Fleet News

Remarketing: Thinking CAP

MARTIN Ward, CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager, scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence.

Monday

WENT to a presentation and drive of the new Peugeot 207 GT. Despite wet and windy conditions, the little car did really well and, on the right roads in the right conditions, would have proved great fun.

However, the GT starts at £14,345, but with a few bits on it can soon be over £17,000.

Not what the fleet manager wants to hear about a small Peugeot. Peugeot has now been building cars for 110 years and they had one of Armand Peugeot’s early examples on display, a 1895 Peugeot 9 which is valued around £300,000. This particular car has only recently been discovered after many years in a barn in Holland.

Tuesday/Wednesday

DO manufacturers sometimes deliberately make their cars a bit naff at launch so that there’s more to come when it has a mid-life refresh?

The thought came to mind while on the much-improved Volkswagen Touran mid-life refresh event. There are very few major changes but the new front end really does give it a lift.

Instead of a typical event where solely motoring journalists threw the cars around bends complaining about understeer, Volkswagen sensibly invited a number of journos from the world of mother/baby/pregnancy and mums-back-to-work titles, which pretty much sums up where the firm reckons its target audience is.

After all, how easy can it be for a journalist who was thrashing a Porsche 911 GT3 round a race track the day before to retune their minds for the needs of a family?

The Touran comes with seven seats as standard, after originally having the last two as an option. It’s better for RVs to have seven as standard and the odd model coming back on the market with five, rather than the other way round.

The thorny subject of five or seven seats reared its head again on Thursday.

Thursday

AT BMW, I got a long look at the new X5 and 3-series convertible.

The X5 has grown by 187mm in length and for the first time is available with a seven-seat option, although it should really be called a 5+2, as the third row is just enough for large children, or small adults.

The Audi Q7 has seven as standard, with a free delete option of the back row. The reason for this is that on CAP, predicted residuals are for standard models. We couldn’t possibly factor in all options. So when there’s an expensive option like extra seats, which many buyers choose (BMW reckons only 25%, but in reality it will be higher) it doesn’t appear on the CAP value. At resale the prices will be pulled towards the cheaper five-seat versions.

But BMW says the X5 is a driver’s car, not a people carrier, so the X5 will stay with seven as an option. I don’t think it has got this right.

What the firm has got right is the new 3-Convertible, the first premium four-seat tin-top. It will be a welcome addition to the fleet manager’s list and the expected allocation for the UK of 5,000 in 2007 will be sold before one is even built. It’s due on sale from March 24.

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