Down to Milton Keynes to see SEAT managing director Peter Wyhinny and head of fleet sales Andy Webb.
I showed them our presentation on New Vehicle Data, explained why we need it, and who it goes to.
I have given presentations to many carmakers. It is always pleasing to come away reassured that product planners and managers have more understanding of the fleet industry.
The job they do is so important as it has a direct effect on the whole of the industry – if they get it wrong it takes a lot of putting right.
Getting the right information to us – prices, technical specs, colours, options, etc – in a timely manner, followed by a launch can be so much more successful.
Those manufacturers who now plan ahead, and don’t just let us have the information the day before a vehicle goes on sale, fare much better.
The faster they get their information to us, the faster we can get it out to our customers. And only when that happens can people begin ordering cars.
I spend much of my time with manufacturers at various meetings and launch planning, and in many cases it has paid off.
We get information which helps us to plan for new model introduction and ensure the cars and commercials they intend to sell will not only be good new cars, but more importantly be desirable used ones.
Toyota Fleet’s Tim Copland and David Bell came up to Leeds and brought along Jason Stanley, vehicle product and planning manager. They too were treated to our New Vehicle Data presentation.
Toyota told us that the Prius hybrid is going from strength to strength in the UK, and it is particularly strong in the south east and several major conurbations.
Toyota has now increased its volume plan from 6,500 to 9,000 this year.
Toyota also believes that Verso sales can increase in the UK, building on the success of the vehicle in the fleet market.
Over the hills to Manchester for a presentation from GM on Hummer at one of five officially appointed dealers in the UK.
Bauer Millet has been importing left-hand drive vehicles, mainly from North America, for the past 35 years.
Steve Catlin, operations manager for Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer, and Robert O’Connell, national leasing manager, told us that they intend to sell around 500 Hummer H3s.
The H3 is about the same size as a Land Rover Discovery and not a big as you would imagine.
I drove a right-hand drive H3 and it seemed reasonable in terms of handling, noise and comfort.
It is powered by a five-cylinder, 3.7-litre petrol engine – a diesel is not due for some time.
CAP Monitor predicts a future value of £10,925 or 33% of cost new for the Luxury auto after three years/60,000 miles.
Despite some negative feelings about the Hummer, it will be its styling and road presence that attracts buyers.