Costain will take a maximum of 1,000 models, from Astras through to the range-topping Omega Elite, over a two-year period beginning in January after the existing solus agreement with Ford ends on December 31. Vauxhall was the clear winner, Costain said, in a detailed evaluation of wholelife contract hire costs against competition from Ford, Rover, Peugeot and Toyota.
Richard Beer, managing director of Costain's Westminster Plant subsidiary, said Ford's dropping of the Scorpio meant it had no car at the top end of the market 'for people at the top for whom a Mondeo would not be appropriate'. 'Ford may have taken the view that because most of our cars were Mondeos and Escorts that dropping the Scorpio was of little consequence, but it is when signing a solus deal,' he added.
The deal with Vauxhall is for two years, with an option for Costain to extend it to three. At the end of the two years Vauxhall will have replaced half of the fleet. All the vehicles will be on full maintenance.
A Ford spokesman said: 'It is disappointing to lose a customer. But we are competitive in the market place and the fact that we are the leader in the fleet sector and have been since records began proves it.' On the demise of the Scorpio, he said the introduction of the Lincoln LS in the middle of next year will provide a car at the luxury end of the market.