Fleet News

Managers give deal a lukewarm response

FLEET managers have given a lukewarm welcome to Phoenix's acquisition of Rover but say the company has a long way to go before confidence is restored. Over the last five years while the fleet market grew by around 100,000, Rover fleet sales fell by nearly 100,000 slumping to an all-time low last year of 46,934 units - capturing just 4.63% of the fleet market.

The More Group dropped Rover from its fleet two years ago. Fleet manager Stewart Gilham said: 'We do not have enough confidence in the product. It does not have a car to compete with 406 or Vectra. He added: 'Rover has always had an inflated idea that its cars are in a higher range than anyone else but they have never been any good.'

David Lee, fleet manager of John Laing Construction, which has around 70 Rovers, said he would continue to buy Rover as long as the prices remained underwritten by his leasing company. But he was sceptical about the Phoenix buyout, saying: ' If BMW can not make it work how can a small consortium possibly expect to make it pay?'

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