Fleet News

Thinking CAP

CAP's Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence.

MONDAY

I’VE been using a Road Angel to see how accurate it is. Whether you agree or disagree with the advantages of these safety camera alert systems, the fact is that they do make you more aware of your speed.

The unit is mounted on the windscreen so it does not affect visibility, and the large clear speed read-out is there right in front of you. This means that you’re not constantly looking down at the speedo and taking your eyes off the road.

There is a clear discrepancy between the car’s speedometer and the Road Angel, but the latter works via satellite so should be more accurate. And as it’s portable it will work on all types of transport, so you can find out if an InterCity 125 really will do 125mph!

TUESDAY

WENT to the IDIADA testing ground near Barcelona, which is Spain’s equivalent of our own Millbrook. I was there to test a new car, due out in September, but everything we were told is under embargo until August 15.

We had to sign a commitment to secrecy document, and the Spanish take these very seriously. To quote the agreement: ‘The Spanish Penal Code makes it an offence to release any information of company secrets that are confidential, and establishes a prison sentence of up to five years for those who commit these offences’.

As much as I like Spain, I don’t want to spend the next five years there so I’m keeping schtum until the right time.

WEDNESDAY

BEEN using a Mitsubishi L200 for the past few days, which brought back memories of the press launch in Turkey back in January, featuring the worst weather the area had seen for years. We had torrential rain, landslides, flooding and collapsed roads, and needed protection from the local army.

Driving the car around Huddersfield in the glorious sunshine seems a bit dull in comparison. The roads around me are not good, but the L200 handled well and was more comfortable and car-like than some cars I’ve driven recently.

THURSDAY

A CAR maker came up to discuss a new ‘cross-over’ model it is introducing next March. The firm reckons potential customers will currently be in ‘core C, C-MPV, D1 and C-SUV, C-4x4 vehicles’. The language and descriptions of cars is moving at such a pace that there seems to be a new category every week. All very confusing for the industry and customers alike – and likely to get even more so.

FRIDAY

RECEIVED the first photographs of the new seven-seat Citroën C4 Picasso. According to Citroën the current Picasso will ‘form part of the line-up for many years to come’. Which is good news for all those with many Picassos on their fleet, knowing it is not suddenly going to become obsolete. I just wonder how long it will take for the new one to make the current model look old.

  • Martin Ward is CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager
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