Fleet News

Thinking CAP: Jan 15

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

Monday

To Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, to drive Hyundai’s new i20.

This new model sits nicely between the i10 city car and the lower-medium i30 and, like its little sister, was designed in Germany and built in India.

It goes on sale this week as a five-door hatchback. A three-door version follows in April.

Inside, the i10 is very roomy, with plenty of space for four adults, and the boot is much larger than expected. It is available with either 1.2 or 1.4-litre petrols and a 1.4 CRDi diesel with 74 or 89bhp.

These diesels will make up only 2% of UK sales.

The best engine by far is the 1.2-litre petrol – it does everything you want it to do for a small car. The interior quality is remarkably good.

This launch is at just the right time, and at the right money as prices start at £8,195.

Thursday

So what does a BMW X3, Chrysler 300C, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Saab 9-3 Convertible have in common?

They are all built by Magna Steyr in Austria. Who?

The company has been building vehicles for nearly 100 years, employs 10,000 people worldwide and produces more than 200,000 vehicles a year.

At the moment, Magna Steyr is working with an anonymous large European manufacturer to produce a low volume coupé.

We went to see the vehicles this plant produces and how efficient and flexible it is.

Magna has what it calls ‘peak-shaving production’ which enables any manufacturer to start early build of a new car and have a quick increase in production, or they can have the final vehicles or run-out models assembled in Austria while the lines are converted to a new model.

However, it became quite a depressing day when we had a factory tour to find it in semi-darkness with nobody working and part-finished vehicles hanging from the roof – it was eerie.

This tour was planned many weeks ago – long before Magna took the decision to have an extended Christmas break.
 

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