Hyundai is expecting modest growth in the fleet market in 2013 after a meteoric rise that has seen it overtake some well-established brands in the past four years.
The Korean brand’s growth in the UK has exceeded its performance overall in Europe and globally, although its trajectory worldwide is still upwards.
But now, after a busy year for product launches, Hyundai will look to consolidate the efforts of previous years before new products drive further growth in 2014.
The company’s fleet team in the UK has grown from nine people a few years ago to a total of 25 positions in 2013, and Hyundai’s recently-appointed fleet director Martin Wilson has overseen much of the company’s corporate sales success as national fleet sales manager.
Hyundai has also created the position of contract hire and leasing manager. Up to 30 new Fleet Business Centres will be rolled out throughout Hyundai’s 154-strong dealer network this year. Selected dealers will have access to prospecting data, demonstrator assistance, advanced training and product database management.
Wilson says: “Now that we have set the platform with our new product range, we will continue to improve upon our overall fleet offering through a number of different channels. Our fleet team is now better equipped to offer bespoke services to both large national customers and local SMEs through major improvements to sales and aftersales processes.
“Hyundai Contract Hire, in partnership with our white label provider ALD Automotive, has started to gain real traction with sales increasing four-fold since 2011, but we want to continuously improve our offerings in this area of the fleet market.”
Hyundai outperforms market
Looking at the overall market, Hyundai managing director Tony Whitehorn said: “Hyundai has outperformed the market every single month for the past 48 months. Last year we had a 3.63% market share in the UK, which was up 18.1% over 2011.
“We now have four model ranges selling more than 10,000 units a year. We were the first Korean car manufacturer to break into the top 10 in the UK, and much of this has been driven by fleet. Last year our fleet sales grew by 40%.”
Whitehorn claimed the company’s five years/unlimited mileage warranty was the “best in the industry” for fleet operators, because unlike Vauxhall’s ‘lifetime warranty’ it was transferrable to second owners, and unlike Kia’s seven years/100,000 miles cover it could accommodate drivers travelling more than 30,000 miles a year on a four-year fleet cycle.
He added that a high number of the brand’s current product line-up was designed and built in Europe, and with the next generation i20 and i10 to be produced in Turkey, he said Hyundai could offer a higher proportion of ‘local’ production in its model range than some European manufacturers.
Wilson said: “Our strategy for this year is to improve every aspect of our fleet offering and we will be looking to provide Hyundai-accredited training to dealership staff and fleet sales managers on Hyundai Contract Hire and business user sales.
“The ultimate aim is provide a complete service to attract new customers and retain existing partners through high levels of customer satisfaction.”
Wilson also pointed to the brand’s success among bluelight fleets, and expects this to grow further.
“So far we have sold 2,500 vehicles to law enforcement agencies and emergency services,” said Wilson.
“And this is still growing. As such, we have allocated additional resource to this area of the business to assist our public sector manager, Gavin Thompson.”