Andrew Wale has joined Suzuki GB as its first corporate sales manager. The new position has been created as part of a strategy to build corporate sales for the car brand, which has been heavily biased towards the retail market traditionally.
Wale has 22 years' experience in the motor industry with Volvo, Honda and Nissan, and was a founder member of Honda UK's corporate sales team before becoming its national leasing and rental manager.
His initial focus will be the further development of Suzuki Contract Hire, which was launched earlier this year.
He will be working with dealers to use this service to attract new local business opportunities.
“We will be looking in particular at the public sector, where our vehicles can be of real value, not least the 4x4s with their ability to keep people on the move during winter weather. Salary sacrifice schemes, driving schools and Motability sales will also yield important prospects for us,” he said.
He added: “I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to join Suzuki GB and help implement its corporate sales strategy, through developing our relationship with business customers, leasing companies and the industry guides, and also by providing the dealer network with the tools, skills and support they need to develop corporate and business sales performance.
“The Suzuki range of vehicles has excellent potential for gaining business, particularly with the Swift with its low emissions and strong cost of ownership profile, and with the small 4x4s for which the company has such an enviable reputation.”
Suzuki fleet ambitions will be around 1,500 units initially, which it plans to increase in the medium to long term to between 3,000 and 5,000 units.
This will be achieved as the market gradually moves further towards lower CO2 and smaller cars – key strengths of the Suzuki brand.
The key fleet player in the Suzuki model range will be Swift as it is available in three and five-door with high efficiency 1.2-litre petrol (55.4 mpg combined / 116g/km) and 1.3 DDiS engines (67.3mpg combined / 109g/km), plus five star Euro NCAP rating for safety.
In addition, Alto, Splash and SX4 all offer low cost of ownership with SX4 available with four wheel drive at less than £15,000.
Examples of recent Suzuki Corporate sales include the supply of Jimny compact 4x4’s to health authorities in rural areas and also the RNLI.
The manufacturer boasts a 148-strong dealer network and with its help it aims to target “quality” fleet /corporate business which in turn will help grow brand awareness as well as retain good profitability.
In the medium term, Suzuki says it will have new product in the ‘C’ and ‘H’ segments to support its already strong presence in ’A’ and ‘B’ sectors of the market.