German true fleet registrations surge in advance of WLTP

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The German new car market set a new record in August with growth seen across all channels ahead of the 1 September switch to WLTP.

The German new car market exceeded the 300k unit mark for the first time ever in August

Analysis by Christian Spahn at Dataforce shows the overall new car market rose by 25% last month to 316,400 units – marking the first time the car market had ever exceeded the 300k total.

Self-registrations on the manufacturers increased by 13.9% and the rent-a-car numbers were up by 27.7% compared to August 2017 but the new car registrations on dealerships jumped by 80.8%. The private market registered a rather moderate 4.3% rise while true fleets were up by 18.2%, achieving its strongest monthly growth rate in 2018 so far.

Within the manufacturer league table for true fleet, both Volkswagen and Audi scored a five-digit registration number and above-average growth rates while Mercedes and BMW, ranked third and fourth, had a challenging August. Renault was up 178.9% and jumped into fifth position, overtaking Ford and Škoda who both were in the red, though for the former this was a dip of just three registrations.

Seat (+127.6%) was not far behind Škoda and achieved a new record market share of 5.4% and overtook Opel (ninth) for the first time ever in the German true fleet market! Toyota completed the top 10 while Hyundai (11th, +93.6%) narrowly missed entering this group despite a jump of six places and its best market share in almost two years – mainly fuelled by the i10 and Tucson.

Dataforce also looked at alternative fuel types and found the share of both hybrid and full electric remained unchanged compared to August 2017, while the share for petrol cars climbed to 40.7%, which is the highest since December 2001, a time when the Golf Mk 4 was leading the fleet market! In contrast, the diesel share was below 55.0% for the very first time, at 54.95%.

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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.