Round-Up: Suzuki launches fleet scheme, Pre-orders open for first DS EV, MPs call for pothole fund

Suzuki launches fleet dealer programme

First Drive-May 2019-Suzuki Vitara-Image 1

Suzuki has launched its ‘Business Partners’ programme, which aims to increase fleet sales by more than a third in three years.

Dealers signing up to the scheme must commit to having a dedicated member of staff for fleet sales, have a fleet specific-section on its website and also have a strong social media presence, the Japanese brand said, adding that dealers must also deliver a high level of customer service to the fleet industry.

“Suzuki is seen as a genuine challenger brand in the fleet market and we have a massive opportunity here to work with our dealers and their local businesses. It’s not revolution, its evolution to look at the 50% of the market place we hadn’t previously had a proposition for,” said Graeme Jenkings, head of fleet at Suzuki. “All of our dealers excel at providing top level customer service on a local level and enlisting in the programme can only help bolster this. The key thing to remember is that we are looking to generate incremental and profitable local fleet business and will continue to manage relationships with the major leasing companies on their behalf.”

DS opens pre-orders for first EV

DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 011

DS has announced it is now to possible to reserve its 3 Crossback E-Tense, its first electric vehicle, ahead of the first deliveries commencing in January.

It costs from £32,350, including the Government’s £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant, and has a range of 200 miles and the firm confirmed that each of its models will be offered with a plug-in hybrid or pure electric variant going forwards.

MPs call for pothole fund

Ford Focus pothole

A five-year pothole fund should be established will allow councils to address a deteriorating local roads network and plan ahead, a group of MPs said.

According to the Transport Committee, a deteriorating local road network “undermines local economic performance and results in direct costs to taxpayers, either through rising costs of deferred work or through a mend and make do approach that does not represent good value for money in the long-term.”

“Local authorities are in the invidious position of having to rob Peter to pay Paul. Cash-strapped councils are raiding their highways and transport budgets to fund core services. Now is the time for the Department to propose a front-loaded, long-term funding settlement to the Treasury as part of the forthcoming Spending Review,” said Lilian Greenwood, the group’s chair. “Almost every journey begins and ends on local roads: the DfT must work with the public and local authorities to make them safe.”