I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Mercedes-Benz A-Class takes Fleet Car Of The Year award, beating 20 rivals.

  • A-Class awarded Fleet Car of the Year Award by ACFO – overcoming almost 20 competing models
  • The ACFO Awards celebrate manufacturers who supply cost effective, reliable and efficient vehicles to the Fleet market
  • A-Class continues to grow in the UK with over 28,000 vehicles registered so far this year
The prestigious headline award for Fleet Car of the Year was given to the A-Class – considered by the ACFO members to be best in its class – overcoming the challenge of almost 20 other models.
The Association of Car Fleet Operators supports fleet decision-makers to improve the efficiency of their Fleet operation – members of which include most of Britain’s major fleets. The Awards – voted for online by ACFO members – are highly prized as they reflect the day-to-day operational experience and expertise of fleet decision-makers.

In announcing the A-Class Award, John Pryor, ACFO chairman, commented: “The A-Class’s triumph in this year’s ACFO Awards is reflective of the changing shape of the UK company car market. The importance of the company car as an employee recruitment and retention tool means that vehicles across all market sectors are today being considered by businesses and their staff. 
However, vehicles must continue to be fit-for-purpose and deliver excellent total cost of ownership as well as first class MPG and low emissions. In voting the A-Class Fleet Car of the Year, the ACFO membership clearly believes the vehicle is cost effective to operate, safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly.”
Sally Dennis, Head of Fleet, Mercedes-Benz UK, commented: “We are delighted that the A-Class has won the Fleet Car of the Year Award – it highlights our continuous drive to offer efficient, low-emission vehicles to our Fleet customers as we strive to meet their needs with an ever-improving product range.”
Some 10,000 A-Classes have been bought by fleet customers so far this year – an 84 per cent increase over 2013.
This year the A-Class range expanded with the A 180 CDI ECO edition – priced from £21,965 OTR – which features weight-saving measures, powertrain refinements and improved fuel consumption – producing 92 g/km CO2 and achieving 78.5 mpg. 
The A-Class continues to grow in the UK with almost 28,000 registered so far this year.

JATO announces European growth for October, with all but one top 20 brands growing.

  • European growth continues, up 7.0% in October
  • Almost 600,000 more new cars sold year-to-date than the same period last year
  • All top 10 brands by volume increased volume for both October and year-to-date compared to 2013
October saw strong growth in the European new car sales market, with sales up by 7.0% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest analysis from JATO Dynamics, the world’s leading provider of automotive intelligence. Growth was again driven by higher demand in Europe’s big 5 markets with sales in Spain up 31.1% year-on-year, Great Britain had double-digit growth of 14.2% year-to-date and Italy up 9.6% year-to-date.

JATO’s headline market analysis:
  • 19 of the top 20 brands recorded sales growth in October
  • 24 of the 29 countries analysed have seen year-to-date growth in new car sales
  • Sales of Volkswagen’s Polo were up 27.7% compared to October 2013 following its recent facelift and reclaims second place
Four of the ‘Big 5’ European car markets registered growth in October, making a significant contribution to the strong overall growth seen during the month. This was the highest rate of overall growth in the European market since March of this year. 

Germany’s sales grew 3.7%, slightly more than its year-to-date increase of 3.0%. The French market declined 3.8% in October, but remains ahead of 2013 year-to-date by 1.4%.

October was a strong month for new car sales right across Europe, as 24 out of the 29 countries included in the analysis grew their sales compared to the same month last year. 

The countries that have recently suffered prolonged economic downturn continued their return to growth, with Ireland (+29.8%), and Greece (+21.5%) both showing impressive signs of recovery so far this year.

Other medium-sized markets also continued to perform well, with excellent year-to-date gains for Sweden (+14.9%), Czech Republic (+17.5%) and Hungary (+20.4%).

European Monthly Sales Volumes Year-on-Year Comparison

(Image file of graph also attached)

October was also a successful month for the high-volume brands, with 19 of the top 20 increasing year-on-year sales for the month. Of these, Dacia (+34.6%) and Mini (+21.4%) saw the highest year-on-year gains, while Opel/Vauxhall (+11.8%) increased its sales the most of the top 10 brands. Skoda remained in the top 10 for another month after growth of 6.0%, while their year-to-date growth strong currently at 16.3%.

Ford and Renault had similar performances during October, with Ford holding on to second place, beating Renault by just over 1,000 units. Renault’s strong performance in 2014 is proven by its double-digit growth for the year-to-date (+10.2%). Volkswagen remains the top seller thanks to a 5.9% increase in October compared to last year.

Top 10 Brands
MakeOct_14Oct_13% change OctOct YtD_14Oct YtD_13% change YtD

The newly facelifted Volkswagen Polo increased year-on-year sales by 27.7%, pushing the model into second place behind its dominant stablemate the Golf, with sales growth of 5.2%. 

Renault’s Clio was third with a year-on-year increase of 8.1%, while Ford’s Fiesta had to settle for fourth despite growing sales 4.1% compared to the same period last year. Opel/Vauxhall’s Corsa completes the top 5 following a successful month in which its sales increased by 23.1%.

Skoda’s Octavia remains the year-to-date growth leader in the top 10 with sales up 28.4%, despite slipping slightly (1.2%) in October. Peugeot’s 308 saw sales grow by 50.5% compared to October last year while its year-to-date growth is even higher at 59.0%. This leaves the model just outside the top 10, directly behind Peugeot’s 208.

Peugeot’s 2008 also saw October’s year-on-year sales grow by 11.6%, while other small crossover models also continued to gain market share. The most notable increases in year-on-year sales were for Dacia’s Duster (+72.5%) and Renault’s Captur (+9.6%).

Top 10 Models
Make & ModelOct_14Oct_13% change OctOct YtD_14Oct YtD_13% change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF45,52243,282+5.2%443,939390,329+13.7%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO27,45621,499+27.7%235,358222,973+5.6%
RENAULT CLIO26,49624,512+8.1%254,521241,465+5.4%
FORD FIESTA24,93723,962+4.1%268,753245,979+9.3%
OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA20,41816,583+23.1%215,286205,176+4.9%
SKODA OCTAVIA18,99319,225-1.2%173,376135,057+28.4%
FORD FOCUS18,31717,599+4.1%192,994193,963-0.5%
AUDI A3/S3/RS318,13915,888+14.2%172,358140,769+22.4%
NISSAN QASHQAI17,07716,296+4.8%173,668177,186-2.0%
PEUGEOT 20816,05718,124-11.4%186,133207,732-10.4%

Brian Walters, Vice President of Data at JATO Dynamics, commented: “European new car sales not only continued to grow in October, but did so at an even higher rate than in recent months. It was another great month for a number of the biggest brands and more established models, but the continued success of small crossovers shows that demand for innovative new products continues to grow.”