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All of the PSA brands have been set CO2 targets alongside volume targets for 2020 in order that the group meets the stringent new European emissions targets and is not landed with fines.

Speaking exclusively to Company Car Today before the coronavirus shutdown, Vauxhall sales director James Taylor (pictured) confirmed each fleet sales channel had a CO2 target this year, replicating a move to target dealers on CO2 in order to achieve volume bonuses.

Company Car Today understands that Peugeot, Citroen and DS also have fleet CO2 targets.

“We have got targets, by channel, but, from a true fleet perspective, primarily we’re here to satisfy customer needs and sell vehicles. If we need to take actions elsewhere to try and do that, we can do it. And to a degree we’ve got some flexibility within our own company car fleet because we’re a major employer in the UK. So, to a degree, we can use vehicles there to help.

“We’re not trying to stop selling certain things to sell other things.”

Taylor explained that selling PHEVs and EVs was uncharted territory for Vauxhall and was unsure exactly how company car drivers would react.

“My gut feeling is that the electric market will explode once everyone calculates how much tax they’re going to save. My personal view is that electric is going to be a much bigger market than plug-in hybrids. That’s my personal feeling, based on the current environment. But, what is uncertain at the same time is how much is the range going to put people off,” said Taylor.

One of the main influences on fleet uptake, believes Taylor, will be making sure PHEVs and EVs appear in a wide range of company car bands and that businesses are not put off by a high list price when whole-life cost figures are much lower.

In order to make this happen, Taylor said he has not cut his field sales team, who can help explain the advantages: “One of the big benefits of Vauxhall is we’ve still got a very large fleet account management team. Some of our competitors have significantly reduced their numbers of people on the road, but I felt with electric coming, if anything we need more boots on the ground explaining to people the benefits. Whether it’s the benefits of an EV, or total cost of ownership.

“We need more time to spend with customers face to face to explain this, rather than less, because it’s a massive change. In my 20 years in the industry, this is the biggest change we’ve seen on the fleet side.”

Tristan Young

Vauxhall Grandland PHEV to offer 35-mile electric-only range