In May and June, Fleet News surveyed all the major manufacturers to find out how they were responding to the coronavirus pandemic, how they are supporting their fleets customers and their views on the type of impact it would have on the fleet sector.
Here is Mazda UK's response.
Fleet News spoke to Steve Tomlinson, Mazda UK's head of fleet and remarketing (answers as at 5/6/20)
Will Covid-19 have a bigger and longer lasting impact on our industry than the financial crisis in 2008? Please explain your view.
I think perhaps the two biggest factors are that:
- Virtual customer meetings are likely to replace face to face meetings in the near future and depending on their success this could be commonplace in the longer term.
- If the remote working becomes more commonplace there may be a reduced requirement for cars or at the very least perk cars capable of longer journeys.
How much of a decline in total market fleet sales are you forecasting this year?
Our expectation is that we will deliver circa 15% fewer core fleet (excluding Motability/rental etc.) registrations in the fiscal year April 20 – March 21.
Please outline your exit strategy and how you believe the way business is carried out in future might change – the so-called ‘new normal’.
It is our intention to actively re-engage with our fleet customer as and when they have a need/appetite to work with us, and this will be done the way that suits them best, be that remotely or face to face (assuming it is safe to do so).
How soon do you think fleet sales will recover after the coronavirus threat is over?
I believe there will be a pent-up demand with formal extensions being quite commonplace over the last 18 months. Firstly, as manufacturers transitioned from NEDC to WLTP, secondly the lack of BIK clarity, thirdly Brexit and now the Covid-19 outbreak.
This has created significant uncertainty across the industry, resulting in fleet cars ageing and this will need to be addressed at some point soon.
Will we experience a break on the development of MaaS and fleet electrification?
I think that fleet electrification will continue at a pace, particularly in the low mileage perk car arena, however due to Covid-19, I think that individual personal mobility will continue to be important as it has ever been, resulting in perhaps a slowdown of the development of MaaS.