By on November 8, 2010

Fleet sales data can be some of the toughest numbers to find, but thanks to a post from commenter GarbageMotorsCo, we’ve got some pretty comprehensive numbers for last year’s fleet performance [courtesy: automotive-fleet.com, PDF list here]. Overall fleet levels have been higher this year, but by identifying the most popular vehicles with fleet buyers (in terms of fleet sales as a percentage of overall sales), we’ll at least have some hints about this year’s performance. To help give a more accurate picture, we’ve left out obvious commercial vehicles (mainly large vans, and the queen of all fleet queens, the Ford Crown Vic (95% fleet)), as well as discontinued models like Chevy Uplander (57%) and Pontiac G6 (44.7%). We also left out hybrid or CNG versions of nameplates. Two vehicles with limited sales last year (GMC Terrain and Kia Forte) are on the list, even though they may not be on a similar list for 2010 (the Honda Insight is not on the list, despite selling all 193 of its 2009 sales to fleets). Hit the jump for our full list.

The Top 20 Fleet Queens of 2009, as a percentage of overall sales

Lincoln Town Car: 74%

Mercury Grand Marquis: 66.1%

Chevrolet Impala: 57.1%

Chevrolet Uplander: 57%

Chevrolet HHR: 54.8%

GMC Terrain (limited sales): 51.2%

Ford Taurus: 50.4%

Mitsubishi Galant: 50.1%

PT Cruiser: 48.3%

Kia Amanti: 46.5%

Volvo S60: 45%

Dodge Charger: 44.8%

Ford Explorer: 43.7%

Hyundai Accent: 43.6%

Dodge Caravan: 43.2%

Dodge Avenger: 40.8%

Kia Forte (limited sales) 40.3%

Chrysler Sebring: 39.8%

Kia Sedona: 39.3%

Kia Rio: 38.5%

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62 Comments on “The Top 20 Fleet Queens Of 2009...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    A note on the Uplander: I believe they were still being made for sale in Canada and Mexico into 2010.
     
    They also suck beyond any reasonable expectation.  Unless you get a huge discount, the Caravan is better in every way.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      shudder

      3200 km in an Uplander through the beautiful Maritime provinces.  The best I can say about it is that the 32 mpg was consistent and reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      You know, that’s actually true.  They were fuel efficient, I’ll give them that.
       
      Mind you, they were fuel efficient because they were slow and gutless, but so is the 3.3L Caravan and it drinks gas.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      My rental had the 3.9L, so it wasn’t gutless by any means.  Everything was so crappy about the van, however, that it was hard to see as a redeeming feature.

      I think if they had given me the choice between an Uplander and an E150, I’d have chosen the latter.  Of course, I didn’t request a minivan from the Enterprise website, which I booked 5 months ahead of time, but that’s another story.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I was given a Volvo S60/V70 by National a couple of times in the past 18 months. Not really a bad turn of events when you think about it.

  • avatar

    The only vehicle I’m surprised to see on here is the S60. And that is a surprise.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      From what I recall, Volvo and Lincoln were the go-to for “Luxury” fleet purchases.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe it is part of Hertz’s Prestige Group.

    • 0 avatar
      detlef

      That’s the S80.  I rented one from Hertz a couple years back for my wedding; my koumbaro came in from Seattle and I’d offered him the use of my own car to help keep his costs down.

      I’m actually surprised the C70 isn’t on that list.

    • 0 avatar
      Beelzebubba

      2009 was the 9th and final model year for the 1st generation S60.  The 2009 model year production was only about six months long ending in March 2009.  There were less than 7500 of the 2009 models sold in the U.S.  Though still good cars, they were ancient compared to most of the competition….
      Volvo released the 2009 S60 2.5T Special Edition in July 2009, which was limited to 880 units and they were the final S60s off the line.  They were priced about $1850 lower than the regular S60 2.5T ($30,950 vs. $32,800) and they included the Climate Package and 17″ Talos alloy wheels which had previously been optional.
      In any case, consumers weren’t very interested in the 2009 model, so Ford dumped most of them off to Hertz.  In 12/09, I visited my cousin in L.A. and had reserved a mid-size rental with Hertz.  I was expecting a Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan, which is what I typically got with that reservation.  But I saw three shiny new S60 Special Editions sitting there and asked the guy if I could take one of those off his hands (half-jokingly)….he said SURE as if I’d just asked for a Focus instead!
      It didn’t even have 1000 miles on it when I got it.  I was there for 10 days and, despite the age of the design, I developed a soft sport for the old chap….they’re a great used car bargain!!!

  • avatar
    Syke

    If I’ve got any surprise on this list, its that the Sebring/Avenger has such a low percentage as fleet sales.  From what I’ve been reading about the cars over the past couple of years, I’d would have assumed that fleet sales were something like 75% plus.  Isn’t this the car that nobody buys unless there’s a 9mm pointed at your head?

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed.  That figure truly blows me away.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      Thats only because alot of car people are drama queens. The Sebring/Avenger are really not that bad. Especially considering the price they can be had for in terms of throwing money on the hood. You can get a new Base Avenger for the price of a midlevel Versa.
      Lets also remember that both of these cars sell less than 10,000 a month. While the Camry and Accord sell double that. The platform will barely reach 100K

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Roundel: I would agree with you. A former coworker’s son got a killer lease deal on a Sebring Walter P. Chrysler edition (i.e., all the toys). IIRC, it was cheaper than the lease that I had on my Malibu Maxx (which was one of the subsidized supplier leases), and it had way more toys than my Chevy.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Amen, you beat me to it!
       

    • 0 avatar

      @Roundel
      “Lets also remember that both of these cars sell less than 10,000 a month. While the Camry and Accord sell double that. The platform will barely reach 100K” This isn’t really relevant given that the table is of percentage of overall sales. It wouldn’t matter if the volume was 10,000, 100,000 or 10 – the surprise here (given the talk about these models) is that the percentage of total sales to fleet is as low as it is.

      I think you were much nearer the mark at the start: people are drama queens, and the cars aren’t that bad.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Glad to see the Chevy Malibu is not on the list. Makes sense of why GM hasn`t done a full update for the Impala. Keep one model largely for fleets (although a significant minority, 43 of retail buyers like it) which has the tooling paid for. Then have a newer, smaller model (the Malibu) for retail buyers (at least 62%).

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My 09 Sedona was a rental, which I didn’t discover until after I bought the car (blame buying urgency with a certain buyers’ blindness).  But so far it’s been OK.

    • 0 avatar

      My Grandmother’s 1997 Taurus was a rental as well.  That can be blamed on salesmen not telling the whole story, and us not asking enough questions.
       
      Regardless, it gave us few problems.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Our ’08 Taurus X was a former rental, which was fully disclosed (thanks Carfax).  It has been flawless over the 20K miles we’ve put on it.  “Former rental” was a non-starter for me, but the value is undeniable – sticker was $32K and we paid $19K w/ 16,000 miles in June of ’09.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3


      I have few qualms about buying a past rental car. I’ve had at least two, and they’ve been trouble free. I put at least 80k on each, and didn’t have an issue.  One was a Montero Sport, the other was a Contour SVT.
       
      I think that despite any potential abuse, the regular maintenance  they receive trumps the knucklehead renters.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I’d buy a rental any day over anything ever used as a press car. I’m sure Baruth and everyone else who road tests for TTAC would agree.

  • avatar

    Are those numbers for the old Taurus, the more 500-like version?  I certainly hope so.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      I assume it can’t be the old Taurus and has to be the newer 500 version b/c it is only based on 2009 sales for the year.

    • 0 avatar

      Right.  The Taurus that replaced the 500, but not the new Taurus that replaced that one.  I think the most recent redesign is a 2010 model… the more stylish, well received one.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Are those numbers for the old Taurus, the more 500-like version?  I certainly hope so.
       
      The 2010 “pig-ish” Taurus was first delivered to customers in July of 2009 per the Ford press release on July 2009 sales.  So, I would say that the tables are tilted in the 2009s favor…but there were plenty of 2010s that went to fleets.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The PDF says it is Model Year 2009 vehicles, but I’m not positive all of the vehicles listed were even available as 2009 models, so I’m not sure which version they are talking about.  2010 Taurus sales were heavily supply restricted until late into fall in 2009, so the majority of those vehicles would be the previous bodystyle.  The current Taurus has been limited in fleet sales, and most of those going to rental fleets have been the SE model, which isn’t designed for retail sale, one of the reasons the Taurus’s resale value has remained very high on the new bodystyle.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Is there a way to see what percentage of these numbers are to long term fleets (i.e. Salesman’s cars), and how many go to Avis, et al?

  • avatar
    mikey

     Were in the 2011 model year, and were posting stats from 2009?

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Thanks very much for posting this, and to the commenter for finding it. The categories are a little baffling (the MKZ and Lexus ES fall under “prestige luxury”, while the M3 and S5 are under “entry luxury”? Huh?), but otherwise these numbers are very enlightening.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I wonder who’re the lucky government officials who get to drive the Forestry Service’s Maserati GranTurismo, the HUD’s Ferrari California, USDA’s Nissan GT-R, and the two Audi R8s (one for the CIA and one for the Department of Labor).

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Not all the Chevy Uplanders are dog slow.  In theory, the short wheelbase Uplander with the 3.9 liter, 240 hp engine should be as fast or faster off the line as the Toyota Sienna (2004-2009).  I saw a 0-60 for LWB version at 8.1.  Since the SWB version was a couple hundred pounds lighter (about 4,000 total or 800 less than a current Honda Odyssey) it should be possible to drop a SWB version of the Uplander into the 7s.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      I find the whole debate on the performance stats on minivans hysterical.  I didn’t know people bought minivans considering their 1/4 mile and Nurburgring Ring times.  I heard this woman Sabine got a Ford Transit fan stripped down of everything to almost break 10 minutes.  ;-)
       
      It’s like the guy at work who tells me that his Prius really goes and is zippy.  If I’m buying a minivan, 0 to 60 times aren’t on my radar.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Sort of like the sport bike geeks who passionately argue if a GSXR 1100 is faster than a Superhawk 1000. 
      They are both wicked fast, and I am pretty sure that I would fall off anyway going to 0-60 in 1.9 seconds or whatever they do.

      Just like all mini vans are slow.  As a previous owner a T/C minivan w/ a 3.8 I can attest to the lack of giddyup afforded the driver. 

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Remember, Impala does a lot of duty as a police cruiser and taxi in many North American cities.  I’m a bit surprised the percentage is that low for fleet sales.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The Impalas still sell very well in retail sales in my area. Everytime I visit the 4 dealerships in a 50 mile radius they always seems to be out of them. It would have been nice if Chevy updated them with a 6 speed, 3.6 DOHC option in LTZ trim, new dash and header unit and some more modern features such as Nav, Hids and extra safety features. They are one of the few mid sizers left with a decent sized 18.6 cu. ft. trunk, plenty of front seat room, they are easy to get in and out of and they ride quiet and smooth. Most middle aged folks I have spoke to dislike the new Taurus because the front seat center console takes up what space there is in the front seat because it’s as wide as a damn shuffle board. My 2008 2LT and my folks 2008 LS have been great cars thus far and mine has well over 70K. They are a bargain used as I have seen 2010 LT’s selling for as little as $13995 moderatly well equipped.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      My local Chev dealer is doing a huge renovation. Parking and lot space is at a premium. They love Impalas new ,or used, the Impalas don’t hang around for long.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I am a tried-and-true Impala fan as well. I currently own an ’04 and honestly say I love it asmuch as the day I bought it new. Always wanted a newer one, but couldn’t see getting rid of mine since it serves me too well.

      To ponchoman49: I’ve driven the 2006-and-up Impala as rentals on several occasions and I agree with your assessment. I think all cars midsize and up (well, Chevys, at least) should come with chrome door handles. Yeah, I do pine for some elements of the past!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I got the LTZ package with leather and 18 inch wheels. Yeah  the interior could be a little less spartan. Being retired I got all the time in the world to detail it,and it does clean up pretty nice.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      They love Impalas new ,or used, the Impalas don’t hang around for long.
       
      Yes, but you live where the Impala is built.  That changes things a little.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Yeah…Psar…your right we are little “Impala friendly” in this part of the world. It might be said “that those they build them know exatly how good a car an Impala is, eh.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Impalas sell like gangbusters in Saskatchewan, to add another anecdote to the mix.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I won’t dispute you on it’s being a pretty good car, I just wanted to note that Oshawa is not exactly neutral territory.
       
      I’ve actually been wishing someone I wanted to buy was made locally.  The closest is the Edge (too big), the Civic (I don’t do sedans) and the Matrix (just not that good).  I’m hoping the five-door Regal sees Oshawa assembly.

    • 0 avatar

      i find it crazy that impalas sell as well as they do.  in context though, they are a full size car with a higher msrp than the malibu, yet they consistently sell for less used than the malibu.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The big three made all sorts of problems for themselves by depending on fleet sales. What percentage of Hyundai/Kia’s resurgence has come on the back of fleet sale driven volume? When it comes time to sell your used Sonata in a market filled with ex-rental cars, it may be your problem.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It’s important to remember again that not all fleet sales are bad.  Rental fleets are really the only category that can be considered bad at all, and even those do sometimes bring in new sales by exposing people to the models.
       
      Commercial and government fleet sales (and even rental fleet sales really) can be very profitable for an automaker.  It makes sense that you will see a larger number of Detroit vehicles going to commercial/government fleets in the US, many companies and governments rightly decide to support domestic companies.  If this were a list from Japan, you’d see much higher fleet numbers from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, et al for government and commercial sales.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Hyundai used the rental fleets to soak up excess capacity at the big US Sonata plant until the retail market demand caught up with the factory. Pretty smart, actually.
       

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Isn’t the Hyundai fleet question getting a little tired?   After all, the Sonata managed to stay off this list despite skyrocketing sales.

  • avatar

    Commercial fleets love the Ranger, over 10,000 sales.
    I’d like to know the government worker who has an Audi R8!

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I’d like to think it’s kinda like seeing the British Government’s fictional MI-6 branch buying an Aston-Martin DBS and wondering why. “Research purposes,” perhaps?
      If not James Bond stuff, how about DEA-type seizures used for undercover operations in South Florida?

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I am a little surprised that the Sedona did not report a higher fleet percentage.  I saw quite a few of the previous generation, but the current generation are rarely seen except in rental lots in my area.  I rented one on a family vacation this last summer.  Other than a pretty pleasant engine, I was not that impressed.  If GM had ever managed to build a competent minivan, it would have been like the Sedona.  Yawn.  I couldn’t wait to get home and back to my 99 T&C.  Seriously.

  • avatar
    ajla

    So what’s the most fleet’d engine since 2004?  The 3500 or the 4.6L 2-vlave?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Hard question, I’d argue the most fleet’d engine of all time reguardless of # of valves is the Ford 4.6V8.  Add up the Econolines, F150s, Grand Marquis, Crown Victorias, and Town Cars.  That’s got to be a pretty impressive number.  I don’t see how the Impala can match that all by itself, especially when the police Impala comes with the 3.9V6.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Well the 3500 went into the final-gen U-bodies, original Epsilon Malibus, current-gen Malibu, final-gen Monte Carlos, current Impala, the Aura XE, G6, and 2nd gen Vue.
       
      Since 2004, the 4.6L 2-valve went into the Panthers, ’04 Mustang GT, E-Series, basic F-Series, and ’04-’05 Explorer.
       
      I agree though that police Impalas getting the 3900 does hurt the 3500’s numbers.
      ______________________________________________________________
      Maybe 3500 versus 2.7L EER versus 3.0L Vulcan is the better contest?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      That might be a better contest.  Personally the school district I work for has bought far more 3.0 Tauruses over the years than Impalas or Epsilon platform vehicles.  And most of the Malibus purchased before the current body style were bought with 4cyl engines.
       
      (Side note, drove a fleet 3.0 Taurus 116 miles on Friday, mostly interstate driving, I was the only one in the car, sucker had about 80,000 miles on it.  Set the cruise at 85mph.  Topped it off before I left, filled it up when I got back.  MPG?  31 mpg!  I was impressed.)

  • avatar

    To “psarhjinian”
    Re: Civic – If you won’t do sedans, Honda Canada is also the exclusive maker of the Civic Coupe (LOL)


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