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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Confusion over Audi order

CAN anyone shed some light onto a potential problem with our order for a new Audi A4 2.0 TDi 170SE?

We were quoted for the above with several items of optional equipment for delivery on September 1, 2006.

The dealer’s quote stated that it would be built to manufacturer’s current specification and its status as a factory order and model year was 2007.

We then placed a written order on June 19, 2006, confirming specification of vehicle and price as per their quotation reference and made the dealer re-confirm specification by e-mail, in which they again detailed the vehicle as being a 2007 model year.

In the intervening period we read in a motoring article that the A4 SE was to be upgraded to have the Bose speaker system fitted and that the SE pack would be free until December 31, 2006.

Enquiring with the dealer to confirm that this would be applicable to our order, we were told that none of the paperwork looked as though we had the Bose speaker system fitted, even though it wasn’t due to be released from the factory until July 25.

(The press article said all vehicles built from July 6 would be amended). We have disputed, the fact that we are not receiving a 2007 model and could cancel the order.

Obviously, the dealer doesn’t want this to happen and says the vehicle we receive will be a 2007 model year even if it doesn’t feature the Bose speaker upgrade. How can this be?

ANDREW S GILL, Financial controller

Dealing with European money transfers

THE information provided in the helpline on European Policies (Fleet News, July 27) was of particular use to me.

I am employed by a company based here in the UK and I’m responsible for a fleet of five leased vehicles. However, I am also responsible for six vehicles in Holland and I have now been asked to provide three cars for employees in Germany.

I agree that it is possible to standardise vehicle choice lists as we have done this successfully but the problem I have is on the funding side.

As I only need a limited number of vehicles in each country I’ve had problems finding a provider that is happy to deal with this. I need to find a company which can supply the three vehicles in Germany but would also take payment from a UK bank account as we have no bank accounts based in Germany.

Have any other readers encountered a similar situation? By email

‘Sheer stupidity’ to change tyre in road

I WAS surprised to see the photograph that accompanied the article ‘Cold shoulder for damsels in distress’ (Fleet News, July 27) and also by the tone of the story.

The photograph clearly showed a woman changing a tyre in the middle of the road – the car was parked alongside the kerb and the centre markings of the road were visible behind her.

Changing a tyre at the roadside is a very dangerous practice and is not one to be recommended.

Additionally, changing a tyre in the centre of a road ranks as sheer stupidity and is even more dangerous than at the roadside.

As experts in best practice road safety advice, I would recommend companies ensure their fleet vehicles are covered by a reputable roadside assistance company.These companies carry out a tyre change under ‘safe conditions’ and the majority make it a priority for women drivers to attend.

Encouraging drivers to ‘train’ to learn to change a tyre may seem a good idea, but if carried out as in the photograph it is far from safe.

It is unfortunate when a puncture occurs, but a focus by the fleet manager on regularly reminding drivers of the importance of tyre checks – for both wear and tear and pressure – at each fuel fill-up will help ensure tyres are in good condition.

ALEX PITTORTOU, director Jaama

Figuring out Volvo C70

I WOULD like to draw your attention to the road test of the new Volvo C70 (Fleet News, July 13), in particular the SMR figures.

As part of Volvo’s strides to lower SMR costs, it introduced a free three-year/60,000-mile ser-vicing package for the all-new Volvo C70 (as well as the S40, V50 and XC90), but this does not seem to be taken into account in the figures supplied.

The Volvo servicing package is available to registered fleet operators and is transferable to the new owner on the sale of the car.

Therefore, companies should enjoy healthier residual values when these vehicles are de-fleeted. Along with lower running costs, Volvo’s servicing package also offers automatic enrolment.

The free servicing offer for the C70 will be in place for at least 12 months, so we believe it should be included, especially when the offer is worth around £900 over three years.

With free servicing included, the C70 would rise to second and first place in the SMR and wholelife cost comparison in the test. Combine that with first place in the emissions, tax and fuel comparisons and second place on the P11D price and depreciation stakes. We’d like to think the C70 would prove to be a worthy winner over its rivals from Audi, BMW and Saab.

JOHN WALLACE, corporate sales and leasing manager, Volvo Car UK

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