Round-Up: Zero stars for Panda, Diesel leasing enquiries rising?, Extra role for Taylor

Zero stars for Panda

Panda Euro NCAP

The Fiat Panda has been awarded zero stars as part of Euro NCAP’s safety testing criteria, having failed to achieve more than 50% in the crash-testing body’s four categories.

According to Euro NCAP, the safety of children seated in the rear was of specific concern, with the Panda’s Child Occupant Protection score of 16% falling significantly short of the 79% average.

The Panda now holds the dubious honour of being only the second vehicle to achieve a zero-star rating, with the with the other being the Fiat Punto, tested in 2017.

“The Panda is seen as a good choice for young drivers and fledgling families. But the only safety technology fitted were seatbelt reminders and the rear system failed to meet requirements, so they weren’t even rated,” said Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research. “These shocking Euro NCAP test results demonstrate an inconsistent commitment to safety, as Fiat has produced four and five-star cars in the past.”

Diesel leasing enquiries on the rise?

Venson Automotive Solutions diesel has future image

Enquiries for leasing diesel vehicles has increased by 6% among business customers in the last year, despite the fuel falling out of favour with many, one leasing company has claimed.

Vantage Leasing suggested part of the reason behind the surge in enquiries is down to customers believing that leasing a vehicle can ensure they avoid a residual value hit as a broker will take on ownership of the car once it has been passed back.

“Diesels have proved extremely popular with drivers over the last decade or so, but given the concerns over their environmental performance, potential emission charges and falling residuals, sales of new diesels have fallen dramatically,” said James Buttrick, digital marketing manager at the firm. “However, many motorists are still keen to benefit from the performance of a diesel vehicle but are looking to leasing as a way of avoiding any falling residual prices.”

Extra role for Vauxhall fleet boss Taylor

James Taylor - Vauxhall's fleet sales director

Vauxhall’s fleet sales and remarking director James Taylor has been promoted to the newly created role of general sales director, responsible for all vehicle sales activities. He will combine the new role with his existing fleet responsibilities.

“This well-earned promotion gives James the scope to concentrate as much, and more, on B2C new-vehicle channels as on pure B2B and used vehicle remarketing,” said Stephen Norman, Group Managing Director Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland.