GM's Global Strategy Group spent six months putting together the deal with Texas-based SCI, formulating a contract which highlights the growing corporate interest in global purchasing arrangements. Don Robinson, SCI's director of procurement, said the new arrangement with GM would produce savings on three levels - first, improved terms on a local basis for each of SCI's national operations; second, special incentives for Europe if SCI meets targets for GM penetration of its fleet; and third, a global umbrella agreement which holds out the prospect of additional volume rebates triggered by SCI reaching agreed numbers of GM product across its worldwide fleet.
SCI is also looking for a pan-European fleet management solution, and will use this supplier to monitor the proportion of GM cars it acquires. The company operates 6,000 vehicles in the US, 4,000 in France, and 1,500 in the UK, but only 40% of its fleet is GM product. This share is expected to rise above 60% by the end of the first year of the three-year contract. In the UK, about half SCI's fleet are limousines or hearses, and Vauxhall is in discussions with coachbuilders to create a hearse version of the Omega.