February brings more positive news for German true fleet market

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Germany’s new car market continued the positive start to the year in February with further growth, according to latest Dataforce figures.

Volvo in 11th place increased its volume by a remarkable +55.6%

Volvo in 11th place increased its volume by a remarkable +55.6%

The 7.4% rise for overall registrations follows the +11.6% increase in January. True fleets were up +4.8% and private registrations grew +21.3% but the special channels sector, covering rental cars and self-registrations, dropped by -1.4%.

Looking at the true fleet brand line-up, the top four brands (Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes and BMW) as well as Ford in sixth position all suffered declining volumes over last February’s results. But Škoda (fifth) and Opel (seventh) increased their volume by +22.7% and +26.0% respectively, Renault (eighth) even by +32.4%.

Dataforce analysis shows the growth for Skoda was mainly fuelled by the two SUV models, Karoq and Kodiaq, though the Octavia had a very good month as well with a + 13.7%. Within Opel Adam (+76.8%), Astra (+ 9.7%), Insignia (+132.1%) and Vivaro (+ 17.5%) posted notable growth and additional volume was of course generated by the Mokka X, Crossland X and Grandland X. The brand achieved its best market share since January 2013, making up 6.4% of the true fleet market for February.

With close to 1,200 new car registrations, Volvo in 11th place increased its volume by a remarkable +55.6% and overtook both Nissan and Peugeot in the ranking. And further growth can be expected as the 2018 European Car of the Year; the all-new XC40, enters the market.

Citroën (+51.3% and rank number 15) also put in a notable performance, with around 90% of the growth generated by the new C3 and C3 Aircross respectively. This pushed Citroën’s market share to 1.2%. which was the best result in five years (February 2013).

Dataforce analysis on fuel type performance shows a heavy decline for diesel compared to February 2017, with its share dropping from 69.7% to 60.4% in true fleet. But the steady downtrend trend from the second half of 2017 seems to have come to an end for the moment as the diesel share rose in January and February 2018.

Looking at vehicle segment performance, Dataforce noted that two groups are especially remarkable in terms of volume growth. The Mini Car segment rose by amazing 30.0% over February 2017 and the Volkswagen up! and Smart ForTwo in first and second position were not the only ones to show very good performances. The Fiat 500, Opel Adam and big brother of Smart ForTwo, the ForFour also showed excellent growth rates.

Meanwhile, the SUV success story continues. Despite the fact that the previous year was already very strong, 15 out of the top 20 SUV models showed a higher volume when compared to February last year. While an overall surplus of 19.5% almost seems to be “normal” for SUV, in fact the share in February was the highest ever with 25.4%. The Volkswagen Tiguan defended its lead over the Mercedes GLC while the Skoda Kodiaq jumped from 5th into 3rd, its first time ever in this position.

A huge number of models have recently entered the market place and will likely contribute to the overall SUV boom: Hyundai Kona, Jaguar E-Pace, Kia Stonic, Seat Arona, Skoda Karoq, Volkswagen T-Roc and Volvo XC40 to name but a few.

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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.