Fleet News

Thinking CAP

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

MONDAY

VISITED BMW UK in Bracknell for a sneak preview of the new 3-Series Coupe, a key corporate car for the firm.

When I saw the official photographs a few weeks ago, I wasn’t too sure of its design – not the first time pics of a new BMW have failed to set pulses racing.

But it looks much better in the metal. This seems to be the way with new Beemers and with strong sales and residuals holding up well for the 3 and 5-series (remember the styling controversy at their launches?), it seems BMW knows best. Perhaps they should invest in a new photographer though…

TUESDAY

GOT a communication from Nissan saying that the Micra range has been simplified, and they were introducing a new option called the Street Racer pack. Some out there may take a dim view and see it as politically-incorrect by encouraging boy racers. However, this is a Micra we are talking about…

WEDNESDAY

READING the sales results from BCA’s Classic and Historic sale, held at Brooklands, I see a 1928 Ford Model A Roadster Pick-up, the original version of the Transit and Ranger, which cost around £200 new, made £10,200, or 5,100% of cost new. Maybe current fleet managers should keep their vehicles until they are 80 years old and make substantially more money than a three-year-old one and much more than it cost new!

THURSDAY

TOOK my daughter’s Volkswagen Polo to the local dealer. She is expecting a baby and has bought a babyseat that has to go in the front seat. To get the front passenger airbag disarmed cost £30 for the switch and 30 minutes labour.

If this was a company car, which at some point needed the airbag disarming, who is responsible for paying and who is responsible if the driver is carrying a passenger who is injured in an accident because there is no airbag activated?

Should companies insist drivers likely to need to disarm it have a car that comes with a switch – a surprising number of models do not. And if it does have a switch, is the driver responsible for making sure it is switched back on?

FRIDAY

A QUICK trip down to Windsor to see the 2007 Toyota Avensis. It’s difficult to spot the exterior differences to be honest. The easiest way to differentiate them is that the new one has indicator lights in the door mirrors. The main changes to the car are those you can’t see – the suspension and ride is a whole lot better. Still not a sports car, but a big improvement.

Toyota also had a 40-year old Toyota Corona on display, which is in better condition than some of the firm’s 40-year-old staff!

  • Martin Ward is CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager
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