Fleet News

New Voyager 'an opportunity to grow Chrysler market share'

THE Chrysler Voyager had a difficult year in 2000 following poor results in the Euro NCAP crash tests in 1999. The manufacturer believes the two-star rating dented last year's sales, but with a new, safer Voyager ready to hit showrooms, it sees an opportunity for the latest version to increase its share of both the retail and corporate market.

Chrysler corporate sales manager Graham Powell said: 'This is a real opportunity to grow our market share and profile. The Voyager has always been popular among senior management groups and, for us, these people are the prime targets. The new Voyager range is the definitive MPV and we are very confident about its prospects.'

Boasting ABS brakes as standard across the range, a strengthened body, and a range of airbags, the new Voyager is sure to consign the previous car's crash performance to history. Although the new model has not yet undergone Euro NCAP crash tests, Chrysler is confident of an impressive performance when the time comes.

The range, which will now be badged SE, LX and LTD rather than SE, LE and LX, starts at £18,495 for the 2.4 SE. This is slightly higher than equivalent Ford Galaxy or Volkswagen Sharan, but Powell says if you match the specification for each of the rivals, the Voyager represents a saving of more than 5%. Powell says the big seller will be the 2.5CRD - using a new common rail diesel engine, and producing improved power, torque and refinement over the previous diesel unit.

But he says the car's buyer profile in the fleet market will not necessarily be looking to keep personal tax liability down. He said: 'Senior managers opting of an MPV are not going to be that concerned about the price, CO2 emissions or other pressures. These people are the senior decision-makers who use airlines and trains as well as cars.'

Powell believes there will be huge corporate demand for the new car, and initial targets have been revised to accommodate it. Of the 4,500 Voyagers expected to be sold in the UK this year, more than 1,000 will go to fleets.

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