A new corporate car service has been launched in London by the company behind the fast-growing Green Tomato Cars minicab service.
Black Car Service has been unveiled by parent company Transdev, one of the world’s leading public transport companies, to fill what it claims is a gap in the market not occupied by either Green Tomato Cars or sister company Trident Niven.
Promising “a business class service without the price tag”, the new unbranded Black Car Service has launched with a fleet of 150 black Volkswagen CC models and is aimed at executives at “traditional” organisations such as law firms, banks and blue chip companies.
The company says prices are the same as those for Green Tomato Cars, which runs a fleet of more than 500 hybrid cars and considers its core market to be employees at “trendy” organisations such as those in the media, PR and advertising sectors.
Meanwhile, Transdev’s third brand operating in London is Trident Niven, a private hire company launched in 1998 and acquired by its current owners in 2012 that uses a fleet of 100 chauffeured executive Mercedes-Benz and hybrid saloons to transport diplomats, company chief executives and directors.
Black Car Services, which has been launched following an initial pilot is aimed at businesses looking for a “discreet, unbranded service for their staff and clients”, according to the company.
Mike Tobin, managing director of Transdev’s London private hire operations, said: “We’re launching Black Car Service in direct response to requests from our customers, and the market in general. Businesses wanted a professional, unbranded service to complement our existing Green Tomato Cars and Trident Niven offerings - and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.”
Black Car Service offers immediate response times of 15 minutes in central London and promises a personal, customer-focused approach. All cars come with free 4G wi-fi as standard, black leather interiors and professional drivers trained in customer services in Transdev’s training centre in Isleworth, West London.
Tobin anticipates that the size of the Black Car Service fleet will double to 300 by the end of the year, with a further 100 vehicles scheduled for 2015 delivery.
He added: “Businesses have responded very positively to the new service. We have already signed up large clients who are delighted that we’re giving them a business class service without the price tag.”
Explaining why Transdev, which operates across 21 countries and in the UK also has a number of bus companies, required three private hire businesses in London, Tobin said each served “clearly defined” markets.
A company spokesman added: “Black Car Service customers may previously have used a rival firm or the traditional Hackney cab. Many corporates have several private travel providers and select the service to meet individual requirements.”
Meanwhile, demand for Green Tomato Cars, which launched in the capital in 2006 with a fleet of four cars, is expected to see its fleet size reach 600 cars by the end of 2014. In the near future the all-hybrid fleet is due to be supplemented by zero emission electric vehicles led by the imminent arrival of a Tesla Model S.