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Fleet sales prop up car industry

  • New car registrations fall 0.8% in September
  • Fleet sales now account for 51.7% of market
  • Average CO2 emissions in UK now 138.5g/km

Fleet sales have continued to prop up the new car industry this month.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, private registrations fell by 9.3% while fleet sales grew by 7.3%.

This has grown the market share for fleet sales to 47.1% in September, up 3.5% since the same month last year.

For the year-to-date, fleet sales are up 4.1% and now command over half (51.7%) of the total market share for car sales.

There were 332,476 new 61-plate cars registered in September this year, 0.8% less than a year ago and in-line with SMMT predictions for the month as the economic burden continues to take effect.

The average CO2 emissions for new cars registered between January and September this year was 138.5g/km. This is largely down to the increase in diesel cars, which account for a growing share of the total car sales market. In fact, in the past 12 months sales of diesel cars have risen from 44.5% of total car sales to 49.9%. Alternatively-fuelled vehicles (i.e. electric and hybrid cars) account for 1.3% of the market share as sales have risen by 9.1% in the past year.

The top five most popular fleet cars in September were:

Make Model
Ford Focus
Volkswagen     Golf
Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall Insignia
Ford Fiesta

“The all-important September market outperformed expectations and is less than 1% below last year at 332,476 units,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

“We expected 2011 to be a challenging year and we are on track for a full year total of around 1.92 million new car registrations, 5% below 2010. SMMT has revised down its 2012 registrations forecast to 1.96 million units; a reflection of the continued weakness in UK domestic demand and the uncertainty across European economies. It is important government acts to sustain an investment-led recovery and implements measures to encourage more private sector investment in R&D, skills, new plants and machinery.”

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