German True Fleets up third month in a row
Overall car registrations in Germany were down in March, but the results for the individual market segments were very different, Dataforce figures show. “True Fleets were in good shape and grew by a very solid + 5.5%,” says Dataforce analyst Christian Spahn.
To be fair, the overall figure was just 0.5% down compared to March 2018. Still, the variation between the segments was remarkable: -8.3% for the Private market, +3.8% for Special Channels (i.e. manufacturers, dealerships and short-term rentals) and +5.5% for True Fleets, the third monthly increase in a row.
Looking at the True Fleet segment's brand leaders, top brand Volkswagen (+7.6%) had a good month, growing slightly faster than the overall market. Audi (#2) did even better (+26.5%), achieving its highest market share since August 2018 and surging ahead of BMW (#3).
Audi's strong result was due largely to sales of the A4, A6 and Q3, with additional support from the new Q8 and e-tron (pictured).
Mercedes, Ford and Skoda occupied rankings #4 to #6. Thanks to a huge sales surge (+50.7%), Seat (#7) for the very first time moved ahead of both Opel (#8) and Renault (#9). Remarkably, all Seat models increased their sales volume compared to the previous March – with the exception of the Mii. Volvo (+43.7%) climbed two places, completing the Top 10 for March.
Hyundai missed the Top 10 by two places but boasts +85.7% growth thanks mainly to the I30, I20 and Kona.
For the first month ever, German True Fleets registered more than 2,000 EVs, helping full-electrics achieve a market share of 2.6% - a record. Growth of hybrids was significantly lower. As a result, they were outperformed by full EVs, which hadn't happened since May 2014.
Established EV models like Renault Zoe, BMW i3, Smart ForTwo Electric and Nissan Leaf all recorded growth rates. Newcomers such as Audi e-tron, Hyundai Kona and Jaguar I-Pace generated additional volume. The high-flyer in March, however, was Tesla's Model 3, which accounted for nearly 700 new registrations and was clearly #1.
“Diesel is still by far the most preferred fuel type for company cars; its share of 57.8% in March was slightly higher than in the previous month, and only marginally lower than back in March 2018”, remarks Mr Spahn. Within the brands Top 20, the diesel share ranged remarkably widely, from 0% for Tesla (obviously), to no less than 76% for Audi.