Into the spotlight

Tony Williams on All in One’s rapid growth p36-37
13.03.08 £2.25 fleetnews.co.uk

Geneva showcase
This year’s new cars unveiled p12-25

BIRTHDAY SPECIAL
30 years of Fleet News p32-35

Our champions: simply the best
A glittering crowd cheers on this year’s Fleet News Award winners
BY MARTYN MOORE
The winners of the 20th annual Fleet News Awards were announced at a gala ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday evening. The Fleet News Awards are regarded by those within the industry as the most significant recognition of their skills and services. The individuals who received hard-won personal recognition on the night – winners of the three fleet manager categories, Platinum Award and Fleet of the Year – were:

FleetNews 30
I AM

Business motoring strategy and finance

GM commits to 2008 event

JUG JOHAL Fleet Manager of the Year – sub-100 vehicles

MARIE JARROLD Fleet Manager of the Year – 101-400 vehicles

Jug, who manages the North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust fleet, won because of his enthusiasm and passion for his job. He has achieved significant reductions in both costs and emissions.

Marie Jarrold manages BCA’s fleet. She has applied new techniques and technologies to significantly reduce operating cost and is passionate about formal fleet management training.

Oh what a night! Celebrating after receiving their awards are: back, from left – Nigel Trotman, Jug Johal, Gary Black; front – Stewart Whyte and Marie Jarrold

GARY BLACK Fleet Manager of the Year – 401-plus vehicles

STEWART WHYTE Platinum Award

Gary launched initiatives to direct drivers of Inspired Gaming’s 1,300-vehicle fleet to the business’s preferred fuel outlets, manage down emission levels of new cars and deploy, where appropriate, alternative fuel vehicles.

This year, to mark the awards anniversary, the judges looked back over two decades. One name was always there in the thick of it, ruffling feathers and arguing for what he believes is right. ACFO director Stewart’s strong opinions, energy and dedication to the industry made him an obvious winner.

Business relationships manager Nigel Trotman demonstrated a co-ordinated commitment to efficiency, safety, the environment and driver satisfaction. ■ Go to www.fleetnews.co.uk for a full list of winners. For further coverage from the night, see next week’s issue.

WHITBREAD GROUP Fleet of the Year

Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet and Cadillac have all been confirmed as marques that will be available to drive at this year’s Company Car in Action, to be held at Millbrook Proving Ground from June 17-19. There will be more than 30 models from the firms available after GM UK Fleet signed up to take part in one of the world’s biggest drive-and-decide events. Vauxhall will have its fleet range and performance VXR models, while the new Saab 9-3 and BioPower models will also be available to test. The Cadillac BLS will be showing how serious the brand is about fleet, while the Chevrolet Aveo and Epica will also be tempting fleet buyers. There will be chance to put a range of GM’s 4x4s through their paces on the event’s off-road course. The Vauxhall Antara and Chevrolet Captiva can be driven, while the Hummer H3 will be making its driving debut at the show. The line-up is part of a growing fleet available to drive at the show, including Honda, which was one of the first companies to sign up. If you receive Fleet News then it means you are already likely to qualify to attend Company Car in Action 2008. To ensure you have secured your pass into Millbrook, log on to www. companycarinaction.co.uk or call Lorraine Goodwin on 01733 468859.

NEWS

P3

ROAD TEST

P31

CAREERS

P41
Sarah Brading, human resources manager at epyx, is working on something so secret that if she told you, she’d have to shoot you. Find out who is on the move in our recruitment section.

TOP STORIES ONLINE
■ Fleet News Awards spectacular – the results, the pictures, the video ■ Editor’s Blog – unveiling the Fleet News wiki ■ Videos: the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Spider

Ever y year in the UK, 4,000 successful prosecutions for unsafe loads are brought against drivers and operators. Now a new campaign has been launched to educate fleet managers.

The Audi A4 has been synonymous with fleets since its launch in 1994. Since then it has been locked in a battle with the BMW 3 Series for supremacy. But how does its latest incarnation fare?

NEWS IN BRIEF
Combined fleet
Europcar and National Car Rental have combined their fleets, creating a daily rental fleet of more than 60,000 vehicles, including more than 6,000 vans.

Kwik-Fit credit

BY DANIEL ATTWOOD

Alert issued over licence renewals
Photocard licences need to be updated every 10 years

RAC under fire for road building call
Following its criticism of the Government’s poor transport management strategies, the RAC has itself come under fire from environmental campaigners for suggesting more roads need to be built. The RAC Foundation said in its latest report that Government indecision, poor management and transport departments that lack long-term vision have set back the development of UK roads. The RAC warns that Britain is facing serious economic and financial problems in future years if a coherent long-term plan is not put in place. “Badly planned, poorly configured, piecemeal road building programmes should be a feature of our country’s past,” said Sheila Rainger, acting director of the RAC Foundation. “To avoid roads to ruin we need to learn from mistakes, and develop stronger planning frameworks and more powerful delivery organisations with a clear duty to develop and manage the strategic road network.” However, this suggestion has angered the Campaign for Better Transport. Its roads and climate campaigner, Rebecca Lush Blum, said: “With traffic and carbon emissions rising we agree with the RAC Foundation that the Government’s road policy is a mess. “However, the RAC Foundation’s solution to build more roads will just take us further back in time and reduce people’s travel choices at a huge financial cost.” She said policies are needed that reduce traffic growth.

Kwik-Fit has gained PAS80 accreditation from the British Standards Institute. In addition, the company’s headquarters and centres have again been accredited with ISO9001, the BSI quality management standard which Kwik-Fit has had in place since1992.

Cfc seminars

Details of a series of fleet seminars, to take place at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2008, have been announced by cfc solutions. The seminars will take place at the company’s stand at the NEC from April 15 to 17. Email sales@cfcsolutions. co.uk for further details.

Lex training

Lex has teamed up with the Manchester College of Arts and Technology to run a series of technical training courses for its staff. Lex’s driving ser vices division, which manages relationships with 278,000 drivers, has set up the 40-week course to ensure its staff ’s technical knowledge matches the rapidly changing face of vehicle technology.

The first motorists to be issued with photocard driving licences 10 years ago have been warned that they need to apply for updated licences or risk £1,000 fines. Hundreds of thousands of renewal notices will be sent out by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) over the coming weeks as the first photocards, which were issued from July 1998, become out of date. While the driving licences will still be valid, failure to send the photo licence, the paper counterpart and a new photo, along with a £17.50 fee, will leave the driver open to prosecution. “Drivers are required by law to ensure their photocard driving licence is updated every 10 years,” warned a DVLA spokesman. “This is to ensure that the photograph is of true likeness. A fine of £1,000 may be imposed on failure to surrender a licence.”

However, he stressed that although the photograph may be out of date, the licence holder is still entitled to drive. This means, contrary to many reports, motorists will be able to continue to drive legally even if they fail to update their photocard. UK licences are valid under most circumstances until the driver reaches 70 years of age. It will come as a surprise to many that they must renew their licence. But it will also annoy many that they have to pay £17.50. This means the DVLA will take in £437.5 million in rolling fees every

decade as the UK’s 25 million licence holders begin the process of updating their photos. Over the next 12 months, £5.2 million will be paid in fees, which are used just to cover costs, says the DVLA. “Subject to public consultation and agreement by parliament, fees are balanced across all transactions to meet operating costs.” Fleets carrying out regular licence checks have been assured that these will highlight if a photocard is coming up for renewal. “This will be clear both from the licence and any check of the record,” said the spokesman. The licences were introduced to comply with an EC Directive which required that a photograph of the driver be included on all UK driving licences from July 2001. By March 2000, the DVLA had stopped issuing paper licences altogether. daniel.attwood@emap.com

Highways education scheme for fleets
The Highways Agency has begun a series of regional events aimed at fleet operators. The first event was in Birmingham last week, when the agency demonstrated a number of traffic information services, including a free electronic system that gives real-time information on incidents or delays on motorways or major A-roads. It even shows what is currently being displayed on electronic roadside message signs. The agency, which is responsiThis included explaining the new active traffic management scheme on the M42, which involves hard-shoulder running. Other presentations included explaining how the agency clears traffic incidents and showing a new system of weather alerts for goods vehicles. Further free events aimed at fleet managers are planned for the rest of the country. ■ More information can be found on the Highways Agency’s website, www.highways.gov.uk

Electronic roadside signs provide information to drivers

Cybit can

Telematics provider Cybit has announced that new ‘CanBus’ capabilities will be integral in its next generation of telematics systems. It means vehicle position reports can be combined with CanBus-generated vehicle performance data to build reporting suites for entire fleets.

ble for England’s motorway and A-road network, also set out steps it is taking to make journeys safer and more reliable.

EVENTS ROUND-UP

Government hammers home safety message
Road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick has warned that accidents could be costing British businesses £3.7 billion a year and every fleet, no matter how small, has to take action. The hard-hitting warning is intended to hammer home the financial impact of crashes in addition to the human toll, with an estimated 1,000 people a year dying in at-work road incidents. Mr Fitzpatrick, whose comments are revealed on www. riskinfleet.co.uk – the website for the Risk in Fleet conference, which takes place on April 22 – said: “The cost to industry of atwork road traffic accidents has been estimated at between £2.7 billion and £3.7 billion a year. “There is no fleet size limit below which driver safety is not good business. All employers have a legal responsibility for the safety of all their staff, including employees on the move.” Risk in Fleet will include case studies from some of Britain’s safest fleets, while there will also be detailed presentations from other industry experts on a range of issues covering the conference themes of corporate risk and financial risk. ■ Full details of the day’s events are available by logging on to www.riskinfleet.co.uk ■ Alternatively, call Maddie Collins on 01733 468171 or email madaline.collins@emap.com

UK FUEL PRICES

ppl/ppg DIESEL............................. 112.1/504 SUPER UNLEADED........112.0/504 UNLEADED..................... 105.9/477 FOUR STAR......................107.5/483 LPG......................................53.6/241

2 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

Nexus bought in £11m deal
Nexus Vehicle Management has been acquired by ISIS Equity Partners in an £11 million management buy-out/management buy-in. The new business will be led by Neil McCrossan, a former National Car Rental senior executive. John Ellis will continue as operations director. Nexus already works with several daily rental providers as well as contract hire and leasing companies and end user organisations. The company pioneered the IRIS system, which brings together more than 40 rental suppliers with corporate users to automate the daily rental process in a paperless environment. Mr McCrossan said the funding provided by the multimillion pound buyout will enable Nexus to grow. He added: “Nexus is ideally poised for growth. In IRIS we have a unique marketmaking portal, bringing together users and suppliers of vehicle rental.” Negotiations on behalf of ISIS Equity were led by Andrew Garside, who added: “We are attracted to the fleet management sector as quality service providers earn loyal customers who are keen to outsource their fleet management requirements. Nexus provides a platform for the new management to grow a larger business in the sector.”

Local road tolls add to burden
BY STEVE MOODY
The Government’s raft of congestion-reducing plans will increase the administrative burden on fleet managers as they deal with employee claims for local road tolls. The news comes as the Government finally confirmed it was dropping plans for a national roadpricing network, as exclusively revealed by Fleet News last year (September 27). Now transport secretary Ruth Kelly has revealed that further funding will be offered to towns and cities to develop local congestion-charging schemes, as well as workplace charging. With the London congestion charge already causing fleets headaches through registrations, non-payments, fines and mistakes, the spectre of other cities running their own systems could cause huge amounts of extra work. Ms Kelly said: “Local authorities are already considering whether local road pricing,
AA president Edmund King

IN BRIEF
Brakes assist
Food distributor Brakes has outsourced its accident management logistics to Sopp & Sopp. Brakes operates more than 1,500 commercial vehicles and will use Sopp & Sopp to assist with accident management, end of lease returns, disposal of old vehicles and re-branding of acquired vehicles.

coupled with investment in public transport, could help them cut congestion. The extra funding I’m announcing shows the Government’s commitment to funding these schemes over the longer term and I hope that more local authorities will bring forward proposals for consideration.” Matt Goodman, policy representative for the Forum of Private Business said: “The nationwide road charging plans, which amount to financial penalties for trading in or delivering to certain areas, appear to have been

dropped, at least for the time being. But the Government has yet to commit to scrapping the idea altogether and authorities are still being encouraged to experiment with charges locally.” Also announced were schemes for road tolls on designated lanes of motorways and use of the hard shoulder during congested periods. The Government claims that the first six months of the full M42 hard shoulder trial saw average journey times fall by more than a quarter. Edmund King, the AA’s president, said: “We welcome the Government’s retreat from national road pricing and would support the tolling of extra capacity lanes where they offer a premium service and a choice for motorists. “We are pleased that at last the Government has plans to tackle congestion. Controlled use of the hard-shoulder at peak periods at congestion hot-spots will improve journey reliability.” fleetnews@emap.com

Autosafe move

Autosafe, the nationwide franchise network of more than 420 independent garages, has switched its call centre function to All Fleet Ser vices to help expand into the fleet market. It is hoped the move will enable Autosafe garages to operate more efficiently and minimise the downtime of vehicles.

Ocado order

Online grocery retailer Ocado has awarded an exclusive supply deal to Lombard Vehicle Management. LVM will supply 90 liveried Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans with Paneltex bodies on a five-year cycle by the end of June.

Blue favoured
Following news that white has overtaken silver as the most popular global new car colour, it has been found that blue is the favourite colour in the UK second-hand market. BCA analysed the colour spread of more than 125,000 vehicles last year from a range of sources. Once sorted into general colour groups, blue was the most popular colour at 23.4%, just above silver at 23.3%. Red, black and white followed in that order. The most unpopular were orange (0.32%), beige (0.53%) and mauve (0.55%). “While colour is a critical factor for new car buyers, our research shows it doesn’t rate nearly as highly with used car buyers when it comes to making a purchase decision,” said BCA’s UK operations director, Simon Henstock. “BCA’s annual used car market report shows that when motorists chose their last used car, price was the most important factor (54%).”

Campaign targets unsafe loads
A new campaign has been launched to encourage fleet managers to ensure vehicle loads are properly secured. Every year in the UK, 4,000 successful prosecutions for unsafe loads are brought against drivers and operators. Police investigating crashes in Britain in 2006 recorded overloaded or poorly-loaded vehicle trailers as a contributing factor in 15 fatal crashes and 360 crashes in which someone was injured. In an attempt to reduce these numbers, a free six-page information booklet is now being made available to fleet managers. The booklet explains the dangers of unsafe loads, and the legal responsibilities of companies to ensure loads are safely secured. It includes an overview of a variety of restraining equipment devices, and best practice case studies of companies who demonstrate risk assessment and training in relation to safe loading.
LVM’s Rob Hazzard (left) hands keys over to Stuart Skingsley, from Ocado

Vrs partnership

Unsafe loads contribute to a high number of crashes every year

It also contains an information sheet that can be copied for drivers, which gives advice on safe loading. The booklet has been produced by the Fleet Safety Forum, a division of Brake, in partnership with Modul-System. “Overloaded or poorly-loaded vehicles cost lives,” said Chris Frost, Fleet Safety Forum officer at Brake.

“All fleet managers need to be aware of the dangers and carry out risk assessments for new vehicles, carefully choose loadrestraining equipment and train and educate drivers on load safety policy and procedure.” For a free copy of the booklet, email your name, job title, company name, phone number and address to admin@brake. org.uk or call 01484 559909.

Skoda has partnered with vrs, which is part of the Manheim Group, to provide remarketing of its used cars. Stephanie Benton, from Skoda Used Cars, said: “The partnership ensures that retailers have access to the right car at the right price, in the right place and at the right time.”

Renault switch

CBS Outdoor, in partnership with its fleet management supplier Fleet Alliance, has switched a substantial proportion of its fleet from Ford to Renault, taking delivery of 72 new Renault vans.

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 3

NEWS

Used buyers are ignoring green vehicles
While carbon reduction remains a major concern for fleet managers, it seems to be dropping down the list of priorities for used car buyers. Fleet managers concentrating on reducing their fleets’ carbon footprint are leasing an increasing number of lower-emission cars. While these cars are saving fleets money, fuel and carbon emissions, they are not proving any more attractive to used car buyers once they are de-fleeted.
CO2 emissions have little influence on used car buyers

IN BRIEF
Twin contracts
Leasedrive Velo has signed a new contract with accident management provider Nobilas UK to supply rental vehicles in support of accident claims. Reciprocally, Leasedrive Velo has appointed Nobilas to deliver an accident management service to a number of its fleet management clients.

In fact, a second-hand vehicle’s environmental impact is even lower on the list of priorities than it was in 2006, with only 26% of all

drivers listing it as a top concern when deciding on which used car to buy. Reliability was seen as the most important issue, but even factors such as styling ranked higher than emissions. “Currently, there is little real incentive for used car buyers to take emissions levels into account,” explained David Brennan, managing director of LeasePlan. “Compare that with the fleet market, where considerable

changes have been made to encourage the uptake of cleaner vehicles, including the introduction of the CO2-based benefit-inkind tax system.” The LeasePlan survey did find one positive – a small rise in the numbers of people considering alterative fuels for their next car. Of all those looking to buy a new car, around 6% plan to buy one powered with an alternative fuel such as LPG or a petrol/ electric hybrid.

Ambulance deal

Regional study into congestion
The role of transport in unlocking the economic growth potential in the east of England is to be examined in a new study. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has commissioned Steer Davies Gleave (SDG) to report on the economic costs of congestion on the region’s road and rail networks, identify priorities for the region and recommend transport solutions. Cambridgeshire, which falls within the region, is one of only two authorities to apply for money from the Government’s Transport Initiative Fund to explore congestion solutions, including road tolling. The study will lay out the benefits of additional investment in the transport systems. The results, when published in the summer, will be used to inform the regional economic strategy so EEDA and its partners in the east of England can manage growth.

Rising fuel cost leads to thefts
BY DANIEL ATTWOOD
Police are warning fleets to be on their guard against fuel thieves after a spate of incidents in which vehicles’ fuel tanks were drilled and emptied. The increase in fuel theft from stationary vehicles is being blamed on the record price of petrol and diesel, which both now cost well in excess of the UK average of £1.05 a litre. This means an average family estate can contain £80 of fuel when its tank is full. Last month 20 cars parked overnight in Oxfordshire were targeted by thieves, who drilled into their plastic tanks to steal the fuel. In addition to the lost fuel, which is untraceable and in high demand, the owners also had to pay an estimated £400 per car in repair costs, which involved replacing the damaged tanks. Nobody has been arrested for the thefts, which Oxfordshire police blamed on “organised criminals” who knew what they were doing. “While we can’t directly link the crimes to the rise in fuel prices, it is likely that there is a link,” DC Clare Routledge, of Oxford police, said. “Our advice to fleets is to be on the look-out for suspicious behaviour, always ensure your vehicles are parked in well lit areas, and, if possible, with the fuel tank facing away from the street.” Oxford has seen a marked increase in fuel thefts from parked vehicles. Already this year, there have been almost twice as many reported thefts than for the whole of 2007.

And the problem is not confined to the Oxford area. A Southampton-based LCV driver was reportedly targeted twice. His van suffered £1,000 of damage as a result of thieves drilling through the diesel tank and draining it. The incidence of drilling directly into plastic tanks is a direct response to the widespread use of anti-siphoning devices and the growth in the use of plastic rather than metal tanks. It is estimated that 85% of new vehicles in Europe now have plastic fuel tanks. These tanks are cheaper, safer and lighter than the metal tanks they replace, although the rise in fuel thefts may force manufacturers to rethink their positioning and accessibility. daniel.attwood@emap.com

ING Car Lease is providing Yorkshire Ambulance Ser vice with 80 rapid-response vehicles on a fouryear/100,000-mile lease deal. The Vauxhall Zafiras are fitted with radios, medical equipment, liver y and beacon lights. They will be delivered before new performance targets are introduced in April.

ING’s Steve Laycock (left) hands the keys to a rapid response vehicle to Mick Farmer, from Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Green Virgin

Major funding for FMG
FMG Support has secured £7 million from Aberdeen Asset Managers Private Equity (AAMPE) for a significant minority stake in the company. Seven of the FMG Support board and management team have also become new equity holders in a partial management buyout. The extra money will be used to help FMG deliver new products and services, as well aid its expansion. “The additional funding provides us with the financial base on which we can deliver against the full potential of our strong market position,” said Nick Brown, chief executive, FMG Support. “We now have the backing and financial support to develop new products and services that will change the dynamic of this industry.” Colin Stirling, director of investment at AAMPE, added: “FMG Support is a high quality business that we have been shadowing for some time and we are really pleased to have the opportunity to support the team in the next phase of its development.”

Virgin Atlantic has said it will use Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for its complimentary ground transfer service for upper class passengers for planes landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

PVH growth

Investment: (from left) Colin Stirling, Aberdeen Asset; Rob Lawrence, Lloyds TSB; Nick Brown, FMG Support; Craig Hopwood, Aberdeen Asset; and Tim Pickup, FMG Support.

PVH Flexihire is celebrating its first year of trading. The Bristolbased firm has grown its original fleet from 300 to over 800 vehicles. Tony Cooper, sales director at PVH said: “Our business has gone from strength to strength because the way we operate is unique in our industr y. By going back to basics, we have put personal customer ser vice at the top of our agenda and kept overheads low.”

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 5

NEWS

Road safety plans could be illegal
European Commission proposals that would force highway authorities to upgrade the safety design and signage on roads used for cross-border journeys may be illegal. The proposals were part of new harmonised standards that aimed to ensure major road networks throughout Europe were built and maintained to the safest standards. However, they could be illegal under European Union treaty laws, MEPs have warned. The European Parliament transport committee has alleged that the tabled directive could break the key EU principle of subsidiarity, where policy issues are reserved for member states, unless expressly approved otherwise. A committee statement also pointed out that the new system would create too much red tape. While infrastructure improvements would save lives, “this is best achieved by allowing member states (to choose their own) guidelines,” said the MEPs.

FleetNews Europe
www.fleetnewseurope.com

UK and Ireland work together
BY DANIEL ATTWOOD
England and Ireland have entered into a new partnership to promote sustainable transport in cities in both countries. The new Civitas UK and Ireland Network, which is part of an EU initiative aiming to bring cleaner and more efficient transport to cities, will see the local authorities in Preston, Norwich, Winchester and Bristol in England, and Cork in Ireland, work together with help from the UK and Irish Departments for Transport. Civitas – City-Vitality-Sustainability – involves 36 cities across Europe taking part in the scheme. “Across Europe, Civitas
Cities will work towards cleaner and more efficient transport

Opinions sought on safety technology
BY KEITH NUTHALL
Fleet managers and other transport professionals are being asked for their views on whether car manufacturers should be forced to fit intelligent transport systems and drivers made to use them. The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the issue and wants comments by March 26. Brussels is looking at how to encourage the use of technology such as emergency braking systems, speed alerts, emergency alerts, adaptive cruise control, lane control systems, electronic tolling and collision avoidance systems. In a memorandum, it said: “Intelligent transport systems contribute to a safe, efficient, sustainable and seamless transport of goods and people. However, it looks like acceptance and market penetration of such novel applications and services is low.” The commission wants to know which technologies are believed to be best suited to improve road safety and transport efficiency, and which legal weapons – compulsory rules or voluntary guidelines – “should best be used to speed up market penetration”. More information can be found on the commission’s website – www.europa.eu

members are aiming to provide transport that’s safe, affordable and comfortable. They appreciate the need to meet rising demand for travel and support economic growth while at the same time

providing cleaner, safer environments,” said transport minister Rosie Winterton. “I think that the communities involved can benefit greatly from the network and help share best practice with similar towns and cities across Europe.” The minister pointed out that the scheme, which includes walking and cycling projects as well as work towards developing cleaner fuel and more efficient vehicles, complements the UK’s own sustainable travel towns initiative where measures, including personalised travel planning, have helped change the travel habits of thousands of people in Peterborough, Darlington and Worcester. daniel.attwood@emap.com

Pan-Europe deals sealed
Masterlease has secured 12 full-service leasing deals in Europe to be implemented over the next two years. Most will see Masterlease managing and delivering fleets on a pan-European basis. The success means Masterlease will be managing some 15,000 new vehicles across Europe over the next two and a half years. “As a smaller player in this market, we can offer customers something that our larger competitors cannot – individual attention and a fleet specifically tailored to the needs of each country,” said Emmanuel Roche, director of international sales at Masterlease. “We don’t try and implement a one-size-fits-all standard solution across all territories. Instead, we work with teams in each country to ensure we are mindful of cultural sensitivities and local needs.” Last year Masterlease made its first entry into the Scandinavian market, launching in Norway and Denmark, and expanding the company’s global footprint to 17 countries.

Tell us your lost van stories
Do you have any amusing stories about your van drivers getting lost in unusual places or under bizarre circumstances? Fleet News has teamed up with sister publication Fleet Van in a competition that has a Navman Wireless sat-nav unit as its prize. The winner will be the reader who sends in the funniest or most extraordinary story. It doesn’t have to be long – a couple of paragraphs will do – but it must make us laugh. Here’s an example of one we heard recently: “One of my drivers went missing for hours on a short delivery job. When he got back I asked where he’d been and he said he missed his turn-off from the M25 so

Hydrogen research approved
European Union ministers have approved the creation of a publicprivate Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative. The initiative will see the EU spend €470 million on new vehicle engineering and matching fuelling networks. The private sector is expected to match this funding by bringing hydrogen technology in the vehicle sector to the point of commercial viability between 2010 and 2020.

Green safety convention
Your funny story could win you a Navman sat-nav unit

decided that rather than taking the next turning he’d go round again – a distance of 117 miles. It’s funny now but I wasn’t very amused at the time!” Entries must be in by Friday, March 28, and the winning tale

will be published in the April issue of Fleet Van. Email entries to trevor. gelken@emap.com or post them to Navman Competition, Trevor Gelken, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA.

Transport executives and specialists will meet at a conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from April 21 to 24, to discuss possible technologies for funding under the European Union’s Transport Research Arena 2008 programme. It aims to create vehicle systems that simultaneously improve performance and road safety while reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions.

Fleet News Europe is sponsored by

www.bca-europe.com
www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 7

Ford stands by Flexi-Fuel
BY STEVE MOODY
Ford will continue to build its bioethanol Flexi-Fuel Focus alongside its new range of ECOnetic models, but has called on the Government to give the dual-fuel cars more support. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director Roelant de Waard confirmed that the car had a future. He said: “We will continue to build Flexi-Fuel Focus but we need the right conditions in the UK to create demand and if the support from the Government is not larger then buying one is something many are not prepared to do. “It can work – we have success with Flexi-Fuel in Sweden, France and Spain, selling a number of cars because there is active backing from the governments in those countries. “Buyers need to understand what the CO2 benefit of bioethanol is, too. I think there’s a general belief that biofuels are here to stay, but it is easiest to get into the UK network through blending biofuel into petrol and diesel in small amounts, increasing it gradually over the years.” Ford’s 1.8-litre Focus and C-MAX Flexi-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) run on a blend of 85% bioethanol produced from home-grown wheat and 15% petrol, but little support for purchasing the vehicles and nearnon-existent availability on the forecourts makes it difficult for fleets to consider in all but a limited role. Over the next year, Ford’s attention will switch to low-CO2 models in its standard car range under the diesel brand ECOnetic, starting with the new Focus ECOnetic, with deliveries starting around now. Mr de Waard said demand had been “well beyond expectations” for it, but that there was sufficient capacity to satisfy all orders. Mr de Waard confirmed there would be low-emission ECOnetic versions of the Mondeo and new Fiesta (pictured below) too, with the latter offering less than 100g/ km of CO2. ■ Ford unveils new Fiesta – page 12

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This week’s vehicle market news and information Edited by Julian Kirk

This week

Fleet cars of the future

Geneva – p12-25

Mitsubishi Lancer

Launch – p28

Audi A4 2.0 TDI SE

Road test – p31

Roelant de Waard: calling for more dual-fuel support

THINKING CAP Hardworking Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence
I’ve been looking back through my note book at scribblings I’ve taken recently, and there seems to be one common theme – the Chinese are coming. Those manufacturers who have traditionally been at the lower end of the market, selling cars that have not had the quality we have come to expect, have all raised their game and are now producing vehicles of a much higher quality – with fit, finish, technology and style also much improved, but with increased prices, they are no longer bargain basement. They say that they have had to improve, as they feel that Chinese car manufacturers will replace that end of the market and they don’t seem to want to compete with them.

MONDAY

WEDNESDAY

Discovered a new word today – a word that is apparently used quite extensively within the walls of manufacturers’ secret corridors, but a word I have never heard before. Nor, it appears, have most other people in the industr y. It’s a word that has got past the security guards from research and development departments and may now be introduced into our world. This word is ‘haptics’. What does it mean? It means ‘the touch, feel and sound’ of a component. Ever y switch, control, handle and door close has to have the right haptics – touch, feel and sound. Ever y manufacturer spends a fortune on ensuring

we get the right sound and the right touch from all the parts in their vehicles. If something doesn’t do the right job it has to be changed, so the human sensor y part of our brain likes what it sees and feels. When you get back into your car, check its haptics – does the handbrake, door handle, heater controls and heated rear window switch make you happy, or do they ‘clunk’ and look, feel and sound cheap? Haptics – the new word we should start using, now that we understand what it means.

Schmitt – wants Audi quality

THURSDAY

Over to Barcelona to the SEAT plant for a presentation by Erich Schmitt – president of SEAT SA,

and a look around some of the new parts of its Spanish factory. Mr Schmitt is more than passionate about quality – he lives and breathes it. He told me that he wants SEAT quality to match Audi, and having spent 15 years at Audi, he should know what he is talking about. He says that the materials are the same, the robots that build the cars are the same, and they use the same tolerances, so there is no reason why the two brands should be different.

Tooling has to be exact and precise from all suppliers for all components. He has quality meetings every day at 7.30am where any issues are discussed, and a variety of components are inspected by him personally. If they are not to his standard, the component supplier is summoned to the factory at 6.30am the following day. SEAT showed us its R&D centre and prototype departments, which were state of the art. If Mr. Schmitt continues on his crusade to get SEAT up to Audi quality levels then the Spanish manufacturer could see a rise in its worldwide fortune, providing it produces some stylish, sporty cars.
Martin Ward is CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 11

GENEVA SHOW
Volkswagen

Fleet stars o
A host of core fleet models were unveiled at Geneva, with with the new Honda Accord, Citroën C5 and Volkswagen

Ford
Volkswagen’s Scirocco will be priced from around £20,000

Volkswagen gave four models debuts at Geneva – with two key user-chooser models, a greener people carrier and the marque’s first hybrid. Receiving most interest were the two all-new models – the Scirocco and Passat CC. The Scirocco coupe will go on sale in the UK in September with a guide price of £20,000 for the 2.0 T FSI petrol model with 200bhp. Further engines, including diesels, will be added to the line up in 2009. The Passat CC is being marketed as a more upmarket cousin to the regular Passat, featuring more coupe-like styling influenced by the Mercedes-Benz CLS. It goes on sale in the UK this summer with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines. Elsewhere on the stand,

Volkswagen rolled out the Golf TDI Hybrid. Although officially just a concept car, expect the model to make production later this year. At its heart is a 1.2-litre diesel engine delivering 75bhp linked to a seven-speed semiautomatic gearbox. This is linked to an electric motor which produces an additional 27bhp. The end result with both units combined is a Golf which returns 83mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km. Continuing the green theme is the new Sharan BlueMotion, with the seven-seat people carrier being given gearing and aerodynamic tweaks to drop CO2 emissions from its 2.0 TDI engine from 177g/km to 159. Volkswagen claims average fuel economy of 45.6mpg.

Striking Fiesta echoes look of Verve concept car. It will launch in the autumn with a sub-100g/km model

Two major new models were given their public debuts by Ford, in the form of the impressive new Fiesta supermini and Kuga SUV.

“Such is the rate of product development, the S-MAX, which was only launched in 2006, is now the second-oldest vehicle in our range after the Fusion,” said

Ford of Britain chairman and managing director Roelant de Waard. And Mr de Waard was bullish for the firm’s prospects with the

Honda
The new Accord range took centre stage on Honda’s stand at Geneva, with both the saloon and Tourer estate models unveiled. Due to go on sale in the UK on June 1 (the Tourer arrives in September), Honda is aiming to follow the success of the Civic and CR-V models in pushing further upwards into the premium market territory. Honda has benchmarked the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series in the development of the Accord, with the Audi’s quality levels and the BMW’s driving experience both targeted as being key to success in the market. When sales begin there will be a choice of 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrol engines and the new Euro V-compliant 2.2 i-DTEC diesel. The latter will take the majority of sales, with fleet customers in particular driving demand for the diesel. Bernard Bradley, general manager – cars, at Honda UK, said: “Fleets account for around

Volvo

Accord Tourer and its saloon sister made their debuts at Geneva

Volvo claims the XC60 will be the safest SUV ever produced

The new XC60 sport utility vehicle will be the safest car Volvo has ever produced when it launches later this year thanks to technology that reduces the chances of collisions. Called City Safety, the XC60 features technology that helps the driver avoid or reduce the effects of low-speed impacts. Using lasers built into the windscreen, the XC60 senses if it is about to drive into the vehicle in front and the driver is not reacting, and brakes itself.

Claimed to be more of a driver’s car than the larger XC90, the XC60 will initially be available with the six-cylinder turbocharged T6 engine producing 285bhp and two five-cylinder turbodiesels: the 185bhp D5 and 163bhp 2.4D. Four-wheel drive is standard, although the firm announced a front-wheel drive 2.4D will be launched in 2009 with CO2 emissions around 170g/km. Prices are yet to be announced, but should start around £28,000.

60% of current Accord sales and our expectation is that this will grow to just over 70% with the new model. This is at odds with our image as we have been seen traditionally as a retail brand. However, we have grown our fleet share in the last three years and were the fastest growing fleet manufacturer in 2007.” Honda will continue to offer GT sports versions with the new model to appeal to the many drivers who opt for an Audi S line or BMW M Sport. This decision is backed by the fact that the Sport GT

version of the old Accord, launched part-way through 2007, accounted for 50% of the model’s sales in the UK last year. Mr Bradley said: “Drivers in this sector want something that looks sporty but does not have a huge engine. “They need something to be competitive in company car tax terms.” He also revealed that early indications from the price guides indicate an uplift on the 42% retained value figure of the old model after three years/ 60,000 miles.

12 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

of the show
Ford’s striking Fiesta supermini leading the way, along Scirocco. By Julian Kirk, Steve Moody and Phill Tromans
launch of the two new cars, with the Fiesta’s striking design closely allied to the Verve concept car which made such an impact at the Frankfurt show last year. Launched in the autumn, Mr de Waard confirmed the Fiesta would come with a sub-100g/km CO2 ECOnetic model, saying that low emission models were increasingly important to the manufacturer. Further details will be revealed later in the year. He was confident that the Kuga would continue Ford’s success in attracting buyers of more expensive cars, a trend started with the S-MAX and which has continued with the Mondeo and Galaxy. He said: “We are seeing that we are selling a richer mix of vehicles, and are comfortable selling cars priced above £20,000, thanks to excellent products. “It’s something that started with the S-MAX and shows the positive development of our range.” With prices starting from £20,495, Mr de Waard said the Kuga would prove a hit with fleets and user-choosers, combining performance, handling and strong residual values. It is launched in April with a 2.0-litre TDCi 136bhp engine, and CO2 emissions of 169g/km. Reflecting the firm’s new– found confidence in selling cars at premium brand prices, the Kuga will be offered with luxury items such as a rear-facing camera, panoramic roof, USB connectivity and DAB radio.

Renault

Renault unveiled its new Koleos SUV crossover model

Renault’s fleet director reckons the firm has two key messages to get across to the industry this year: that its new Laguna is more dependable and that the firm’s low emission Eco2 range is as wide an offering as there is in the industry. Keith Hawes said: “People in the industry are reacting well to the improved quality of the Laguna, and we are getting back on to choice lists that we had previously dropped off, which is a great start.” Mr Hawes is also keen to get the message across about how many cars the firm has in its Eco2 sub-140g/km CO2 range, believing that brands such as Volkswagen’s BlueMotion are

taking the green spotlight. “Perhaps because we’ve had so many cars at low CO2 levels for so long, people have got used to it, but we really need to be promoting the Eco2 brand to fleets and raising its profile to show just what we offer.” The firm had a busy stand with the new Koleos 4x4 crossover unveiled, as well as a stunning Megane Coupe concept, which insiders say closely resembles the new Megane, due to be unveiled in Paris in September. Koleos will be available with 2.0 dCi diesel engines in a choice of two power outputs, 150bhp or 175bhp, and two and four-wheel drive models.

Ford Kuga will join the growing SUV market in April

Vauxhall

Citroën
Fresh from launching its stylish new C5 saloon model, Citroën gave the Tourer estate its first public showing at Geneva. The Tourer will go on sale a couple of months after the saloon which arrives in showrooms in April. It will feature the same six engines as the saloon, with 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre petrols and 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre, 2.2-litre and 2.7-litre V6 HDi diesels. The Tourer is 5cm longer than the saloon and boasts 533 litres of luggage space, or 1,490 litres with the rear seats down. It comes with a panoramic glass roof along with an electric sunblind, as well as the option of an electric tailgate. The boot area also features shopping bag

Citroën’s C5 Tourer made its world debut at Geneva

Meriva concept points the way to the next small MPV model

All the talk at the Vauxhall stand surrounded the sleek new Meriva concept, which – bar a few glitzy trinkets – is what the next Meriva compact MPV will look like. The unique selling point to the Meriva concept is the FlexDoor system, which features a suicide-style set of rear doors designed to allow easier access to the back seats for children, shopping or luggage. The doors have double locks

on them to ensure that they cannot be opened while the car is moving. Expect the new Meriva to arrive in showrooms in 2010, hot on the heels of the new Astra, which is due next year. Vauxhall staff were also dropping heavy hints that the new Zafira, due in 2011, will take significant design cues from the Flexstream concept, first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year and on show again at Geneva.

hooks, side storage nets and ceiling hooks. Xavier Duchemin, managing director of Citroën UK, said: “Our customers want and deserve the highest standards in comfort, reliability, performance

and style and with the new C5 we have dedicated ourselves to deliver those qualities at unprecedented levels.” Also making its debut on the Citroën stand was the new Berlingo van.

Further coverage of the Geneva show continues over the next 10 pages. For more pictures log on to:

fleetnews.co.uk

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 13

GENEVA SHOW

BMW/MINI

Green issues top BMW agenda
BMW’s stand at Geneva was dominated by EfficientDynamics, with a spokesman claiming it has to work even harder to get the message about its emissions-reducing technology across to fleets. Surrounded on all sides by examples of the EfficientDynamics-equipped cars from the 1 Series to 6 Series was the new X6 sports activity coupe, which it is claimed offers drivers unmatched levels of handling in the SUV sector. But emissions was the key theme, with a spokesman for the firm saying it will be promoting the technology more widely than ever to fleet managers to ensure the benefits are clearly known and understood. Worldwide, BMW will sell 700,000 cars in 2008 equipped with EfficientDynamics, with 21 models now emitting 140g/km of CO2 or less. Alongside the X6, which will go on sale in the spring costing around £1,500 to £2,000 more than the equivalent-engined X5, was a concept X5 which delivers 43.5mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 172g/km, yet produces 204bhp. Showcasing the next steps in EfficientDynamics, the Vision EfficientDynamics X5 has mild ActiveHybrid technology combined with a twinturbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with roof-mounted solar panels which produce energy and also pre-heats the diesel, allowing for more efficient running from start-up. ■ MINI unveiled its new tuned John Cooper Works model, which will be factory-built and on sale in the summer. With engine modifications that deliver 211bhp and 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, and engine, brakes, suspension settings and transmission adapted from the MINI Challenge racing car, the John Cooper Works model will cost £20,500 for the hatchback and £21,700 for the Clubman. There is also a full range of bodystyling pieces available, as well as Dynamic Traction Control for the first time on a MINI.

X5 concept (above) is powered by a 2.0litre diesel engine with an electric motor. M3 Cabriolet (right) made its debut

Toyota
Geneva was very much the calm before the storm for Toyota. Although it revealed the new iQ city car and Urban Cruiser small SUV, both cars do not go on sale until 2009, when the firm will launch 18 new products in 12 months, including the new Prius hybrid and Avensis. The firm also claimed it expects to be selling 100,000 hybrids a year by 2010 across both Lexus and Toyota – doubling 2007’s tally of 49,000 units, in itself up 36% on 2006. Less than four metres long, the Urban Cruiser is expected to take over from the discontinued three door RAV4 in offering

Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi was celebrating the announcement of strong residual values for its new Lancer saloon, with CAP predicted three-year/60,000mile RVs of around 37%. Jim Tyrrell, Mitsubishi UK managing director, said: “For a four-door saloon in the UK market to be so close behind a key competitor such as the Honda Civic five-door is a very pleasing result for us. The designers and engineers have worked really hard on this vehicle, and it is good to see that effort rewarded by the UK’s experts.” The firm also unveiled the Prototype-S, a hatchback Lancer that will go on sale later in the year in both standard and 240bhp Ralliart forms. Sitting alongside the saloon, the hatch has been designed specifically for the tastes of European buyers and is intended to compete the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Mitsubishi’s Prototype-S will become the new Lancer hatchback in the UK later this year

Toyota’s Urban Cruiser arrives in the UK next year

compact dimensions and a high seating position. Toyota is confident that it will be able to offer models with emissions of less than 140g/km of CO2, while still fitting five adults plus luggage in comfort.

The iQ is designed to take on the Smart fortwo, but offers three rather than two seats. With low weight and a choice of two petrol and one diesel engines, the firm expects CO2 emissions to start at around 100g/km.

Peugeot
Peugeot once again showed off its 308 RCZ coupe concept at Geneva, making it more likely that a production version of the Audi TT rival will follow. However, with a launch at least a year away Peugeot revealed two new additions to the 308 family – the SW estate and GT hot hatch. The performance 308 GT THP 175 will be the first to arrive in April, powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine which also finds a home in the smaller 207 GT model. This engine produces 175bhp, which gives the GT a 062mph time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Claimed combined fuel

Subaru
Subaru unveiled the next generation of its trusty Forester at Geneva, which will be available with its new boxer diesel engine in the autumn. Sales of the petrol variant start in April, with the new car boasting more passenger and luggage space plus a smoother ride and more agile handling thanks to a new multi-link double-wishbone rear suspension. Based on the platform of the new Impreza,
The G4e electric supermini

Peugeot added a hot-hatch model, the GT THP 175, to its 308 range

economy is 37.1mpg and CO2 emissions are 180g/km. The other new arrival is the 308 SW estate which goes on sale in June. Billed as a more practical member of the 308 range, the SW offers up to 2,149 litres of load

space with the seats folded down, and 674 litres when they are in place. There is also a panoramic glass roof and the option of two extra seats which can be folded down into the boot space.

Subaru believes the new Forester’s extra internal dimensions and 2.0-litre diesel engine will help it compete more closely in the SUV sector with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Also on show was the G4e – a supermini electric concept.

16 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

GENEVA SHOW

SEAT

Jaguar/Land Rover

The Bocanegra gives a strong hint to the look of the next Ibiza

Jaguar’s XKR-S (above) and Land Rover’s LRX Concept (right) made their debuts at Geneva. Both firms are being sold to India’s Tata Motors

SEAT’s new Ibiza supermini appeared at Geneva, albeit in thinly-disguised concept form. The Bocanegra (which means black mouth) shows the direction the firm is taking with its new challenger, which is due to go on sale later this year. A production version should make its debut at September’s Paris Motor Show. The car has been designed by Luc Donkerwolke, the former chief stylist at Lamborghini, and features a more aggressive look than before. The Bocanegra name refers to the large black front grille area.

Under the bonnet is the latest Volkswagen Group technology, including the seven-speed DSG gearbox and a 1.4-litre TSI twin-turbocharged petrol engine. It seems that SEAT has learned from its previous model launches, with very similarly-styled models – Leon, Toledo and Altea. The styling of the Bocanegra shows a sportier slant being taken by the company, which will also launch a rival to the Ford Mondeo next year. ■ SEAT chief’s quality pledge – see Martin Ward on page 11

New models were not the key focus for Jaguar and Land Rover at Geneva – instead the two brands were preparing for a new start under the ownership of Indian company Tata. Tata Motors is in the final stages of negotiation with Ford about buying the two British premium brands for an estimated £1billion. The company’s chairman, Ratan Tata, was at Geneva to allay fears that the companies could be moved away from their traditional West Midlands manufacturing base. He said

that his company’s aim was to retain the ‘Britishness’ of Jaguar and Land Rover, adding “these brands belong to Britain and they will continue to belong to Britain”. After the hectic XF launch schedule of the past few months, Jaguar had a low-key Geneva, preferring to display its much-vaunted new saloon rather than unveil the supercharged R version. However, it did reveal a limited edition version of the XKR coupe – the XKR-S. Extensive changes to the

suspension, brakes and steering, a noisier exhaust and a recalibrated engine management system makes this the fastest production XK to date. The supercharged 4.2-litre V8 produces 420bhp. At Land Rover, the striking LRX small SUV concept made another appearance, this time sporting a new paint scheme. A production model is due next year, possibly using the firm’s diesel hybrid technology which is claimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 120g/km.

20 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz turns blue
While the rest of the world is going green, Mercedes-Benz is going blue. Not to be confused with Volkswagen’s BlueMotion – used on the greenest variant of each model – BlueEfficiency is the name used to describe the innovations put into the C-Class range, which could then be rolled out across all MercedesBenz products. The combined technologies reduce fuel consumption by as much as 12%. A demonstration C200 CDI boasted reductions to drag coefficient, weight and rolling resistance and a lightweight windscreen. A gearshift display tells the driver when to shift, and the power steering requires less energy to operate. Simon Oldfield, sales director at Mercedes-Benz UK, said: “This will be a broad approach to all our cars in the future. “We don’t want a standalone model that’s green while the rest of the range isn’t. If it makes sense we will bring it in and it will be on everything.” Also on display was the new CLC sports coupé, out in the UK in the summer. Events in the north of England and the Midlands are planned to let fleet managers and company car drivers try the CLC as the launch approaches. ■ With no new products imminent, Smart is concentrating on refining its existing offering. From September this year, all new Smarts will come with Mild Hybrid stop-and-start technology. Simon Oldfield, who is also Smart’s UK sales director, said: “The new fortwo has sold very well in fleet as well as retail. There will be an 8% fuel saving with the Mild Hybrid, which is good news for businesses.” Meanwhile, decisions are being made over the possibility of introducing the diesel version of the fortwo sold in mainland Europe to the UK. If the goahead is given, a trial sale of lefthand-drive versions could begin later this year. Although all fortwos emit less than 120g/km of CO2 – the magic figure that puts vehicles in the lowest band of benefit-in-kind tax – the diesel version emits just 88g/km.

CLC coupé (above) made its debut at Geneva alongside a facelifted version of MercedesBenz’s evergreen SL (right)

Cadillac
The American carmaker’s latest assault on the UK market continues in July, when the right-hand drive CTS will arrive. Cadillac hopes the car will provide an alternative to those looking at the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz for their next company car. “This is a major statement for Cadillac,” a company spokesman said. “This is new generation stuff. We call it our sea-change car.” A CTS Coupé concept was also on show, which will form the basis of a production model due in 2010. The Cadillac spokesman said the numbers coming to the UK

Fiat/Alfa Romeo
A house-sized 500 dominated the Fiat stand, but it wasn’t just the MINI rival that grabbed visitors’ attention. The Fiorino will hit UK shores at the end of this year, and continues the growing trend among manufacturers of bringing out vans that can double as passenger vehicles. Slightly cheaper than the Doblo, the Fiorino was displayed in MPV form but will also be available without rear seats as a van. There was a substantial green presence at Fiat, with two concept cars bearing the Aria name – a 500 and a Panda. The Stop & Start technology contained in the concept will be available on the production 500 from October. A new Bravo engine, the 1.6

Alfa Romeo’s 8C Spider

Cadillac’s CTS Coupé concept will be a production reality in 2010

would be small, but promises driving dynamics to rival BMW. The Provoq concept car unveiled in Detroit also made an

appearance in Switzerland, and will eventually become the new BRX, which will also come in right-hand-drive form to the UK.

Audi
The estate version of Audi’s new A4 range was the key model for fleets on the firm’s Geneva stand, alongside a host of new versions of the TT sportscar range. Available to order now, the A4 Avant will go on sale in the UK in June with a predicted £1,200 price premium over the saloon. This means prices should start from around the £23,900 mark. At launch, there will be five engines from the saloon – 1.8-litre turbo and 3.2-litre V6 petrols and 2.0-litre, 2.7-litre and 3.0-litre TDI diesels. Available in SE or S line trim, the Avant has a boot capacity similar to its rivals, offering 490 litres of luggage space, or 1,430

Multijet with either 105 or 120bhp and capable of 60mpg was on display, and will be available in the UK from April. ■ Alfa Romeo’s flagship 8C Spider stole the limelight. The 159 and Brera both have styling and performance tweaks for 2008, and the firm was also showing its Electronic Q2 system, a differential designed to help with traction and stability that will become standard across the range.

Mazda
New A4 Avant goes on sale in the UK in June, priced from £24,000

with the rear seats folded down. Elsewhere, Audi has announced that a diesel-engined TT will join the line up in the summer, boasting CO2 emissions of 140g/km and combined economy of up to 53.3mpg from its 2.0-litre TDI 170bhp engine. It will be available in coupé and

Roadster forms. Also due to go on sale in the summer are the TTS models, with a power upgrade from 200 to 272bhp. Prices start at £33,380 for the range-topping model. Finally, the 2.0 TFSI is now available with Quattro four-wheel drive.

Mazda has enjoyed strong demand for its new 2 supermini in the UK since its launch last year and has now announced details of a three-door version. It will join the existing fivedoor hatchback in the summer in 1.3-litre petrol guise, with a 1.5-litre version arriving later in the year. Initial demand for the 2 has mainly come from the retail sector and Mazda is not actively pushing the car into

The three-door Mazda2

fleet, although it has highlighted public sector and driving school fleets as a target market for the car. Mazda has also just released further versions of its 6 uppermedium model, with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel and spacious estate bodystyle joining the range.

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 21

GENEVA SHOW

Skoda

Kia

Skoda will be targeting contract hire business with the new Superb

Kia’s Soul Searcher (above) and Soul Burner (left) concepts

Skoda’s new flagship car, the Superb, was unveiled at Geneva. Designed to take on the likes of Renault’s Laguna and Ford’s Mondeo, the Superb features class-leading rear legroom and an innovative boot known as the Twindoor. The boot can be opened like a traditional saloon, or with the rear windscreen like a hatchback. A range of engines will be available, including a 170bhp 2.0-litre diesel which is expected to be a fleet favourite.

Skoda’s David Ovended, the UK head of operations, said the new model should ensure a 50% growth in sales of the Superb compared to the outgoing version, which sold almost 3,000 a year. “It’s a very attractive car for the fleet sector and it’s a key market, particularly in leasing and contract hire,” he said. “Superb will be an important addition to the fleet mix. It says something about the brand overall. It’s our halo product.”

Two concepts took pride of place on the Kia stand, the most obvious being a trio of cars known as Soul. A Kia spokesman said the car was designed to be a different vehicle for different people that want different things. It takes the concept of customisation seen in the MINI and the Fiat 500 and aims to take it further, with huge amounts of different paint, trim and accessory combinations available.

“We don’t want to pigeonhole it until it’s in the marketplace,” the spokesman said. “Although it’s a B-segment car, modern lifestyles give all sorts of possibilities. It will be a car that will fit into your lifestyle rather than making some kind of lifestyle statement itself.” A production version of the Soul will be on sale at the beginning of next year. The eco_cee’d is, as the

name suggests, a more economical version of Kia’s current hatchback, and the technology within the concept will make it into production. The innovations include a stop and go system, low rolling resistance and underfloor aerodynamic improvements, as well as high ratio gears. When used on the three-door pro_cee’d, the technology reduces CO2 emissions to just 104g/km.

Nissan

Saab

Hyundai

Nissan’s new Murano SUV

The big news at Geneva for Nissan was the GT-R supercar. But of more interest to fleets – eventually – will be the new-look Murano. Currently the petrolonly SUV sells in very small numbers in the UK, but a dieselpowered version will hit the UK in the next 12 to 18 months. “That will be so important to us when it comes out,” said a spokesman for Nissan UK. “Then the crossover family will really be able to push on. Qashqai is starting to make inroads in the fleet market now and we think it will be the fastest selling Nissan vehicle globally, ever. “We will be concentrating on crossover as a major part of the corporate strategy over the next two years.”

Saab’s 9-X concept points to a new lower-medium model

Although no one will officially confirm it, Saab’s 9-X BioHybrid concept is a very strong hint to the look of a new vehicle for the Swedish – the 9-1. Taking its design cues from Saab’s aircraft heritage and the

AeroX Concept of 2006, the 9-X BioHybrid is powered by a 1.4litre turbocharged engine with 200bhp, and an electric motor. Able to run on E85 bioethanol, the concept emits just 105g/km of CO2.

Hyundai’s i-mode will become a road-going MPV in 2010

Chevrolet
A three-door version of the Aveo was the highlight of Chevrolet’s stand. Making its first public appearance, the car will go on sale later this year with a petrol engine with 84bhp. No prices or specifications are available.

Taking centre stage at the Hyundai stand was the i-mode concept car, an MPV that forms the basis of a forthcoming production car in 2010, possibly under the name of i35M. The six-seater concept features a brand new twin-turbo 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine with 215bhp. The same engine, with a single turbo, will be seen in future large Hyundais such as the Tucson and Santa Fe. The i-mode also features selfhealing paint, developed with 3M and designed to magically

repair minor scratches. A Hyundai spokesman said the production i-mode would have considerable fleet appeal. Also on show was the facelifted Sonata, which boasts an all-new interior. It’s replacement, the i40, is due in 2011 or 2012. There was also a facelift for the Matrix, and a raft of economical refinements known collectively as i-blue. An i30 Blue with CO2 emissions of 113g/km will be launched in the UK in April.

Chevrolet’s three-door Aveo

NEW LAUNCH: MITSUBISHI LANCER

Evolution of the species
BY DANIEL ATTWOOD
Mitsubishi has rarely made an appearance on fleet managers’ radars, except for those in search of four-wheel drive models. The car range had traditionally lacked that one basic ingredient demanded by fleets – a diesel option. Many would argue that the old range was lacking in other areas, including styling, excitement and, ironically given the name of one of its models, charisma. User-choosers just weren’t interested in Mitsubishi’s cars, as Lance Bradley, sales and marketing director, freely admits. “Most of our sales were into retail,” he said. However, with the all-new Lancer things should change. The four-door version of this new lower-medium sector car has just arrived, and it comes with a diesel engine. “This is our first real competi-

New Lancer has all the ingredients to appeal to user-choosers – including the hot Evo version
defined the easily forgettable outgoing model. It is replaced by a sleeker-looking Europeandesigned saloon, which sits on standard 18-inch alloys and carries a more aggressive new double grille nose with style. The interior is also a leap forward in terms of fit as well as the use of quality materials. There is still plastic overkill and the dash lacks imagination – think functional rather than fun – but it is a world away from the depressingly dull Lancers of old. The car is also roomier than the competition – Honda Civic, Mazda3, Ford Focus and Volvo S40 – and this is most apparent in the rear. There will be a 1.5-litre 110bhp petrol engine in the hatch, but for the four-door models there is a choice of just three engines – the 1.8-litre 145bhp petrol, the Volkswagen-sourced 140bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel and the manic 2.0-litre turbo petrol in the Evo X,

tor in the sector,” says Mr Bradley. A five-door version, including the 240bhp RalliArt hot hatch that sits between the standard Lancer and the awesome Evo X, will arrive in September. Expect this

RalliArt model, which premiered at Geneva as the Prototype-S, to compete against the Ford Focus ST on cost and power – it will be priced around £20,000. Unfortunately, this staggered model launch means the more

popular hatch is not yet available and so we can only, for now, get behind the wheel of the four-door car. Mitsubishi has listened to its styling critics – gone is the unimaginative three-box look that

28 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

which, for the UK market, pumps out 300, 330 or 360bhp depending on your wallet. The diesel, which Mr Bradley predicts will make up 50% of the 5,000 Lancer sales he hopes for in the first full year, is the engine of choice. Carbon dioxide emissions from the 1.8-litre petrol place it in VED band E (F for the CVT auto model), while the diesel sits in band D. Fleets, especially police forces, are already showing an interest in the four-door version. But it will not be until September that we will see any significant increase in Mitsubishi corporate sales. When the two-model range is in showrooms – there will be no

estate version – Mitsubishi predicts 20% of sales will be into fleet. While information is still patchy, Mr Bradley confirmed to Fleet News that the Japanese manufacturer has brought forward the development of its own diesel engines by 12 months. This means there will be a smaller, cleaner diesel-powered Lancer in showrooms by 2010. Pricing, which Mitsubishi benchmarked against the Mazda3, is aggressive. When it arrives, the five-door manual 1.5-litre will kick the range off at £12,499. The diesel will begin at £15,499 in the medium spec GS2 version and top the range at £18,499 for the GS4.

Above this sits the Evo X, which has already sold out of the current allocation. This rallybred car will make up a huge 20% of all UK Lancer sales – or 1,250 Evos from a total allocation for the whole of Europe of 3,000 units annually. Mitsubishi’s entry-level Evo X, the five-speed manual FQ-300, is priced at £27,499, which is cheaper than the outgoing model. CAP residual figures are strong – 37% for the four-door – which is higher than the Mazda3, Subaru Impreza or Focus. Mitsubishi’s service plan should also appeal to fleets. For the cost of a first service, the following three years’ services are free. This applies across the range, even to the Evo X.

BEHIND THE WHEEL
On the road it is the diesel, which pumps out 140bhp and 228lb-ft torque, that wins over the rather tame 1.8-litre petrol. The diesel is noisier but the engine’s ability to punch its way up to motorway speeds makes the petrol alternative feel unresponsive and strained. The ride is on the hard side, but not jarring. On the track, all of the models react as expected. Stability and grip are plentiful, and when the limits are approached, there’s lots of easily controlled understeer on the front-wheel drive cars and four-wheel drift on the Evo. The stability and traction systems on the higher spec models are well set-up for the road

cars, although they intervene too quickly in the Evo when it is tackling high-speed track cornering. It can all, of course, be turned off. The full four-door range comes with a ridiculous rear spoiler that does little except hamper vision – Mitsubishi clearly believes the Evo’s halo effect means drivers want a spoiler on the boot lid of a 1.8-litre petrol saloon.

FACT FILE
Model: Max power (bhp/rpm): Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): Max speed (mph): 0-62mph (secs): Fuel consumption (mpg): emissions (g/km): On sale: Prices (OTR): 1.5 1.8 2.0Di-D 110/n/a 145/6,000 140/4,000 n/a 131/4,250 228/1,750 n/a 127 129 11.6 9.8 9.6 44.1 36.6 44.8 168 183 165 Now – four-door, Evolution X; September – five-door, RalliArt £12,499–£37,999 2.0 FQ-300 300/6,500 300/3,500 155 4.7 27.4 CO2 246

VERDICT
The new Lancer is a massive leap forward. The Evo X will always have a cult following, but now the full line-up has something to offer. Fleets interested in strong residuals, Japanese reliability, competitive pricing and something that does not have a blue oval at the front should consider it.

Business talk: here to help
A regular series that offers help, advice and assistance to fleet decision makers on a variety of current industry issues
’ve heard contract hire is an efficient fleet funding method. Is this true, and if so what can I expect from a service point of view? tʼs no surprise that the majority of fleets now use contract hire, as it removes a lot of the stress and administration of fleet operation, and often proves financially advantageous. Importantly, the leasing company takes the residual value risk on your vehicles, so you donʼt have to worry about disposal headaches. Contract hire also removes vehicles from your company’s balance sheet. As all company cars depreciate, this takes away the problem of having a depreciating asset ‘on the books’. As contract hire is an outsourced service, the management element of operating the fleet is simpler; it removes much of the expense, logistics and administration in vehicle procurement and delivery. Because of the economies of scale a leasing company may benefit from, this could help keep your monthly rentals down. Almost all contract hire deals include service and maintenance costs in the monthly charge, so the burden of running that side of the fleet should be taken care of for you too, and at lower prices than you might be able to negotiate.

I I

Should I fund my vehicles through contract hire?

M A
Strong anticipated residual values should keep leasing costs down for the all-new Honda Accord

How to manage your end of contract costs

y fleet’s end of contract and early termination charges seem high. What can I do to lower them? ll leasing companies have standards of condition they expect at defleeting time. If you are returning cars with much higher mileage then agreed, or in unreasonable condition, they will charge accordingly. If you find it difficult to predict mileages, you could try pooling: in this case the leasing company would take an average across the fleet, so cars with low mileage offset those that have travelled further. A good leasing company should be able to help predict your mileages and adjust your contract terms if needs be. You need to be vigilant on vehicle condition. Make drivers aware of what is required at hand-back time, and perhaps include a clause in the driverʼs contract that they contribute to the cost of any reconditioning necessary at defleeting time. An industry guide to acceptable return standards is produced by the BVRLA at www.bvrla.co.uk. Produced in association with Honda Corporate Sales. Tel: 01494 480515

hat is the best way to set out a tender for my fleet and what should I be looking for in the successful bid? ne way is to go for the company offering the lowest quote, but in the long run you should be looking for a supplier offering a well-rounded package. When setting out a bid for tender, there are a number of demands over and above the price the successful bidder must meet. For a start, do they offer a wide range of funding options,

W O

Tendering for a fleet supply deal need not be the daunting task it might at first seem
and are they members of the BVRLA? Find out if you will have the services of a dedicated account manager, and what succession planning is in place if they leave. Workforce stability and service is absolutely essential to a strong working relationship. Set out service level agreements and key performance indicators on delivery times and servicing work, and find out how they intend to meet and measure them. Also, ask what IT capability they have and how their systems will interact with yours and what additional services they offer, such as accident and risk management. One way of finding out if they are really interested in meeting your needs is to ask for some rental quotes, and then change the criteria. A keen supplier will meet these demands quickly. Talk to other fleet managers who use the same supplier as the flashiest presentation doesnʼt necessarily mean a strong operation. Through the Association of Car Fleet Operators at www.acfo.org you can speak to colleagues who have experience of many leasing firms.

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 29

ROAD TEST: AUDI A4 2.0 TDI SE

New A4 builds on Audi’s strengths
Bigger and better to drive, but can it match the 3 Series?

THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER

■ BMW 318d ES

■ Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI SE

■ Volvo S60 2.4 D S

P11D PRICE
Four cars which are very evenly matched on price, but the Volvo leads the way with 163bhp, compared to 143bhp for the Audi and BMW and 136bhp for the C-Class. All are well equipped, with S60 318d A4 C200 £22,180 £23,595 £23,775 £23,892

the Audi offering climate control and rear parking sensors as standard.

EMISSIONS AND TAX RATES
BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology puts the 318d a long way ahead, costing a 40% taxpayer £141 a month in benefit-in-kind tax. The Audi comes in second, costing the same taxpayer £150 a month. The 318d A4 C200 S60 123g/km/18% 144g/km/19% 149g/km/20% 174g/km/25%

Mercedes-Benz will cost £159 and the Volvo £185 a month.

SMR COST
With variable service intervals, the BMW and Mercedes-Benz eke out a small advantage. The Volvo is on a par with them with its fixed 18,000mile service intervals. The Audi is most expensive, costing one pence per mile more than the BMW, thanks 318d C200 S60 A4 3.53/£2,118 3.74/£2,244 3.78/£2,268 4.57/£2,742
ppm/60k total

BY PHILL TROMANS
The A4 is one of a bastion of vehicles synonymous with fleets and the company car. It has been a firm favourite since its launch in 1994, and now the new generation has arrived. The new A4 is a recognisable evolution of the outgoing model and, let’s face it, most of the A4s before that. Audi has always erred on the cautious side when it comes to restyling its cars, but that’s not to say that the new look is a dull one. It’s subtle but stylish, with some well-placed lines and neat little touches. The headlights have a slightly mean-looking frown, accentuated by the optional LED running lights (£1,100 with the Xenon Plus headlight kit), while the rising creases running from front to rear break up the flanks and give the car a sleeker appearance. This is a good thing, as the new A4 is wider and longer than its predecessor, although it is lower. The interior is a benchmark in quality. The seats could use a bit more lateral and lumbar support, but everything feels robust and well made, from the switchgear to the type of plastics used. This is mirrored in the driving experience. Audis aren’t usually exhilarating behind the wheel, but not much can beat them for an indomitable feeling of safety and solidity. The new 2.0-litre TDI engine

FACT FILE
P11D value £23,775 CO2 emissions (g/km) 144 BIK % of P11D in 2008 19% Graduated VED rate £115 Insurance group 12 Combined mpg 51.4 CAP RV (3yr/60k) £11,275/47% Monthly lease (3yr/60k) £434 Stylish but subtle ✔ ■ Plenty of standard kit ■ ■ Economical ■ Solid as a rock

■ High SMR costs ■ Seats lack support

packs 143bhp and 236lb-ft of torque, which makes for smooth and decisive acceleration and the A4 reaches 62mph from rest in 9.4 seconds. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, which is one of the car’s highlights. All recent Audis that we’ve tried have been a treat to change gear in and the new A4 continues to set benchmarks for the opposition. Not too light, not too clunky; it’s just right and makes us wonder

why some rival manufacturers are so far behind in this area. Fuel consumption is also impressive, with an official combined figure of 51.3mpg. The A4 is not a small car, but during our time with it we averaged a whisker under 50mpg on the motorway and never dipped below 42mpg, even when crawling through London traffic. Carbon dioxide is emitted at a rate of 144g/km, which puts it in the 19% benefit-in-kind tax band. The cost of the SE model we tested is £23,775, which is on a par with rivals such as the BMW 318d ES and Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI SE. As standard, you get 17-inch alloys, Audi’s Concert audio system, complete with a 6.5-inch colour screen and 10 speakers, as well as automatic headlights, rear view mirror and wipers. Parking sensors, ESP and climate control are also included. Drivers seeking thrills from their wheels need not apply, but those who value quality of build and a relaxed driving experience should take a look at the new A4.

to needing attention at some point between 9,000 and 19,000 miles.

FUEL COST
Once again EfficientDynamics helps the BMW top the chart. Its fuelsaving technology returns a claimed 60.1mpg average economy to give a fuel spend of under £5,000 over 60,000 miles. The Audi returns 318d A4 C200 S60 7.48/£4,488 8.74/£5,244 9.06/£5,436 10.50/£6,300

51.4mpg, the C200 CDI 49.6mpg and the Volvo a lowish 42.8mpg.

DEPRECIATION COST
As the newest kid on the block, the Audi has the strongest residual value predictions, with a CAP estimate of 47% after three years/ 60,000 miles. The next newest car, the C-Class, will retain 44% and the A4 C200 318d S60 21.62/£12,972 22.82/£13,692 22.95/£13,770 25.21/£15,126

BMW 41%. The ageing Volvo is outclassed here, retaining just 31%.

WHOLELIFE COST
The BMW wins with an advantage of almost one pence per mile over the A4. At just under 34ppm, the 318d will cost £20,400 to run over a typical fleet life. The Audi will cost £21,000. The C-Class is closer to the 318d A4 C200 S60 33.96/£20,376 34.93/£20,958 35.62/£21,372 39.49/£23,694

class leader than it used to be, but the Volvo is outclassed again.

VERDICT
We’ll discount the Volvo first – it’s an ageing model which simply doesn’t have the badge cachet to compete directly with the established German premium trio. Of these three, it’s very hard to separate them in emotional terms. The Mercedes-Benz is a handsome car, the Audi is impeccably built and very stylish, while the 318d is the choice of drivers thanks to its handling and engine. But rationally it is easier to pick a winner, and it is the BMW which retains its crown in this test thanks to its superior on-paper running cost performance.

■ WINNER: BMW 318d ES www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 31

SPECIAL FEATURE: 30TH ANNIVERSARY

I am 30!
he year is 1978. Margaret Thatcher has yet to wield her handbag across the British political, industrial and social landscape, a strikeridden British Leyland is hoping that the Austin Princess will challenge the best-selling Ford Cortina, Angela Rippon presents a new programme called Top Gear and nobody can quite believe that Olivia Newton John got into those trousers in the year’s hit film Grease. And, of course, Fleet News is launched, the brainchild of two brothers, Bill and Ross Jackson, following a conversation with an accountant who was saddled with trying to run his company’s fleet with no expertise.

A look back at the changing face of fleet
As Fleet News celebrates its 30th birthday, let’s look at how the industry has evolved since the first issue

T

BY STEVE MOODY

Fleet News was born out of what many people see as the birth of the fleet industry, when Jim Callaghan’s pay freeze in the 1970s inspired firms to offer cars as a substitute for wages. In fact, companies supplying cars to employees had been around for decades, evidenced by the foundation of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association in 1967. Ford dominated the car market with its Essex-built Cortina, which sold 139,204 cars in 1978, and Escort, which racked up 114,415 units. The third best-seller – the Morris Marina – managed more than 30,000 fewer registrations than the Escort. For these cars, and for the lucky company car driver, a 1.6-litre engine managing 60bhp, 30mpg and some fetching brown

FleetNews
vinyl was about the best that could be expected. The fleet market was also much smaller, totalling around 500,000 new cars a year – about 15-20% of overall sales – rather than the 50%-plus of today. It was also very different for fleet managers, and its change reflects the way British society itself has shifted away from grimy industry to shiny corporations. For the fleet manager of 1978, Fleet News provided very different information on very similar subjects. High on any list of important issues for fleet managers now are financing vehicles and controlling running costs, and indeed the first issue of Fleet News reflects this. But like the two lead characters from television show Life on Mars, who are both out to catch criminals but with hugely varying methods, the fleet manager of 30 years ago needed a very different approach to today. The DCI Gene Hunt approach of the 1970s was hands-on, and the same could be said of the 1978 fleet manager – hopefully without the flying fists workplace and sexism – rather than the more cerebral Sam Tyler approach of 2008. For example, most fleet managers, many of whom had been engineers, bought and sold their own cars, which meant having industry contacts at both points of supply and disposal, an understanding of the market and what

THE CONCEPT OF WHOLELIFE COSTS WAS ALMOST UNHEARD OF

In 1978 – the year in which Fleet News was launched – the Ford Cortina was the bestselling car, with 139,204 registrations

was selling where, and for what, and getting the cars to market. Editorial in Fleet News dedicated a lot of column inches towards examining used prices, trends and results from auctions. A fleet manager today has less need to concern themselves with actual used prices, and has more often than not come from an administration or accountancy background. With the majority of cars contract hired, that risk and administration is dealt with by the leasing company. A knowledge of used prices is helpful in ensuring you’re going to be getting competitive rental rates from a supplier, but rarely are they as crucial to day to day fleet management life as in 1978. This more cerebral approach to the running of a car can be seen in the fact that the concept of wholelife costs was almost unheard of, with digital storage and communication way off. Instead, economic analysis was less of a decisive factor in fleet purchase, with emotive issues of what the boss wanted as a car, and what you could get hold of, a major influence. Indeed, in 1978 the then-editor of Fleet News Don Penny suggested the idea of a table of costs for cars, but ran into problems getting the project off the ground because it would have required a full time group of continued on page 34

32 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

When Fleet News arrived in March 1978 it went to some lengths to explain what it was and who it was for. It’s interesting to note that the very first front page announced it was for managing directors and chief executives. A front page comment, speaking directly to heads of companies, reminded them that the fleet operation was their responsibility. A cartoon rams the message home. Thirty years later many fleet managers are still trying to get through to senior executives and win the support of the board. Has Fleet News failed to get its message across, or is some senior management extraordinarily slow on the uptake?

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 33

SPECIAL FEATURE: 30TH ANNIVERSARY
continued from page 32 people calculating the figures. Fleet departments often didn’t have calculators and computers were non-existent. To lease a Ford Cortina 1600L from Dial Contracts would cost £16.38 a week for a 20,000 milesa-year contract. The best-selling fleet car, the Cortina 1600 GL, cost £3,423 new, while the price of a gallon of four star was 82p. But everybody knows the price of living is massively different to 30 years ago. The essential difference between the job of fleet manager, seen through the pages of Fleet News, now and then is in the amount of time spent on issues of people, rather than car management. In 1978, a fleet manager was mainly concerned with the state of the metal and keeping it chugging along. For a fleet manager now, the key focus is the person inside it. Risk management was a non-existent subject on the pages of Fleet News and only started to become an issue in 1983, with the advent of the law requiring all drivers to wear a seatbelt. Odd, when you consider that having an accident in a Cortina or similar metal box ▲ Helplines had appeared by 1989, just part of the support given by the paper to the fleet manager. Recognition came in the shape of the Fleet News Awards, the first ever, held at the Hilton Hotel in London. Jim Barnett from Philips Electronics was the first Fleet Manager of the Year. The first awards categories featured an environmental award which made a welcome return for the 2008 event. Away from the celebrations, drivers were contemplating the prospect of petrol at £2 a gallon and a “national insurance” catch for lower-paid drivers receiving private fuel.

RISK MANAGEMENT WAS A NON-EXISTENT SUBJECT ON THE PAGES OF FLEET NEWS

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metallic paint at extra cost (£500). Prices are correct at time of going to print and are subject to change without notice. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offers may be varied or withdrawn at any time. *3 Day Test Drive vehicles Bank Holidays. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training purposes.

from the 1970s was more likely to put you in a wooden box. Now, most of a fleet manager’s time is spent ensuring their drivers are safe and that they are served with everything necessary from the company to comply with duty of care. Policy. Strategy. Compliance. Then there’s the latest subject unheard of to the fleet manager of 1978 – environmental impact. A fleet manager of the 1970s would assume carbon footprint was a new prog rock band. Life on Mars indeed.
British Leyland launched its Ford Cortina challenger – the Austin Princess – in 1978

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott brought some humour to this front page from 1998, squeezed into a Honda concept car that he went on to crash. “Two Jags” continued to loom large in the paper until 2007. The Fleet News website, formerly known as Fleet NewsNet, had been launched in 1996 and the address (confusingly www.automotive.co.uk) sat under the masthead. That year’s Fleet Motor Show had its own radio station, Fleet FM. In many ways this was the forerunner of our modern-day internet podcasts. More than 10,000 people attended the four-day event at Donington Park.

Ever the fleet managers’ champion, this front page from 2002 tackles the two groups responsible for most fleet managers’ headaches – the government and the drivers of their own fleets. By now the fleet industry had developed into a formidable lobby. Both the fleet operators’ association ACFO and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) were calling on the new transport secretary Alistair Darling to be honest, transparent and prevent the introduction of the London congestion charge. Drivers weren’t checking their oil. Plus ça change ...

Driven by kings, presidents and rock stars.
(And a spec that’s legendary too.)
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CADILLAC. THE STUFF OF LEGEND.

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Models illustrated include are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply. Please refer to the 3 Day Test Drive voucher for details. Programme is for 25+ fleets and is available for Mainland UK only. Phone lines are open from 8.00am-6.00pm Monday-Friday excluding

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

THE FLEET NEWS INTERVIEW:

TONY
BY RALPH MORTON

All in One has made a rapid entry into the FN50, but its managing director has set his sights higher
“Don’t get me wrong. We planned to be there, but not necessarily in our first nine months. It’s a significant milestone.” Start-ups need to be ambitious. They also need financial stability. However, All in One has the backing of the UK Car Group, the largest independent used car retailer in Britain. A family-run business since 1951, the UK Car Group trades as Carcraft, selling 50,000 used vehicles a year. And this, reckons Tony, is a key to All in One’s offering to fleet managers. “We have a cradle to grave approach,” he says. “We buy new, operate and maintain the vehicles inlife, and finally remarket them through our own channels. It means we cut out the disposal costs, which gives us a considerable advantage.” It’s certainly a very different proposition. Most of the large leasing companies are gravitating towards auction houses to dispose of their cars and have ditched owned used car outlets in favour of the services offered by BCA and Manheim. So should – and can – fleet managers trust such a minnow of the FN50 to deliver in the face of such giants? “I think the fact that our holding company is familyowned and has been in the automotive business for 55 years suggests a continuity of intent sadly lacking in some competitors,” comes the robust response. “Because we own our used car outlets we can be bold on residual values. Our leasing rate benchmarks against Insight data (www.derwentdata.com) show we’re on the right side of value for any customer. “We have a suite of products for the small and medium enterprise market as well as the mid-sector 100 to 500-vehicle market that includes driver licence checking, online reporting and accident management. We also have the flexibility to rewrite contracts to reflect changed mileage parameters and national agreements on labour rates.” The company has six regional sales managers for bigger fleets; a direct telesales team for small businesses after-value propositions; and a network of brokers. The company also has a dedicated van website, Van Leasing Direct. In particular, it’s the sales team that Tony sees as All in One’s key differentiator. “A sales manager will ‘own’ the relationship with a customer,” explains Tony. “Our remuneration policy allows the manager to invest in that relationship. It’s this superior customer service that larger contract hire companies often struggle with. “It’s a difficult market and it’s not easy competing against the larger brands. So the proposition has to be compelling just to get through the door. But once there, customers realise our guys know what they’re talking about. We’re a family-owned business – those values permeate throughout the entire company.” Williams says the company is currently writing between 150 and 200 contracts a month. But All in One won’t stop there, according to Williams, who plans to put the company in the FN50 top 30 with a fleet of at least 30,000. “We want to be a meaningful supplier in the contract and lease management industry,” he says. It seems Jon Walden won’t require those binoculars for too much longer. If all goes to plan, All in One will loom rather larger in the FN50.

J

on Walden would probably need a pair of binoculars. Even then, the boss of the UK’s number one contract hire company might wonder if he was looking through the wrong end of his glasses from the top of the Lex tower. Far, far down below, near the bottom of the FN50 chart, is All in One Leasing. Who, you might ask? It’s a name that made quite an entrance. Now at 47 in the FN50, following an impressive debut at 50 in the hall of fame last year, All in One only commenced trading at the beginning of 2006. Of course, the company has been assisted up the ladder by the volume of contract hire company mergers in the leasing industry. As other names have disappeared from the leasing landscape, so smaller players have been sucked up the league table. But to appear, blinking into the glare of the FN50 spotlight in its first year, provided some indication of the company’s progress. It now has some 300 customers and a fleet of 1,500 vehicles. “Reaching the FN50 came as a pleasant surprise,” says Tony Williams, All in One managing director.

36 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

A BRIEF HISTORY
With a head office base in Rochdale, Lancashire, All in One Leasing was launched in early 2006 as the contract hire and vehicle funding subsidiary of UK Car Group. The holding company has a strong automotive background. Trading as Carcraft, which was established in 1951, it is now the UK’s leading group of independent used car hypermarkets, selling 50,000 used cars a year.

WILLIAMS’ WAY
Tony began working in 1984 at Chartered Trust’s leasing division ACL before moving to Masterhire, Vauxhall’s leasing division, in 1988. There, Tony’s first task was to put into place the foundations of the company which saw it grow into the FN50’s top 10. With the integration of Masterhire and Interleasing (now Masterlease) Tony headed off to the European operation director’s post at Dent Wizard (2002). He joined LeasePlan in 2004, before helping set up All in One Leasing at the end of 2005.

CUSTOMER COUNTERPOINT
Car Crash Line is a vehicle hire company that specialises in accident management claims, providing both insurance and trade replacement vehicles. The company has 6,000 vehicles on its fleet which are all financed by non-risk methods – either contract hire or manufacturer buy-back. Car Crash Line has 10% of its fleet with All in One Leasing. Car Crash Line fleet director Adrian Hayter said: “We have a very specialist funding requirement, because we only want to hold our vehicles for 12 months. The traditional leasing companies are only interested in two to four-year leases. All in One was able to take a very proactive view on this sort of funding because it has the backing of Carcraft. “The used car supermarkets provide a ready market for these cars when they come back at the end of the lease period.”

ALL IN ONE’S TOP 10 CARS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Vauxhall Corsa Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Touran Volvo S40 Ford Mondeo Volkswagen Passat BMW 3-Series SEAT Leon Renault Clio Vauxhall Astra

‘WE’RE A FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS – THOSE VALUES PERMEATE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE COMPANY’
www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 37

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: NETWORKING

Networking best way to improve your knowledge
Opportunities from regional meetings to major events exist for developing new contacts
BY EMMA COOPER
he fleet industry is undergoing constant change. Managers have to keep up to date with legislation and consider a wide range of issues – risk management, duty of care, costs and going green, to name just a few. And there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution in fleet. If you’re new to fleet, the industry can appear complex, limitless and downright scary. Experienced operators know that the best way to get started and develop your fleet expertise is to build up a network of colleagues and industry contacts and to get involved in the fleet community, but even that first step can seem rather daunting. “A fleet manager or fleet operator’s role really can be a very lonely one, especially if you’re the only person in your organisation that has that job,” says Julie Jenner, chairman of the fleet operators’ association ACFO.

T

“You might think, where do you start, who do you turn to? It’s imperative to have a network of contacts on hand.” Debbie Floyde, fleet manager at Bauer Automotive, agrees. “I don’t think there’s anything better than getting out there and networking to improve your fleet knowledge,” she says. “Speaking to others is the best way to get advice on best practice.” If you’re not sure whether to brave a large industry conference straightaway then ACFO regional meetings can provide a gentler introduction to fleet. “ACFO meetings are relaxed and informal and will give you more confidence at larger events,” says Alan Miles, fleet manager for the Royal National Institute for the Blind. “They’re one of the best ongoing ways to network. You’re not under pressure to actively participate but managers have that common background.” Managers will find networking opportunities if they choose to go

down a more formal route, such as taking a diploma with the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM). As part of the institute’s fast-track learning scheme candidates work together in small groups and are encouraged to network during their modules. “Networking is critically important which is why we continually mix up the groups as part of our training programme,” says ICFM director of education and training James Langley. Alan Miles believes manufacturer launches and hospitality events offer a more relaxed starting point for networking, rather than formal presentations. “Manufacturers’ driving days or events such as Company Car in Action are a good way to meet managers and suppliers. They’re relaxed events where you all get involved,” he says. These kind of events are also easier on the company purse, as Debbie Floyde points out: “Smaller fleet managers might find it hard to get the funding to go out to industry events. In that case take advantage of manufacturer launches and hospitality.” If you do want to jump straight in and head off to a large industry event then you need to know which one to choose. “Pick an event like the Fleet News Risk in Fleet conference that covers a range of issues, rather than a more specialised one,” advises Julie Jenner. And the cardinal rule, when faced with a room full of unknown suits, is to just get talking. “If you’re new to fleet or haven’t been to many events you should never be afraid to speak to other managers. It is scary if you’re at a large event and don’t know anyone, but we’re all in the same industry. Most managers are happy to help,” says Debbie Floyde.

YOU SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID TO SPEAK TO OTHER MANAGERS

It’s also advisable to consider the conference topics before you arrive and think of a game plan and who you would like to speak to during the day. “The first thing I do at an event is grab a delegate list and scout people out,” says James Langley. But if you are still unsure then try talking to the event organisers and see if they can put you in the direction of fleet managers who can introduce you around.

NETWORKING TIPS
■ Join a fleet organisation such as ACFO or the ICFM. ■ Take advantage of manufacturer and supplier hospitality. ■ Pick a diverse conference that is relevant to you. ■ If you’re nervous, talk to the organisers. ■ Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and start asking questions.

“There will be somebody there with a fleet similar to yours who is happy to share their knowledge,” says Nigel Trotman, fleet manager for Whitbread. “It’s just a case of trying to start up a conversation – “How big is your fleet?” is always a good question to break the ice. He also suggests new managers look for events with question and answer sessions, to get your queries answered quickly and to get your face known. “Break-out sessions, like those at the FN50, are good. Everybody’s on the same level and you’re encouraged to participate – if you speak out, people will talk to you more. “Don’t be afraid to talk to others – we all want everybody else to succeed.”

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 39

Recruitment
01235 536440 www.steele-dixon.co.uk
New Business Manager Maintenance Controller Business Development Mgr Fleet Account Manager

Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com

Brighter future
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To apply for the above vacancies or to have a confidential conversation regarding your recruitment needs email your current CV to jeremy@steele-dixon.co.uk or call 01235 536440.

IS NOW THE TIME FOR A CAREER CHANGE?
CBC Recruitment Solutions are one of the UK’s leading recruiters to the finance and leasing industry and over the past 10 years have successfully supported many of the most well known Contract Hire, Manufacturer and Rental companies throughout the UK.

Are you ready to push your career forward? Regional Sales Manager – Midlands – Southern This banking organisation are looking for talented contract hire professionals with or without management experience to help support their new growth plans. Corporate Business Development Managers – Southern Various FN Top 20 companies looking to secure driven individuals with or without fleet and contract hire experience. Broker Specialists – Nationwide This sector is seeing fantastic growth and we have a number of opportunities in Account Management and New Business across the country to work within these well known Contract Hire broker teams. Bank Introduced Fleet BDM – South East One of the UK’s leading contract hire providers is looking to further develop their relationship with this banking group. If you have experience in Asset Finance or Contract Hire and are very corporate then this has strong career and earnings potential.
These are just a few of the many opportunities within the leasing and finance industry. Please call for more information.
For a confidential discussion and to establish what opportunities are available, contact Mark Lyons on 0161 486 0011 or email mlyons@cbcrs.co.uk CBC Recruitment Solutions, The Cornerstone, Oak Green, Stanley Green Business Park, Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle, Cheshire SK8 6QL. www.cbcrs.co.uk

Recruitment Solutions

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A L A S TA I R A M E S
always the right person for the job

To view a variety of current positions visit our website www.alastairames.co.uk or ring for details. Tel 0207 917 1855 Fax 0207 917 1856 alastair@alastairames.co.uk 211 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1V 9LD

Specialist Search and Selection

40 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

Your views, your queries, your chance to get involved
FLEET CV
Jane EdgworthLane Transport manager Mitie Pest Control

Businesses neglect employee checks
BY EMMA COOPER
Many businesses are not doing enough to verify the legality of their employees, placing companies at risk of fines and legal action, according to a new study. A joint survey by BusinessZone. co.uk and HRZone.co.uk found that 34% of small businesses have no procedures in place to check whether employees are eligible to work in the UK. Large organisations with dedicated HR departments are also overlooking legal status, with 37% delaying their checks until after a candidate has accepted a job offer. Under the 2006 Asylum and Nationality Act, companies could face a £10,000 fine for every illegal worker they employ. Employers and managers should carry out regular document checks to avoid falling foul of the legislation. Laura Mitchell, of Clarion Solicitors, said: “It is a real concern that such a high proportion of businesses do not have a consistent policy in place to verify the legality of their workers, particularly given the consequences of non-compliance. “Employers who fail to check the legality of their workers do so at their own risk.”

Find your favourite s
Letters – p43

A reader has welcomed the call for traffic wardens to show discretion over fines, but feels the penalty system is in need of change.

Describe your fleet. We have 100 vehicles – 15 cars and 85 vans, all purchased outright. What advice would you give to someone starting in the fleet industr y? Listen and learn as much as you can from colleagues and others within the industry and be prepared to change some of your working habits. What is your greatest challenge at work? Keeping everything up to date and ensuring we get the best from our vehicle technicians. What is your biggest achievement at work? During the fuel shortages in 2005, I was able to provide an information map of all the areas where fuel was available and was the point of contact for up to 30 companies. How is the fleet industr y changing? The industry is always changing and now we have more green concerns. We respect our vehicles more, as well as the impact they have on the environment. What do you do to relax? I love interior design and have done both my own houses and those of my friends.

Helplines – p45

Many of our drivers are on the road for most of the day. What should I include in a guide about coping with fatigue?

First car – p47
A high number of firms do not carry out staff legality checks

APPOINTMENTS

■ email: fleetnews@emap.com

Paton named Brown joins CAP CV Monitor forecast manager as chairman CAP has appointed Ken Brown ascompany’s Monitorfor commercial vehicles. Mr Brown will head the valuation tool
and will be responsible for maintaining and developing the service for the UK truck and van market. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the commercial vehicle sector.

Nigel Trotman, of Whitbread Group, harks back to his “boy racer” days.

Bill Paton has been named as chairman of quality assessment at research centre Thatcham. He will chair the company’s board of motor insurers, overseeing research developments in automotive security and crash repairs. Mr Paton is currently chief claims officer for Zurich Financial Services.

Competition – p47

Stevens takes Cars Direct role
Corby-based online vehicle remarketing specialist Cars Direct has named Carol Stevens as national sales and marketing manager. She will be responsible for managing future growth and will liaise with customers to identify new business, as well as improving the company’s brand awareness. Previously, she was vehicle remarketing manager at BCA.
Three laptop locks worth £35 each are up for grabs.

Lloyds TSB appoint head of HR
Sue Lincoln has been made head of human resources at Lloyds TSB Autolease. She will be responsible for the company’s recruitment and retention policies, talent management and in-house training. Ms Lincoln has been with the company for more than 10 years.

Job of the week
CBC RECRUITMENT Various positions, various locations p40

SETTLING IN
Sarah Brading Human resources manager epyx

How was your first day? Great – everyone was very friendly and welcoming. How does your new role var y from your last job? People are the same wherever you work. However, epyx has a very enlightened attitude to the activities that I carry out.

What challenges have you faced so far? Although I have worked in HR in the IT arena for many years, one of my challenges has been to immerse myself in – and gain greater knowledge and understanding of – the fleet industry. I’m definitely learning.

What are you working on at the moment? If I told you, I think I’d have to shoot you. . . How is the fleet industr y changing? I believe that with the economy showing signs of beginning to become increasingly tight, fleets

will be looking for ways of running more efficiently the same or smaller levels of business – perhaps with the help of some specialist automotive software. What item could you not live without? My car, of course.

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 41

Recruitment Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com
A more individual approach A more individual approach

From an office/home base in the Midlands, the successful candidate will be responsible for opening new Contract Hire corporate accounts. This is an exciting opportunity to join a significant, well established and fast growing Contract Hire business with great career growth potential.

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Executive Search – Selection – Due Diligence
Every Automotive and finance business is different, even those that sell the same product or service; in recognition of this will open recruitment bring you your individual people needs? Using over 40 years automotive and finance Industry experience together with our growing presence in the recruitment sector means, not only can we meet our clients' requirements in our marketplace, but maintain a results-orientated relationship based on our ability to be flexible, fast paced and informed. We are motivated by finding tomorrows leaders for our industry, both for our clients and ourselves.
Please contact us to set an exploratory meeting

Our client, an FN top 20 Contract Hire business is seeking a Fleet Services Manager.Managing a team of 8 Maintenance Controllers in authorising dealer repairs on contract hire vehicles as well as planning and implementing a maintenance strategy which includes the use of “1 link” platforms.

Fleet Services Manager – Tyne and Wear £30k Basic + Bonus, Benefits.

Something quite different - the ideal candidate will have a full understanding of asset finance products including contract hire and ideally daily rental vehicles. Working from a home base but with National support to provide funding for major fleets. As a well established Bank brand, our client can offer successful people, real career growth opportunities. Enquiries@Nicholasrecruitment.co.uk For a confidential discussion ask for Derek Webb on TEL:01889 591554 For on line application and more vacancies go to

BDM – Finance, Large Ticket- M4 Corridor £30k Basic + OTE + Bank Benefits

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LETTERS

■ Email: fleetnews@emap.com. Please include name, job title, company and address

Interface
Glaringly obvious solution
The article about what drivers do to reduce rear view glare caused me considerable alarm (March 6). Don’t these drivers know about that handy little lever which can be found at the bottom of the rear view mirror? If one was to move the lever it actually ‘dims’ the rear view, thereby reducing the amount of light reflected from vehicles behind. What a clever invention. And it’s only been fitted to production cars for the last, oh, 20 or so years! Any driver who doesn’t read his or her vehicle handbook to find this out deserves to be dazzled.

Don’t rush into AMAP rates change
I read with interest the article from Fleet Audits suggesting the majority of employees using their own car on business travel are not out of pocket (fleetnews. co.uk, March 6). This is far from the case and it depends on what you measure the ‘cost’ to be. It is the view of Fleet Audits that the employee would already have incurred the cost of purchasing and insuring their vehicle and therefore the ‘cost’ is only the additional cost of the business journey. On this basis, many employees would not be out of pocket with a reimbursement of 40p per mile. This, though, is not how the legislation designed the arrangement and the ‘cost’ being reimbursed is the total cost of running that business journey. On this basis, unless an employee uses a small car then the 40p would be insufficient to meet their costs. It must be remembered that there are a significant number of employees who claim AMAP relief and any change to this will not be considered popular. In real terms, the relief is significantly reduced from what was permitted prior to 2002. The real issue is how can the Government propose any change when it does not know the impact of that change? I hope the Government will undertake a proper assessment of the position for any proposal to change are introduced.

Long hours fault of greedy bosses
I have just read the article by Emma Cooper on long hours causing absenteeism (March 6). It has always baffled me why office people work over their stipulated hours without getting paid anything extra. If it was factory work or similar, overtime would be applied for and paid. Targets depend on sales of the product produced. If the buyers aren’t interested in that particular product for a month or two, then all the pressure in the world won’t change it. The situation often changes from month to month. The pressure is caused because the owners are greedy for more sales. They are never satisfied with a comfortable profit – they always want more. As a result, managers suffer the long hours trying to work out how to increase the target figures. They then make themselves ill in the process.

The best manager along with the best junior clerk/shop floor worker can still be struck off the payroll at a stroke by the powers that be. People should prioritise and have a routine which then allows for the emergencies and unplanned meetings. They should keep meetings short and avoid issues being repeated. Make sure the other

people understand what is required first time. Some companies have meetings every day of the week with the same people. This has to be a waste of time. With all industries I would say: make sure the product is good and it will sell on its own merits.

SUE COTTER Fine Tubes

RON BACKHOUSE Fleet support clerical officer, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Annoyed at lack of right to appeal
I was pleased to read your article regarding the relaxation of parking enforcement (March 6). We have seen a huge increase in the number of parking penalty charges in the last year. But the worst involved Stevenage. A ticket was received on December 7 and an appeal lodged on the same day. On January 10 the appeal was dismissed. A cheque for £30 was sent on the same day. On January 31 we received a notice of underpayment (for not paying within 14 days), so we wrote back spelling out the details of the case. On February 14 an enforcement notice arrived demanding an additional £30 or court action would ensue. We had no option for further appeal or to represent our case. I responded on each occasion on the same day. Most annoying was the lack of a right to appeal, and the complete lack of commonsense. The lesson is – stay away from Stevenage!

ALASTAIR KENDRICK Bourne Business Consulting LLP

DAVID FOOTITT Managing director, NEWS Transport

ONLINE POLL
Are you following the Budget on the Fleet News website? 100 80 If so, while you’re there, vote “yes” in 60 the online vote. Click on the button 40 at the bottom left of the homepage. Add 20 your comments to stories online too at 0 Fleetnews.co.uk

FleetNews
LAST WEEK’S POLL
This is a heck of a week for Fleet News. Our 20th annual awards ceremony was held on Monday night and Wednesday was Budget day. In order to get the newspaper posted to you on Tuesday/Wednesday every week, we send it to the printer on Monday night. But on Monday night we were part of a 1,400-strong audience at the Grosvenor House Hotel, organising a photo for the front page of this issue. Thanks to a big effort from our production team and the printer, we made it. But an event on a Wednesday presents an

COMMENT
impossible challenge. We can’t hold the presses for two days, yet the fleet industry needs to know what the chancellor’s announcements mean. Thank goodness for the internet. The Fleet News website at www.fleetnews.co.uk is 12 years old but we’re only just starting to get the most out of it. Our Budget coverage online just gets better. New stories are posted immediately, giving you the news and reaction as it comes in to us. Our email news alerts and next week’s newspaper will back it all up with analysis. Now we need a lie down.

Does your company pay your drivers’ parking fines?

7%
YES

93%
NO

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HELPLINE

■ Do you have a problem with your fleet? Email: fleetnews@emap.com

Interface
CAR SHARING

DRUG TESTING

I read in Fleet News that fleet managers are being advised to carr y out compulsor y drug tests on all their drivers. I agree with the sentiment but I think if I suggested this to some of our more senior people I would have a riot on my hands. Can I legally impose drug testing on my drivers and if not, how can I persuade them to take part in such a scheme willingly?

Q

Getting staff to accept a drug testing policy
to have a detailed drugs policy (which could also include alcohol) in place to make it clear how the company will deal with drink and drug abuse. As a starting point it would be a good idea to ensure employees are made aware either in their contracts of employment or in the company’s drugs and alcohol policy that testing will be carried out. If the company also wants to search employees for drugs the right to do so should be included in their contracts of employment. The company needs to give careful consideration as to whether the policy should apply to all employees, or specific groups of employees. For example, it may be more difficult for the company to justify random drug testing on
It is advisable for fleets to have a detailed drugs policy in place

Q A

I read that the Government is tr ying to encourage car-sharing. I have suggested this to some of my drivers but they just don’t want to know. Any ideas how I can get them interested? This is a very common problem and my suggestion would be that you firstly promote the benefits of car sharing – the primary one being the reduction in fuel costs and then to incentivise the drivers in some way. I appreciate this can be a problem in itself as most fleets do not have the budget to offer incentives but if you can offer a financial bonus to those who cooperate over a set period you might be on the way to a reduction in both costs and carbon footprint. With the escalation in fuel prices if two employees shared travel equally over a month they will both be 50% better off in fuel expenditure! This will obviously only be of benefit to office-based employees, the geographical logistics involved in those in field related roles making car sharing an nonviable concept. Communication via global email with maybe a weekly update of those drivers prepared to share cars and from which locations may assist your efforts.

A

You cannot carry out drug tests on employees without first obtaining their consent. To do otherwise would amount to a criminal assault and could lead to an employee resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. It is advisable for the company

employees who only have administrative duties. Persuading employees to take part in drug testing may not be easy. The company should therefore undergo a period of consultation with employees, during which it can explain why testing is being introduced and address any concerns employees have.

The company should stress that it has an obligation to provide a safe place of work and to comply with health and safety legislation and that drug testing is one way of doing this.

PHILIP SOMARAKIS Senior solicitor, Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons

INSURANCE POLICIES

Q

One of our drivers had his car keys stolen when his house was burgled but the car was left untouched. We had to replace all the keys at considerable cost but our insurance company won’t pay for this as they say

the policy only covers the car itself. Is this usual practice?

A

The Schedule of the Motor Insurance Policy should stipulate whether the loss or theft of keys is covered while not in or on the insured vehicle. However, there may be a

clause stating that the insurers would not be liable for any replacement costs where it can reasonably be expected that the keys or lock transmitter are in the possession of any person likely to know the identity of the garaging address of the vehicle. With regard to the household

insurance cover, the policy terms and conditions should specify if the house keys only are covered.

SUZANNE TIFFANY Insurance officer, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service

DEBBIE FLOYDE Fleet manager, Bauer Automotive

DRIVER FATIGUE

Q

Many of our drivers are on the road for most of the day. I know fatigue and tiredness are both factors in driver safety and want to supply more information to drivers to help spot the signs before it’s too late. I’m planning to produce a guide on our company intranet site – what should I include in it? You are right to focus on this as one element of your fleet risk management programme, because fatigue is a killer. Research suggests that as many as one in five collisions, and maybe more, are related to driver tiredness. According to the Victorian Transport Accident Commission in Australia, many crashes happen in the early stages of

A

fatigue, rather than when motorists actaully fell asleep at the wheel. Its experts urge drivers and their passengers to look out for symptoms of fatigue, including: ■ frequent yawning ■ heavy or sore eyes ■ slow reactions ■ daydreaming or inability to fully concentrate ■ driving speed creeping up or down ■ impatience ■ poor gear changes ■ feeling stiff or cramped. Drivers planning long trips or spending lots of time on the road should: ■ get a good night’s sleep the night before heading off ■ not make any plans to travel when they would normally be sleeping ■ not travel for more than eight

to 10 hours in any one day ■ not drink any alcohol before or during the trip ■ drink lots of water ■ share the driving where possible ■ take a break at least every two hours ■ stop in a safe place and take a 15-minute powernap at the first signs of fatigue. More local objective sources of information on fatigue, and general fleet risk management, are provided by the Department for Transport (www.dft.gov.uk/ drivingforwork) and by the road safety charity Brake (www.brake. org.uk).

DR WILL MURRAY Research director, www.virtualriskmanager. net and www.fleetsafetybenchmarking.net

Driver fatigue is a contributory factor in around a fifth of accidents

www.fleetnews.co.uk 13.03.08 45

Fleet services
Leasing

Call Dee Kennedy: 01733 468275 email: dee.kennedy@emap.com

If you would like to advertise on this page call Dee Kennedy on 01733 468275
Contract Hire Software

Open The ToolBox at chevinfleet.com

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46 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

CHEVIN
FLEET SOLUTIONS

AND FINALLY...

You couldn’t make it up...
Real-life stories about your fleet’s dimwit drivers

Interface
CONTACT US
Fleet News, incorporating Company Car, is published by Bauer Automotive, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Phone 01733 468000. Fax 01733 468296. Email fleetnews@emap.com

One of our drivers was having an affair and used to park his big Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van outside the same house every day when he should have been at work. The owner of the house complained it was always there from 9am to 11am and it was blocking his view when he tried to get his car out of the drive. Our vans are covered in the company name, logos and telephone number. This made me laugh at the time and still does – discretion is definitely not that driver’s middle name.

Email stories about your drivers to fleetnews@emap.com All entries published will remain anonymous. If yours is chosen you’ll receive £10.

EDITOR Martyn Moore 01733 468024 martyn.moore@emap.com DEPUTY EDITOR Julian Kirk 01733 468308 julian.kirk@emap.com NEWS EDITOR Daniel Attwood 01733 468294 daniel.attwood@emap.com SECTION EDITOR Adele Barry (currently on maternity leave) MOTORING WRITER Phill Tromans 01733 468314 phill.tromans@emap.com REPORTER Emma Cooper 01733 468309 emma.cooper@emap.com SUPPLEMENTS EDITOR/EVENTS John Maslen 01733 468307 john.maslen@emap.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Steve Moody steve.moody@emap.com

EDITORIAL

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EVENTS
BRAKE FORUM: ROAD SAFETY AND BRANDING March 27, National Social Marketing Centre, London. www.brake.org.uk

NEWS QUIZ

Three laptop locks to be won
For a chance to win, answer the following questions, based on articles in this week’s Fleet News. 1 Who has signed a new contract with Nobilas UK? 2 What are the CO2 emissions of the Audi A4 2.0 TDI SE? 3 Who is the new forecast manager for commercial vehicles at CAP? Last week’s winner of a Road Angel sat-nav system was Jessica Lloyd, of Dorset Police.

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Ian Warrington 01733 468583 KEY ACCOUNT DIRECTORS Laurence Hagger 01733 468273 Andy Smith 01733 468339 Peter Millis 01733 468268 Sheryl Graham 01733 468256 PROJECT MANAGER Leanne Patterson 01733 468332 TELESALES MANAGER Penny Care 01733 468375 RECRUITMENT EXECUTIVE Daniel Bragg 01733 468271 CLASSIFIED EXECUTIVES Dee Kennedy 01733 468275

PRODUCTION

FLEET NEWS RISK IN FLEET CONFERENCE April 22, National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham. www.riskinfleet.co.uk
BRAKE FORUM: DRIVER BEHAVIOUR April 24, Cranfield University, Cranfield. www.brake.org.uk BRAKE SPEED CONFERENCE May 14, Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, London. www.brake.org.uk ACFO REGIONAL MEETINGS For details visit the fleet operators’ association website www.acfo.org

Three lucky winners of this week’s quiz will receive an Avenquest laptop lock worth £35. The PC Guardian anti-theft lock secures a laptop to the ‘D’ ring found in most car boots. If your car does not have a secure fixing point then Avenquest will supply an easily fitted perma-dome mounting plate to attach to your boot. The lock is quick and easy to use by attaching one end to the anchor point in the car boot and the other to the security slot on the computer (usually located on the back or side of the laptop). The laptop can also remain protected in its case, with the

Avenquest lock passing through the gap left by the zip. More information can be found at www.avenquest.co.uk

HEAD OF PUBLISHING Sandie Hurford 01733 468312 sandie.hurford@emap.com SENIOR ART EDITOR Luke Neal 01733 468262 luke.neal@emap.com PRODUCTION EDITORS Andrew Ryan 01733 468310 andrew.ryan@emap.com Alan Salt 01733 468267 alan.salt@emap.com DIGITAL PRODUCER Jeremy Bennett 01733 468298 jeremy.bennett@emap.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Colleen Dixon 01733 468306 colleen.dixon@emap.com MANAGING DIRECTOR Ed Kenyon 01733 468862 ed.kenyon@emap.com MANAGING DIRECTOR’S PA Vicky Meadows 01733 468319 vicky.meadows@emap.com GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR Rob Munro-Hall

PUBLISHING

Send your answers, with your job title and address, by email* to fleetnews@emap.com with ‘News Quiz’ in the subject line. The closing date is 5pm on Friday (tomorrow), when a winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries. *By supplying your email address you are happy to receive offers via email from Fleet News. We will not pass your information on to other parts of Bauer Publishing Group and/or third parties.

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£99 UK (two years £168, three years £238), £149 Europe and Eire (two years £253, three years £358). Call 01733 468659 for special offers Back issues: 01858 438847 Printing: Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent © 2008 Bauer Automotive. ISSN 0953-8526. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. You can purchase words or pictures for your own publications. Phone 01733 465982 or email syndication@emap. com. Fleet News will not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation

MY FIRST COMPANY CAR
Back in 1990 I was given a Ford Escort XR3. I had the car for about three months while waiting for my car of choice, a Vauxhall Cavalier, to arrive. It was a red “boy racer” car, though I wasn’t that kind of driver. It was all right but it doesn’t stick in my mind now – it was OK on the open road but round the houses the wide wheels and sticky tyres were a nightmare. I much preferred the new Cavalier which followed. NIGEL TROTMAN Fleet manager, Whitbread Group

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

All eyes are focused on ECOnetic model
Fleets register interest in low CO2 model
Ford Focus ECOnetic emits just 115g/km of CO2

F

leet customers are showing that they want to pursue the low-CO2 route on vehicle purchases wherever possible. The Ford Fleet Business Centre has recorded a large number of expressions of interest from fleet customers in the 115g/km Focus ECOnetic model now on sale. It is one of 28 current Ford models which will be exempt from the London Congestion Charge from October, when cars emitting less than 120g/km are due to be given 100% charging discount. The new Ford ECOnetic range offers an alternative to customers

who prioritise low emissions performance in their purchasing decision. The first Ford ECOnetic models launched in 2008 use a combination of the latest common-rail diesel powertrains together with other carefullyselected features engineered to reduce CO2 emissions to the absolute minimum, including improved aerodynamics, tyres with a lower rolling resistance and a new, low viscosity transmission oil. This demonstrates that very favourable fuel consumption levels and significantly reduced CO2 emissions can both be achieved using conventional drive

technology, coupled with a clever combination of individual, fuelsaving measures. The first model, the Focus ECOnetic, uses the 109PS 1.6-litre Duratorq engine, which delivers an average fuel consumption of 65.6mpg. This corresponds to a conventional powertrain best-inclass CO2 emission performance of only 115g/km. The Ford ECOnetic vehicle portfolio also now includes a Mondeo ECOnetic with 125PS 1.8-litre Duratorq engine, with sub-140 g/km CO2 emissions, which is available to order now. This will be followed by a sub-100 g/km CO2 model in Ford’s all-new Fiesta range.

The five-door Ford Fiesta is as stunning as the three-door model

Five-door Fiesta unveiled at Geneva
Immediately after the announcement of the new three-door Fiesta, the wraps came off its stylish five-door twin at the Geneva Motor Show. The all-new Fiesta takes much of its exterior and interior design from the striking Verve Concept, and the dimensions of the three- and fivedoor models are the same. The visual impact of the five-door is stunning because the kinetic styling has not been compromised. Three- and five-door models are equally popular with British buyers. Full technical details and UK specifications will be released closer to the launch of the production model this autumn. The 2008 Fiesta marks a major leap forward in terms of style, craftsmanship, quality of materials and model choice.

Allergy award for six Ford models
Ford has become the first vehicle manufacturer to receive the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation’s (ECARF) Seal of Quality, given to products suitable for allergy sufferers. It awarded its sought-after Seal of Quality to six Ford models for their allergy-friendly interiors – the Ka, Focus, C-MAX, Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy. ECARF reviewed tests from the TÜV Rheinland Group, an independent organisation that controls and certifies quality standards for industrial and consumer products. More than 100 materials and components were tested for harmful substances and allergycausing potential. All components likely to have direct and prolonged skin contact, such as the steering wheel and seat covers, floor

The Mondeo interior has received the ECARF seal of approval

mats and seat belts, were dermatologically tested. According to ECARF, “results showed that the materials used greatly reduce the risk of allergic reaction”. The vehicles have a highperformance pollen filter, which effectively prevents pollen entering the interior.

For further information on any vehicle in the Ford range please contact the Ford Business Centre on 08457 23 23 23, email info@fordfleet.co.uk, or visit www.fordfleet.co.uk

48 13.03.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

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