23 Jan 19

Alone among EU5, Spain sees True Fleets grow in December 

The overall Spanish automotive market shrank by 3.3% last December (compared to the same month last year), but True Fleets grew. In that, Spain was unique among Europe's Big Five markets (EU5), Dataforce analysis shows. 

Private registrations were down 10% in Spain (pictured: Bilbao), but True Fleets were up by 6.1%. That monthly result helped secure double-digit growth over the entire year (+10.1%), to a level never before recorded by Dataforce (which has been following Spanish True Fleets since 2008). 

Standout market
But the segment strayed from black to red in the UK, Germany, France and Italy, all of which saw True Fleet sales figures retreat in comparison to December 2017.

More evidence that Spain is the standout auto market among Europe's larger ones: “Despite the Private Market's relatively poor December, it also managed a positive annual result, with + 3.8%”, says Dataforce analyst Gabriel Juhas. 

Registrations on Rental companies, Dealerships and Manufacturers were also up (+7.1% in December and +10.6% for the whole year). With more than 1.38 million passenger car registrations, the overall Spanish market achieved its highest volume since 2007.

Well-shuffled pack
Returning to the Fleet segment, the Top 10 was a well-shuffled pack last December, not one brand maintaining its previous position. Volkswagen (+34.4%) took over the lead from Citroën. In second place: BMW (+59.4%), gaining four positions and achieving its highest market share since February 2013. 

“Spanish fleets seem to have a particularly strong appetite for BMW’s 'X' model range”, says Mr Juhas. “X1, X3 and X5 all more than doubled their volume, the X4 grew by 'only' + 72.2% and the all-new X2 was already 4th within the internal brand ranking, leaving behind the 1 Series and 3 Series”.

Renault settled on third place, followed by SEAT, Peugeot, Ford and Mercedes. Citroën and Toyota managed a perfectly ex-aequo ninth place (1,227 units each) and Audi completed the Top 10.

Lowest volume
Outside the top-ranked brands, Volvo (+31.5%, 12th) achieved a market share of 3.5%, its best since 2007. MINI (+24.6%, 16th) even reached its best-ever True Fleet market share result.

Another record, but in vehicle segmentation: the medium-sized segment, under pressure for a while already, sank to its lowest volume ever. “No less than 11 out of the top 15 (medium-sized) models faced reduced registration volumes compared to December 2017,” says Mr Juhas.  

The segment, which ranked second as recently as 2013, dropped to third in 2016 and now lingers in sixth place. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs