Mercedes-Benz: we will become number one in premium fleet sector
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 premium German sector and increase sales 45% by 2016. This year, Mercedes-Benz will record a 27% share of the premium German fleet market, with the remainder split almost evenly between BMW and Audi.
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.
As well as a refreshed fleet team, with a new website and direct sales programme launched recently, Andrews said products would be helpful. A-Class is expected to be a key conquest model, but early interest has shown it hasn’t alienated existing owners either.
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 said. 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.’