CAP's manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence
A look at the only Volkswagen Passat CC in the country, a left-hand drive car being used for advertising photography.
It is longer, wider and lower than the saloon, is a strict four-seater and has frame-less windows.
I have seen photographs of the CC, but this was the first opportunity to see a real one, and how much sleeker it looks in the flesh than on paper.
What a stylish car, one that will appeal to those who have never considered a Passat before.
It offers something a bit different in the D-sector market.
The car we saw was white, but due to the clever use of coloured film, they can make a white car appear in any colour they want.
The manufacturers call it being ’wrapped’.
The camera can also change the appearance of the car, and during the photoshoot many items have to be removed to get the best shot, including doors, windows etc.
So the next time you look in a brochure, think about the time and money involved in getting the most favourable picture.
Volkswagen have certainly been brave with the CC, which means Comfort Coupe.
They have only around 5,800 to sell in its first full year, which should be easily achievable and could disappoint many more potential buyers.
The problem for Volkswagen now is what to do to make the next Passat saloon so attractive.
Should the CC have been the new Passat?
Now the dust has settled on the Budget and we are getting used to paying more for beer, wine and cigarettes, we have had time to digest the small print of the Chancellor’s words.
Mark Norman, our operational development manager, has been studying it and found out some interesting facts.
In March 2001 and on the introduction of the Y-reg car, manufacturers had to give each vehicle a CO2 figure.
Back then, many of us did not realise the implications this would have in terms of tax, congestion charging and road fund licence (RFL).
But now it plays an important part in everyday life.
For example, the owner of a Y-reg Passat 2.0 S automatic will see an increase in Vehicle Excise Duty from the current price of £210 up to £415 from next year – almost double, and a figure that could represent 15-20% of its entire value.
However, the same car registered before March 1 2001 will only attract an increase based on standard rate of inflation, making an X-reg car a better and cheaper proposition than the newer Y-reg.
Older, more polluting cars have been left alone.
You have to feel sorry for families who need these larger cars and are unfairly penalised.
The value of this type of vehicle could be affected substantially as they may become more difficult to sell – £8 RFL a week for many households will be just too much to pay.
The Passat is just one example. MPVs have become the family runabout of choice these days, and they too have been hit hard.