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Jaguar scoops ACFO Fleet Car of the Year title for first time

Voted online exclusively by the ACFO membership, the 2015 awards were revealed at a gala dinner at the St John’s Hotel, Solihull last night (18 November) and saw BMW take both the Environmental Initiative of the Year and Green Vehicle of the Year with the plug-in i3.

Ford won both the Small Van of the Year and Large Van of the Year titles in line with its dominance of the van categories over the 32-year history of the ACFO Awards.

And Jaguar won the Fleet Car of the Year Award for the first time with the all-new XE despite only entering showrooms in June.

ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “The XE competes in an incredibly competitive sector of the fleet market. It’s a great looking car, but critically for fleet operators offers top-notch whole life costs.”

Commenting on BMW’s double triumph, Pryor added: “The Government is urging fleets to take plug-in vehicle leadership as the nation moves to a low-carbon economy and BMW is in the vanguard of the drive not only with the i3, but also with support and advice.”

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) retained the Fleet Service Company of the Year Award title in 2015 after developing a range of online tools including: driver licence validation checks, V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book) access and a vehicle enquiry service.

Pryor said: “ACFO members have welcomed the DVLA’s approach to engaging directly with them as it introduced a raft of digital services to ease the fleet vehicle administration burden. The DVLA has taken on board members’ views and responded accordingly.”

The Volvo XC90, which went on UK sale in the summer, won ACFO’s Fleet Safety Initiative Award for its suite of life-saving features. Pryor echoed members’ voting views saying: “The XC90 returns Volvo to the very top as the leader in car safety bringing genuinely new technology to the market.”

And Ford Transit won the Large Van of the Year title for the fifth consecutive year and the 19th time in the history of the Awards while the Ford Transit Connect returned to pole position to win the Small Van of the Year Award having been knocked out of the winner’s circle last year. It means the Transit Connect – with stablemate the Ford Transit Custom as the runner-up – was voted the nation’s favourite small fleet van for the 12th time.

Pryor said: “Ford calls the Transit the backbone of Britain and that is due in no small part to ACFO members who continually recognise the key attributes of the range of models carrying the name: whole life costs, build quality and fitness for purposes.”

Commenting on the awards in general, Pryor added: “Fleet decision-makers are reliant on motor manufacturers to deliver vehicles that are cost effective to operate, safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly and suppliers and other organisations to provide a first class service.

“Operating successfully in partnership it means that through the availability of top quality vehicles and first rate suppliers, vehicle downtime can be kept to an absolute minimum and fleet managers can focus on the efficient and effective operation of their vehicles to support their businesses.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.