Fleet News

Thinking CAP - September 11

CAP's manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week's insider fleet intelligence

Monday

Spent a few days on the sunny island of Majorca.

A few weeks ago I warned about the rip-off some rental companies are carrying out, where they charge for a full tank of fuel on collection and you have to take it back empty, with no refund for any fuel left in it.

Well, guess what – I picked up a very nice Volkswagen Caddy Life and was charged E75 for a full tank and told to use it all as no refund would be coming my way.

I hardly used the car, and took it back with 880 km of fuel left in it.

This would have meant I would have had to drive it at an average of 60km/h for more than 14 hours.

If any reader has experience of this, I will be happy to pass on the contact details of the Spanish trading standards people I have registered a complaint with.

Tuesday

A visit to the office in Leeds from Skoda’s fleet sales manager Andy Thomas and product marketing manager Warren Richards.

Andy said that despite the general downturn in the new market, Skoda has seen sales grow year-to-date, mainly due to the popularity of the value for money, well specified and high-quality Fabia.

I’ve been using a Fabia2 1.2 petrol this week, and what a great little car it is.

The engine has more than enough power, and it has been returning 45mpg.

Wednesday

Down to Peugeot’s new head office in Coventry to see Phil Robson, the new director of fleet and remarketing, who has joined from the dealer group Robins and Day.

He told me that Peugeot has business users as top priority with the introduction of the 308 and 407 SR models, which include satellite navigation and Bluetooth telephony as standard.

Phil said his key task was to maximise the huge fleet potential of Peugeot’s current and rapidly expanding range of cars and light commercials.

He said it had a great range of vehicles with low CO2 emissions, which puts Peugeot in a strong position in the fleet market, but it has to understand how important it is to have products that appeal to business customers, and must have green credentials.

Phil’s office must be unique in the industry as it overlooks a cricket field, but I don’t think he’ll have much time to be watching many overs.

Thursday

Skoda twice in a week, this time to the UK press drive of the all-new Superb in Halifax.

This new car is the size of a Mondeo, but looks massive, and the interior space, especially the rear, is of limousine proportions.

The quality is as good as any German-built car and it’s full of standard equipment.

I drove a selection of different engines and, strangely, found the 1.8-litre petrol to be the best, though the 170bhp common rail diesel is a flying machine.

Skoda only intends bringing in around 4,000 units into the UK next year, and should be able to sell all it can get.

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