Skoda expects the ‘real’ fleet market – contract hire and outright purchase - to pick up by the end of the year and into 2011.
It has already built up its largest ever order bank – 11,000 cars – but head of fleet sales Martin Burke said that while it is also seeing a lot of demonstrator requests, many companies remain reluctant to change vehicles.
He hopes a softer than expected budget will now give fleets the confidence to come back into the market. And while the Government’s axe fell most severely on the public sector, Burke believes this creates more opportunities for brands like Skoda which offer “a better use of taxpayers money – our cars are fit for purpose”.
Skoda is targeting a 2% share of the contract hire and outright purchase fleet sector by 2011, matching its overall performance as a brand. It currently takes 1.6%.
Short-term rental and Motability is played down; rental takes less than 10% of brand volumes, this year likely to hit 3,800 units.
“It gives us orderly trading from a remarketing perspective,” said Burke.
He believes Skoda’s Agency programme, set up two years ago, is making headway with leasing companies, helping to get cars onto more choice lists.
“The network is signed up to our Service Level Agreement, although there is some variance by leasing companies,” said Burke. “It would be great to get to one standard that satisfied everyone. There is still some way to go before that utopia happens for manufacturers and leasing companies – it’s a challenge as an industry.”