AN estate agency group has renewed a three-year solus badge deal with Vauxhall for the supply of 4,000 cars, in a deal worth £40 million at showroom prices.
Having anti-lock brakes as standard on the Corsa, Astra and the Vectra was a key factor in Countrywide Assured Group renewing the contract, along with other safety issues, and reliability and wholelife costs.
Countrywide Assured Group operates in the UK under various trading names through a network of more than 800 outlets. Its fleet totals 4,000 cars, including 400 extra from recent acquisitions, some 85% of which are Vauxhalls, supplied under contract hire arrangements with three leasing companies – Interleasing, HSBC Vehicle Finance and LeasePlan.
The fleet comprises approximately 1,000 Corsas for branch negotiators, 2,000 Astras for senior negotiators, consultants and branch managers, and 1,000 Vectras for senior managers, surveyors and property lawyers.
The majority are petrol models as staff travel on mostly local journeys to property viewings and the tax disadvantage of a diesel is not sufficiently compensated for by the fuel savings. The group expects to order a number of the new Vectra estates because of its load-carrying capacity.
Countrywide group sales director Gerry Fitzjohn said the group had decided to renew its contract principally because of health and safety concerns, addressed by standard equipment on the Vauxhalls.
He added: 'Countrywide is committed to the health and safety of our employees, so Vauxhall's decision to add ABS as standard equipment on Corsa and Astra models, in addition to Vectra, was a key factor for us.'