True fleet market in Italy records double-digit growth in February
Italy’s true fleet market rose 15.4% in February although the overall new car market recorded a decline.
Latest figures from Dataforce show the total market finished the month with a little over 194,000 registrations; down on last February’s results by -1.1%. The decline was attributed to the private market segment, which registered a -11.1% fall in its third consecutive month of negative growth. Special channels were predictably positive with a +12.3% increase.
The brand line-up saw the top four brands retain their respective places from last year’s February alongside each achieving a positive growth. Top was Fiat (+23.8%), followed by Ford (+33.7%), VW (+18.8%) and then Mercedes (+3.9%) – but each of the brand’s leading models came from a different segment. Fiat’s from Mini with Panda, Ford’s from Small Cars with Fiesta, VW’s from Compact Cars with Golf and Mercedes with an SUV, the GLA.
However, higher growth rates were seen further down the rankings. Peugeot in fifth recorded + 1.1% thanks predominantly to the 3008, 308 and 5008. BMW and Audi in sixth and seventh respectively were the only negative brands in the top 10 with each dropping a rank over last year. Toyota was on form (+51.9%) with both the Yaris and Auris Touring Sports accelerating the brand into eighth. Jeep saw the highest growth with +81.1% thanks to Compass model, which had some impressive results in fleet and private registrations. Nissan came in 10th and saw its positive month largely thanks to the Micra more than doubling its registrations in comparison to February last year.
Dataforce also looked at Italy’s long term rental channel, which makes up a significant portion of the true fleet channel, and found for 2018 so far both diesel (+26.3%) and Alternative Fuels (+50.0%) are showing growth while petrol (-15.1%) is taking a hit – although inside the petrol top 10 Volkswagen and Audi are bucking the trend with solid growth rates.
And within alternative fuels, it’s actually the hybrid and electric alternative fuel sub-channels that are leading the growth with figures of +103.6% and +274.6% respectively, despite the prevalence of bifuel gas cars in Italy.