Now being organised, the meetings are seen as crucial to the success of the high performance, four-wheel drive models aimed at ending the dominance of Mercedes-Benz and BMW across European business car markets.
Corporate operations manager Christine Downton said: 'We have drawn up a list of companies that operate significant fleets and therefore control a strong market for this kind of car. We're keen to seek views and opinions as to how the X-type meets requirements. Each session will be staged in a controlled environment and we'll be taking note of any feedback to help us anticipate likely demand.'
'This is our biggest and most exciting challenge yet. We learned many lessons from the launch of the S-type two years ago and the experience has been invaluable.
A factory-based fleet of 60 demonstrators will augment the cars that corporate dealers will make available to fleet managers and hire and leasing companies, and the company is expecting to generate a total of 11,000 sales during the six months the X-type will be available in 2001.
Downton added: 'We recognise the importance of gaining traction in the corporate market, but we're also aware of a possible downside in being too successful. Some fleet managers with plans to replace vehicles in the short term could well be put off by talk about an order bank stretching 12 months ahead. We need to cater for their needs - that's why we're pulling out all the stops in an effort to introduce the X-type in the smoothest way possible.'
The briefing sessions will begin in early February and roadshows organised following the car's public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.