Fleet News

Thinking CAP: September 16 - Detroit Electric Engineering, Mini, Bentley

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

Monday

Met Ben Boycott, CEO of Detroit Electric Engineering. Ben is planning to introduce his own variety of electric vehicles into Europe and the UK.

These will be budget-priced cars, based on Protons: built in Malaysia and with some involvement by Chinese companies for some of the systems, such as batteries.

So what are the chances of Detroit getting business here?

Well, Ben is doing his best to drum up interest and meet the right people including the SMMT and OLEV to ensure a smooth introduction.

But Detroit – the ‘David’ – will be up against the ‘Goliaths’ of PSA, Mitsubishi and Nissan, and it won’t be easy for him.

However, Detroit will be unique in offering a standard range vehicle (80miles) and a long-range (160-mile) car.

Tuesday

How does Mini get across to fleet customers just how brilliant the new Countryman is?

Today I went to Bedford Autodrome to drive the new five-door hatch rival for the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

When we first drove the Countryman in Austria in January we thought it was good, especially driving the 4x4 model up the snow-covered hills.

Was it going to be as good in Bedfordshire? It wasn’t – it was fantastic.

Mini has created a car that fills many gaps in the market at a very sensible price.

It is C-sector size and money, looks great, drives even better and is a bundle of fun – and carries those all-important Mini badges that makes this very modern car an instant classic.

It is available with two-wheel and four-wheel drive, and 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines models are One, Cooper and Cooper S.

The one to have is the Cooper D priced at a very reasonable £18,500.

Thursday

Got confirmation that I have been accepted into the prestigious Guild of Motoring Writers.

This is an organisation that has been in existence for 44 years and has some top names from the press in its membership list, such as Murray Walker, Lord March, the Duke of Kent and Simon Harris.

Friday

Bentley’s Ralph Cadman brought up the all-new Mulsanne which, at around £250,000, is hardly your typical fleet car.

However, it was brilliant to drive this masterpiece.

The quality was flawless throughout and if you could get the best of everything in the world – whether it is from a private jet, multi-million pound yacht or six-star hotel – and put it all in a car, you would have the Mulsanne.


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