Fleet News

Fleets set to get tough on dealers

A MAJOR new initiative launched this week will campaign for improved dealer service levels for fleets and company car drivers after a series of damning reports on the standards of some outlets.

The Fair Dealer campaign, launched by Fleet News and Fleet NewsNet, will highlight best practice and condemn unacceptable service.

Over the next few weeks, we will reveal some of the worst horror stories and will praise the best service providers.

Fleet decision-makers can make their own voice heard by registering the pleasure or pain of dealing with the dealers on this website by clicking The launch of the campaign follows a series of damning reports about the service standards received by many fleets from dealers representing most major brands.

A Fleet Operator Attitude Survey, published by Fleet News' sister company Sewells Information and Research, discovered that fleets often feel they are treated as second-class citizens by dealer networks.

It warned: 'Some fleets feel much less valued customers, at the back of the queue, well behind allegedly more profitable private and business sector customers.'

There was widespread condemnation from fleets for aftersales support, with prime targets including long lead times for service and repairs, a decline in quick availability for replacement parts and a worsening of dealers' ability to 'first time fix' problems (Fleet NewsNet, April 16, 2004).

Research carried out by Fleet News has now backed up the Sewells findings.

One fleet boss said he had changed his supplying manufacturer because booking vehicles in for unexpected problems was 'a nightmare', with phones unanswered for hours.

He added: 'On one occasion, we had to drive to the dealership to get the vehicle booked in. And they ignore timed appointments – just telling you to sit and wait until they were ready.'

In another example, no mention was made of a bald tyre during a service.

One fleet boss said: 'Too many dealerships view fleet vehicles as a blank cheque driving into the premises. Fleet vehicles are welcomed by most dealerships but only to go at the back of the servicing queue.'

As part of the campaign, Fleet News will also provide advice on the best way to respond to poor service.

  • To provide your fleet case study for the Fair Dealer campaign click on the Fair Dealer logo

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