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NewsinsightNews digestRemarketing analysisSalesfiguresFuel pricesCar RecruitmentreviewsManufacturer newsBy Simon Harris, deputy editor, Fleet NewsDiesel cars have been hit with a BIK supplement since the rules were changed in 2002, basing liability on CO2 emissions instead of mileage.To start with, only Euro4-compliant diesels would see the supplement waived, but as all new cars by 2005 had to meet those requirements, the diesel supplement became universal once again.But following our story highlighting that the rule only applied to cars "powered solely by diesel engines" (see News digest), HMRC has confirmed that diesel hybrids will not suffer the penalty. It makes sense. The rule was imposed because of air pollution issues from particulates and NOx gases, but a full diesel hybrid would run on electric with no tailpipe emissions for much of its time around town.But could this signify a warming of attitudes towards diesel in general? New engines are being designed to meet Euro6 emissions limits, where NOx gases are less than one-third of those permitted by Euro4 and particulates are a fifth of those allowed.The 3% supplement always seemed rather dubious, but now there are fewer reasons for any diesel car to be penalised in this way.EDITOR'S COMMENT"The 3% BIK supplement always seemed rather dubious"to electric vehicles, regardless of whether they are charging or not.Parking in future will also be provided with free electricity, but in order to access this free energy, drivers must sign up to become a member of the scheme at an annual cost of £50. Members will be provided with a swipe card to 'unlock' the cover on the charging point, which allows them to also lock the plug on to their vehicle.However, highway incentives are not something that have been taken up, or even considered by the majority of local authorities. Only one respondent, the London Borough of Hounslow, indicated that it was considering intro-ducing low carbon vehicle only lanes and allowing them to use bus lanes in future.Finally, a number of authorities said that they had considered congestion charging and road pricing, but that the measure had been rejected because it was deemed politically unacceptable, or that it was a part of an unsuccessful Transport Innovation Fund bid - a Department for Transport scheme operating from 2008 until 2010.>> Click here for the full report, Going Green: How local authorities can encourage the take-up of lower-carbon vehicles. authorities questioned, and are in progress in a number of other authorities (between 12 and 14), showing a growing trend. The local authority which stated that it had been considered but rejected said that they were difficult to endorse as the council had limited funding resources to install public charging points and lead by example to developers.2.3.8 Other measuresThe last question in this section of the survey looked at incentives which could be employed to encourage (U)LCVs by setting a good example and/or requiring associated organisations to use low emission vehicles. The policy levers that help to shape these incentives include the Localism Bill 2010-11 for providing reduced business rates and the CRTVR 2011 for internal and contracted council fleet vehicles. The survey results are shown in Figure 2.8.Figure 2.8: Other council measures to encourage (U)LCV use50454035302520151050Number of local authoritiesImplementedIn progressConsidered, but rejectedNot consideredUnsureReduced business rates for organisations with (U)LCV fleets(U)LCVs for council's own fleetProcurement procedures which require or encourage council contractors to use (U)LCVsOther council measures to encourage low carbon vehicle useReduced business rates for organisations with low carbon vehiclesLow carbon vehicles for council's own fleetProcurement procedures which require or encourage council contractors to use low carbon vehiclesSource: RAC Foundation

Behind the traditional leaders, there appears to be no such bashfulness from the German competi-tors, with Volkswagen, BMW and Audi all showing increases of more than 10%. These three are now almost certain to take the positions immediately behind Ford and Vauxhall in 2011. Conversely, the three French manufacturers, which used to be strong fleet competitors, are all down on 2010.A fight which is possibly more interesting than Ford and Vauxhall is that between Toyota and Kia. The Japanese giant was outsold by Kia in October and could be overtaken by the Korean upstart for the full year. Normally, one would look at Kia's growth rate of 65% this year as unsustainable, as that sort of growth is usually only bought via big discounts. However, the strength of the Kia range now means that no rivals are dismissing its figures as a flash in the pan. Kia (and/or Hyundai) could be a top 10 fleet brand next year, which is a scary thought for all the estab-lished mainstream competitors. Sales figuresNewsinsightManufacturer newsFuelpricesRemarketing analysisNews digestCar RecruitmentreviewsSales figuresFleet registrations back to pre-recession levelsBy Jay Nagley, Redspy AutomotiveIn October, SMMT figures showed fleet registra-tions continued the pattern seen throughout this year, with a market share of 54.3% - back to the level of 2007 before the financial crisis hit. However, this may prove to be the calm before the storm. In the past few weeks we have picked up signals from corporate buyers that non-essential spending is being put on hold while they wait and see what is happening with the eurozone crisis. Whether this will lead to a drop in market share for fleet sales is a moot point, as retail customers are hardly feeling expansive either, but it is a potential threat to sales volume over the next few months. Normally, following a recession, there is a recovery as pent-up demand is satisfied from those buyers who delayed purchases during the economic downturn. Could this be the first time we go into a downturn before the pent-up demand of the last downturn has been fully satisfied?At a manufacturer level, Ford and Vauxhall are almost neck and neck. Ford has started to recover thanks to freer availability of the new Focus. Who will finish the year in top spot is a question of who wants it more. Either company can choose to boost sales in December by enough to finish the year as number one. A more intriguing question is whether either company would mind coming second: "We won't discount our way to the top" may be as strong a message as "we are number one in fleet".Increased availability of the new Focus boosted Ford's fleet registrations in October>> Turn over for full sales figures