GWR, the country’s most listened–to commercial radio group, is adding 240 Vauxhall Astras to its fleet for use by the firm’s sales force, technical support staff and field reporters.
Vauxhall announced at the launch of the Astra that it would offer factory-fit digital radio as standard on certain models.
Digital radio offers a ground-breaking improvement on ‘normal’ radios because it is crackle-free, much easier to tune and offers a vast range of additional stations. GWR operates 36 local radio stations and three national stations including its flagship Classic FM. It also holds the majority shareholding in Digital One, the company that holds the licence to operate the national digital radio network.
Under the deal, worth £4 million at showroom prices, drivers will be given the Astra 99bhp 1.7CDTi SXi five-door hatchback.
The vehicles were also chosen for their low emissions at 138g/km.
But GWR group facilities manager Carlton Dale said the single most important factor in clinching the deal with Vauxhall was the provision of DAB digital radios in the new Astra.
He said: ‘The future of radio is in digital broadcasting. GWR will be at the forefront of the switch from analogue to digital and we felt it appropriate to provide our staff with cars with this technology.’
Maurice Howkins, Vauxhall and Saab fleet sales director said: ‘Vauxhall has become the first manufacturer to offer digital radios as standard in certain new models in our product line-up.’
It is a standard fitment in all 2005 model year Elite, Design and GSi Vectras and an option on most other models.