The company aims to leverage its buying power by restructuring its manufacturer policy, meaning cars will only be sourced from Volkswagen Audi Group and BMW.
Its fleet will now comprise vehicles from Audi, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, BMW and MINI and its vehicle funding, contract hire, maintenance and support services, including driver contact, will be supplied by GE Fleet Services, which won a six-year contract.
The companies have worked together since 1989 but GE Fleet Services beat 16 other suppliers for the latest contract win which Whitbread executives describe as ‘leading-edge and innovative’.
They add that the latest contract signings follow the company’s most intensive search yet for ideal fleet service suppliers.
Whitbread’s reward and employment policy director, Aly Shariff, said: ‘Company cars are a very important and valued part of the overall rewards package.
‘We were determined to design a new policy that was highly attractive to both our current driver population and to new joiners at Whitbread, as well as enabling us to optimise our buying power with manufacturers. Our new policy is leading edge and innovative while continuing to provide flexibility, superb choice and a fantastic benefit to our driver population.’
Whitbread’s business relationship manager Nigel Trotman said: ‘We started the entire process from scratch, inviting a wide range of service providers to tender.’
He said fleet executives were looking for suppliers to ‘convince us that they were our ideal future partners in all aspects of fleet product and service provision.’
Trotman said Whitbread was impressed with GE’s customer service, account management and innovative solutions. He said: ‘A good example is the recent services that allows drivers to text in their current mileage.’
Whitbread manages hotels, restaurants and health and fitness clubs including Premier Travel Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater, Costa, TGI Fridays and David Lloyd Leisure.