TOYOTA ON TAP FOR SCOTTISH & NEWCASTLE DRIVERS

Toyota cars are joining the 2,500-strong fleet of brewing, leisure and retail giant Scottish & Newcastle. The Toyota range has been designated as one of three from which the company’s business car drivers can make their choices, with Toyota and VW replacing Ford and Nissan alongside Rover.

The change was based on driver appeal as well as cost, evaluated using the Emmox whole-life costs database. “We’ve found it a very good system,” says the company’s Head of Vehicles & Services Purchasing, Martin Street, “we were looking for cars that were not only cost-effective but also different and very motivational for our drivers – cars that would be perceived by them as being better than the previous choices.

“Apart from whole-life costs we chose Toyota on the basis of the breadth of the range, specifications and feedback from drivers,” he says. The agreement is for two years, with an option to extend by a further year.

Replacement cycles at Scottish & Newcastle are four years or 80,000 miles, but as some 75 per cent of its drivers are business rather than benefit users, they reach that mileage after three years. Around 750 cars are replaced each year.

Scottish & Newcastle employs 45,000 people and has more than 80 offices throughout the UK. Much of its car fleet is used by sales, technical and financial staff working for the Scottish Courage division, which is the UK’s leading brewer, and by area sales managers working for Scottish & Newcastle Retail, which runs a network of pubs, restaurants and hotels.

A smaller salesforce is employed by the leisure arms of short holiday break specialist Center Parcs and Pontins holiday centres.

Fleet cars are purchased outright by the company but managed on a full-maintenance basis by PHH. Toyota vehicles will be supplied by nominated dealers in Edinburgh, Leeds, Northampton and London.

“A number of drivers delayed replacing their cars until the change came into effect in May,” says Martin. “Early indications are that the split between makes is quite evenly balanced.” The benefits sector menu now covers all cars except sports models, with four-wheel drive allowed for the first time. This means that RAV4, Land Cruiser Colorado as well as Camry and Previa will feature alongside the main business sector options of Corolla and Avensis.

But the Avensis will almost certainly make up the majority of Toyota orders: “Initial signs are that the Avensis looks to be quite desirable – especially the CDX,” says Martin Street. Although it is the highest trim level on the Avensis, its competitive pricing ensures that it is well placed on employees’ list of choices.

“Scottish & Newcastle is a major company and this agreement is an exciting development for us,” says Mark Hall, General Manager of Toyota Fleet. “We look forward to finding out exactly what choices its drivers make over time, but we’re confident that our exciting and highly specified range is set to play a big part in keeping Scottish & Newcastle staff on the road nationwide.”

ENDS

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