Stressed out fleet managers get helping hand from Volvo
By Jack Stocks
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 09:00
Volvo step in to help Fleet Managers
New Volvo Car Business Centre takes the pressure off time-poor company car managers
with on-call tailored advice from dedicated expert support team
8th July 2014: SME fleet managers are under more pressure than ever before, and with 98% of them juggling this demanding job alongside other responsibilities, it’s little wonder. Almost half have complained of feeling stressed because they don’t have enough time to dedicate to the role, with 85% only able to spend up to five hours a week managing their fleets.*
Pressure to cut company costs and reduce tax liabilities for staff, comply with strict health and safety laws, and source the most suitable and desirable cars for all levels of the workforce add to the strain.
Reducing this burden was the motivation behind Volvo’s decision to centralise its business sales operations into the new Volvo Car Business Centre (VCBC). Based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, the hub supports the Volvo Car UK national dealer network as well as 25 regional dealer-run business centres.
Business buyers who contact the Centre are given their own FSA trained account manager who listens to their needs and gives expert advice on model and engine ranges, as well as tailored guidance on funding options, employee schemes and service and maintenance packages.
Selwyn Cooper, head of business sales at Volvo Car UK, said: “As we’ve come through the recession, businesses are keeping a tighter rein on their finances, and fleet managers are feeling the squeeze. Looking after a company’s vehicles and drivers is no longer a solus task, and we’ve seen a massive shift towards the fleet responsibility being handled by HR managers, accountants and procurement teams.
“We understand that SMEs have very different needs to those running the country’s largest fleets, and that no two businesses are the same, so we’re delighted to have made this investment in supporting our customers of all sizes, and helping them get their jobs done quickly, effectively and with the minimum of cost.”
John Roy, of ANM Group, a producer-owned farming, food and finance business in Aberdeenshire, is responsible for a fleet of 50 vehicles and was one of VCBC’s first customers.
He said: “We were impressed with the rapid response and high level of service we received from Volvo. From making a generic enquiry via the website we received a phone call almost immediately, and were given our own business manager. Communication is key for our business, and Volvo delivers it to an incredibly high level.
“We operate a user-chooser policy and are finding that our employees are attracted to Volvo for its low CO2 levels and company car tax, which has benefits for our business, too. We’ve just ordered two new Volvo V40s via the VCBC, and as our fleet review continues we’ll certainly be using its services again to increase the number of Volvos on our fleet.”
The news comes as Volvo celebrates a record first six months for new car sales. Sales to British businesses have been particularly strong, up 19.5% year on year compared to market growth of 9.4% over the same period. Key drivers of this growth are the popular Volvo V40 and V40 Cross Country, making up almost half of all sales to companies so far in 2014.
A brand new suite of Drive-E engines, including the V40 D4, which delivers a stunning 190bhp matched by a BIK beating CO2 output of just 99g/km and a company car tax rate of just 15%, is expected to boost demand significantly in the second half of the year.
Selwyn Cooper said: “With sought-after stylish cars that are great to drive, our new engine range and the support of our now fully operational VCBC, Volvo is very much on track to meet its business sales target of 40% growth in 2014.”