Controversy surrounding the July publication of the latest guide has been well documented in Fleet NewsNet and hopes are high that January's edition will more coherent. Despite the concerns James Langley, client services manager of PHH Vehicle Management, told the Institute's conference the VCA guide was 'a bible for all fleet managers' and Friends of the Earth's Roger Higman called it a 'fleet tool'. Andy Welton, Ford's manager of fleet operations, told conference: 'No other industry takes the environment as seriously as the motor industry. We are a soft target and it is easy to have a pop at the industry.'
Much of the criticism of Ford in the VCA booklet centres on the fact that figures have been published for so many model variants. There are 129 Focus models listed with varying tyre fitments and vehicle weight. Renault's entry is equally confusing. Burmah Castrol fleet chief John Wilde told conference: 'The VCA guide is very informative but until the Government tells us the bandings for company car tax based on carbon dioxide emissions the guide is useless. The Government must get off its backside and give us the information we need.'
However, Phillips fleet chief and ICFM counsel member Maureen Allgood defended the guide saying: 'We need more information from the Government, but we can start the education process with our drivers by talking about CO2 and putting the CO2 figures on policy lists along with the MPG of cars.'