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Accord

Star

Fair

unveiled

turn

shares

First details

 

Jaguar’s

Car sharing

of the new

new XF

controversy

Honda

p13

p18-19

p28-29

  • 14.02.08 FleetNews

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Business motoring strategy and finance

Crash rates soar for young drivers

A three-fold increase in claims by young drivers has sparked a fleet alert

BY DANIEL ATTWOOD

Crash rates among young drivers appear to be worsening after a major insurer confirmed that claims by drivers aged under 23 have increased by more than 300% over the last five years. The news confirms reports (Fleet News, February 7) that revealed the high rate of risk-taking among young drivers. “We know from experience that young drivers pose a higher risk of being involved in a crash,” said Norwich Union’s motor risk manager, Bill Pownall. “Fleet managers should therefore consider the risks that young drivers pose on a firm’s duty of care.” Mr Pownall suggested that fleet managers should look at introducing clear measures to manage young employees. “It’s imperative for young drivers to complete an in-vehicle risk assessment in order to determine their competence to drive safely in a variety of traffic situations, prior to being authorised to drive any vehicle for the first time,” he said. “In the early stages of driving on company business, further assessments could be considered to monitor progress of young drivers or as part of the post-crash action.” However, fleet managers should be wary about independently introducing any blanket ban that prevents young employees from driving company vehicles. A spokesman for Employment Law Consultants said: “There is a definite danger that they will be breaking the law if such a blanket ban means that people are prevented

Accord Star Fair unveiled turn shares First details Jaguar’s Car sharing of the new new XF

An insurance company says accident rates among young drivers are rising rapidly

from working for the company because of their age.” Fleet legal consultant David Faithful agreed: “Putting a blanket ban in place is always difficult to justify,” he said. “Fleets often have to employ people under 25 – what they need to do is manage that risk.” A classic example of how some fleets get it wrong, said Mr Faithful, is that they often mistakenly assume that a graduate who has held a licence for five years will have five years’ experience behind the wheel. “Fleet managers need to ask the right questions – not ‘how long have you held a licence?’ but rather ‘how many hours’ driving experience have you had?’ – and then manage any risk these young drivers present properly.”

Mr Faithful points out that, despite Norwich Union’s experience, Lyons David- son Solicitors has not noticed any increase in young driver claims. He said young fleet drivers were often safer and more responsible than their non- company car driving cohorts. After being assessed by their fleet risk appraisal, young fleet drivers should have the appropriate vehicle-specific knowledge and training to drive a company vehicle safely. In addition, company vehicles are gener- ally equipped with higher levels of passive and active safety devices. This means an appropriately trained young driver has a greater chance of avoiding a crash than if he was driving an older vehicle that he owns.

Accord Star Fair unveiled turn shares First details Jaguar’s Car sharing of the new new XF

daniel.attwood@emap.com

We need you to vote now!

We need you to vote now! Online voting for company car of the year and fleet

Online voting for company car of the year and fleet manufac- turer of the year, the two titles in the prestigious Fleet News Awards decided by readers, is now live at www.fleetnewsawards.com At the website you will find the form to choose your favourite company car from 2007. Is there a star car on your fleet? Reliability, value for money and popularity with drivers will be the main reasons for winning your vote. Check out the list and make your choice. Fleet manufacturers will win your vote with quality cars and a great support network with outstanding customer service. The voting page has a list of manufacturers to choose from, so select wisely. It’s the unique mix of expert- judged awards and reader votes that makes a Fleet News accolade so special. The Deloitte-audited judging of the suppliers and vehicles pulls together unrivalled expertise and market knowledge in a robust and transparent process. The online voting is secure, with voters’ identities matched against a subscriber database. The vote counting process is strictly audited. That’s why you should take your opportunity to contribute to the awards process. Make sure your favourites are in the running for 2008 by going to www.fleetnews awards.com and casting your votes. More details on page 7.

NEWS P8-9 Managing directors, company vice- presidents, chief execu- tives and sales directors were among
NEWS
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tives and sales directors were among

delegates attending the eighth Fleet News Europe conference in Brussels.

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Video demo of the new VW Tiguan’s ‘self- parking’ technology View our new title, Fleet Business Europe Vote now in the Fleet News Awards

Accord Star Fair unveiled turn shares First details Jaguar’s Car sharing of the new new XF

NEWS

IN BRIEF

Members meet

The annual members’ conference of the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM) will be held at The Honda Institute at Coln- brook near London Heathrow on March 11. The theme is ‘Drive Less – Achieve More.’ Confirmed speakers include Don Potts, environmental adviser to Volvo, Tim Anderson, fleet advice manager at The Energy Saving Trust and Mark Cowling, director of CAP. Former England cricketer Alec Stewart is the guest after-lunch speaker.

Salary sacrifices

A new salary sacrifice scheme has been developed by Zenith Vehicle Contracts. Under the scheme, an employee can surrender part of his or her salary in return for a company car. As the cost is deducted from the employee’s gross salary, there is a saving on income tax and National Insurance contributions.

SEAT tunes in

IN BRIEF Members meet The annual members’ conference of the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM)

SEAT is embracing new technology by offering a digital radio receiver in a new special edition of its Ibiza hatchback. The £10,995 Ibiza 1.9 TDI DAB is limited to a run of 300 three-door cars, and boasts a Blaupunkt Nashville DAB digital radio as standard.

Grey check

Fleet Technique is offering a special grey fleet inspection service. It will inspect privately- owned vehicles driven on company business. Many grey fleet vehicles are not subject to the same checks as company cars.

UK FUEL

PRICES

ppl/ppg

DIESEL..............................109.5/498

SUPER UNLEADED........110.8/504

UNLEADED......................104.2/474

FOUR STAR......................106.1/482

LPG......................................53.4/243

Speeding tops company car offences

Speeding is by far the most common driving offence commit- ted by company car drivers. Analysis of GE Capital Solu- tions’ 55,000-vehicle fleet shows that 41% of the fines recorded on behalf of drivers in the last 12 months were for speeding. London is the most common place for fines, with the conges- tion charging collecting more fines than the rest of the top 10 offences added together. Rich Green, MD at GE Fleet Services. “Our belief is that there

NEWS IN BRIEF Members meet The annual members’ conference of the Institute of Car Fleet Management

Speeding accounts for 41% of company car fines

is a hardcore of company car drivers who are habitually exceed- ing the speed limit and this reck-

lessness places themselves and other road users in danger. Fleets should take action”

Two-year wait for drug testing kits

BY DANIEL ATTWOOD

Police must wait at least another two years before they get road- side drug testing kits. Currently the police have to give suspected drug-drivers impairment tests, which means making them perform tasks such as walking in a straight line. The new testing kits will allow the police to test for drugs – both prescription and illegal – in much the same way as a breathalyser tests for alcohol. The Home Office confirmed to Fleet News that the kits are close to the final stages of development. However, a spokesman said the development of the testing kits had proved to have been extremely complex and involved Home Office scientists enlisting the assistance of outside experts. “It will be a couple of years before our multi-drug device is

available and type-approved for use as the scientific development work behind it is highly complex,” he said. “The Forensic Science Service has been working on the produc- tion of a specification with the Home Office scientific develop- ment board and outside experts.” The difficulties arise not only from the number of drugs that need to be detected – everything from a prescription sleeping pill to MDMA in ecstasy – but also from devising a kit that can be used at the roadside that is non- invasive, which rules out blood or urine testers. It is believed that the kits will require a saliva sample. Because there is no safe level of illegal drugs allowed by law in a driver’s system, it is expected that should a roadside ‘drugalyser’ test prove positive for an illicit drug, a driver will then still be

subject to an impairment test. There is also a question over safe levels of prescription drugs. It has been found that while one in 10 young motorists admit to driving after taking illegal drugs, the majority of those convicted for drug-driving are actually middle aged and using prescrip- tion drugs. A review of convictions has shown that for every one driver convicted of driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, there are four drivers convicted for driving while unfit due to being under the influence of prescription drugs. The news that such kits are being developed means fleet managers who have not imple- mented a drink/drug strategy to identify and manage drivers who may be impaired through alcohol or drugs misuse, should do so.

NEWS IN BRIEF Members meet The annual members’ conference of the Institute of Car Fleet Management

daniel.attwood@emap.com

‘Death by data’ risk to managers

Fleet managers are facing ‘death by data’ as they try to contend with the increasingly massive flow of information concerned with running a fleet. Audit trails for risk manage- ment and duty of care, the huge proliferation of car models and options, licence and insurance checking and vast files of infor- mation from providers mean that fleet managers are under more pressure than ever to manage information properly. That is the view of a senior chief executive in the industry who warned that his own section of the industry – telematics – is as guilty as others of information overload. “Fleet managers are often bombarded with huge amounts of information that takes hours of analysing to reach the real point at which decisions can be made. And telematics providers have often added to this problem,” said Ian Walmsley, chief execu- tive of Eagle-i Telematics. As a result, Mr Walmsley tasked his firm’s experts with finding ways of making tele- matics more user-friendly, and easier to extract relevant infor- mation. Speaking at the launch of its new Monitor3 telematics product, he said the new system cuts out unnecessary data, offering fleet managers a car dashboard style screen where they can customise which crite- ria, such as speeding or lower than average MPGs are flashed up in the dials, which can then be investigated more deeply. “Monitor3 cuts through all the waste directly to the information that is really needed, allowing managers to take well-informed

decisions more quickly,” he said.

EVENTS ROUND-UP

EVENTS ROUND-UP Awards night will celebrate 20th anniversary Tables are selling fast for the annual Fleet

Awards night will celebrate 20th anniversary

Tables are selling fast for the

annual Fleet News Awards on

March 10, which this year marks its landmark 20th anniversary. The fleet industry’s night of

the year has already attracted more than 1,000 business leaders and influencers to its traditional home, the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London.

To mark the 20th anniversary, there are new categories that reflect the fast-changing fleet industry, while a series of special guests have been lined up to provide entertainment throughout the night. Fleet managers, manufactur- ers and service providers will all

EVENTS ROUND-UP Awards night will celebrate 20th anniversary Tables are selling fast for the annual Fleet

be recognised with awards. Fleet managers have also been voting for

company car of the year

and fleet manufacturer

of the year.

Individual tickets cost

£215+VAT and a table of 10 costs £2,045+VAT. The Fleet News Awards are sponsored by: Honda UK, BMW

Corporate Sales, LeasePlan UK, National Car Rental, BT Fleet, Kwik-Fit Fleet, Enterprise Rent-

A-Car, Michelin Tyres, Hi-Q,

Volvo, Arval and Volkswagen

Fleet Services.

To book, either log on to

www.fleetnewsawards.com or call Sandra Evitt on 01733 468123 or email sandra. evitt@emap.com

2 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

Fuel increase under attack

The country’s petrol retailers have joined the road haulage industry in calling on the chan- cellor to cancel the fuel duty increase scheduled for April 1. Ray Holloway, director of the RMI’s Petrol Retailers Associa- tion (PRA), said that the 2p a litre increase would be disastrous. “Increasing fuel tax would mean an immediate increase in prices for the consumer, and would almost certainly push a number of forecourt businesses out of business,” he said. The PRA’s call adds to similar demands from organisations including the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the Federation of Small Businesses, National Farmers’ Union and the RAC Foundation. Representatives of the RHA and FTA met with the chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling today. They said that at 50.35p per litre, UK fuel duty for diesel and petrol is already the highest in Europe. Indeed, UK diesel duty is double the EU average rate of 25p per litre. The organisations said the planned 2p increase will “gener- ate further serious difficulties for the transport and forecourt industries, and business drivers”.

Firm makes safety pledge

A fleet risk management company has promised to signifi- cantly reduce risky and danger- ous driving for all its new fleet clients. As part of its UK fleet safety challenge, GreenRoad Technolo- gies has guaranteed a 50% drop in dangerous driver behaviour over a three-month trial period to new fleet customers installing its technology. The technology uses in-vehicle sensors to measure driver perfor- mance, measuring 120 separate manoeuvres including braking, acceleration and cornering. Drivers are warned via dash- mounted red lights if their driving is calculated to be risky. Fleet managers and drivers are also able to access journey details by SMS and online, and decide which areas need improvement. If driver risk is not improved by at least 50%, customers will be under no further obligation to continue the program.

EU ‘should ban thirstiest cars’

BY DANIEL ATTWOOD

The EU should ban the sale of cars that travel less than 35 miles per gallon, the ex-chairman of Shell has said. Sir Mark Moody-Stuart’s comments were met with surprise and, later, with condemnation from carmakers and dealers. The UK Society of Motor Manufactur- ers and Traders (SMMT) pointed out that drivers of the most pollut- ing cars already pay extra through road tax and petrol duty. “His proposals are frankly bizarre,” said an SMMT spokes- man. “The motor industry has made significant progress in cutting emissions, which directly leads to improved mpg.” The SMMT points out that a million tonnes of CO2 have been saved through new vehicle tech- nology each year for the past two years. It also said that consumer choice would be severely compro- mised if Sir Mark’s proposals were adopted. “His proposals would wipe out a significant chunk of the new car market and large cars are needed by many companies and families

– the consumer needs choice as well as incentives for cleaner cars,” said the spokesman. However, Sir Mark, who also acted as co-chair of the G8 Renew-

Fuel increase under attack The country’s petrol retailers have joined the road haulage industry in calling

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart wants cars that do less than 35mpg banned

able Energy Taskforce, remained convinced that his comments, which were made to the BBC, were well thought through. He said that it was unethical to allow rich people to avoid taking responsibility for tackling climate change simply by making them pay more. “It is a social thing. We don’t say the wealthy can avoid doing what is needed by society. Nobody needs a car that does 15mpg,” he said. “You would be allowed to drive an Aston Martin – but only if it did

50-60mpg.”

His comments, while being met with resistance from carmakers, should strike a chord with many

motorists. According to the BBC, opinion polls consistently show that people are prepared to change their ways to tackle

climate change – but only if their neighbours are forced to do the same. David Brennan, managing director of LeasePlan, said while Sir Mark’s comments could prove attractive, his suggestions need some fine tuning. He said: “The danger is using too much stick and too little carrot. “Financial penalties and effi- ciency limits on the one hand need to be complemented with driver education on the other.”

Fuel increase under attack The country’s petrol retailers have joined the road haulage industry in calling

daniel.attwood@emap.com

Blue light crash alert as road deaths fall

The number of deaths on British roads fell during 2007, according to the latest Govern- ment statistics. Road casualty figures show that fatalities were down by 5% during the 12 months ending September 2007, compared with the previous 12 months. Overall casualty figures were down by 4%, while the more serious crashes – including those that involved fatalities and serious injuries – fell by 2% over the same time period. The figures are based on the number of incidents reported to police, and fatalities are counted as people who died within 30 days of the crash. It should be remembered that research suggests not all accidents are reported.

Blue light crash alert as road deaths fall The number of deaths on British roads fell

Road deaths fell by 12% in 2007

However, while the number of road fatalities is falling, it has just been revealed that there were almost 12,000 crashes involving blue light vehicles from the emergency services over the past five years. Of these crashes, 1,926 resulted in seriously injured casualties and 188 caused fatalities.

“The fact that emergency service vehicles are the cause of so many accidents and fatalities is extremely concerning,” said Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary Norman Baker, who unearthed the figures. “While these vehicles are rightly in a hurry to get to where they are needed, these figures indicate that we need to take a serious look at what can be done to reduce the number of accidents that they are involved in. “I have written to both the home secretary and the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers calling for a review of the procedures used by emergency service vehicles to look into how accidents can be minimised.”

IN BRIEF

Kwik-Fit contract

Kwik-Fit Fleet has won a 12-month contract to provide a range of fast-fit services to Leasedrive Velo. The deal, which makes Kwik-Fit Fleet a preferred supplier, covers tyres, exhausts, batteries, brake parts and MoTs as well as the provision of tyre safety checks. In addition, Kwik-Fit Fleet will continue to provide a vehicle service booking facility.

Buy British

Almost three-quarters of UK motorists would buy a British car if given £100,000. Topping the dream car list with almost a quarter of the votes is Aston Martin (24%), followed by Range Rover (19%), Bentley (16%) and Rolls-Royce (10%). German and Italian luxury marques fared badly, says swiftcover. com, which carried out the survey.

New sat-nav

Pogo has launched a new version of its sat-nav and speed camera location system – Drive. The £250 system now includes full western European street-level mapping and a European speed camera database.

The majority of these modifications are also available via a free download to existing Pogo Drive units.

ATS wins deal

ATS Euromaster has won a contract to maintain the fleet of service vehicles operated by AXA Assistance Breakdown Recovery, incorporating a gradual change to Michelin tyres. The 18-strong fleet includes 12 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter long wheelbase vans and six 7.5-tonne Mitsubishi Canter trucks.

Risk assessment

Imagitech has launched a new risk assessment system for occupational drivers. Roadmarque gives a picture of an organisation’s risk exposure and the best path for training drivers.

NEWS

Lex extends Honda lease contract

Lex has announced a three-year

three years,” said Philip Ross,

odology to improve levels

of

extension to its financing relation-

general manager, Honda Finance

customer satisfaction to meet the

ship with Honda Finance Europe.

Europe.

level of service Honda demand.

 

“We have been delighted by the

 

Steve

Hornsey,

partnership

progress we have made

in

Lex will provide branded back office services to Honda dealers

director at Lex, said the partner-

ship provided an opportunity for

contract hire over the past three

throughout the UK, while

years and are looking forward to

customer

relationships

will

be

further customer innovation

by

managed by Honda Finance.

the company to widen its customer base and provide additional bene-

working with Lex over the

next

Lex is utilising Six Sigma meth-

fits to existing customers.

Minimal fall in UK emissions

BY DANIEL ATTWOOD

Figures just released for all green- house gas emissions in the UK in 2006 show that total emissions were down just 0.5% on 2005 levels. Carbon dioxide (CO2), which makes up about 85% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emis- sions, fell just 0.1% over the same period. But environment secretary Hilary Benn was keen to point out that the British economy grew by 2.9% in 2006, which means the country is breaking the historic link between economic growth, and a rise in emissions. “The UK is on track to meet and go well beyond its Kyoto commitments, but as a country we must do much more across the board,” he said. “We have to make a real change to every aspect of our lives and our economy.” The biggest decrease in CO2 emissions was in the residential sector, with a fall of 4% on 2005 levels. But CO2 emissions from trans- port rose by 1.3%. Although CO2 emissions from transport increased overall, emis-

NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,

UK greenhouse gas emissions have fallen, despite economic growth

sions from cars actually fell for the fourth consecutive year. In 2002, CO2 emissions from passen- ger cars were at an all time high of 72.5 million tonnes. In 2006, it had fallen to 68.7 million tonnes. Meanwhile, reflecting the massive investment in public transport over the same period, emissions from trains rose by

300,000 tonnes, while CO2 emis- sions from buses rose by 800,000 tonnes. Emissions from aviation also increased. Between 2005 and 2006, CO2 emissions from domes- tic aviation fell by 2.8%, but inter- national aviation emissions increased by 1.5%.

NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,

daniel.attwood@emap.com

Fleets over-supply used LCV market

Large

volumes

of light commer-

commercial vehicle

editor

at

30 months of continual shortages

cial vehicles are being de-fleeted

EurotaxGlass’s.

of light used commercials, which

by

rental

and leasing

firms

as

The influx of used LCVs arriv-

has led

to higher

than normal

thousands of three and four-year

ing at auction sites could be

one

prices being paid by dealers keen

contracts agreed with

their

fleet

of

the biggest

opportunities for

to restock.

customers come to an end.

 

retailers in a decade

but

could

Concerns

about

the

UK

This is producing a

surge

of

also mean

it will

be

difficult to

economy towards the close of last

late-year

vans arriving on the

attain highest resale values. “This

year have also contributed to the

used market.

 

could prove to be a major oppor-

greater availability

of used vans,

“With

2007

being

a

record

tunity

for

retailers

to

acquire

says

Mr

Alexander.

“It

is

not

breaking year for

new vehicle

stock at attractive prices,” said Mr

surprising that businesses do not

registrations, fleets have plenty of

Alexander.

wish to carry unnecessary capac-

additional used vans

to dispose

The large numbers of de-fleeted

ity within their fleets at a time of

of,” said George Alexander, chief

LCVs arriving

at auction follows

economic uncertainty.”

 
NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,
Fleet News Europe www.fleetnewseurope.com

FleetNews

Europe

www.fleetnewseurope.com

NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,
NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,

Diesel price rise expected

BY KEITH NUTHALL

European fleets running diesel vehicles could face higher fuel costs after the European Parliament’s economics committee called for the European Union’s minimum rate of excise duty on diesel to be raised to that for unleaded petrol. Currently, diesel enjoys a lower rate. However, if the proposal is accepted, then countries charging the minimum duty on diesel will have to raise it from the current 302 per 1,000 litres to 359. The countries that would be forced to increase diesel duty significantly by such a rise are Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Small rises would be forced in the Czech Republic, Malta, Austria and Finland. The existing differential “distorts the market”, said MEPs, who were debating a current review of EU excise duty rules. The committee said that having different rates boosted emissions by encouraging “fuel tourism”, with diesel consumers making special journeys or using longer routes to fill up in a country with low taxes. “Also, since diesel and petrol have similar impacts, especially from the point of view of CO2 emissions, there is no environmental reason for the two minimum rates to differ,” said the committee. The European Commission is also backing equalisation, despite a recent consultant’s report recommending tax breaks to promote diesel.

Biofuel uncertainty remains

Controversial proposals promoting biofuels within the EU are already running into political difficulties over their environmental impact. The European Parliament has backed a report saying biofuels should generate only half of the CO2 created by mineral fuels. And this calculation must take into account their production, distribution and consumption. Only then can such biofuels count towards Brussels’ proposed 10% reduction by 2020 fuel target. Dutch socialist MEP Dorette Corbey claimed there was significant support for the idea within the EU Council of Ministers. Meanwhile, European Commission officials have briefed Brussels journalists that complicating its biofuel formula would seriously delay its approval.

British tunnels are ‘illegal’

The European Commission has threatened Britain with legal action over its alleged failure to comply with a directive on tunnel safety

standards. The directive applies to road tunnels of 500 metres or more within the EU’s trans-European network, which would cover tunnels such as the M25 Dartford tunnel and M2 Medway tunnel in Kent. The legislation lays down requirements such as communications devices, lighting and safety procedures. Brussels said it requested information on British regulations last June, but “no information on compliance” was sent back.

VAT on car registrations challenged

Austria, Finland and Malta have been threatened with legal action by the European Commission if they continue to levy VAT on car registration taxes charged within a package price by automobile dealers. This follows similar steps taken against Poland and Por tugal.

Fleet News Europe is sponsored by

www.bca-europe.com

NEWS Lex extends Honda lease contract Lex has announced a three-year three years,” said Philip Ross,

FLEET NEWS AWARDS 2008

th The 20 annual FleetNews Awards Log on now to www.fleetnewsawards.com The categories 2007 VOLKSWAGEN’S VINCE
th
The
20
annual
FleetNews
Awards
Log on now to www.fleetnewsawards.com
The categories
2007
VOLKSWAGEN’S
VINCE KINNER
(CENTRE) PICKS
UP THE COMPANY
CAR OF THE YEAR
AWARD FOR THE
VOLKSWAGEN
PASSAT
FLEET MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
COMPANY CAR OF THE YEAR
FORD WAS VOTED
MANUFACTURER
OF THE YEAR 2007
AS CAN BE SEEN
FROM THE SMILE
ON THE FACE OF
KEVIN GRIFFIN
(CENTRE)
Two of the headline awards on the fleet
industry’s biggest night of the year are
decided by you. Fleet Manufacturer of
the Year and Company Car of the Year
are chosen by reader votes.
Voting is open now at the Fleet News
website so point your mouse at www.
fleetnewsawards.com and choose your
favourites.
And there is still time to book your
table or individual places at the gala
evening on March 10. Tickets cost
£215+VAT, tables cost £2,045+VAT.
Contact Sandra Evitt by email at
sandra.evitt@emap.com or phone
01733 468123.
Taking advantage of E Daniel Attwood and Martyn Moore report from the 2008 Fleet Ne EU

Taking advantage of E

Daniel Attwood and Martyn Moore report from the 2008 Fleet Ne

EU BRIEFING

EC fines plan ‘unrealistic’

Europe’s carmakers have warned that the European Commission’s proposals to fine them if their new cars’ emissions exceed maximum levels of CO2 are unrealistic and will make the European automotive industry uncompetitive. The proposals set the average permit- ted level of CO2 emitted per car at 130g/ km by 2012 with 10g/km being saved by additional solutions such as alternative fuels and energy saving tyres. Many of Europe’s carmakers will still miss the proposed targets. The fines they face will run into billions of euros. “There is a total disconnection between the legislators and reality… CO2 emissions from cars need to be reduced in a cost-effective way,” said Ivan Hodac, secretary general of ACEA – the European automobile manufactur- ers’ association. “The level of the compensation payments should be no higher than for other sectors that miss their CO2 emissions targets.”

EU BRIEFING EC fines plan ‘unrealistic’ Europe’s carmakers have warned that the European Commission’s proposals to

Ivan Hodac: pressing legislators

Mr Hodac said the car sector will put immense pressure on the legislators in the run up to the proposal becoming a regulation. ACEA be pressing for a fairer penalty, and for a longer lead-in time – 2015 rather than 2012 – so new greener technology can be integrated into upcoming models.

STRATEGIC OVERVIEW

Fleet management training call

Leasing companies should provide fleet management training to offset the fall in the number of dedicated fleet managers, according to Peter Cooke, of the Centre for Automotive Management at the University of Buckingham. Speaking at the Fleet News Europe Conference in Brussels, Professor Cooke said, “The fleet manager role continues

STRATEGIC OVERVIEW Fleet management training call Leasing companies should provide fleet management training to offset the

Professor Peter Cooke called for fleet management training

to be outsourced, as the demands of duty of care and governance increase. To ensure clients continue to to recieve a quality service, leasing companies should provide employees with quality fleet management training.” Professor Cooke also warned that the credit crunch and predicted financial downturn will impact on fleets. “The speed of companies’ development will

slow, fuel costs will continue to rise and inflation will possibly return,” he said. Paul Lauria, president of global fleet consultancy Mercury Associates, also spoke about the deteriorating economic climate. “When the economy is strong, companies tend to be strategic, proactive and eco-friendly. During a weaker economy we will see them behaving more tactically and reactively,” he said. Mr Lauria is a strong advocate of leasing over cash purchase. “Fleets

bought outright tend to be older and have all the challenges associated with older vehicles,” he said.

8 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Meeting new markets’ demands

Used car market

Selling defleeted vehicles across Europe presents massive opportunities for lease companies to capitalise on the demands of different markets and, ultimately, to get the highest price for their vehicles. Resellers such as BCA, which is the largest on the continent and is expanding its operations, especially into central and eastern Europe, offer the simplest route to market. As Paul Bradbury, managing director of BCA Europe, told delegates, prices on

the used car market have remained stable. “We have seen some worrying signs, but nothing too dramatic has happened to prices.” Despite regional differences, the trend is only going one way – towards a single market for used cars in Europe – says Mr Bradbury. Defleeting is expensive and can cost as much as 10% of the value of a used car. Therefore, clever use of technology, such

as e-selling and targeting specific markets, can help reduce or offset some of these costs. Lease companies were advised that, while selling direct to the consumer (or driver in many cases) is attractive, off- loading too many vehicles this way will not pay dividends in the long run. Selling direct to the consumer is expensive and cars will be cherry-picked, making the remaining fleet of cars difficult to sell, delegates were warned.

Running a safe fleet

New technology and tougher legislation will not reduce accidents on their own. That was the message delegates sent out to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). ETSC project leader Gabriel Simcic said that technologies such as intelligent speed adaption, seat belt warnings and alcolocks to prevent drink-driving had the potential to reduce accidents.

INDUSTRY BRIEFING

Marginal growth predicted

Just three mega-lease companies will dominate the European scene within only a few years, predicts Steffan Schick, chief operating officer of Fleet Logistics. And, as the car retail market falls away due to fewer dealers and the credit crunch, carmakers will increasingly rely on these mega-lease companies to take excess stock. But it is not all good news: Europe’s leasing companies will be battling against increasing pressure on margins, more risk from uncertain residuals and a move by banks to reduce their expo- sure to lease risk. As a result, Europe’s fleet market will grow, although only marginally over the next seven years. Much of that growth will be seen in central and eastern Europe, although it will be stunted by the possibility of a recession in the US, which will impact throughout Europe. “Recession is a possibility, although not a given,” Mr Schick told delegates.

INDUSTRY BRIEFING Marginal growth predicted Just three mega-lease companies will dominate the European scene within only

Steffan Schick: marginal growth

“However, the present indicators suggest an increasing likelihood of a forthcoming recession.” The consequences for the lease and fleet industries are obvious, he said. Not only will unemployment be a real problem, but knock-on effects such as falling residual values will also become apparent.

For more coverage, visit

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But during the Q&A session, delegates said action was also needed to address driver behaviour. In Hungary, for example, less than 70% of drivers wear seatbelts. And alcolocks cannot yet detect drug use which is on the increase. Michael Gwilt, managing director of DriveCam Europe, said: “Much more needs to be done to address drivers’ atti- tudes and training.”

Technology and opportunities

Andy Leech, business leader of cfc solu- tions, told delegates at a breakout session on technology and opportunities for busi- ness growth that software was only of value if employees were trained properly to use it. Maarteen Wilpshaar, of KPMG IT Advi- sory, provided an international overview of software systems for the leasing industry.

GREEN FLEET

Managers key to improvements

The fleet manager will continue to play a vital role in the communication and take- up of green transport policies, according to Vincent Rupied, international director at the Corporate Vehicle Observatory and chairman of Leaseurope’s automo- tive steering group. Mr Rupied said that the fleet manager is key to improving a company’s environ- mental performance. “When trying to

GREEN FLEET Managers key to improvements The fleet manager will continue to play a vital role

Gavin Eagle: training led to savings

balance operational needs with impact on the environment, the fleet manager has to cope with more complexity,” he said. “There are new features to be explained, explained and explained again. Under- standing the true benefit of hybrids is not easy and with each manufacturer adopt- ing its own initiative there are many labels to understand.” He warned that some technologies

present residual value risks and sugg- ested that expert opinions will not always be helpful. Advice may be contradictory. Gavin Eagle, business development director at LeasePlan International, provided delegates with an example of one pan-European fleet with 680 cars that spent 100,000 on eco-driver training. The company saw an 8% reduction in CO2 after one year and, importantly, the train- ing paid for itself in savings after just eight months and delivered a total saving of almost 200,000 after just two years.

It’s this kind of opportunity that fleet managers can communicate.

www.fleetnews.co.uk/fne

EXPANSION

Massive potential in new Europe

The opportunities of expanding into ‘new Europe’ – the eastern countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia – far outweigh the challenges, Pascal Serres, deputy CEO of ALD Automotive said. The company manages 28,500 contracts in these new European coun- tries and is set to grow its presence.

EXPANSION Massive potential in new Europe The opportunities of expanding into ‘new Europe’ – the eastern

Pascal Serres: massive potential

Acquiring existing lease operations is always preferable to trying to establish a start-up, he advised. However, in Russia and Romania this has not been possible as the markets did not have a finance or operation leasing infrastructure. “There is massive potential through- out the region,” Mr Serres said. Last year there were 400,000 company

car registrations in these future euro- zone countries. In Russia and Ukraine company car registrations hit 400,000. However, while cars are cheaper to buy and labour costs are lower, the total life costs are actually higher than in western Europe because of interest rates on local currencies and lower residual values (between 40 and 45% over a three- year/90,000km lease). Also, drivers tend not to care for their company car to the same degree as western Europeans. This means there are still major chal-

lenges to overcome before these markets mature.

SECURING BUSINESS GROWTH

Pan-European challenges

Alan Carpenter, director of international fleet sales at Volvo, said pan-European fleet agreements are not only possible, but can provide substantial savings for the companies willing to take the corpo- rate decisions needed. They can only be successful if there is a total alignment that eliminates all anomalies, he said. One major challenge is reducing the number of suppliers, especially in companies where a wide choice of cars is considered essential. But the benefits of achieving the reduction can be massive: the volume discounts available to a major fleet that goes for just one supplier across Europe will be huge. However, as Mr Carpenter pointed out, with a pan-European fleet agree- ment, there may be savings in one country but cost increases in another. “To be honest, these have failed more than they have succeeded,” said Mr Carpenter. “But where they do succeed the savings outweigh the costs.”

SECURING BUSINESS GROWTH Pan-European challenges Alan Carpenter, director of international fleet sales at Volvo, said pan-European

Alan Carpenter: eliminate anomalies

While the opportunities of pan-Euro- pean agreements are now presenting themselves, they have only recently become possible. “There is now a huge potential in the European fleet arena,” said Mr Carpenter. “But just eight years ago there was not the infrastructure in place to deliver. Since then there has been rapid growth.”

�� ������

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

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

This week Launch – p18 Jaguar’s XF driven Long-term – p22 Skoda Roomster update Road test
This
week
Launch – p18
Jaguar’s XF driven
Long-term – p22
Skoda Roomster update
Road test – p25
VW’s new Tiguan SUV
�� ������ This week’s vehicle market news and information Edited by Julian Kirk This week Launch

Honda’s premium target

BY PHILL TROMANS

The all-new Honda Accord has been revealed and aims to take the Japanese carmaker into direct fleet competition with premium manufacturers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Due to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the latest incarnation of Honda’s fleet favourite is an evolu- tion of the existing model, focus- ing on a sporty look and driver involvement. Although wider and lower and with sharper lines than the current Accord, the new model is recognisably influenced by the looks of its predecessor – a fleet favourite with sales up 15% in 2007 despite a decline in the upper- medium sector. “This is the car that will spear- head us into the premium position that we’re aiming for,” said Graham Avent, manager of corpo- rate operations “It’s the premium brands that are growing, which is why it’s critical that we attain that position.

The success of the new Accord is critical to Honda
The success
of the new
Accord is
critical to
Honda

The company car drivers we’re trying to win over want car park appeal, visual cues that say they’ve got a sporty car such as the Audi S line or the BMW M Sport.” The Accord will feature advanced technology such as adaptive cruise control seen in Honda’s flagship Legend. Honda is promising low emissions and good fuel economy from a range of engines that will all be Euro V

compliant, including an all-new 148bhp i-DTEC diesel engine which will have an automatic gearbox option early in 2009. Handling has been developed using the BMW 3 Series as a benchmark. More response and greater body rigidity is promised. The estate version – known as the Tourer – is likely to be a key element of the Accord line-up. “We believe it’s going to be a

growth opportunity in the UK,” Mr Avent said. “I think there will be a trend of people coming out of 4x4s and other models back into an upper-medium estate. “We’re aiming at the corporate head office senior managers, the kind of person influencing the fleet policy. As a brand we’re defined by our upper-medium sector car and that’s why the new Accord is critical.”

THINKING CAP

Hardworking Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence

THINKING CAP Hardworking Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence Martin and

Martin and the Fabia Estate

MONDAY

Picked up a Skoda Fabia Estate in Ashford and drove the few miles to the Channel Tunnel and across to France. We drove many miles on a variety of roads and even took it on to one of northern France’s famous beaches. I drove the most basic car for around 200 miles – the 1.2-litre Fabia 1, which is great value at around £9,400. On paper the engine may look too small, but in

reality it is fine – quiet, refined and offering more than enough power to cruise easily at 80mph. The estate is 25cm longer than the hatch and costs around £600 more. The choice of this type of vehicle is limited with only the Peugeot 207 SW and the forthcoming Renault Clio Sport Tourer. The Fabia Estate seems to offer plenty of luggage space, enough room for five adults, is well built and at an affordable price. Skoda expects to sell around 3,800 this year with 38% going to fleet and, of those, 56% will be diesel.

WEDNESDAY

Down to Milton Keynes to have a look at the new Chrysler

Sebring Cabriolet – a full four- seater that goes on sale in the UK in early April. There will only be one model – the Limited, and two engines:

a 2.0-litre CRD diesel with a six- speed manual gearbox and a 2.7-litre V6 petrol with a six- speed auto – which Chrysler says will be 50/50 split in sales. The roof is fully automatic with cloth material that neatly folds into the boot. The list of standard equip- ment is endless, and prices start at £22,995 for the diesel and

£24,995 for the V6. Chrysler says that the main competitors will be the Audi A4, Volkswagen Eos, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLK. We looked at the range of cars that Chrysler Group offers which include Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge and it does look complicated and probably a few too many models that dealers have to sell – rationalisation would be a sensible answer to reduce the number of vehicles and crossovers. We spoke to Simon Elliot, who has recently taken over as managing director, and has moved back into this position two years after he left it to run the Chinese operation.

FRIDAY

Went to Ingolstadt, the home of Audi, to look at an early

Chrysler’s Sebring Cabriolet

Chrysler’s Sebring Cabriolet

pre-pre-production SEAT Ibiza, which goes on sale late July. SEAT is taking advantage of Audi’s legendary skills in the art of producing cars with high build quality, and the Spanish company is determined to build this quality into its vehicles. The new Ibiza will be launched as five-door only in July, with a very stylish three-door Sports Coupé being revealed later this year. The Sports Coupé certainly has the looks that will appeal to a younger audience, and if quality is as good as prom- ised, with sensible pricing, SEAT may be on to a winner.

THINKING CAP Hardworking Martin Ward scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence Martin and

Martin Ward is CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager

IGNITION

Gloom may be misplaced

BY PHILL TROMANS During January, overall used car values rose from December Manheim has uncovered signs
BY PHILL TROMANS
During January, overall used
car values
rose
from December
Manheim
has
uncovered
signs
that the used car market is staying
relatively
strong against
a back-
by between 5% and 8%, depending
on the sector.
Volumes in the market rose by
ground of economic concern.
Figures from the auction house
at least 50% across all sources, but
Manheim is nevertheless cautious
giant show that while overall used
about
the longevity
of the
price
car
values
fell
from
the
third
increase. With
quarter to the fourth in 2007, the
drop was in line with the seasonal
norm and up year-on-year.
still haunted
the UK economy
by uncertainty, the
firm
says
a
few
more
weeks
trading
needs to
Values
also
rose
in January
before
the
true
be considered
extent of the
against December, 2007.
recent uplift is known.
In the final three months of last
year, average used car values fell
3.4% to £6,534 against the period
July to September, but were up by
an average of £356 or 5.7% against
the fourth quarter of 2006.
“Despite
widespread
media
coverage of the influence
of the
credit crunch, together with other
negative
economic
factors,
we
Auction values rose in January, according to Manheim figures
have
seen a healthy
increase in
sales
and
values
across
the
the
market
will
experience
the state
of the
market in our
Values
in the
fleet
and dealer
Manheim
Auctions
network
another year of strong growth in
bulletins at the end
of February
sectors remained strong, although
during January,” said Manheim’s
2008, but
the initial signs may
and
into
Match, when
we
can
manufacturer-sourced
late
plate
chief operating
officer, Mike
suggest that things are not neces-
better gauge true
retail market
models
came
under
the
most
Pilkington.
sarily as bad as reported.
activity and,
of course, the effect
pressure.
“It’s
too early
to suggest
that
“We
will have a better idea
of
of the new plate change.”
Summer launch for Renault crossover Renault’s new crossover 4x4, Renault says the Koleos will the Koleos,
Summer launch for Renault crossover
Renault’s
new
crossover
4x4,
Renault says
the Koleos
will
the Koleos, will make its debut
at the Geneva Motor Show next
month.
Designed to offer the space of
a compact MPV and the comfort
be at home in the city as well as
off the beaten track.
A result of close collaboration
between Renault
and its
Japa-
nese partner Nissan, the Koleos
of a hatchback, the
car will go
will be built in
South Korea.
It
on sale
in the
UK early
in
the
represents
a push
by
Renault
summer.
The car features
into
a sector it hasn’t tradition-
a low dash-
ally been a part of.
More details, such as pricing
and
specification,
will
be
Renault’s new crossover 4 x 4, the Koleos
board to improve visibility, and a
split tailgate for ease of access to
the boot.
announced nearer to launch.

Spyshot

It’s not due out until the end of next year, but the new MINI Convertible has
It’s not due out until the end of
next year, but the new MINI
Convertible has been spotted out
on test with minimal disguise.
The new car is longer than the
current incarnation, which hides
the new high pedestrian-friendly
front and means there will be
more room inside.
The engine range is developed
by BMW and PSA. The entry-
level MINI One will have a
1.4-litre unit with 95bhp, the
Cooper and Cooper S get
1.6 litres and 120 or 175 bhp
respectively, and the diesel
Cooper D will have 110bhp and
low emissions of 104g/km.
Prices are expected to start at
just under £15,000.
Revealed - new topless MINI
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IN BRIEF

IN BRIEF Special editions Citroën has launched two new special editions. The £7,945 C1 Code sports

Special editions

Citroën has launched two new special editions. The £7,945 C1 Code sports black metallic paint and 14-inch alloys, with a leather and Alcantara interior. It is powered by a 1.0-litre, 68bhp engine which returns 60mpg. The C3 Pluriel Code, at £12,895, has pearlescent black paint and 15-inch alloys, and will make 41mpg from its 1.4-litre, 75bhp engine.

Alfa upgrade

IN BRIEF Special editions Citroën has launched two new special editions. The £7,945 C1 Code sports

Alfa Romeo has upgraded its limited edition Alfa 147 Collezione. Available now, the car has ghiaccio white paintwork

and an optional black gloss roof. It boasts uprated suspension, a leather interior and 17-inch alloys. Power comes from either a 1.6-litre petrol engine or a 1.9-litre turbodiesel unit, both of which produce 120bhp. Prices start at

£13,950.

Highline Passat

IN BRIEF Special editions Citroën has launched two new special editions. The £7,945 C1 Code sports

Volkswagen is replacing the SE specification level on the Passat with a new Highline trim with increased equipment levels. Models will cost £250 more than the SE but come with £2,125- worth of extra kit, including leather seats, multi-function steering wheel and 17-inch alloys. Prices start at £18,890 and there’s a choice of TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines in both saloon and estate bodystyles.

NEW LAUNCH: JAGUAR XF

Jaguar with the XFactor

Forget (if you hadn’t already) the retro S-Type – Jaguar’s new XF saloon is bang up to date

BY JULIAN KIRK

Jaguar doesn’t launch too many new cars in a year (or decade, to be honest), so it’s quite under- standable that the marketing department has whipped itself up into a hoopla of excitement over the arrival of the new XF. This is most evident in the promotional video I was shown prior to getting behind the wheel. I’ll save you from the waffle, but a quick example is this, paraphrased from memory: “The XF is warm and soft…”. Brilliant. But then, just a minute later, it was “cool and edgy”. Eh? Perhaps they’ve gone a bit giddy because, for a change, they’re not having to come up with a way of expressing how the new front bumper on the XJ doesn’t look like it’s come from Halfords. To be honest, all they really needed to say was: “The new XF – finally, we’ve got a car that

NEW LAUNCH: JAGUAR XF Jaguar with the XFactor Forget (if you hadn’t already) the retro S-Type

doesn’t look like it belongs in the Sixties and that we’ve got a decent chance of selling.” The XF, which goes on sale at the beginning of next month, replaces the ageing and aged- looking S-Type, a car that has

never had the style, brand appeal or range of engines and body- styles to trouble the might of the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series in the executive market. In terms of style the XF certainly has plenty, with a sleek

and modern look combining far more effectively with some histor- ical cues such as the front grille (looks like metal, should be metal but is, disappointingly, plastic) and side gill air intakes. It is only available as a four-

door saloon and while there’s a choice of four engines, the major- ity (around 70%) will be the twin- turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 diesel. Depending on your attitude to global warming, you can have petrols in three guises – V6, normally aspirated V8 or, if you truly don’t give a damn, super- charged V8. Prices start at £33,900 for the diesel and all models come excep- tionally well equipped. Leather seats, a six-speed automatic gearbox, satellite navigation and Bluetooth mobile telephony are all standard – all of which are options on the equivalent rival A6 and 5 Series. This, and limited volume of around 8,000 units a year, has helped push up residual value predictions – CAP has booked the XF 2.7D Luxury at 45% after three years/60,000 miles, with the petrols a few percentage points further back. This sets a solid foundation for

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the car’s chances in the corporate market, which Jaguar expects to account for between 35 and

the car’s chances in the corporate market, which Jaguar expects to account for between 35 and 40% of sales. Jaguar’s UK managing director,

Geoff Cousins, said: “We’ve worked very hard to ensure that the specification level on the XF is right. Having items such as satel- lite navigation as standard equip-

FACT FILE

Model:

2.7D

3.0 V6

4.2 V8

4.2 V8 S/C

Max power (bhp/rpm):

204/4,000

235/6,800

294/6,000

412/6,250

Max torque (lb-ft/rpm):

320/1,900

216/4,100 303/4,100 413/4,000

Max speed (mph):

143

148

155

155

0-62mph (secs):

8.2

8.3

6.5

5.4

Fuel consumption (mpg): 37.6

26.8

25.3

22.4

CO2 emissions (g/km) :

199

249

264

299

On sale:

March 1

Prices (OTR): £33,900-£54,900

ment will help us ensure good residual values in three years’ time.

“The

XF

makes

sense

both

emotionally and rationally.”

VERDICT

As a mile-muncher the new XF excels, being quiet, refined and comfortable. But as a sports saloon it is not as good as a 5 Series. However, high equipment levels, sleek styling and strong RVs mean the XF can put up a strong business case.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

This is where it gets interesting because Jaguar has made a massive effort to ensure the interior of the XF is the best in class. And, to be fair, it’s hard to argue against that claim. First of all, the gimmicks – the starter button pulses red before ignition, which is intended to make you believe the car is alive. Secondly, the air vents all appear from behind a metal-effect dashboard trim. Thirdly, the gearbox is no more, replaced by a rotary button which rises from the transmission tunnel and works more like an iPod control thanks to drive- by-wire electronics which do away with any mechanical couplings. All very clever, but what impresses most about the interior is the quality – stitched leather and wood mingle with metal veneers in a very cool way – think boutique hotel and you’re on the right wavelength.

Thankfully it’s not just style over substance, because the XF drives well. The diesel engine is refined and barely any engine or wind noise intrudes into the cabin, even at motorway speeds.The gearbox shifts impercepti- bly, the steering is direct and nicely weighted and the ride is comfortable. All well and good, but Jaguar insists the XF is a sports saloon, but several factors conspire against it. Firstly, compared to, say, a 530d, it just doesn’t feel as powerful with a distinct absence of that usual mass of low-down torque you get from a large capacity diesel. Secondly, the gearbox conspires against the car. It doesn’t like being in second gear, preferring to change up into third and then let the car bog down. This is most evident when you want to make a quick overtake but don’t feel as though you have the confidence.

BEHIND THE WHEEL This is where it gets interesting because Jaguar has made a massive effort

Busine ss ta lk : h er e t o h el p

A regular series that of fers help, advice and assist ance to fleet decision makers on a variet y of current industr y issues

Are hybrids a viable option for company car drivers?

  • M any of my drivers are asking about hybrids, but there seem to be few on

the market. Many manufacturers are promising to launch hybrids but have yet to deliver. Where does the industry really stand?

C urrently, there are only five

hybrid models on sale in the

UK: the Honda Civic Hybrid,

Toyota Prius and Lexus RX400h, GS 450h and LS 600h. Itʼs true that lots of other manufacturers have claimed they will be offering hybrids in the near future, but at present none are yet on sale. What is clear, however, is that hybrid technology is here to stay. It is only a matter of time before we see a greater number of affordable hybrid- powered cars that present a genuine alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models, but with considerable advantages in terms of fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Honda CEO, Takeo Fukui, has

confirmed that by 2009 a new family-

sized hybrid car will be on sale, enabling people to enjoy the fuel saving and

emissions-reducing benefits of hybrid

technology at an affordable price. He added that by 2010, 10% of all Honda cars sold would use a hybrid powertrain.

Subject to the right refuelling infrastructure , there i s no reason why Honda’s revolutiona ry
Subject to the right
refuelling infrastructure ,
there i s no reason why
Honda’s revolutiona ry
FCX Clari ty fuel cell
p owe re d c ar s hould not
become realit y in the UK

What other alternative fuels can I consider, and is there a timescale involved?

  • I ʼve heard hydrogen is the next big thing in alternative fuels. How likely is it that fuel cells will become available in company cars?

T hereʼs no such thing as ʻchanceʼ in this case – Honda

will offer a fuel cell car to

customers in California this year. Though the refuelling infrastructure needed for hydrogen is still an issue, Honda has solved many of the key problems of running a fuel cell car. These include running in sub-zero temperatures, an issue because water

is the only product of the fuel cell stack and so can freeze while in the system.

Then there are the technical dif ficulties

associated with the design of a more

compact and ef ficient stack allowing

greater range and interior space. It means that from summer 2008

Honda will be leasing its FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered car to retail customers in California. Featuring the latest improvements in driving range, power output,

weight and efficiency, plus a low-

slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable

in a fuel cell vehicle, the Honda FCX Clarit y proves such cars are attainable. Current plans are for a three- year lease term at $600 a month (approximately £290), including maintenance and collision insurance. Because of Californiaʼs commitment to creating a ʻhydrogen highwayʼ, it has been possible to introduce the FCX there. The lack of a fuelling infrastructure in the UK means the timescale here will be longer; once installed, however, there is no reason why fuel cell cars could not become

available to fleets in future.

Will Euro 5 standards mean penalties for Euro 4?

W ill there be the same tax

incentives for choosing

Euro 5 diesel cars over

Euro 4, as there were when Euro 3 was supersede d?

T here is no indication yet that the Government has decided to offer a tax incentive for

drivers to switch from Euro 4 to cleaner Euro 5 diesel-engined cars. In 2005, any driver choosing a Euro 4-compliant diesel rather than a Euro 3 model had the 3% BIK diesel surcharge waived. However, some critics suggested drivers were confused over exactly how much tax they would be paying and whether their cars were Euro 3 or Euro 4. If the Government is to bring in the measure again with the introduction of the Euro 5 standard in 2009, it will need to be announced in this springʼs budget, and the issue of tax confusion could arise again. In anticipation of the new standard,

the next-generation Honda Accord, launched this summer, will be fully Euro 5-compliant, with the new i-DTEC diesel engine offering the latest technology for cleaner operation.

Busine ss ta lk : h er e t o h el p A regular series

Produced in association with Honda Corporate

Sales

LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE

Unconventional but sound

The Roomster’s unusual exterior may provoke amusement but once inside it’s impressive

BY EMMA COOPER

Four months down the line and I’m still happy with the Roomster. I’ve gone past caring about its unconventional appearance – in fact, the weird-looking exterior is a great help when you’ve forgot- ten where you’ve parked it. The sight of the Roomster is still a great source of amusement to friends, only to be surpassed by

my own when they climb into the back and mutter with amazement:

“It’s actually a lot bigger than you’d expect, you know, and isn’t the sunroof good?” I was thankful for the car’s ample space over the festive season, carting around family members, luggage, bags of gifts and the largest stuffed bird known to man, in relative comfort. It’s also proving difficult to

LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual

restrain my mother’s enthusiasm for the Roomster’s capacity. I’ve visited quite enough garden centres and DIY shops already in the past few months and I’m looking forward to loading up my sporting gear and leaving Home- base behind. When I started driving the Roomster I was particularly impressed with the cabin. It looks clean and airy, there’s plenty of glovebox space and the stereo is easy to reach and to navigate. I thought the beige interior was rather smart (especially given the colour schemes of the previous models) but I’m now growing to hate the colour, as every piece of clothing fluff and dust sticks to the seats, making them look grubby. The parking sensor is both a blessing and a curse. As a small MPV the Roomster is not a bad car to park anyway and the sensor can be a help, but most of the time I’m convinced the electronics are

possessed. Its erratic blips are infuriating when I can see that I have plenty of clearance. I’ve always hand-washed cars but can’t with the Roomster, since I’m too short to reach the roof. So I’m reduced to putting it through the car wash, and was pleased to discover that the aerial screws down out of the way. Another source of constant delight is the gear knob, which looks chunky but is actually easy to move and very ergonomic. It feels good to hold and I enjoy changing gear. If the stereo is on then the volume dims when you put the car in reverse gear, a simple yet effective reminder that parking requires some concentration. Despite a few gripes with the interior and the technology I’m still enjoying driving the Room- ster. It handles well and is comfort- able to drive long distances in. Average economy, still at 48mpg, is easy on the wallet too.

FACT FILE

Price:

£14,070

(£14,420 as tested)

Mileage:

13,526

Company car tax bill (2008)

22% tax-payer:

£47 per month

Insurance group:

5

Combined mpg:

53.3

Test mpg:

48.0

CAP Monitor RV:

£4,375/30%

Contract hire rate

£319

Expenditure to date: £110 (service)

Figures based on three years/60,000 miles

LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual
LONG-TERMERS: SKODA ROOMSTER 3 1.9 TDI/VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN 1.4 TSI SE Unconventional but sound The Roomster’s unusual

Doing simple things very well

It’s easy to take the Touran for granted as it offers hassle-free driving – apart from the sat-nav

BY JOHN MASLEN

I have started taking our long- term Volkswagen Touran for granted. You might think this suggests it’s a car that achieves such monumental heights of dullness that it barely registers

when you drive or use it. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Touran has fitted in because it is delivering exactly what I need, to a high standard. As a home to work cruiser, it is perfectly quiet, with no diesel death rattle in the morning, lots

Doing simple things very well It’s easy to take the Touran for granted as it offers

of torque for lazy acceleration, a light gearbox for easy gearch- anges and a good, comfortable driving position. As a business mileage basher on the motorway, it is frugal, smooth, quiet at speed, powerful for overtaking and has plenty of in-car gadgets to keep you calm when traffic halts your progress. The only glitch is the infuriat- ing stupidity of some of the touch-screen satellite-naviga- tion’s decisions (anyone fancy a shortcut through the centre of Bradford, adding 25 minutes to a 15-minute journey?). At least the excellent brakes make sure you don’t park the Touran in the boot of the car in front while shouting at the screen. In the city, as an urban kid carrier, it couldn’t be better, soaking up Britain’s fast-breed- ing potholes exceptionally well,

sailing over with a solid thump. In the rear, the two rows of seats have accommodated four children aged from four to seven without fuss and the tables in the back of the front seats (see picture) are a constant source of amusement – and food – to young ones. So the Touran is doing an excellent job and now I don’t expect anything less. And this is also the case with the back-up from the manufac- turer. Recently Volkswagen UK’s fleet team was given the Euro- pean Fleet Award 2007 by its parent company in Germany. The award was based on the evaluation of criteria including growth rate, position in the fleet and rental market and the trans- parency and planning quality for the UK business. Hans Andree, Head of Volkswagen Fleet Europe, said:

Price:

£18,262

(£20,147 as tested)

Mileage:

5,650

CO2 emissions (g/km):

160

Company car tax bill (2008)

22% tax-payer:

£73 per month

Insurance group:

9

Combined mpg:

38.2

Test mpg:

36

CAP Monitor RV:

£6,800/37%

Contract hire rate:

£366

Expenditure to date:

£Nil

Figures based on three years/60,000 miles

FACT FILE

‘This strong performance throughout all criteria was the foundation of the UK Fleet Services team’s success.’ However, in the spirit of taking things for granted and knowing how the team has performed in the past year, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Doing simple things very well It’s easy to take the Touran for granted as it offers

ROAD TEST: VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TDI SE

Fashionably late to the SUV party

Volkswagen’s Tiguan offers another choice in a crowded sector

ROAD TEST: VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TDI SE Fashionably late to the SUV party Volkswagen’s Tiguan offers

BY JULIAN KIRK

It can’t have escaped your notice that there have been a fair few new SUV models launched over the past few months. Some are from established players, while others are from names whose brand has no stand- ing in the sector. Some will succeed in the market, while others will flounder in the mud. One thing you can guarantee, though, is that the Volkswagen Tiguan will succeed. It may be arriving at the party while the port and cheese is being served, but there’s no doubt it has all the essentials that buyers in this sector desire ... Right badge? Check. Chunky styling? Check. Doesn’t feel like a mud-plugger to drive? Check. But it’s not just drivers who will appreciate the newcomer from Volkswagen. Fleet managers will welcome its performance on the spreadsheet, too. With a residual value predic- tion of 47% it means competitive leasing rates and the availability of the car to a wider group of people. And thanks to the new common rail 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesel engine fitted in this test model, its fuel returns are not horrendous. Driven with some degree of restraint it should top 35mpg on a regular basis, which isn’t bad for a vehicle of this type. It’s not going to convince the

FACT FILE

P11D value

£21,545

CO2 emissions (g/km)

189

BIK % of P11D in 2008

28 %

Graduated VED rate

£205

Insurance group

9

 

39.2

Combined mpg CAP RV (3yr/60k)

£10,150/47%

Monthly lease (3yr/60k)

£392

Strong RV Good to drive Well equipped Styling

Running costs Late to the party?

green lobby, but it seems not everyone is that bothered if you look at the number of SUVs sold in the UK every year. This new engine is slightly more powerful than the unit it replaces, and is also more refined. Clatter at start-up has been reduced and once on the road the engine settles into a subdued tone. There’s also been a big effort to cut wind noise, a problem for

vehicles of this size and shape. The effort has been worthwhile

with the Tiguan offering a refined

driving experience.

It also drives well for an SUV,

although it doesn’t match Honda’s

CR-V for on-road refinement and

handling. However, the Tiguan

manages to reduce body roll and

offers a compliant ride. The interior will be familiar to any Volkswagen owner, with generic buttons, switches and dials borrowed from the Golf and Passat. This is no bad thing, and interior build quality is good.

The interior is also very light

and roomy, with a high roof and deep glass area. The rear seats can also be slid forwards and backwards to either boost luggage space or rear legroom. Standard equipment is decent, with our SE-spec test car coming with 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, MP3 stereo, leather steering wheel and gearknob and some ‘lifestyle’ touches such as drawers under the front seats and folding tables on the back of the front seats.

ROAD TEST: VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TDI SE Fashionably late to the SUV party Volkswagen’s Tiguan offers

THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER

THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER ■ Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES ■ Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES

THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER ■ Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES ■ Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4

Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4 S

THREE RIVALS TO CONSIDER ■ Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES ■ Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi Sport

P11D PRICE

Apart from the entry-level Freelander, all of these cars are in mid-spec trim. This makes the Land Rover look expensive. All have off- road ability, although the Freelander lacks the full off-road hardware of

Freelander

£20,705

CR-V

£21,202

X-Trail

£22,240

Tiguan

£21,545

its higher-spec siblings such as hill descent control.

EMISSIONS AND TAX RATES

With by far the lowest CO2 emissions and the second-cheapest price tag the Honda easily wins here. The CR-V will cost a 40% taxpayer £177 a month in benefit-in-kind tax, compared to £200 for the

CR-V

173g/km/25%

Tiguan

189g/km/28%

X-Trail

190g/km/29%

Freelander

194g/km/29%

Freelander, £201 for the Tiguan and £205 for the Nissan.

SMR COST

The Nissan and Honda will be the most expensive in terms of service, maintenance and repair costs due to their shorter service intervals. Both will require a visit to the garage every 12,500 miles, whereas the Land Rover can go for up to 15,000

 

ppm/60k total

X-Trail

3.77/£2,262

CR-V

4.09/£2,454

Tiguan

4.43/£2,658

Freelander

4.46/£2,676

miles. The Tiguan has variable servicing intervals.

FUEL COST

The Honda is well out in front, with the CR-V claimed to return an average of 43.5mpg. This equates to a diesel spend of just under £6,200 over 60,000 miles. Second goes to the Nissan which returns 39.8mpg.

CR-V

10.33/£6,198

X-Trail

11.29/£6,774

Tiguan

11.46/£6,876

Freelander

11.92/£7,152

The Tiguan records 39.2mpg and the Land Rover 37.7.

DEPRECIATION COST

The SUV sector is particularly susceptible to fashion, so being the new kid on the block has a distinct advantage. In the case of the Tiguan, this means an RV prediction from CAP of 47%, easily putting it out in

Tiguan

19.11/£11,466

Freelander

19.21/£11,526

CR-V

19.50/£11,700

X-Trail

19.56/£11,736

front. The Honda retains 45% and the Land Rover and Nissan 43%.

WHOLELIFE COST

The Honda’s performance in the fuel cost section effectively secures it the victory here, even though the Tiguan betters it on depreciation and the Nissan costs less in SMR terms. At under 24ppm the CR-V is more than

CR-V

33.92/£20,352

X-Trail

34.62/£20,772

Tiguan

35.00/£21,000

Freelander

35.59/£21,354

a penny per mile ahead of the Volkswagen.

VERDICT

This sector is more about fashion than anything else and potential buyers will want to be seen in the latest model. But running costs and driver taxation are also serious considerations. Which means that this contest comes down to two cars – the Volkswagen Tiguan and Honda CR-V. Both are stylish, well equipped and well built, and both have a badge which will meet the requirements of image- conscious SUV drivers. The Honda has the edge on paper, with much lower benefit-in-kind bills and a significant advantage in running costs. For these reasons it sneaks the win from the Tiguan.

WINNER : Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi ES

CONTRACT HIRE SURVEY: UPPER-MEDIUM DIESELS

New arrivals bring fresh li

The Renault Laguna is the latest new model to be launched in the upper-medium sector.

BY STEVE MOODY

F or a sector that is said to be as dead as a dodo, the upper- medium segment is doing a very good

job of flapping its wings and squawking a lot. There have been a number of new cars in the past year that are anything but flightless cannon fodder. One of the latest of them is a new version of a car that had become a byword for French craftsmanship and precision (post-déjeuner): the Renault Laguna. The last one was disastrous, especially electronically, to the point that about 18 months ago you didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to unearth a Renault executive who would all but admit they had given up trying to

sell it. So now we have a new one, to which Renault claims has been laden thousands of hours of the finest Gallic care and exactitude. There are also other new entrants to the market. The new Mazda6 takes over from its very fine predecessor, while the Ford Mondeo was universally acknowl- edged to be one of the best new cars of last year. Against these are three stal- warts of the fleet industry: the Vauxhall Vectra, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 407. Tough competitors. Tough market. But by no means extinct.

DEAN WOODWARD Contract services manager, DaimlerChrysler Fleet Management

The fleet manager has a vested

interest in this sector as it

captures the majority share of

essential-user fleet vehicles.

DEAN WOODWARD Contract services manager, DaimlerChrysler Fleet Management ’ The fleet manager has a vested interest

Cost considerations can be clouded by the emotive factor of choice and the best car

doesn’t always win. The Laguna promises to

sprightly. The new Mazda6 offers a refreshing alternative

to the Mondeo, Vectra and

Peugeot 407. With styling

reminiscent of the RX-8, it

appears sporty but in a

justifiable saloon car package.

exorcise the ghost of its

reputation for unreliability,

while the 2.0-litre dCi engine

continues to be smooth and

 

STEVE JONES

Pricing manager,

Lex

Overall honours are a straight

Mazda6.

fight between the Ford and the

The previous Mondeo was

competent but unremarkable,

while the outgoing Mazda6 was

STEVE JONES Pricing manager, Lex Overall honours are a straight ’ Mazda6. fight between the Ford

transformation is less startling

refined.

The Peugeot and Passat are

still competent competitors and

Vectra – despite its age –

represents really great value.

distinctive but road noise and interior quality were often cited as weaknesses. New Mondeo has striking looks and great build quality, while the latest

than might have been expected.

Mazda 6 is stylish, poised and

The revamped Laguna has

been long-awaited but the

CHRIS CROW Head of risk, Hitachi Capital

High running costs hamper the

new Renault Laguna’s price

advantage at the front end,

while strong styling, high build

quality and equipment levels

warrant leading residual values on the new Mazda6. Alongside competitive front-end pricing, this ensures the rental lead for

this car. The sector leader a decade ago, the Ford Mondeo requires greater manufacturer backing to remain on the pace, although it does benefit from competitive

CHRIS CROW Head of risk, Hitachi Capital High running costs hamper the ’ new Renault Laguna’s

running costs and a good driving experience. The Volkswagen Passat was

the original vehicle to move

upmarket and the new model

continues the trend. The Vectra

and 407 now show their age.

ANDREW MEE Commercial operations manager, Lloyds TSB autolease

This sector has seen some new

models. Renault hopes that the

evolution of its Laguna will

showcase its improvements in

quality and reliability, while

Mazda has launched an all-new 6, attracting strong residuals and subsequently lower rentals. This is a difficult sector to gain ground in with the class-

leading Passat staying ahead and the new Mondeo achieving higher residuals through increased industry perception.

ANDREW MEE Commercial operations manager, Lloyds TSB autolease This sector has seen some new ’ models.

Low maintenance and high discounts help Peugeot sell its 407 model in volume.

Creating further competition

is Vauxhall, which replaces the

Vectra with the all-new Insignia

later this year.

Mazda6 2.0d TS

CONTRACT HIRE SURVEY: UPPER-MEDIUM DIESELS New arrivals bring fresh li The Renault Laguna is the latest
1 ST
1
ST

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Edge

=2 ND
=2
ND

Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI S

=2 ND
=2
ND

P11D price

£17,055

VERDICT: The

P11D price

£17,380

VERDICT: The

P11D price

£17,017

VERDICT: Still

2008

BIK bill (22%)

£825

new Mazda6 puts

2008

BIK bill (22%)

£764

new Mondeo

2007

BIK bill (22%)

£786

going strong, the

2008

VED bill

£140

in an impressive

2008

VED bill

£115

does nothing

2007

VED bill

£140

Passat stands up

 

showing on all fronts, with no

wrong and despite little

against the brand new models in all

RENTAL RATES

 

weaknesses, and

RENTAL RATES

 

support still

RENTAL RATES

 

areas and retains

DCFM

£307

is easily voted

DCFM

£345

manages good

DCFM

£337

its leading RV

Hitachi Capital

£338

first by the panel.

Hitachi Capital

£369

running costs,

Hitachi Capital

£350

crown, which

Lex

£292

Offers second

Lex

£347

decent RVs and a

Lex

£352

helps drive rental

Lloyds TSB autolease £ 359

lowest rental.

Lloyds TSB autolease

£ 314

low BIK tax bill.

Lloyds TSB autolease

£ 335

costs down.

26 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

fe to sector

fe to sector Our panel of experts assesses its chances AVERAGE LEASING RATES £ OVER 3YRS/60,000

Our panel of experts assesses its chances

AVERAGE LEASING RATES

£ OVER 3YRS/60,000 MILES

360

380

355

355

 
 

351

340

 

320

 

313

314

 

304

300

Mondeo

Mazda6
Mazda6

Laguna

Vectra
Vectra
Passat
Passat

280

 

407

 

Average based on results from our leasing panel

 

Decent support and strong residuals make the Mazda6 look good value. The equipment-laden Vectra is worth a look too, while the Passat’s excellent RV helps it drive down rentals.

CO2 EMISSIONS

GRAMMES PER KILOMETRE

165

 

160

 

158

155

 

156

155

154

 

153

150

149

 
   

145

Mondeo
Mondeo

Mazda6

Laguna

Vectra

Passat

140

 

407

 

Average based on manufacturers’ claimed figures

 

All six models are very evenly matched when it comes to CO2 emissions, with the Mondeo slightly ahead of the rest. All are around the 20-22% benefit-in-kind tax bracket from April.

FUEL ECONOMY

AVERAGE MILES PER GALLON

53

 

51

50.4

49.6

49.6

49

 
 

47.9

47.9

   

47.1

47

 
 
 

45

Mondeo

Mazda6

Laguna

Vectra

Passat

43

 

407

 

Average based on manufacturers’ claimed figures

 

Fuel economy that hovers around the 45-50mpg mark is a decent return for cars of this size, with the Mondeo the best again. It is followed closely by the Passat and Vectra.

RESIDUAL VALUES

%/£ RETAINED OVER 3 YRS/60,000 MILES

40

38/

   

36/

6,450

37

 

6,157

33/

34

 

5,682

30/

5,216

31/

 

31

 

29/

 

5,235

       

4,718

 

28

Mondeo

Mazda6

407
407

Laguna

Vectra
Vectra

Passat

25

 
 

Average based on results from our leasing panel

 

The Passat retains its RV crown, but it is closely followed by the Mazda6. The venerable Vectra holds on to the coat tails of the newer cars, while Laguna is low seeing as it has just been launched.

AVERAGE DISCOUNT

AVERAGE DISCOUNT/ % OFF LIST PRICE

25

 

3,390/

21

21

 

17

 

2,346/

2,717/

2,351/

 

14

15

14

13

1,807/

1,781/

10

10

9

 
 

5

Mondeo
Mondeo

Mazda6

407

Laguna

Vectra

Passat
Passat
 

Average based on results from our leasing panel

 

The Vectra has a lot of manufacturer support, as is expected at this point in its lifecycle, while Ford isn’t offering much off a Mondeo yet, or Volkswagen either on the Passat.

AVERAGE MAINTENANCE

£ OVER 3 YRS/60,000 MILES

2,000

 

1,800

 

1,645

1,600

 

1,562

 

1,513

   

1,408

1,400

1,367

 

1,310

1,200

 
Mondeo
Mondeo

Mazda6

Laguna

Vectra
Vectra

Passat

1,000

 

407

 

Average based on results from our leasing panel

 

New Laguna is predicted to cost the most in SMR – perhaps a legacy of the last model – so leasing firms will be keeping a watching brief on its progress and adjusting accordingly.

Vauxhall Vectra CDTi 150 Exclusiv

fe to sector Our panel of experts assesses its chances AVERAGE LEASING RATES £ OVER 3YRS/60,000
4 TH
4
TH

Ren Laguna dCi 150 Expression

fe to sector Our panel of experts assesses its chances AVERAGE LEASING RATES £ OVER 3YRS/60,000
5 TH
5
TH

Peugeot 407 2.0 HDi 136 SE

fe to sector Our panel of experts assesses its chances AVERAGE LEASING RATES £ OVER 3YRS/60,000
6 TH
6
TH

P11D price

£16,537

VERDICT: In its

P11D price

£16,910

VERDICT: The

P11D price

£17,733

VERDICT: The

2008

BIK bill (22%)

£764

last year, the

2008

BIK bill (22%)

£818

Laguna failed to

2008

BIK bill (22%)

£858

Peugeot comes in

2008

VED bill

£140

Vectra manages a

2008

VED bill

£140

ignite the panel’s

2008

VED bill

£140

a distant sixth.

 

very respectable fourth. Lots of kit

imagination, but this was always

Despite not being a bad car, it

RENTAL RATES

 

and sensible

RENTAL RATES

 

likely to be a

RENTAL RATES

 

struggles to offer

DCFM

£303

running costs

DCFM

£353

gradual process

DCFM

£346

anything not

Hitachi Capital

£345

make it still

Hitachi Capital

£363

for Renault and it

Hitachi Capital

£371

done better by

Lex

£288

relevant for

Lex

£359

does nothing

Lex

£340

the other

Lloyds TSB autolease

£ 284

fleets.

Lloyds TSB autolease

£ 345

wrong.

Lloyds TSB autolease

£ 347

offerings here.

FLEET MANAGEMENT: CAR SHARING

Car share controversy

Report gives positive picture of organised schemes – but the findings have come under fire

BY PHILL TROMANS

T

he

concept

sharing

lifts

to

of

or

from

work

isn’t

a

new

one;

people

have been doing it

for years. But in this environmen- tally-conscious age, the idea of getting more people into fewer cars has become even more appealing. The Government is keen on the concept of workplace travel

planning and, along with various charities and other organisations, is promoting formal car-sharing schemes. Last month, the Depart- ment for Transport (DfT) launched a report into car-sharing practices in the UK.

THE REPORT IN NUMBERS

In the month before being interviewed, 61% of people had taken part in car sharing. But just 1% were members of a formal lift- sharing scheme run by their employer or another organisation. Of those that had received lifts, 42% said the last occasion had been for a one-off journey or one that would occur less than once a month. In 28% of cases, the lift took place at least once a week. Of those who were given lifts, 28% said they made the same

journey by another means at least once a week, usually by driving themselves. Most of the car-share journeys (63%) were of 20 minutes or less. Some 22% were between 21 and 45 minutes and 15% were in excess of 45 minutes. A quarter of those who received a lift said the journey was either a business commute or travelling for work. Convenience was the most common reason for car sharing (63%), 25% couldn’t drive

themselves, 8% did it because they wanted to reduce road congestion and 7% gave environmental reasons. Men aged between 35 and 54 and those on the highest incomes were most likely to have driven on a daily basis. Only a fifth of Londoners drive every day, and 53% had not driven at all in the month before the survey. Women and young people aged between 16 and 24 were most likely to have travelled as a passenger at least once a week.

At first glance, the report seems very positive. It surveyed drivers about their travel habits over the previous month and found that 61% had undertaken some form of car sharing during that time. But there has been contro- versy over the report. Some criticised the findings for not reflecting what the man in the street regards as car sharing. John Lettice, founder of popular science and technology website The Register, says: “The less creative thinkers among us are likely to think of car sharing as regular arrangements where two or more people share the journey to work in a single vehicle, thus reducing costs, peak-hour congestion and pollution. “But for the sprinklers of magic happy dust at the DfT, such utili- tarian definitions would appear to

produce an insufficiently green result. Search in the raw data for evidence of what ordinary mortals might understand as car sharing and you find instead roads brimming with phalanxes of vehicles occupied by single, planet-wrecking ne’er-do-wells.” Indeed, the report does count anyone that had a lift from someone outside their family at least once in the past month as having taken part in car sharing. When you look into the figures more closely, you find that only 1% of respondents were actually part of a formal car-sharing scheme. But car-sharing organi- sations, although not completely happy with the report, reject the concerns of Mr Lettice. “I think it’s good that the Government is taking an interest in car sharing, but it’s not showing us anything we didn’t know before,” says Ali Clabburn,

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setting up schemes but not encouraging people to use them. It’s still relatively early days. There
setting up schemes but not
encouraging people to use them.
It’s still relatively early days.
There are a lot of councils that
have employees embracing the
concept, so there are schemes
there, but they are not being
encouraged enough. There is
much more that can be done.”
Mr Clabburn agrees. He says:
“There is huge potential to
encourage car sharing. We are
setting up about four company
schemes a week, but it’s some-
thing that hasn’t really been in
the public consciousness here as
it has in other countries, such as
the United States.
“We set up schemes to help
staff cut the number of miles they
do on their commute.
“We also do a lot of work with
companies trying to cut down
business miles. By matching up
employees they can have huge
savings in the miles they do
through work. If employees share
a car, firms save 40p per mile for
one of the passengers.”

managing director of LiftShare. “In the UK, 38% of trips are made with just one person in the car, which means 62% are made with more than one person. I would include sharing with family, friends and colleagues in my defi- nition of car sharing. I don’t quite understand why they have taken out family members. Saying they don’t count is ridiculous.” Antonia Roberts, co-director of Car Plus, agrees: “The majority of car sharing is done informally but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing or a misrepresentation. “It can be only a good thing because it’s part of people’s psyche to take that approach.” Advocates of car sharing agree that the report helps to raise public awareness of the issue. They, and organisations like them, are working with busi- nesses to introduce more work- place car-sharing schemes. “Employers can do so much more,” says Mrs Roberts. “Some firms are paying lip service in

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setting up schemes but not encouraging people to use them. It’s still relatively early days. There

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FLEET MANAGEMENT: PRESS CARS

Helping the media to ge

Supplying motoring journalists with the right cars at the right time is a full-time job

BY PHILL TROMANS

H ere at Fleet News we spend a lot of time talking to fleet managers about their jobs.

Some look after fleets of thou- sands, others just a handful. We also try out the cars coming to market, borrowing dozens of cars a year from manufacturers.

Pretty much all the major carmakers have a press fleet of vehicles to lend to motoring jour- nalists. There are all sorts of publications and media outlets that request test cars – from trade publications and consumer maga- zines to national newspapers and television programmes. Managing such demand and keeping journalists happy is normally a full-time job.

AT A GLANCE

Most major car manufacturers have a press fleet. The cars are available to journalists working for newspapers, magazines, television, radio and media (i.e. websites). Cars are loaned out on both a long and short-term basis. The cars are well looked after to ensure they represent the brand properly. After their testing period is over, the cars are defleeted into the used market.

It’s a job that John Brooks has been doing for 15 years as press fleet administrator at Toyota, sourcing, managing and dispos- ing of a huge range of vehicles. He looks after 180 Toyota and Lexus cars at any one time. “Around 50 are long-termers, which go out to magazines and television programmes for up to a year at a time,” he says. “And about 120 go out on a weekly basis.” Getting the right number of cars in means having a good understanding of the manu- facturer’s business, and John is in regular contact with Toyota in Japan to get a steer on the prod- ucts in the pipeline. “We’ll get product bulletins that tell us what vehicles are coming out and when,” Mr Brooks says. “I will sit down and

say ‘car X will be a core model’ and try and get quite a few on the press fleet. If we get 12 vehicles I can service 30 journalists a month. If it’s a new model then there’s a lot of interest, but once the demand starts to drop off we’ll cut back on the number of vehicles.” Veronica Borrelli joined Vaux- hall as an apprentice from school and, having progressed to the public relations department, is now press fleet co-ordinator for parent company General Motors. She looks after 140 vehicles from Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet, Cadil- lac, Corvette and Hummer. “I look after week-to-week car loans for print media, television and radio,” she says. “I organise the paperwork, such as movement documenta- tion to delivery companies and

engineering workshop papers to ensure vehicles are ready to send out. “I also order the cars for the fleet. I sit down with each indi- vidual brand manager to decide what to have on the press fleet. We also speak to the marketing managers to see what their best seller is and if there is a particu- lar model that we need to have available.” “Long-term loans work in a similar way. We ask for some kind of idea of the coverage publica- tions will give us then I go through the ordering process and each car is built especially for that publication.” Anyone familiar with the antics of Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will perhaps imagine that all motoring journalists hurl

FLEET MANAGEMENT: PRESS CARS Helping the media to ge Supplying motoring journalists with the right cars

32 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

t through testing times cars around test tracks amid clouds of tyre smoke. Surely running a
t through testing times
cars around test tracks amid
clouds of tyre smoke. Surely
running a whole fleet of cars
subjected to such abuse must
get taxing?
“I don’t get that many bad cars
back,” insists Mr Brooks.
“People remember the one
damaged car, not the 40 that are
fine.
“There are always going to be
minor wears and tears. I do about
40 loans and collections a week,
and out of those 80 movements
there are maybe five little minor
things, from scuffed wheels to a
knock on the bumper.”
Damage is the most obvious
day-to-day issue at GM too.
“The regularity of damage
isn’t too bad at the moment, but
it does vary,” says Ms Borrelli.
“If a car does come back that’s
damaged it can have a knock-on
effect on the next person that it’s
booked for. There are also dead-
lines that magazines need to
adhere to so we have to consider
them as well.
“It’s usually a minor thing like
a scraped bumper or a kerbed
wheel.”
Despite this, there are inevita-
ble misjudgements by the jour-
nalists.
“On average, we only get one
serious accident a year,” Mr
Brooks says.
“We had a Toyota MR2 written
off a couple of years ago with just
75 miles on the clock. And
another very noted public figure-
cum-journalist sat his kids on the
roof of a car to watch some sort
of event and caused £5,000 worth
of damage.”
When vehicles are damaged,
they are repaired immediately in
a dedicated press car bodyshop
at Toyota’s technical centre.
“There’s a three-day turn-
around period between loans,”
says Mr Brooks.
“The cars are checked and
anything wrong is rectified. If a
car is damaged we’ll swap it with
something else or get it to the
bodyshop.
“If someone has an accident
then we send them out a form
and get them to call our insur-
ance company, then we look after
it all. All the journalists are fully
insured through us. If we think
you get through the criteria of
getting cars, then that’s it. We
decide who gets cars by the
publication’s circulation, impact,
how much space we might get
and who the journalist is.”
GM’s last serious incident was
three years ago, when the
Monaro – an Australian muscle
car – first arrived in the UK.
“The previous one was a
VX220 Turbo; it was one of the
cars I was getting ready for the
launch event,” recalls Ms
Borrelli.
“There has been the odd time
when a car has come back
damaged and the story that’s
given is ‘I hit a badger’, or some-
thing like that. But when you
look at the damage you think
there’s a bit more to it than has
been said. Unfortunately, there’s
not much I can do about it.
“When something like that
does happen we have a look at
each individual case. It’s usually
a discussion had with our
manager and if necessary they
try and ascertain exactly what
has gone on. Most of the time
people will just call up and say
‘I’m really sorry, I’ve had an acci-
dent’.”
Like anyone hopping between
cars regularly, journalists occa-
sionally leave things in the vehi-
cles.
“We get a lot of lost property,”
Mr Brooks confirms.
“There have been old clothes,
lots of kids’ books, umbrellas
and ladies’ underwear.”
Items of underclothing also
show up at GM.
“We do get a lot of things left
in the cars – sunglasses, cheque-
books, bank cards,” says Ms
Borelli.
“I’ve had ladies’ underwear
that I’ve had to send back, and
keys seem to get left a lot.”
Once all the journalists that
want to drive the cars have done
so, it’s time to move the vehicles
on.
“Vehicles are changed every
10,000 miles, although long-
termers obviously can stay in
John Brooks,
press fleet
administrator
for Toyota
and Lexus
‘ WE GET A LOT OF LOST
PROPERTY. THERE HAVE BEEN
OLD CLOTHES, KIDS’ BOOKS,
UMBRELLAS AND LADIES’
UNDERWEAR
use for longer,” Mr Brooks says.
“Vehicles are disposed of
through the dealer network.
Because we have a dedicated
bodyshop, all the cars are thor-
oughly checked and, if neces-
sary, repaired to as high a
standard as possible.
“Press cars are probably the
best cars to buy second hand –
I’ve only had two breakdowns in
the 15 years that I’ve been doing
the job, because everything is so
well looked after. We even some-
times sell cars to the journalists
that borrowed them.”
GM keeps its short-term cars
on its fleet for six months.
“We have a dedicated remar-
keting team,” Ms Borrelli says.
“The cars are ‘smart’ repaired
if necessary and then defleeted
either through dealerships or at
auction.”
A Vauxhall Monaro coming
to grief at the hands of a
journalist was the GM press
fleet’s last serious incident

Recruitment

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

Brighter future FLEET TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE MANAGER Salary is £25 – £30k with Company Car. This is
Brighter future
FLEET TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE MANAGER
Salary is £25 – £30k with Company Car.
This is a new role working as part of a small team within the department in recognition that the
company must ensure full compliance in legal, health & safety and duty of care issues.
01235 536440
www.steele-dixon.co.uk
Based in Hertfordshire, however, the role will require travel throughout the UK.
The successful applicant will have a good working knowledge of vehicle engineering
preferably demonstrated by holding a technical qualification e.g. C&G or BTEC; CPC National.
Experience in setting and monitoring vehicle maintenance budgets. Experience in specifying and procuring fleet vehicles.
For more information please contact ed@steele-dixon.co.uk or call Ed Steele on 01235 536 440
straight talkin g : smart thinkin g : fast acting STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGER Employee Car Ownership
straight talkin g : smart thinkin g : fast acting
STRATEGIC ACCOUNT MANAGER
Employee Car Ownership - Souther n UK
£Attractive Basic • £65K OTE • Executive Car • Pension • Healthcare
28 Days’ Holiday • Share Save Scheme
A fantastic opportunity to progress your career within one of the top ten leasing companies
in the UK. You will manage one strategic ECO account that operates a fleet of 1000+
vehicles. Working closely with internal support teams you will ensure the smooth running
and growth of this large blue chip. This is a great opportunity for someone to build lasting
and meaningful relationships at a strategic level. Ref. GD5386
REGIONAL KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER
Contract Hire & Fleet Management - Souther n UK
£40K Basic • £55K OTE uncapped • Car • Pension • Healthcare
Share Options • 28 Day’s Holiday • Laptop • Mobile
This vehicle-leasing arm of one of Europe’s largest banks is renowned for the quality of
service and delivery. Managing 40 multi-supply accounts, you will develop long term,
profitable business. Success will depend on your relationship building skills and ability to
cross and up sell. With ongoing training and development, they offer all the support
needed to thrive. They pride themselves on their succession planning and ability to produce
the managers of tomorrow. Ref. GD5407
CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Contract Hire & Fleet Management - South East
£35-40K Basic • £62K OTE uncapped • Stunning Car Scheme • Pension
A division of one of the world’s most prestigious motor manufacturers, our client is one of
the most exciting and vibrant fleet companies in operation today. Armed with a fantastic
portfolio of services together with an excellent back office function, you will secure
business within the 100+ sector. If you’re looking for a career within a truly innovative,
growing and fantastically backed organisation, this could be for you. Ref. CT2299
SOUTH
NORTH
High Wycombe
Manchester
Will Gardner/Gregg Dampier Marc Bridges/Claire Anderson
01494 538866/538855
fleet@dwc.co.uk
0161 601 7766/7760
manchester@dwc.co.uk
daniel williams consultancy
Sales and Marketing Recruitment Specialists
www.dwc.co.uk
When it comes to carbon reduction, you're in the driving seat.

When it comes to carbon reduction, you're in the driving seat.

Climate change is now widely accepted as the largest long-term environmental problem facing humanity and its
Climate change is now widely accepted as the largest long-term environmental problem facing humanity and its

Climate change is now widely accepted as the largest long-term environmental problem facing humanity and its major cause is carbon dioxide emissions from energy use. A not-for-profit organisation formed in 1992, we've rapidly become a leading figure in the fight to address climate change. Our aim is to promote sustainable energy, while reducing consumption and

Fleet Consultants

Up to £45k plus bonus and excellent benefits

carbon emissions in the domestic and transport sectors throughout the UK. Join us and you'll change more than just your job.

Home-based flexible location (England)

You'll play a pivotal role in reducing the carbon footprint of large organisations. Providing them with

You'll play a pivotal role in reducing the carbon footprint of large organisations. Providing them with expert advice on environmental issues, you'll help them to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from their fleet. In this way, you'll make a real impact on the environmental agenda – and facilitate long-term change in the way businesses approach their fleet management.

With considerable experience of company car and van fleets, you'll appreciate the various factors that influence vehicle allocation – including cost, HR issues and how sustainable transport measures can deliver carbon savings. Analytical and a strategic thinker, your communication skills (both written and verbal) and powers of persuasion will enable you to build strong relationships at a senior level.

For further information, please email hr@est.org.uk To apply online please go to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/vacancies Alternatively, please send your CV and a covering letter explaining how you meet the requirements of this role to Human Resources, Energy Saving Trust, 21 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BP quoting reference NU493.

Closing date: Friday, 29th February 2008.

Closing date: Friday, 29th February 2008.

 

www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

 
 
Recruitment Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com Brighter future FLEET TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE MANAGER Salary is
require a DIVISIONAL FLEET SALES MANAGER Following last years success and the continued growth of the

require a

DIVISIONAL FLEET SALES MANAGER

Following last years success and the continued growth of the Honda brand, Johnsons Cars Ltd requires a highly experienced and ambitious Fleet Sales Manager to manage and co-ordinate the Corporate Business Sector within our Honda Division. With dealerships in Oxford, Milton Keynes, Slough, Dunstable and Beaconsfi eld the successful candidate will head a team of B2B sales executives as they strive to deliver our corporate volume aspirations in 2008 and beyond. Prospective candidates should ideally live within the area described above. An industry leading remuneration package will be offered along with the usual benefi ts expected from the motor industry.

Applicants should apply in writing to Steve Yeates, Group Personnel Manager at Johnsons Cars Ltd, Clive Road, Redditch, Worcs, B97 4BT

or by e-mail to syeates@johnsonscarsltd.co.uk.

Closing date for applications is 29th February 2008.

36 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

Your views, your queries, your chance to get involved FLEET CV Gina Heeley Fleet manager Wolters

Your views, your queries, your chance to get involved

FLEET CV Gina Heeley Fleet manager Wolters Kluwer UK
FLEET CV
Gina Heeley
Fleet
manager
Wolters
Kluwer UK

Describe your fleet.

We currently have 126 cars across all badges and some commercial vehicles.

Would you recommend a career in fleet?

Yes, I would. My current role has evolved over the past six years. I was originally a facilities administrator and then when the fleet management was consoli- dated I assisted the fleet manager. Since 2005 my role has been to manage the whole of our UK fleet.

How does working in fleet differ from your previous job?

It’s far more involved than any previous role. With duty of care you have to be so careful and make sure everything is recorded.

What would make your job easier?

A single-badge vehicle policy – but then I don’t think I would be very popular with

our drivers.

What do you like to do to relax?

  • I love entertaining –

spending the day in the kitchen is relaxing to me. And I always have a good book on the go.

What item could you not live without?

  • I would have to say my car.

Find your favourites Letters – p39 A reader warns that major changes are needed in the
Find your
favourites
Letters – p39
A reader warns that major
changes are needed in the
attitude of managers to the
grey fleet.
Helpline – p41
What are the implications
of allowing someone to
choose a camper van as
their company car?
First car – p43
Helen Moore, of the Energy
Saving Trust, drove an
elderly Ford Escort when
she first started work.
Competition – p43
This week’s quiz winner
will receive a RoadCam
camera worth £495.
Job of
the week
ENERGY SAVING TRUST
Fleet consultant,
UK based, £45k p38

Companies guilty of over-confidence

BY EMMA COOPER

Companies working in the trans- port and logistics sector are ill- equipped to cope with change, according to new research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Over-confidence in the indus- try is particularly reflected in the areas of training and technology. Though nearly two-thirds of employers believe skills and talent management to be a major challenge to UK businesses, only 51% identified “developing talent” as a key concern. The survey also found that though 74% of new IT projects fail, only 22% of the trans-

port sector believes that “keeping abreast of technological change” should be a priority. Only 51% of the industry viewed “managing the impact of regula- tion” as a corporate necessity. Most shocking of all, only 32% of managers and decision-makers within the transport field, including fleet managers, believe that risk management to be an important issue. Jo Causon, director of market- ing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said: “Questions need to be asked about how UK organisa- tions will be able to manage in the future, if they fail to address key operational issues.”

Your views, your queries, your chance to get involved FLEET CV Gina Heeley Fleet manager Wolters

Just 51% of firms identify developing talent as a concern

APPOINTMENTS

email: fleetnews@emap.com

Promotion at TCH Leasing

Mark Hammond has been named director at TCH Leasing, where he will be responsible for its overall running and perfor- mance. He takes the role after six years as joint director, before which he was finance director for the company. Ken Buckley heads up the sales team, joining TCH from All In One Leasing.

Your views, your queries, your chance to get involved FLEET CV Gina Heeley Fleet manager Wolters

Newton takes reins at Windsor

Philip Newton has been named chief executive of Windsor Vehicle Leasing. He will be responsible for the strategy, development and overall performance of the company. Previously he was CEO of the Merchant Retail Group and he holds non-executive positions within Capital Regional and retailers Cornish Kitchen.

Brading fills epyx HR position

E-commerce specialist epyx has appointed Sarah Brading as human resources manager. Ms Brading will be responsible for all human resources issues within the company, coordinating a staff of 80 people. She joins from IT company OAOT where she spent seven years as HR director for Europe.

Ashton takes Total Accident role

Total Accident Management has appointed Lena Ashton as strategic account manager. She will be responsible for a number of the company’s key contract hire and leasing accounts. Ms Ashton has more than 20 years’ experience in the motor industry.

SETTLING IN

Joel Andresier Business sales manager Skoda UK
Joel
Andresier
Business
sales
manager
Skoda UK

How does this role differ

from your last one?

My last role was dealer based and the biggest difference is variety. Every customer I visit in my current job is different with unique fleet requirements.

How was your first day?

Brilliant. On my first day I joined

the business team who were holding their national meeting in the Czech Republic.

Is the fleet market changing?

Yes, at a tremendous pace. Legis-

lative and technological changes mean we must constantly enhance our methods to remain business critical to our clients.

How are you finding working with fleets?

It has definitely been challeng- ing and enjoyable so far. I am also fortunate to work with approachable managers.

What’s the greatest challenge you’ve experienced so far?

Having to gain expert fleet

knowledge in a short space of time. My role was well managed previously and customers have high expectations.

What do you do to relax at weekends?

I take the dogs out to the New Forest for a few hours and we

usually get lost.

Recruitment

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

Recruitment Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com Please mention Fleet News when replying to the

Please mention FleetNews when replying to the our featured vacancies

www.fleetnews.co.uk

www.fleetnews.co.uk

Recruitment Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com Please mention Fleet News when replying to the
Great opportunities matter. Corporate Sales Manager. We are looking to recruit a Corporate Sales Manager to
Great opportunities matter.
Corporate Sales Manager.
We are looking to recruit a Corporate Sales Manager to head and direct a
small team. Based at our Cheltenham dealership, you will have responsibility
forCorporate Salesfor our Cheltenham, Gloucesterand Hereford businesses.
This role requires a self-motivated individual who’s leadership skills will inspire
and drive forward our corporate team to achieve its full potential; developing and
generating sales to small local businesses in all three demographics as well as
larger national clients. You will need a proven track record in a similar position
with corporate sales experience. You will also need an unrivalled commitment to
customer satisfaction and to share in our passion for success.
For the right person we are offering a competitive package with associated benefits.
Please apply in writing to Karen Evans enclosing your CV to the address below
or email: personnel@cotswoldgroup.com
Cotswold
Cotswold Motor Group
Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL51 9SG
The Ultimate
Driving Machine
Recruitment Call Daniel Bragg: 01733 468271 email: daniel.bragg@emap.com Please mention Fleet News when replying to the

To advertise here please call Daniel Bragg on 01733 468271

A L A S T A I R A M E S always the right person
A L A S T A I R A M E S
always
the right
person
for the job
Specialist Search and Selection
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

38 14.02.08 www.fleetnews.co.uk

LETTERS

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

Interface

Major changes needed to manage grey fleet

Your article on grey fleet insur- ance raises a serious issue and one that many fleet managers should take seriously: make sure your drivers are insured properly or face the health and safety, financial and, potentially, reputa- tional fall out of a claim being turned down. As your article points out, busi- nesses have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure that their drivers have the correct form of cover. Getting this cover has become easier, but businesses must ensure their policies are correctly underwritten for business use. It is encouraging that the grey fleet is being discussed as an important area for fleet manag- ers, but to deal with issues like insurance in isolation is to perhaps mask the bigger cultural shift that must be taken to improve the management of the grey fleet.

Insurance is just one of many issues concerning the manage- ment of the grey fleet, which also extends to licensing, MoT checks, vehicle maintenance and quality and age of vehicle to name but some issues. Louise Clayton is quoted in your article as saying: “It would certainly be easier from a fleet management and health and safety perspective if our grey fleet drivers were under the provision of the company car scheme.” For me, when it comes to the management of the grey fleet, this must be the quality bench- mark. While it would be difficult to insist on all drivers taking the company car option, fleet man- agers should aspire to have the same standard of management and regulation with their grey fleet vehicles as they do with company vehicles.

LETTERS ■ Email: fleetnews@emap.com. Please include name, job title, company and address Interface Major changes needed

This will call on the develop- ment of a robust fleet policy covering all vehicles, which many businesses do not yet have in place. Only in this way can a con- sistently good health and safety standard be achieved for all busi- ness drivers, grey fleet or not. Insurance should be one element of an overall management policy.

Last year saw the grey fleet issue properly come to the fore alongside other important fleet- related health and safety issues. Let’s hope that in 2008 we respond to managing the risks it represents.

MIKE WATERS Head of market insight, Arval

Problem? No, just a routine safety check

With reference to the long-term report by Phill Tromans on the Vauxhall Astra TwinTop (Fleet News, January 31), until recently I privately owned an identical model (even the same colour as yours) albeit an 06 registration. I, too, suffered the same two electrical gremlins that you mentioned and can explain the reason for the coolant level warning, which comes on within a mile every time you first drive off and goes off after about 30 seconds. After three frustrating visits to my local Vauxhall dealership,

where no fault was found, I was explaining the problem to the service manager – having already gone through this process with service reception and a technician. His reply was: “Oh, but it’s supposed to do that, sir. The car is telling you that it is checking the coolant level for you, not that it is low. If it is low, the display will change to CHECK LEVEL”. It seems strange that if a manufacturer can incorporate such technology in a vehicles, it ought to be able to communicate this to the dealers. The vehicle

handbook does, I believe, go some way to cover this point. Perhaps Mr Tromans would like to convey this explanation to his local dealer. With regard to the electric folding roof sticking half way through its performance, this only used to happen to me occa- sionally when I was using the remote key fob, and usually in a car park when intrigued passers- by were watching. My solution was to get in the car and use the buttons inside to finish the operation. I reported it to my dealer

once, but, as in your case, no fault was found. It was a great car to own, even with the summer we had last year. However, having read a report in Fleet News on the Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sportback, a too-good-to- miss opportunity came up to trade it in. I just hope the weather is not too good this summer.

JOHN R GILL Senior management accountant, Claas UK

Treating dealers as partners

I was interested to read your Sewells dealer survey story. In 2007 Lex increased its

dealer performance nationally by 5% to 87%. Dealers are set targets annu- ally and their performance is directly linked to the price Lex pays in terms of labour rates. This is based on a sample

size of 1,700 dealers which

make up the One Call network, 20% of which are indepen- dents, the rest franchised. At the heart of our improve- ments is a new online customer satisfaction index, where nearly 20,000 Lex customers annually give valuable feed- back on dealer performance. All survey results are published online so every dealer, dealer group and manufacturer’s performance is transparent. Lex believes the secret to success is rewarding perfor- mance financially and treating its dealer network as partners and setting clear objectives. Meeting the targets means a higher financial reward but a poor performance means freezing labour rates, or in extreme cases removing the dealer from our suppliers. Everyone signs up to driving up standards. This falls in line with the Lex ethos of “World Class Service”. So our report is a clear indication that when you adopt a structured part- nership approach with dealers, customer service can improve year on year.

PAUL KERRIGAN Associate director customer care & supplier development, Lex

ONLINE POLL

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LAST WEEK’S POLL
LAST WEEK’S POLL
Does your company rely on young drivers (under 25 years of age)? 52% 48% YES NO
Does your company
rely on young drivers
(under 25 years of
age)?
52%
48%
YES
NO
0
100
80
60
40
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FleetNews

COMMENT

Last week we were warning of

the dangers faced by young

drivers, through lack of

experience, youthful exuber-

ance and the fact that they

drive older, potentially more dangerous cars.

Our concern for the young

continues this week, but on

page two we also turn our

attention to the growing

problem of driving while unfit

through drugs. You might think the stories are related. If so, you will be surprised to learn that the majority of drug- driving convictions are handed out to middle-aged drivers doped up on over-the-counter or prescription medications. The warnings on the bottles and packs need to be bigger and clearer to help your drivers get the message.

FREE GIFT

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Property
Property

FOR SALE due to Retirement

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BUSINESS COVER

Getting to grips with insurance small print

Q Our managers annually check the insurance

certificates of staff who use their own cars on business. Staff will travel between offices for meetings, training, etc, or to supplier’s premises, housing estates to meet our tenants or inspect property. Many insurance certificates are clear and state that the policyholder is covered while on the business of their employer. There is, however, a tendency for insurance companies to use the ambiguous term ‘covered while on the policyholder’s business’ and no distinction is made between the employ- er’s business and the policyholder’s business.

Is it safe to assume the term business always includes employer’s business?

A You should be congratulated for taking your obligations

seriously in checking that your staff are adequately insured when driving on business and not just treating this as a box-ticking exercise, thus indicating that a certificate of insurance has been produced when checking for the appropriate cover. The term ‘use’ within motor insurance is a complex one and definitions of the term may differ between insurers. However, I would expect insurers to treat policyholder’s business and the employer’s business as one and the same,

and to accept that an employee is using their vehicle for business. Where the employee is
and to accept that an employee is
using their vehicle for business.
Where the employee is a
named driver rather than the
policyholder, then ‘use’ must
refer to the employer’s business
use for both the policyholder and
named drivers. Otherwise, cover
will not be provided.
Your liabilities arising from the
use of your employees’ vehicle
will be covered under your motor
fleet policy, as insurers provide
contingency cover as standard,
and that will indemnify you while
any vehicle is hired, leased, lent
to you or is being used in
connection with your business by
any person in your employment.
MARTIN SMITH
Claims manager,
Norwich Union
Cover notes need checking

VEHICLE CHOICE

Q My finance director (who is also my boss)

told me that when his car is

replaced next time, he wants a camper van instead. My first reaction was to say no but I hear that camper van residual values are amazing, so would this actually be a smart move financially?

A This raises far more issues than just the residual value

of a vehicle. First and foremost, it tests the effectiveness of your fleet policy. As a fleet professional you should ensure that any vehicle allocation request is based on commercially sound judgement and that your fleet policy supports any decision taken. The company car is still one

VEHICLE CHOICE Q My finance director (who is also my boss) told me that when his

Could the acquisition of a camper van damage your fleet policy?

of the most emotive and visible aspects of employee remunera- tion and it is of the utmost importance that your vehicle allocation policy takes account of the broader issues involved, which includes the types of vehicles provided, the financial

conditions involved and, of course, the health and safety/ duty of care aspects. It is essential that your policy is not devalued by setting precedents that cannot be managed effectively, irrespec- tive of any perceived residual

value benefit. The real costs of an ill-considered decision are likely to be much greater. Ask yourself whether a camper van meets these requirements and what the impact on fleet policy would be if allowed? A camper van may well fit the bill in terms of acting as a component for your finance director’s remuneration package, but is it ideal in terms of being related to a defined need for business travel? I suspect that the jury would be out for quite some time debating this one.

PETER ELDRIDGE Head of maintenance & accident management, Inchcape Fleet Solutions

DRIVER TRAINING