Features
4 Mar 19

Italian True Fleets on five-month slide

Italy’s True Fleet channel marked its fifth consecutive month of sliding sales in January. In contrast, the Private channel showed positive growth, says Dataforce, which provides detailed insight into the latest developments on the Italian automotive market. 

True Fleet registrations have been on a downward trajectory since the introduction of WLTP in September last year – not just in Italy, but also in two of Europe’s other major markets, France and the UK. 

14.8% down

“Of the Big Five, only Spain (+4.7% in December) and Germany (+7.6% in January) have been able to break out of this slide,” says Dataforce analyst Richard Worrow. 

Italian True Fleets were down a hefty 14.8% compared to January 2018, Special Channels even recorded a drop of 29.4%, which translates into a little over 10,000 registrations less than in the same month last year. 

In contrast, the Italian Private channel noted 6.2% of growth in January, the fourth consecutive month of growth (following a negative result in September). 

Big winners

In terms of brand performance, there were two big winners – not coincidentally two brands that were well prepared for the WLTP changeover: Peugeot, which saw True Fleet sales increase by 86.2% (mainly thanks to the 3008 and 308 but also the 2008 and 208) and moved up from 10th to third place; and Citroën, which increased by 54.4% (thanks to excellent sales results for the C3, C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus), moving from 15th to 10th place. 

Fiat remained lodged at the #1 spot, but its nearest rival VW following with just 2,487 units less. Fourth to ninth places were for BMW, Audi, Jeep, Mercedes, Ford and Renault, in that order. “Outside the top 10 we also saw some steady gains from Volvo in 16th with a + 26.9% and Seat in 20th with a + 79.9%,” says Mr Worrow.

Purchase Power

Dataforce used an interesting metric to analyse the Italian market: the Purchase Power (PP) of fleets. “This refers to the number of cars which have been registered to a company over the last 12 months,” Mr Worrow explains. For instance, in January the fleets with a PP of 1 to 9 cars made up around 14.3% of the market share – down from a 22.2% share in January 2018. 

Also worth noting: the top three True Fleet models in this grouping – the Jeep Compass, the Fiat Panda and the Merced”es GLC – all followed the overall True Channel decline, but the fourth most popular model, the Range Rover Sport, boasted a healthy 47.1% increase. The Mercedes A-Class (in sixth place) increased by 44.3%. Diesel remains the strongest fuel type, making up 65.5% of all new registrations in the 1-9 PP grouping. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs