HOME, JAMES – IN THE TOYOTA AVENSIS
Professional Chauffeur Services (PCS) has added 18 Toyota Avensis to its 350-strong nationwide VIP vehicle fleet. After a brief acquaintance with the diesel automatic Avensis Tourers, the company plans to buy more.
PCS is a well-established uniformed-chauffeur service, with a client list that includes AstraZeneca, American Express, the BBC, Hitachi Data Systems, Kelloggs and Unilever. It was PCS that provided the cars for the wedding of Wayne & Colleen Rooney.
Much of the fleet consists of luxury and executive cars, people-carriers and coaches and, given their role, reliability is the over-riding consideration in vehicle choice. The company’s previous experience of the Toyota brand had been with cars on its self-drive hire fleet.
“We decided to add Avensis to the chauffeur-drive fleet because of its style, roominess and economy,” explains PCS Managing Director John Murphy.
The initial 18 Avensis T4 2.2-litre D-CAT Tourers are based at PCS’s head office in Manchester. The T4 model comes with air-conditioning, seven airbags, leather upholstery, memory settings on the electrically adjustable front seats and steering wheel, Smart entry with push-button start, privacy glass and 17in wheels as standard. Bluetooth connectivity was also specified on the PCS models. “They started work on 1 December and they’ve been busy,” says Mr Murphy. “The drivers like them for their economy, the standard and the comfort, and the passengers like them too.
“From what we’ve seen in a short time they’re proving quite successful, and we will be buying more for our offices around the country.” Professional Chauffeur Services has regional offices in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Wooler, York, Edinburgh, Glasgow and North Wales.
The company buys its cars outright, and expects to replace the Avensis Tourers after 50,000 miles or 18 months on the road. The cars have been supplied through Minories Sunderland in a range of metallic colours.
The Avensis is Toyota’s European flagship model and built at the UK manufacturing plant in Derby. The D-CAT Tourer uses Toyota Optimal Drive technology to achieve CO2 emissions of 174g/km, a top speed of 127mph and combined fuel economy of 42.8mpg. The first Toyota diesel to feature a six speed automatic transmission, the D-CAT Tourer provides a fast shift response and sequential manual mode. The driver can choose to select gears using the shift lever or paddle shifts on the steering wheel.