UK still going slower, but greener
As reported by market analyst Dataforce, the UK true fleet market was down again in March. This is usually the strongest month of the year (due to the new registration plate release). The total market finished with 458,054 registrations, down by 3.4% and it was the RAC/Short-Term Rental channel which arrested what could have been a much higher slide thanks to its + 13.6%. Both the private and dealer/manufacturer channels posted negative growths of 2.8% and 2.9% respectively but it was true fleet which posted the largest contraction with a - 9.3%.
Where brand performance is concerned VW re-took the number one spot (from BMW) for the first time in 2019, gaining a place from March 2018 results despite a 1.0% decline. Mercedes and BMW followed, with strong performances of + 7.2% and + 13.2%. Ford was next in line with Audi and Nissan trailing them. Opel (Vauxhall) appears to be bearing the brunt of the downturn for the month, not only dropping six places into 7th. Toyota and Kia were the next two on the ladder, while SEAT entered the top 10 with a solid growth of 9.5%.
In terms of fuel types, neither the diesel or petrol segment could post a positive March but both hybrid (+ 6.7%) and electric (+ 98.9%) did. The top 3 in the electric segment were the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and the Jaguar I-Pace. For hybrids, no surprise to see Toyota at the top of the list with the C-HR finishing in front of the Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota Yaris.
Dataforce goes on to say that while diesel posted a double-digit deduction of 21.9% there may be some positive results coming soon. The first RDE2 compliant cars will arrive in April (Mercedes A200d and A220d) meaning that company car drivers can avoid the higher BIK (Benefit-in-Kind) band for diesel cars which meet these stricter emission standards. It remains to be seen whether this will help to put the brakes on the diesel decline but it is certainly good news for end users who can now remove the arbitrary penalty the government had applied without outlining the standard required for RDE2 compliant cars.
Dataforce’s graphic shows the model performance.