Fleet News

Training will pave way for lifting of import restrictions

INTERNATIONAL Motors and Suzuki are both preparing to launch dealer training programmes with a view to creating specialist fleet dealerships. The moves come as the companies prepare for what they hope will be the expiry in the year 2000 of restrictions on the number of Japanese vehicles they can import.

Suzuki sales director David Seward said that some dealers had already found a market for the cars, particularly the Baleno, with business users. However, volumes were always restricted. Seward said Motability would be an obvious option for the new Wagon R+, but volume restrictions ruled it out as it could potentially leave Suzuki with no models to sell to retail customers.

'When the restraint agreement expires at the turn of the century there will be potential,' he said. 'In six to nine months we will be looking at forming a fleet department within the company. We will try to set up a training programme for dealers and appoint specialists. The year 2,000 could change everything.'

Harvey France, national fleet sales manager for International Motors, which imports SsangYongs, Subarus and Isuzus, said he was also preparing a structured dealer training scheme.

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