMT said that in terms of overall sales, it is still forecasting the full-year market to hold at two million, up marginally on 2009.
'Despite an 8.9% fall in September registrations, demand for new cars has stabilised and will end 2010 slightly up on last year,' said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. 'It is important that alongside Government's austerity measures, the comprehensive spending review signals a strong growth agenda to boost consumer and business confidence.'