NATIONAL GRID SWITCHES ON TO TOYOTA WITH ORDER FOR 100 YARIS
Low emissions, whole life costs and driving quality clinch major contract hire deal
National Grid, one of the world’s largest energy companies, has chosen the Toyota Yaris as the preferred car for its UK trainee engineers, taking delivery of 100 vehicles.
The Yaris are all five-door models in TR trim with 1.4 D-4D diesel power, and were handed over to the National Grid drivers in two special presentations at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire on 5 and 12 September. They will be used by the engineers in the course of their training, both at National Grid’s Midlands base and on site visits nationwide.
The handover process, in which the new drivers are given a full introduction to their vehicles was supported by personnel from Listers Toyota Boston and forms part of Toyota’s service to its business customers. The cars were all provided through Listers Toyota.
Quality and running costs were key factors in Toyota’s success in National Grid’s vehicle selection process, as David Morse, the company’s Fleet Operations Manager, explained: “The Toyota Yaris was chosen following a competitive tender process, based in whole life cost calculations.
“The car has low CO2 emissions, excellent drive qualities and specifications, and it meets the needs and requirements of our trainee engineers.”
The Yaris 1.4 D-4D has an official emissions figure of 104g/km and combined cycle fuel consumption of 72.4mpg. At the same time its 89bhp and 205Nm of torque make it a comfortable performer at motorway speeds. The TR specification includes the Toyota Touch touchscreen control for audio control, with Bluetooth and a rear-view camera. Other features include Aux-in and USB connection points, air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, seven airbags and comprehensive active safety systems including ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Vehicle Stability Control with traction control.
Ewan Shepherd, General Manager Toyota Fleet Services, said: “National Grid has made a significant and carefully considered commitment to Toyota and we are pleased to have met their requirements. We are confident Yaris will live up to the company’s high expectations in terms of quality, durability and excellent business cost profile and will serve their trainee engineers well as comfortable, well-equipped, stylish and reliable transport.”
The Yaris, which are joining National Grid’s UK fleet of more than 2,800 vehicles, have been funded by Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, with the contract hire managed by Inchcape Fleet Solutions.