Kia's head of fleet and remarketing John Hargreaves (pictured) talks to Fleet News about the challenges fleets may face with fuel.
FN: What models have fleets been excited about on your stand this year?
John Hargreaves (JH):The car which people have been most interested in is the Niro SUV. It’s currently available only as a hybrid but we will be launching a plug-in hybrid version in the summer, which we expect to grow fleet interest further. People have also been particularly interested in the new Picanto, even though it is not majorly a fleet vehicle, Sportage and the Optima Plug-in, which has CO2 emissions of 37g/km.
FN: What are your hopes for 2017?
JH: It has been a very interesting market for us because we had pretty high expectations for the first three months and we completely surpassed them: the market was up and we were outperforming it. Since then it has been something of a different picture – the market is down and although our share has increased (fleet share is up around 0.7% year-on-year), our volumes are down. We hope the market will recover to similar levels to those at the start of year and we will maintain our share.
FN: What is the biggest challenge for fleets this year?
JH: One of the challenges is whether a fleet wants to be seen as a leader of operating ultra-low emission cars, which will get you good PR, but sacrifice an amount of practicality because of the refuelling options. Or do they want to be a follower where their fleet is as efficient as possible but perhaps not as good on the emissions side?