Fleet News

Vauxhall goes on offensive to boost light commercial sales

VAUXHALL has revealed bullish plans to boost significantly its penetration of the light commercial vehicle segment. And, with the segment marginally down, this inevitably means the Griffin plans to get aggressive, plucking sales from its rivals.

A revamped range, dedicated van specialists and new marketing initiatives are key components in Vauxhall's plans to become a stronger player, according to Darren Payne, brand manager for Vauxhall Vans. Speaking in Cumbria at the launch of a revised product range, he said: 'We will have van specialists at every outlet. Following the successful launch of Movano, we have now put in place a plan of action with our dealers to ensure that we have 100% dedicated van specialists at each of our 200 sites. We believe this will give our customers a big advantage over most, if not all, of our competitors.'

To support the team of specialists, is a newly-recruited 22-strong head office field structure headed by new national van sales manager Jonathan Akeroyd. Payne said:. 'So far this year, our market share is similar to last year's - 9.8% against 9.7% in 1998. However, in a market that is now looking somewhere in the region of 225,000 units, we are still aiming for more than an 11% share for the year. We're delighted with the market acceptance for Movano, and our aim is still to sell 3,300 units this year. That means we've really got to move some metal in the last quarter, hence the product and pricing initiatives and the new sales structure.

'The van segment is not growing this year. The market is probably going to end up about 225,000 - which is the first contraction of the market for a long time. Inevitably, it means our growth is going to be at the expense of some of our competitors - not just Ford - there are lots of good competitors out there and we're going to take share away from them.'

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