Opel defends number of pre-registrations and employee leases in sales figures

24 July 2017

24 July 2017

German vehicle manufacturer Opel has defended its inclusion of pre-registered vehicles and those leased by company workers, retirees and their families in its sales data.

The company reached a German market share of 7.1% in a survey of sales during the first half of 2017, because it included pre-registrations and heavy discounts. Without these ′push channels’, the company would only have achieved a market share of 4.5%, according to reports in Germany. This would have seen it overtaken by Skoda.

An Opel spokesman said there was nothing wrong with the count and because Opel was a German company, the number of such sales was necessarily higher than for importers of foreign cars.

′In pre-registrations, Opel includes cars that employees and former employees (a total of 60,000 entitled people) may lease for themselves or their family members. We are glad that our staff stand behind Opel and that the number of our cars used privately by employees and their families is constantly on the increase,’ the spokesman said.

The market share of other companies, such as BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen reflected push-channels, although to a lesser extent. In total, German vehicle registrations for the first half of 2017, increased 3.1% to 1.8 million cars.

Pre-registrations have already affected market shares in both Italy and Spain, according to both country’s automotive authorities.

In Italy, registrations rose 13% to 187,600 units during June, according to the industry body ANFIA. However, in a statement, Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, president of the Italy’s Federauto dealer association, said: ″The very positive June result is mainly due to the battle among carmakers to grab market share.″ He added that this led to the big increase in self-registrations.

The issue of self-registrations also seemed to benefit Spanish sales, which were up 6.5% in June to 131,800 units, according to ANFAC. It was the country’s best June result since 2007, however the industry association stated that it is ′worried by the lack of growth in sales to private customers,’ which started in Q4 2016.

Opel is currently going through a period of upheaval following its sale by General Motors to France’s PSA Group. The €2.1 billion deal is expected to be finalised in August 2017 following approval by the EU Commission, making PSA Europe’s second biggest vehicle manufacturer behind the Volkswagen Group.

PSA has also announced its finance chief Michael Lohscheller will become the new chief executive of Opel and its UK arm, Vauxhall. Lohscheller replaces Karl-Thomas Neumann, who sat at the helm for four years following his appointment in 2013. 

Photograph courtesy of Opel