Vauxhall is planning for a “moderate share growth” in fleet next year, according to fleet sales director James Taylor.
He is targeting a slight rise in its share of the true fleet sector of “0.2-0.3%”, equating to volume growth of around 5%, but says a lot will depend on the strength of the family car segment into which the new Insignia entered at the end of 2013.
The sector has contracted as drivers downsize or switch to SUVs, while large corporate fleets which are responsible for a sizeable proportion of sales have not been in the market for much of the year.
“If the segment stabilises or grows, because we don’t have a fuel penalty , we could potentially do better, and possibly drag people up from the Astra segment,” said Taylor.
“Our order take in the fourth quarter of 2013 is very strong which is due to the corporate sector coming back. We are getting back to a normal market as buying freezes are removed.”
He also pointed out that it is the first time in several years since a mainstream car has had a low CO2 emissions figure than a premium alternative.
“The market is moving so fast and so far. We can continue to drip away at the emissions of our existing models – we have a target of a 5g/km reduction a year,” Taylor said.
He is confident the new 1.6-litre 94g/km 110bhp diesel engine, which replaces the 1.7-litre 99g/km unit in the Astra in the first quarter, will also attract more fleet customers.
“It’s a big opportunity for us, especially with the AFR because the 1.7 is in the band above so the 1.6 means a lower rate . Around 10-20% of choice lists have that criteria in there so it’s an incremental opportunity where we are unable to compete today,” Taylor said.