The reliability of Toyota vehicles and the convenience of a one-stop fleet solution were key factors in the decision of equipment rental specialist Multi Group plc to commit to Toyota light commercials and cars.
The number of Toyota Dyna 300 short-wheelbase dropsides on the fleet has just doubled to 10, along with two Toyota Hilux EX Double Cabs and a Hiace 280 GS. Five Avensis cars are now due for delivery, with a further three Dyna 300s and a 350 long wheelbase version set to arrive in May – and more vehicles likely to be ordered in September.
Croydon-based Multi Group was formed in 1992 with three depots in and around London. The group now comprises six companies, including one, Multi Equipment Rental plc, which has depots nationwide. With around 250 staff, it runs a fleet of 80 vehicles, three-fifths light commercials and the remainder cars for sales staff and management.
The Toyota Dynas are used to deliver and collect equipment, mostly tools, for Multi Equipment Rental plc’s account-holders. The Hiluxes are for use in the group’s scaffolding division and the Hiace is for a workshop manager.
Transport Manager Peter Evans first contacted local dealership McCarthy Croydon when problems arose with the group’s previous make of LCVs. He requested a Dyna 300 SWB dropside demonstrator so that he could carry out a long-term evaluation, but was only partway through the six-month trial period when he decided that the Dyna was the vehicle for the job.
“Reliability, fuel savings, driver comfort and ease of maintenance were all key considerations,” says Peter Evans. Impressed with the ability of the dealership, a Toyota Business Centre, to provide a single solution to vehicle procurement, financing and maintenance, he subsequently signed a solus fleet partnership agreement with Toyota Fleet and McCarthy, with Toyota Financial Services providing a credit line for the purchase of vehicles. “Everything goes through McCarthy and we have a very good working relationship,” he says.
“The D-4D is a good engine and fuel consumption on the Dynas is very good,” he adds. “The drivers find them very comfortable – they genuinely like the vehicles. “As drivers can spend up to 10 hours a day on the road, CD players and air-conditioning were specified. The LCVs are finished in a distinctive shade of red, which had to be specially ordered – this has now been made a standard Toyota colour.”
“The arrangement is working extremely well for all of us,” says Sue Bird, who handles the Multi Group account at McCarthy Croydon. “We can offer the whole package and Multi Group feels confident dealing with one dedicated person. Whatever they need, I can sort it out as quickly as possible. They also happen to be the perfect customers to work with – they know exactly what they want, they tell me and that’s it!”
And Jon Pollock, General Manager of Toyota Fleet, underlines the effectiveness of such a Toyota Business Centre fleet contract: “Like all good businesses, Multi Group puts a premium on reliability and certainty. Its arrangement with McCarthy Croydon illustrates the advantages of having a single point of contact fully equipped to deal quickly and efficiently with whatever demands may arise.”