Thinking CAP - CAP manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week's insider fleet intelligence
Over to the Midlands to Audi’s annual UK press event where around 30 cars are available for us to drive.
This is a handy event as it lets us catch up with all the latest additions over the past year.
And when they are all lined up, you realise just how many new cars – and engines – Audi has introduced in the past 12 months.
Around 150 guests are invited over the three-day event, and it is always busy with cars coming and going.
Down to Weybridge to Mercedes-Benz World – its flagship centre in the UK and built on part of the legendary Brooklands racing circuit.
The site has now been operating for 18 months and has had 305,000 visitors, carried out 31,000 driving experiences around its test track and off-road circuit, had 28,000 conference visitors and also given driving lessons to 11,000 under-17s – an initiative which is proving to be really popular.
We had discussions about the current market and future vehicles with the UK product team and Sue McDonald and Brian Luff from the fleet department.
They were keen to emphasise the launch of BlueEfficiency, which is its more eco-friendly range.
The first one to be launched this month is the C180K which has a 1.6-litre engine, giving a reduction in CO2 emissions from 167g/km to 149g/km.
Mercedes-Benz expects European BlueEfficiency sales to increase from 17,000 units this year to 852,000 by 2010.
To Tenerife for the Peugeot Fleet and Business Strategy 2009 meeting, where we had a look at the all-new 308CC.
New fleet director Phil Robson presented Peugeot’s view on the market in 2008 and looked into the future in terms of green issues.
He admitted Peugeot has been weak in supplying data to customers, but this will change quickly and it will be better in the future.
Peugeot’s green credentials were very much at the forefront of the meeting.
In the short term, it will have a stop/start vehicle in production by the end of 2009.
There will be a hybrid diesel which will produce 160bhp plus an extra 40bhp from the electric motor, and will emit a very low 109g/km of CO2 – it will be on the market in a couple of years.
Today, though, it has one of the cleanest ranges – around one in six cars sold in Europe emitting less than 120g/km of CO2 is a Peugeot. BlueLion – Peugeot’s name for its eco-friendly range – all have sub-130g/km C02 emission figures, and are fleet-friendly.
Peugeot gave many commitments including constantly improving quality, protecting RVs by managing rental exposure, helping the environment by producing vehicles that are green and will reduce company car drivers’ BIK, and reduce company costs through fuel savings.
We had the unveiling of the 308CC, and although it was shown at last week’s Paris show, this was the first to be seen at a private showing anywhere in the world.
The 308CC is a prettier car than its predecessor.
The interior quality is a huge step forward from the 307 with the materials used hugely improved.