Fleet News

Testing times for new Vectra

VAUXHALL has started the largest launch programme in its history with a three-week introduction of the new Vectra to fleet managers, company car drivers and contract hire chiefs.

Executives have put the new car through its paces at Millbrook test track and assessed the new car's handling characteristics on a dynamic driving challenge with professional drivers.

The Vectra has a new variable service programme that extends service intervals up to 20,000 miles for petrol models and 30,000 miles for diesels, has lower insurance grades than its predecessor, and sector competitive residual values, but it is its behind-the-wheel strengths that Vauxhall is equally keen to impress on fleet customers.

Sunley Turriff Holdings runs a dual-badge Ford/Vauxhall fleet that includes about 80 of the current Vectras, although chief buyer Alan Gorman can see that figure rising.

'I think it is better than the Mondeo,' he said. 'The 1.8 LS will be the volume model for us, and I will propose the 2.2 SRi for higher grades, but without a 2.0-litre petrol engine there's not much in-between for us.'

Roger Glenwright, head of transport at the John Lewis Partnership, runs a dual badge Citroen/Vauxhall policy. He said: 'I thought the handling was stunning. The ride was comfortable and the styling looked fine. I'm sure new Vectra will increase the Vauxhall content of our fleet.'

Vauxhall has tumbled out of contention on the 300-strong user-chooser fleet of Lubricants UK (the new name for Burmah-Castrol) where Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen now rule the roost, but fleet manager John Wilde can see the Vectra strengthening Vauxhall's case with his drivers.

'Vauxhall has to get its image back again and the new Vectra will certainly help,' he said.

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