Fleet officials are to join forces with dealer network staff to launch Toyota’s next new car to thousands of small companies across Britain.
Toyota GB thinks its latest Verso multi purpose model has ‘significant’ potential with smaller fleets and is looking to Business Centre dealers to take a leading role in boosting its market share when sales begin in the next few weeks.
“On the face of it, we’re not tasking ourselves with greater volume but we do have a good story to tell and our 70 centres hold the key to a big opportunity that we’ve missed in the past. Some of them hold data on up to 10,000 SME customers,” revealed fleet brand manager Sara Lawler.
“This move will help us achieve all our volume through the right outlets – we intend to protect residuals by steering clear of daily rental business.”
Speaking at the launch of the car in France, company president Jon Williams told Fleet News that fleet sales would represent 60 per cent of the 3,300 annual Verso registrations anticipated over the next three years.
But he added: ”With a lower entry price and an improved specification, this is a better value proposition than the previous car. The overall sales target is conservative – it’s one I would expect us to beat.”
Substantially revised to have smarter looks, better quality and higher performance, the Verso adopts Active, Icon and Excel trim levels with the mid-grade version expected to account for 85% of sales.
Costing £165 less than its predecessor, the seven-seat car blends higher economy with a 10g/km drop in emissions to 129g/km - improvements claimed to deliver annual fuel and benefit tax savings of up to £650 for drivers and a reduction of as much as £1,500 in annual ppm costs for companies.
Generous Icon equipment provides 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a multi-media screen, DAB radio, a rear parking camera, cruise control, privacy glass and retractable mirrors as standard. Also included is the impressive Easy Flat rear seat folding system that drops squabs and backrests into the floor with the minimum of fuss. As well as offering 32 different seating configurations, the well-engineered system provides a flat platform with 1,696-litre load volume when it is tucked away.
Quieter running and with greater pull at low revs, the latest D-4D motor has a wider torque band for more relaxed progress. An easy main road cruiser, it uses a new turbocharger that helps it work with commendably low noise at all speeds.
Thanks to more rigid bodywork, suspension and steering recalibrations promote more cornering agility and smoother ride characteristics, even when only lightly loaded.
By Maurice Glover