Fleet News

GM group shifts to smaller fleets

VAUXHALL and its sister GM brands Saab and Chevrolet will focus on building sales among fleets operating between 25 and 100 vehicles as it continues its shift away from a volume-led approach.

The Luton-based triumvirate aims to make in-roads into a market sector which, it believes, contains between 10,000 and 15,000 businesses operating more than 25 vehicles.

Vauxhall saw fleet sales fall by 10% during 2006 in a new car market down by 4%.

However, it still remains the second highest-selling car company in the UK by some distance.

Maurice Howkins, the firm’s fleet sales director, said: ‘Being the highest volume seller is not a pre-requisite for our business. The service we give to our customers and our product range are far more important.

‘We’ve taken 34,000 units out of short-cycle business over the past two years as we were too heavily- geared towards this apsect.

‘We’ve got to replace those sales somewhere and we see a real opportunity among smaller fleets – a sector which has been untapped so far by us.’

Howkins and his team will be expanding their bespoke services for fleets, including growing the use of its intranet system which it offers to fleet customers.

This allows companies to host details of Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet vehicles on their internal websites, allowing drivers to investigate what models they can choose, as well as giving them benefit-in-kind tax and running costs information.

It has also bought new data containing details of prospects which will allow it to ‘aggressively go after this business’.

User-choosers remain a key target, and the launch of two new SUVs – the Chevrolet Captiva and Vauxhall Antara – will help it.

Howkins added: ‘We can go to a fleet and talk to them about value with Chevrolet, mainstream with Vauxhall and premium with Saab, as well as our CV range.

‘The Captiva is a great user-chooser car and will help us further integrate the Chevrolet brand into our portfolio.’

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