Fleet News

Thinking CAP: October 14 - Nationwide, Bentley, Mini Clubman, Hyundai

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

Monday

Nationwide held the fleet launch of its new services to around 80 guests at Donington.

It is the only fleet management company with its own repair network and its additional support to fleets includes Mobile Restore and Motorglass.

I was surprised to learn just how big Nationwide is; it has 72 locations, two call centres, 3,500 courtesy cars, 2,500 trained staff and repairs about 190,000 vehicles per year, which take an average of 9.8 days to fix.

By the end of next year it will have 150 mobile vans for off-site repairs. I just hope I don’t get to find out just how efficient they are.

Tuesday morning

To Bentley HQ in Crewe to look at the new Continental GT. On first glance it looks very similar to the current model, but it is an all-new vehicle – only the front and rear windows remain the same, everything else has changed.

It is now easier to get into the rear as the seat belt mountings have gone from being part of the seat to the B-pillar.

Between Bentley producing its first car in 1920 and 2003, it sold 16,000 cars worldwide.

Since the GT was introduced in 2003 it has sold 23,000 of them, just proving what a huge success it has been.

The new GT has vastly improved quality and looks an even more premium coupé that will continue to play its part in the fleet market.

Tuesday afternoon

To Bracknell to drive a very different car to the one we saw in the morning: The limited edition Mini Clubman Soho in silver white metallic and some really nice black wheels.

Mini has made a few minor changes, such as colour-coded lower C-pillar and roof rails, and they have made a huge improvement to its exterior styling. It is now a car that now looks sensible.

And with CO2 emissions of 103g/km from the new 1.6-litre diesel, Mini has finally got it right after two years on the market.

Wednesday/Thursday

To Hyundai’s European HQ in Frankfurt to have a look at an early pre-production D-sector estate, likely to be called the i40.

This was a two-week event with about 600 fleet people through the doors to get an idea of Hyundai’s future plans. The exterior of the i40 is nothing stunning, but the interior is.

The quality and design is brilliant, the layout and materials used are up there with the German premium brands. I just hope the full-production car is as good when it goes on-sale early next year.


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