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UK true fleet market only exemption to EU-5 growth trend

The UK true fleet sector was singled out within the EU-5 for being the only market to see a downturn in 2017, according to latest figures from Dataforce.

Spain, France, Italy and Germany all experienced growth in 2017, while the UK suffered a loss of -5.8%

Spain, France, Italy and Germany all experienced growth in 2017, while the UK suffered a loss of -5.8%

Although all markets suffered disruption from political issues or ‘Dieselgate’, the UK was the only one to contract, with true fleet registrations down 5.8%. This compares to growth of 12.5% in Spain, 7.2% in France, 6.2% in Italy and 2.1% in Germany – with overall growth of 1.6%.

Dataforce attributed the UK downturn to the new VED regime as well as Brexit. Meanwhile ‘diesel demonisation’ would have been a further issue – Dataforce analysis shows that although slightly more than the half of fleet cars came with a diesel engine, hybrid registrations grew by 30.1%.

Within the manufacturer top 10, half improved their results, of which two recorded double-digit rates, while the other half saw losses. Ford weathered the storm better than Vauxhall and secured the top spot while VW in third place gained back some ground (+7.6%) and could challenge Vauxhall’s second rank in 2018, according to Dataforce.

Mercedes came in fourth, with fleet registrations up by 5.6%, driven by the older A-Class and its derivatives as well as the GLC and the new E-Class. Nissan, Audi and BMW each retained their positions but Hyundai secured a 21.5% rise, not only from the usual SUV growth but also from the Ioniq, putting it in eighth.

Meanwhile Toyota’s true fleet registrations were up by 16.0, fuelled almost completely by the C-HR with four out of five fleet customers opting for the hybrid powertrain, while the latest entry to the top 10 was Kia, which expanded its 2017 fleet sales by 6.5%.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.