Four days of awards judging and countless hours of sifting through more than 100 entry forms has led to this point: the announcement of the winners in the Fleet News Awards 2013.
Congratulations to all the companies and people that have won: the competition in every category was intense and the debate by the judges was lengthy and occasionally heated.
See below the full list of winners, highly commended, finalists and the accompanying judges comments.
Fleet Manager of the Year
Winner - Justin Patterson, MITIE
Highly Commended - Lorna McAtear, Eon & Estelle Howick, Pfizer
Geoff Wright, Celesio
Karen Karolyi, Virgin Media
Justin manages a hugely complex fleet and one that is constantly growing through company acquisitions. He has implemented a range of initiatives to reduce funding and operating costs with particular successes on stock vehicles, guaranteed supply dates, incident rates and fuel costs. Benchmarking is carried out at all levels of business, resulting in a highly cost efficient and effective fleet.
Fleet Manufacturer of the Year
Winner - BMW
New Company Car of the Year
Winner - BMW 3 Series
Hall of Fame
Best Small Car
Winner - Ford Fiesta
Highly Commended - Audi A1
The recent facelift keeps the Ford Fiesta ahead of the pack with its modern, bold look and availability of low CO2 emissions engines for both petrol and diesel. The car is packed with the latest safety features and innovative technology such as the MyKey system to limit top speeds. Backed by excellent support from the manufacturer and its dealer network, the Fiesta also wins thanks to its low running costs and strong residual values.
Best Lower Medium Car
Winner - Volkswagen Golf
Highly commended - Ford Focus & Volvo V40
BMW 1 Series
The Golf is the best all-rounder in its class with outstanding driver appeal, bags of interior space, high levels of specification and low running costs – it ticks every fleet box. Volkswagen has moved the game on by improving handling, while interior quality is much more premium in look and feel. The winner of this award was a ‘no-brainer’ said the judges.
Best Upper Medium Car
Winner - Mazda6
Highly Commended - Volkswagen Passat
The Mazda6 offers power with efficiency. Its ground-breaking technology in lightweight materials and re-engineering of the drivetrain has resulted in excellent, highly efficient petrol and diesel engines. The car is also well equipped and exceptional to drive, while the judges noted the fleet friendly badging for a simplified line up.
Best Estate Car
Winner - Skoda Superb estate
Highly Commended - Hyundai i40 Tourer & Volkswagen Passat estate
BMW 5 Series Touring
Kia Ceed SW
Volkswagen Passat estate
An excellent all-rounder with one of the biggest boots in its class, the Superb has outstanding running costs on a par with much smaller estate cars. It’s a traditional estate car – big, value for money with useable space. There are no negatives, said the judges.
Best Premium Car
Winner - BMW 3 Series
Audi A5/A5 Sportback
Low running costs, class-leading residual values and the most efficient models in this category make the 3 Series stand out. It’s a great car to drive and the auto versions are equally as economic and impressive which opens up a whole new market for this car. In the words of one judge: it’s all the car you will ever need.
Best Executive Car
Winner - BMW 5 Series
A great all-rounder while the balance of economy and performance in the Efficient Dynamics version is class-leading. Strong residuals, short lead times, fresh styling and an outstanding drive, the 5 Series is an executive car that appeals to young and old.
Best Seven-Seat People Carrier
Winner - Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Highly Commended - Ford S-Max & Toyota Prius+
Ford Grand C-Max
Vauxhall invented the seven-seat MPV and the Zafira Tourer takes it back to the top. Spacious with lots of storage and innovative, clever seating, the modern look inside and out combines with practicality, competitive pricing, low CO2 and impressive running costs. The Tech Line trim is the icing on the cake – perfect for fleets.
Best All-round 4x4
Winner - Land Rover Discovery
Highly Commended - Toyota Land Cruiser
• Jeep Grand Cherokee
Brand and status lifts the Discovery above its rivals. It’s just as capable off-road and on, offers seven seats and has strong running cost figures, especially for service and repair – no longer does Land Rover suffer from reliability issues. With best-in-class residuals, the Discovery ticks all the fleet boxes. Think 4x4, think Discovery, said one judge.
Winner - Range Rover Evoke
Highly commended - Mazda CX-5
The Evoke re-launched Land Rover as a fleet manufacturer. It oozes driver appeal, has excellent space management and performs equally impressive as two- or four-wheel drive. Competitive emissions, excellent residuals and a high level of standard specification, the Evoke is a landmark model that is set to become iconic for the brand.
Best Ultra-low CO2 Car
Winner - Nissan Leaf
A ground-up developed electric vehicle that feels like a real car, the Leaf has a spacious interior and class-leading technology which delivers impressive real-world range. With low running costs, it’s perfect for the right fleet role.
Green Fleet Manufacturer
Winner - Ford
Highly Commended - BMW
Ford addresses the whole range of vehicles, from cars to vans with innovative technology such as the efficient Ecoboost petrol engines. The company’s holistic approach includes ultra-efficient manufacturer processes and support for green projects. The judges noted that even incremental improvements by Ford have a massive impact because of the company’s global footprint.
Most Improved Fleet Manufacturer
Winner - Ford
Highly Commended - Hyundai
Ford has responded to feedback from fleets and the leasing industry and taken action to improve its relationships over the past year, noted the judges. New innovative schemes such as the accident management programme are added value, saving fleets money, while for vans, a move away from front-end values to total cost of ownership has dramatically improved fleet efficiencies. A 2% increase in total fleet car sales is impressive for the market leader, while Ford is also number one in true fleet.
Best Short-Term Rental Company
Winner - Europcar
Highly commended - Hertz
Europcar is involved in proactively cutting fleet costs with a number of excellent initiatives. It shows a clear understanding of fleet needs as opposed to simply tackling general car rental needs. A wide range of services and widespread geographical coverage impressed as did the many examples of cost savings enjoyed by its fleet customers.
Best Customer Service
Winner - LeasePlan
Highly Commended - Leasedrive
LeasePlan works diligently with its fleet clients to solve problems and identify areas for significant saving, helping them to achieve their strategic objectives. It is proactively investing in supplier management and measures the satisfaction levels of both company car drivers as well as fleets – it’s a holistic approach to customer service.
Best New Product or Service
Winner - Zenith for its Pulse MI software system
Highly Commended - ARI for ARI Analytics
• Arval for its technical centre
• Freight Transport Association for its certificate of excellence
• GE Capital for integrated solutions
Pulse tells you everything you might ever want or need to know about running your fleet. Its very real and significant benefits include an opportunity to improve efficiency, save money and run a more professional fleet operation. No fleet can afford to live without these management information reports, said one judge.
Best Leasing Company
Winner - Zenith
Highly Commended - Leasedrive & LeasePlan
Last year’s winner takes the honours again thanks to showing continuous improvement. Customer service is key, but this is an all-round performer investing in technology that puts fleets in full control of their vehicles and their drivers. Zenith’s innovative solutions meet fleets’ needs.
Supplier of the Year
Winner - The AA
Highly Commended - Holdcroft Motor Group
Offering an amazing range of services, the AA is the epitome of a fleet supplier, adding new elements to its business portfolio all the time. Excellent fleet case studies are testament to its objective of ‘keeping fleets moving’. It has the answers to fleet issues before the questions even arise.
Safe Fleet of the Year
Winner - LOCOG
Highly Commended - Balfour Beatty
The sheer scale of this exercise in training 9,000 members of the public for 1,500 vehicles in a few weeks astonished the judges. LOCOG developed a bespoke training package for a unique event and managed the broad diversity of the drivers with aplomb. They should also be congratulated for ensuring a lasting legacy of safer drivers.
Green Fleet of the Year
Winner - Addison Lee
Highly Commended - Commercial Group
South Tyneside Council
Yorkshire Ambulance Service
West Yorkshire Police
Addison Lee’s commitment to the environment from top down is exceptional. It gets involved in green projects that have no obvious commercial gain and takes every opportunity to seek out efficiencies within its taxi fleet. Software removes thousands of ‘dead’ miles, while car share initiatives and traffic avoidance systems keep CO2, NOx and particulate emissions to a minimum.
Grey Fleet of the Year
Winner - Countryside Council For Wales
Countryside Council for Wales has taken brave and unpopular decisions to reduce its grey fleet mileage, from reducing reimbursement rates to putting stringent controls in place on the type of cars that can be driven on business. It has left no stone unturned in its bid to minimise the grey fleet, both in terms of numbers and miles travelled. And its travel decision tree is a blueprint that every company should follow.
Cost Saving Initiative of the Year
Winner - BT Fleet
BT Fleet’s cost saving initiative is head and shoulders above its competition. The savings are of a mind blowing scale and its research provides the proof and reassurance for other fleets that engine remapping works and is safe. One fact stands out: the annual CO2 savings equate to removing 1,300 taxis from the road. An outstanding and long-term sustainable success.
Fleet of the Year up to 250 Vehicles
Winner - GE Capital
Countryside Council For Wales
Musgrave Retail Partners
Cost controls and safety initiatives introduced by this fleet more than a year ago are now bearing real dividends for this fleet. GE Capital can often be used as the guinea pig for ideas the leasing company wishes to trials for clients, but it has plenty of its own ideas and is never distracted from its core objectives: to save money, minimise accidents and provide a fleet of vehicles and services that is highly valued by its company car drivers.
Fleet of the Year 251-500 Vehicles
Winner - Rhodar
Highly Commended - Gloucestershire Constabulary
• Gateshead Council
• Wakefield and District Housing
Rhodar has created a working environment where safety has become embedded in its culture from boardroom to driver. Its ‘Beyond Zero’ safeguard scheme has demonstrated massive reductions in accident rates using an innovative and effective board game coupled with new drivers’ handbook, telematics and licence checking. A constant search for improvement and innovation mean its fleet operates at an exceptional level of efficiency across all parts of the business.
Fleet of the Year 501-1000 Vehicles
Winner - Ashfield In2Focus
South Central Ambulance Service
A fleet that is doing everything right, Ashfield In2Focus is a procurement-led operation that understands the importance of value-driven relationships. A robust safety policy keeps accident low, while excellent grey fleet controls have almost eradicated risk to the business. Highly innovative with outstanding processes, said the judges.
Fleet of the Year 1001+ Vehicles
Winner - Rentokil Initial
Welsh Water Transport Services
Rentokil has a solution for every problem. From non_OE parts to salary deductions for own-fault accidents, and engine remapping trials to end of contract controls, it has introduced initiatives to minimise cost in all areas of the fleet. Worth noting, said the judges, are its outstanding reallocation policy which has reduced the fleet size and tackled a major issue for the business, and its wholelife cost methodology which has helped cut CO2 emissions for new car orders to just 110g/km.