The manufacturer has been overhauling its UK fleet offering since head of fleet Nick Andrews took over last September, aimed at turning around its declining market share in the sector and increase sales 45% by 2016. This year, Mercedes-Benz will record a 27% share of the fleet market against close rivals BMW and Audi, between whom the remainder is split almost evenly.
Contract hire and leasing will play a big part of this, the firm says. The manufacturer has a 14% share of the premium sector’s contract hire and leasing sales, and while growth will be dependent on the volumes rivals are bringing into the UK Andrews is confident that they can increase this, and is building relationships with the companies to do so. True fleet sales will increase to 44,000 next year, while Motability and rental volumes are tightly restricted to protect residual values.
Its core fleet cars, the C and E-Class aren’t being neglected either. The Executive SE trim, which is based on fleet customers’ feedback, launched in the E-Class earlier this year. From December production this will be available in the C-Class, with a new C220 CDI version emitting 109g/km. The manufacturer is out to prove it can be affordable, as well as being luxurious.
‘We’re serious about fleet,’ Andrews told the publication. We’ve got an ambition to be the number one manufacturer in the premium sector in fleet in the UK, and we won’t be complacent when we get there.
‘We will continue to invest in the right people, processes and products, systems and leasing industry. We want to form a strategic partnership with the leasing industry. Our dealers have been closed to it, they’re now open.’
Article and image: www.fleetworld.co.uk