The leading biotech supply company GRI Ltd has taken delivery of seven Toyota Yaris T3 diesel D-4D models – having noted the reliability of other Toyotas, often driven by senior management, in the company’s fleet.

GRI is one of the UK’s top providers of instruments, reagents and consumables for biotechnology research institutes and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing its own products through sister company, Gene Technologies, and distributing those of 25 international manufacturers. It employs more than 50 staff at its premises in Braintree, Essex. The company runs a fleet of 37 cars, with employees below director level able to choose from the ranges of four manufacturers. The majority of the vehicles are used by GRI’s sales executives and field service engineers.

“We’ve had Toyotas on the fleet for about 10 years,” says Operations Manager Phil Sandom, who also has responsibility for the car fleet. “These have included Camry, Celica, Corolla and Avensis and we are aware of the versatility of the range. The Yaris will be used by our seven newly appointed sales executives in our BioEssentials division. This team specialise in the supply of reagents and consumables that every molecular biology research lab requires. BioEssentials’ range includes plasticware and enzymes that are used on our G-Storm Thermal Cyclers (shown in image). These units are used to amplify DNA for further genetic analysis and research. To use a motoring analogy, the G-Storm is the car and the plasticware and enzymes are the petrol/diesel,” continued Mr Sandom.

The vehicles are leased through a selection of companies on three-year contract hire and business cars can cover 30,000-plus miles a year.

“We have had problems with some makes but Toyotas have always proved very reliable as a fleet vehicle,” says Mr Sandom, who has cheerfully swapped his existing other-make MPV for a Toyota Previa T Spirit.


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  • Stephen Craig (left) from Toyota Fleet hands over the vehicles to Dr Joanna Pang from the Applications Support Team and Phil Sandom, Operations Manager in front of a G-Storm Thermal Cycler.

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