OVER to Verona, famous for its open air operas, to drive the all-new A5 from Audi. This full four-seat coupe looks stunning: the front end is very similar to the TT and the rear very different to anything Audi has produced before. We drove the A5 fitted with a 3.0 TDI engine, which really suited the car, and an S5, the sound of which was better than any opera. At least to my ears!
Coupes have always been popular on the used market and, with predicted residual percentages in the mid-40s, the A5 is a good choice for the company car buyer who wants a stylish yet practical car, despite having only two doors.
There is very little choice of coupes on the market and Audi has always done well with them since the first one was launched – the AutoUnion F91 in 1953. The A5 should not be a disappointment.
IN Aylesbury for a fleet presentation and drive of the new Fiat Bravo, due in early July.
Top personnel were on hand, including fleet director Adam Pumfrey and marketing director Elena Bernadelli. The Bravo is entering a difficult sector and will compete with heavyweights like the Focus, Astra, C4, Leon, 307 and Megane. It looks good, drives OK, and has acceptable quality, but there are still only indicative prices and specification. If this data doesn’t get finalised soon the Bravo will struggle to get on fleet choice lists in time for its on-sale date.
Fiat has never had much success in the C sector, but the firm is on the up: Grande Punto is selling well, both new and used, the 500 is coming, which will undoubtedly sell, and Bravo stands a decent chance of making an impact. What will also help are 15 new specialist fleet dealers, which will focus on small business opportunities.
MORE Fiat experiences, this time while in Spain for the weekend. I picked up a Fiat Grande Punto rental car from Malaga airport, and what a good car it was.
All the desks were heaving with people queuing to get their hire cars. I asked the Sénor if they were coping with all the business. He said they were experiencing larger volumes of business due to more flights and passengers.
All carmakers tell us they are cutting back on daily rental supply all across Europe. Looking around the car-hire parking lots, just about every manufacturer was evident so there’s little sign of cut-backs, not at Malaga anyway, and probably nowhere else.
The cat and mouse game of real and claimed rental volume continues….
GOT a phone call from the ‘opposition’. Jason King, who does a very similar job to me at EurotaxGlass’s, rung to say that his wife has had a baby boy, called Jasper. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs King from all at CAP.