Fleet News

Thinking CAP

MARTIN Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence.

MONDAY

IS petrol about to fight back against diesel in the fleet market? Went to Volkswagen in Milton Keynes to drive a left-hand drive Wolfsburg-registered 170bhp Golf 1.4 GT with the all-new TSI engine.

Power is produced by using dual-chargers: a supercharger and turbocharger. The result is an exceptional engine in terms of power, smoothness and even fuel economy.

Finally, the ubiquitous diesel Golf might have a serious rival.

TUESDAY

WE never stop looking for clues to the future of values of used car here. I read the press release from Toyota which said employees at its Burnaston plant have made a giant St George Cross out of 400 Yaris Models – 300 white and 100 red.

Concerned, I phoned a contact at Toyota and they assured me that there will not be hundreds of white Yaris models hitting the market in the future, affecting residuals. The cars are all various colours, and have all got a white protective transit wrap over them. The red ones have had the wrap removed. Well done to the lads at the Toyota factory – not only patriotic but protecting RVs too! By George! Patriotic Yaris.

WEDNESDAY

FLEW to Salzburg in Austria to drive the new Audi TT.

Although it has hardly any common parts with the current car, it is an evolution of the TT shape. It drives really well, even on the freshly laid snow up in the mountains – in June!

The quality is as you would expect, both interior and exterior, with fit and finish as good as you’d get.

This sector of the market seems to go from strength to strength, regardless of how many different manufacturers go into it. The used car market seems to be able to cope with as many it can get, despite the fact that from 1998 until the end of 2006, 34,838 Coupes have been sold, and 13,002 Roadsters, making a total of 47,840 TT’s sold in the UK, and yet residual values are still strong.

THURSDAY

GOT back to Stansted, and back into the old TT. After driving the new one for many hours, it certainly is a vast improvement on the current car, but the drive from Essex up to Yorkshire was still a delight. The TT, old or new, will continue to be popular.

FRIDAY

SPEAKING to Jeff Knight, our Monitor forecast manager, who had spent the day with Ford driving the new S-MAX and Galaxy. The driving dynamics, quality and styling are Ford’s best effort to date in the sector, which should not only please new car drivers, but also future used car buyers. The large MPV seemed to be waning a little, but these new models could give this sector a welcome shake-up.

Galaxy remains a star

  • Martin Ward is CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager
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