New Fiat boss plans changes to improve RVs
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new UK managing director is aiming to boost long- and medium-term channels to market within fleet in order to boost residual values.
In his first interview since joining FCA from French premium brand DS, Arnaud Leclerc (pictured right) said the FCA approach would be to offer all five of the group’s brands from a single operation because the brands are complimentary and don’t directly compete with each other.
“We need to be careful about how we go into the market in fleet. The focus is on middle and long-term business and not short-term,” he added.
“We need to work with our own lease company as well as all the large leasing firms. We want to make sure we are appearing in front of the user-chooser. There is sometimes a problem that we are not appearing in front of them.”
Leaf off to a big fleet start
Nissan is already enjoying a richer fleet share on its new Leaf than it was recording with the previous car.
With the first-generation car, fleets accounted for around 15% of sales, whereas early demand from corporate customers sees the new model already running at around a third of demand coming from fleet despite the normal trend bing that fleet demand is slower to build because of longer change cycles than retail buyers.
The new car has an official WLTP-test range of 185 miles, with the new power pack being one-third larger than the previous car’s.
Smart set to go EV-only within two years
Daimler’s small car brand Smart will go EV-only in the UK by 2020, having already dropped internal combustion engines in the US.
The Smart Forfour and Fortwo Electric Drive models were launched last year, and the petrol and diesel versions will be phased out over the next couple of years.