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UK true fleet hardest hit by WLTP

Although no European market – or channel – has escaped an impact from the introduction of WLTP,  the UK seems to be the hardest hit in terms of True Fleet volume in September.

Used cars

The UK true fleet market has been hit hardest

Figures from Richard Worrow at Dataforce show that the channel fell 22.5%. Private registrations were down 20.1% while Special Channels seemingly came off the lightest with a drop of only 18.3%. All this combined to leave the Total Market down to just below 339,000 registrations or down 20.5% even though September is a plate change month in the UK and, historically alongside March, is the strongest month for the market.

There were only three OEMs inside the top 20 that managed to grow under the heavy homologation burden placed on them. Vauxhall (Opel) took the True Fleet crown for September, up one place over last year’s corresponding month, despite posting negative growth, with Mercedes and then Ford following up to finish out the podium places. BMW in fourth was the first OEM able to post an expansion in volume, up by 12.0%, helped from the 1 Series, 2 Series Active Tourer and the standard 2 Series.

Next up came Nissan and Toyota while Kia in seventh managed to post a +15.5% rise – marking the second positive OEM, with the Stonic, Niro and Picanto all contributing healthy jumps in volume. Hyundai retained its eighth position while VW and Audi rounded out the 10 with the latter taking the heaviest hit both in terms of volume and growth percentage loss. It dropped from first place in September 2017 to ninth, suffering a five-digit loss of volume or ‑67.6% in growth. Also notable was Fiat; jumping nine places from last year and into rank number 13, it managed to post a super solid +98.7%, just 17 registrations away from doubling its volume.

Looking at the winner and losers, top absolute volume gainer was the Vauxhall Corsa with a +40.2%, followed by the Fiat 500 with +209.1%. The third place went to the Grandland X, which  wasn’t actually available last year, while its little brother the Crossland X took fourth with an impressive +463.2%. The fifth place went to the Ford Fiesta posting a solid +68.3%.

Among the losers, the VW Golf was top of the list with a ‑83.1% and as last September’s number 1 fleet car this was certainly a heavy hit. Audi A3 was second with a ‑78.8%, closely followed by the Tiguan also with a -78.8%. The Audi A4 was next in line with a ‑84.6% and notably dropped a staggering 71 places in the rankings while the Vauxhall Viva finished out the most negative five with a -84.4% fall.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.