It’s important that we get the right information from the car manufacturers about new models, running costs, specs and prices. Without it, we can’t do our jobs fully, and can’t pass that insight and information onto the fleet industry. So we’ve been on a promotional tour of the industry over the past few months to show them our New Vehicle Data presentation.
Our most recent ‘gig’ was at Ford’s Business Centre in Byfleet with some of the firm’s product managers. So far the tour has had very positive results. We’re now finding information coming into CAP has been much improved, and on-time, and we can turn it around quicker and send it out to our, and their, customers. The fleet industry is an information business – the more information, the better business decisions people can make.
Had a visit to Leeds from Land Rover’s managing director John Edwards, and Peter Roper-Hall, contract hire and leasing manager.
John reflected that although the UK market is tough, and could get tougher as new 4x4 entrants hit the market, Land Rover is expecting record sales in the UK and will stay true to its vision of producing high quality, premium 4x4s.
Globally it’s an even stronger story, as demand is outstripping supply, which great news for UK industry.
John has taken responsibility to ensure RVs are in everyone’s minds at Land Rover, and maintaining, or improving them is priority within the organisation.
Continuing my week visiting the Ford family, Thursday was cousin Mazda, and a meeting with its new fleet and remarketing director, James Hopkins, other senior people, and of course Jeff Edgar, who has been at Mazda forever, to talk about the forthcoming Mazda2. It’s due in September, and will compete with Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 207 and Ford Fiesta. Launched as a five door initially, there will be a three-door in March 2008.
The outgoing model has missed the mark for Mazda. It came out after the sporty, sharp Mazda6 had revolutionised the brand and it’s boxy look seemed at odds with where the firm was heading.
But a three-year old Mazda2 1.25 S 04/04 with 60,000 miles is currently worth £3,200, which for a quite unattractive car, is not a bad result.
The new one’s styling is so much better. While we were there we also had a look at the CX-7. Mazda is adamant it is not a 4x4, but a ‘crossover sports utility vehicle’. It will only be available with a 2.3-litre turbo petrol engine when it goes on-sale in September in the UK. It measures 4,675mm in length, so is a big thing, and much bigger than other 4x4s soon to be on the market. Volumes are expected to be low because of its large petrol engine.
Went to Cambridge for a presentation from SEAT’s director Peter Wyhinny, and Andy Webb, head of fleet.
They told us they are committed to increasing fleet sales by having more fleet dealers and personnel looking after fleet customers. SEAT is spending E430 million a year for the next 10 years on new products, including a car to compete with Mondeo and Vectra.