When a leading IT service and support company asked its mobile engineers to put together a spreadsheet based on their experiences of a wide range of cars, the bottom line revealed a clear winner – the Toyota Verso.
As a result, 18 blue and silver sign-written Verso 1.8-litre T2 petrol cars will be helping to spread the word about Taylor Made Computer Solutions Ltd, a company that has grown into one of the biggest computer consultancies in the Solent region mainly by word of mouth.
Taylor Made, based in Fareham, Hampshire, provides professional IT and training solutions for businesses of all sizes, education and local authorities and charities in Hampshire, East Wiltshire and West Sussex.
The company is expanding its mixed fleet to 33 vehicles, with some of the new Toyota Versos replacing Renaults previously used by technical staff. Supplied on three-year contract hire agreements, the five-door MPVs are expected to average 12-14,000 miles a year.
Image is important to Taylor Made Computer Solutions. “Driving around the South of England our branded vehicles get our name around – it’s our main form of marketing,” says Financial Director Alison Taylor. The company prefers to rely on referrals for new business rather than having a sales or marketing department, and its 65 staff all wear company uniforms.
“To find the best vehicle for our engineers, we decided to run a scientific exercise over six months. We had specific requirements, principally a car big enough to carry large server and monitor boxes, and we approached all the major manufacturers.
“We drove a lot of cars and then ran a huge spreadsheet for all the engineers to feed back what they thought of them – how nice they were to drive, space, flexibility and details such as turning circle, as well as dealer support and so on.
“Toyota came top out of all the manufacturers. Our view is that if the engineers are going to be driving the cars, they should have the final say.”
It was also important that “the price was right”, says Alison Taylor. Another factor was that the Verso 1.8’s CO2 emissions are only 184g/km “which matters not only for tax reasons but because if you run a fairly large fleet you can’t be pumping out tons of gas.”
Alison Taylor described the service provided by local Business Centre WKB Toyota of Waterlooville as “brilliant”. The first six Versos were delivered in early August, with the remainder of the order due in February 2007.
The cars are fitted with satellite navigation and hands-free phone kits. Standard equipment on the Verso T2 model includes air conditioning, six-speaker radio/CD player, Optitron instruments, ABS and Electronic Brake Force Distribution.