Fleet News

Skoda announces ambitious plans for 2001

VOLKSWAGEN Group-owned SKODA is looking to increase corporate sector sales by 16% this year on the strength of an expanding model range, strong wholelife costs and growing acceptability of the manufacturer as a fleet force. Last year Skoda increased UK sales by 30%, selling a total of 30,348 vehicles (29,255 cars and 1,183 LCVs) of which 5,964 went to the fleet and business sector.

This year Skoda says it is looking to sell about 6,918 vehicles to the corporate sector. About 70% of last year's corporate sales went to small businesses, contract hire companies and emergency services.

The manufacturer says one of the main reasons driving its fleet market growth was the setting up of a dedicated business sales department under head of business sales John Rooney in 1998. Now with five colleagues - Paul Grimsley, used car manager, Shirley Saunders, business sales administrator, Jane Barker, business sales adviser and business sales managers Bruce Bello and Perry Clarke - Rooney said: 'I am excited about the headway we have made in this new market. To go from selling 1,200 units in 1998 to almost 6,000 vehicles last year is a testimony to the confidence placed in the brand by decision-makers in this competitive and image conscious market segment.

'Our success is attributable to high specification and value for money, industry leading warranties, strong residual values, keenest of wholelife costs and a growing acceptance of the Skoda badge'. Skoda also points to strengthening residual values claiming that at a January auction Fabias fetched an average of 112% of CAP 'clean' and Octavias 106% of CAP 'clean'. Rooney said: 'Establishment of robust residual values are essential if we are to convince fleet operators of the competitive low wholelife costs associated with operating Skodas.'

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