Mazda is securing fleet business after setting up a programme which key dealers use to meet corporate demand within 10 to 14 days of orders being placed.
Vehicle waiting lists at some manufacturers are an average 12 to 14 weeks with some order times stretching to six months and into mid-2011, say Mazda.
"Many fleets and company car drivers are not prepared to wait that long for new company cars,” said Mazda fleet and remarketing director Peter Allibon. “As a result they are increasingly turning to Mazda and 15-20% of new business wins are as a consequence of having short lead times.
"Our fleet centres are already starting to take orders for delivery in March when the new registration plate is introduced. Some manufacturers will not be able to deliver new cars in March because they have such long lead times, but Mazda will be able to meet demand."
Four strategically located Mazda fleet centres - Arnold Clark in Scotland, JCT600 in Bradford, Norton Way in Letchworth and Johnsons in Oxford and Swindon - handle approximately 65% of all Mazda's contract hire and outright purchase fleet business.
Each quarter, the four dealers forecast the model mix they expect to be most popular with fleets. The vehicles are then manufactured and held centrally on the dockside at Zeebrugge in Belgium. When fleet orders are taken, the dealers ‘pull' cars from the ‘pot' and deliver to customers within 10-14 days.
Since launching the ‘fleet vehicle sold order pot' programme in the final quarter of last year, the number of vehicles held at Zeebrugge has increased from 600 to 900 in the final quarter of 2010 - although the programme is totally demand led with no manufacturer push.
The majority of vehicles held are Mazda6 diesel hatchbacks and estates and Mazda3 diesel hatchbacks with dealers also forecasting the most popular colours - typically models are held in four colours - and trim levels.
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