By Steffen Müller and Richard Irvine-Brown
A round-up of the week’s fleet news, including Ford’s £8.6m deal, Terberg to supply fire-fighting vehicles, European tastes, Mazda expansion, HCVS rental reconfiguration and duty of care.
Ford-Speedy £8.6m, 400-van deal
Ford has agreed to supply 380 Transit vans and 20 Ranger pick-ups to equipment rental and support provider Speedy in a deal worth £8.6m.
The vehicles will be operated through 283 Speedy sites in the UK and the deal marks 18 years of the two brands working together.
All vehicles will be fitted with telematic monitors to encourage improved efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions with the intention of reducing whole-life costs for the vehicles.
Vehicle supplier Terberg DTS is set to represent Airport Fire Fighting and Rescue and industrial vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Corporation in the UK and Ireland.
Terberg DTS, part of the Netherlands-based Terberg Group, will be responsible for the sales, aftersales support and parts servicing of products from the North American brand, as well as supporting Oshkosh products in Asian and African markets.
Terberg said it is working through its first deal for Oshkosh fire vehicles with a leading UK airport.
Compact cars continue popularity
The compact car was the favoured fleet car class in Europe’s biggest fleet markets in 2012 with a 22.8% share of all new registrations, according to German business information firm Dataforce.
In the seven fleet markets surveyed, Belgium, France Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and UK, the compact car fleet share grew by 3.5% in the year-to-May, up to 23.6% of the total.
In a comparison of prestige fleet brands and models, the BMW 1 Series held a 7.3% market share of new registrations in 2013 so far. The Audi A3 was second with 5.9% but has recorded a peak of 9.3% market share this year. Although the Mercedes A-Class was third with a market share of 5.4% in 2013 to-date, the figure is more than double its share recorded in 2012.
Mazda expands fleet network and corporate sales team
Mazda in the UK has increased its Fleet Specialist Dealer network from four to six franchises with the inclusion of Holdcroft Mazda in Stoke-on-Trent and RRG Mazda in Salford.
Steve Tomlinson, head of fleet at Mazda, said the brand was "receiving and ever-increasing the number of inquiries" from firms wishing to add the marque to their company car lists, particularly the Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5.
With the initial four sites handling 65% of Mazda’s contract hire business, Tomlinson explained the additional sites gave Mazda a "better geographical spread" and allowed the brand to meet corporate demand within 10 – 14 days of an order being placed.
In response to the additions, Chris Stableford has been promoted from national contract hire manager to the newly-created position of national fleet sales manager; Jonathan Reynolds has moved from retail to become national contract hire development manager; and the brand has added two members of staff to its regional corporate sales team.
HCVS launches rental system, appoints rentals head
Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions (HCVS) has launched Fleetondemand, a cloud-based daily rental portal and appointed Kathleen Whitman to lead its Rentals team.
The online system will be available to customers 24 hours a day to book vehicles for hire. It will also cater for the individual requirements for any car, commercial vehicle or plant / equipment hire and connect with more than 200 independent rental companies.
Whitman joins HCVS with more than 20 years’ experience of the market, most recently as director of the New Business team at Europcar Group.
ALD urges duty of care
Despite legislation compelling organisations to promote the safety of the three million staff driving for work reasons on UK roads, only 41% of 1,000 business drivers surveyed by ALD Automotive UK have received training from their employer.
According to the fleet management firm, less than 2% expected training in the next 12 months, less than 25% had undergone a health check to deem if they were fit to drive and less than 1% expected to have such a check in the next 12 months.
Mel Dawson, managing director of ALD Automotive UK, said there was a "moral and legal obligation" for companies to promote duty of care among motoring employees which could also bear "significant financial savings" from avoiding accidents and undue wear to vehicles.