Mazda to increase small fleet focus in new sales drive
The newly announced Mazda Business Development Programme initially involves 16 franchise dealers across the UK covering "28 areas of influence", with a second wave of 21 dealers covering "23 areas of influence" joining the scheme over the following weeks.
While Mazda's own corporate sales team focuses on fleets running 100+ vehicles, the brand has appointed Magma Services, part of the London-based automotive specialist Magma Group, to drive forward fleet sales to SMEs in partnership with franchise dealers.
Magma Services has recruited a team of four business development managers, located regionally to support dealers in maximising local business opportunities in their respective areas. They will spend at least 50% of their time working with the dealers who typically already have a business-to-business specialist within their sales team, although some work on a multi-franchise basis.
The business development managers will work with dealer-based sales staff in a three-pronged sales plan on SMEs involving rigorous prospecting, significant marketing and joint visits.
They will then spend the remainder of their time exploiting direct selling opportunities to local businesses and educating SMEs about the opportunities available to them in running their fleet vehicles in partnership with Mazda.
Speaking about the response to the programme from dealers, Peter Allibon, fleet and remarketing director for Mazda Motors UK, said: 'They can see that securing sales with businesses in their surrounding area provides opportunities not just to sell new cars but also open service, maintenance and repair work opportunities in the future. Ultimately by forming a strong partnership with SMEs in their respective areas the dealers can look forward to long-standing business relationships.'
'The business development managers working with selected dealers over the next 12 months will therefore leave a legacy that is sustainable long term,' continued Mr Allibon.
The programme has been launched as Mazda looks to expand end-user fleet sales as many firms return to vehicle acquisition after, in many cases, extending replacement cycles during the recession. A target of 1,000 fleet orders from sub-50 fleets during the course of the initiative has been set. However, Mazda says that there will be some overlap into the 50 to 100-vehicle segment, just as Mazda's own corporate sales team dips into the sub-100 segment.
'With two separate teams focusing on the smaller and larger ends of the fleet market we have all areas of the market covered. There will be no duplication, but the two teams will refer business opportunities in the 50 to 100-vehicle segment to each other on a case-by-case basis,' explained Mr Allibon.