Cheaper tax bills, lower emissions, strong residuals and its most comprehensive model line-up ever have pushed Honda's fleet sales to record levels in the first quarter. Fleet sales are up 38% compared with the first three months of 2003, contributing to an all-time record of 29,000 total car sales. British built product took 55% of the company’s fleet sales during the period. Sales to companies in March rose by over 70% compared to March 03.
Honda's new Accord leads the charge, establishing itself in the Top 3 best selling upper medium petrol 4dr fleet sector, ahead of VW Passat, Audi A4 and Jaguar X-Type, while the 2.2 i-CTDi diesel is gaining tremendous plaudits from fleet users. Sitting in the lowest tax banding for 2006/7 at 143g/km, Honda's first "own diesel" is only just getting into its stride in the UK and is set to grow Honda's fleet business dramatically over 2004/5.
The British-built Civic retains its popularity accounting for more than 40% of Honda’s fleet sales in the quarter, proving to be particularly strong with urban-based fleet operators. Proving the point, the latest 04 model year Civic 3 and 5 door petrol models outsold Golf equivalents by 190 units last month.
Meanwhile the CR-V continues to dominate the fleet 5dr 4x4 sector. The model accounted for 43% of all petrol SUV sales in the fleet sector in March, exceeding combined petrol and diesel sales of Land Rover Freelander, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-TRAIL during the period.
"We have enjoyed a tremendous start to the year and the great news is that this is just the beginning," says Honda (UK)'s Head of Corporate Sales, James Daulton. "The launch of the Accord diesel is the culmination of 24 months of new product introductions. All of these new cars give a great driver experience and yet still offer low CO2 emissions; this combination is helping us win new customers across the UK."
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