Challenging month for Germany’s true fleet sector

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The German true fleet market was hit by the early start of the Easter holidays in Germany and two missing working days compared to last year’s March, according to latest research by Dataforce.

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc muscled its way into the top ten SUVs in German true fleet

Analysis by the firm’s Michael Gergen shows that while the private channel performed really well with a rise of 7.6%, true fleets were down 7.1% and special channels declined 10.6%. As a result, total market registrations were around 347,000, down by 3.4% over March 2017.

Despite the decline in March, true fleets saw growth of 1.2% for Q1 while private registrations rose 16.0% – their share of 37.2% was the highest quarterly result since Q2 of 2014.

Looking at the brand performance for true fleets, Volkswagen was again leader, slightly expanding its market share. BMW (second) and Audi (third) swapped positions but were followed by Mercedes, Ford, Škoda, Opel and Renault, who all held their rankings. Škoda, Nissan and Seat, which completed the top 10, were the only ones to increase their registrations.

Outside the top 10, Peugeot (13th, +17.1%) and Fiat (up from 18 to 15 with +21.4%) saw strong growth. Fiat’s performance mainly came from the Fiat 500 but was also fuelled by the Ducato, especially its Mobile Home version, which is clearly dominating the camper van segment in Germany.

Dataforce also noted strong performances from the Volkswagen T-Roc, which has already made its way into the SUV top 10, and the Insignia. Although Opel remained in seventh position in the ranking and saw a volume decline of 8.8% – in line with the true fleet market’s overall performance – the Insignia rose into fifth position in the middle class segment behind Volkswagen Passat, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C‑Class. With 9.2% the Insignia scored its second-best market share within its segment.

Looking at fuel type performance, the trend from the previous months continued with a significant drop for diesel and growth for petrol engines in true fleet. Meanwhile hybrid registrations have increased by 41.9%. Toyota was the most successful hybrid brand (by absolute figures) in March, followed by BMW (mainly 2 Series Active Tourer), Mercedes (mainly E-Class) and Volkswagen (predominantly Passat GTE).

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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.