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WLTP continues to hit UK true fleet

The UK’s true fleet sector has suffered a second monthly fall as the switch to WLTP continued to take its toll. 

Vauxhall Grandland X 1.5-litre diesel

The Grandland X is the most successful new entry in the Compact SUV class for UK true fleet

New figures from Dataforce show that the true fleet sector fell 6.1% in October – less than the 22.5% decline recorded in September but still harder hit than private registrations, which were down 1.0% on October 2017. Special channels remained very stable, down just nine units, with a drop of more than 1,200 in dealership/manufacturer registrations compensated for by a similar rise in registrations of short-term rentals. Overall, the market fell 2.9% compared to October 2017; far from the 20.5% fall seen in September.

Analysis by Dataforce’s Michael Gergen shows that Volkswagen topped the true fleet brand top 10, followed by Ford and Mercedes, with the three brands only separated by 86 registrations. BMW was in fourth place with a +35.1% rise, marking the biggest percentage growth within the top 10. The positive result was mainly fuelled by the 5 Series (especially the 530e PHEV) and the 2 Series Gran Tourer, which scored its best market share in the British fleet market up to now.

Vauxhall (Opel) was fifth followed by Toyota, which achieved a 21.1% increase, then Nissan and Peugeut, with the latter up 27.9%. Kia was in ninth and then Hyundai. However, it was Volvo who put in the most notable performance, achieving its highest market share for four years, jumping from rank number 17 into 14th place with an impressive +62.0% growth. Both the XC60 and the S90 more than doubled their registrations, while the all-new XC40 also contributed significantly.

SUV take-up in the true fleet sector continued and the Small, Compact and Medium SUVs all achieved new all-time records in October, while with 2.52% the Large SUVs sector was extremely close, eclipsed just by the 2.54% seen in March 2017.

The two top-sellers within the Small SUV sector, Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka, were down compared to October 2017 but all other models in the top 10 raised their volumes or were new entries like the T-Roc from Volkswagen (third) or the Seat Arona (10th).

The Volkswagen Tiguan was the clear leader in the Compact SUV class and more than doubled its registrations over October 2017. The same holds true for the Mercedes GLA, ranking third behind the Nissan Qashqai while the Grandland X from Vauxhall is currently the most successful new entry, both in the current month and year-to-date.

The Medium SUV segment was led by the Mitsubishi Outlander with eight out of 10 company car drivers opting for the plug‑in version. Mercedes GLC (second, +82.0%) and Volvo XC60 (third, +103.4%) had a massive jump but the Peugeot 5008 even had a five-digit growth rate and gained no less than 19 positions, pushing the Land Rover Discovery Sport aside.

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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.