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UK true fleet market scores second month of growth

The UK’s true fleet sector was up for the second month running in May, while alternatively fuelled vehicles put in a strong performance.

The Seat Leon rose 70.0% in true fleets for May

The Seat Leon rose 70.0% in true fleets for May

Analysis of the country data by Dataforce’s Michael Gergen showed that the sector was up by a marginal 0.2% or 156 registrations. This came on the back of a 6.3% rise in April – the first positive result in 13 months – when Dataforce noted that it was hard to tell whether this was part of a trend or a reflection of a particularly bad April 2017, following the introduction of new vehicle tax rules.

May results for the UK also showed that private registrations were up 9.3% while  registrations to dealerships, car manufacturers and Rent-a-Car fell by 2.0%. Overall, the total market was up by 3.4% to more than 192,000 units.

Within the true fleet sector, there were winners and losers in the top 10 brand line-up for May. With a 15.6% rise, Volkswagen took the lead from Ford and Opel/Vauxhall for the first time this year, mainly fuelled by the models Golf, Tiguan alongside additional support from the all new T-Roc. Seat was particularly notable for its growth of 56.2%, which pushed it from rank number 14 into eight place, helped by the Leon – which rose 70.0% and ranked third in the Compact Car segment for May – and the Arona small SUV.

Outside the top 10, Honda (up 53.2%, ranked 16th) and Fiat (187.5%, ranked 20th) put in stellar performances.

The model league table was also subject to significant changes, including five new entries in the top 10. The new Ford Focus jumped from rank number 11 into second behind the Nissan Qashqai (first) and was followed by the Volkswagen Golf as well as the Tiguan (up from 16th to fourth). The latter’s growth of 52.7% saw it ranked second within the SUV segment for the first time since October 2010 and gained it its highest market share ever.

The Seat Leon jumped from 21st to fifth, followed by the Kia Sportage and Vauxhall Astra, and then the BMW 3 Series (from 17th to eighth) and Ford Kuga (12th to ninth) with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class rounding out the month’s top 10.

Dataforce’s analysis also showed the success of the Ioniq and the Leaf helped drive the alternatively fuelled vehicles segment. Hybrids took 7.6% of the true fleet sector – an all-time high – while the share of 0.8% for full electric cars has only been exceeded once before, in December 2015.

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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.