Fleets, contract hire and leasing companies and franchise dealers are all potentially ‘losing’ money because only 25% of new cars are supplied with damage-protecting car mats and none with boot protection mats.
Highlighting that car and boot mats protect vehicles from damage and wear and tear perhaps adding as much as £100 to the residual value of a vehicle and potentially negating expensive end-of-contract damage charges for fleets and drivers from contract hire and leasing companies, the UK’s leading provider of motor accessory essentials also says they enhance the look of a vehicle and, when embossed, deliver increased brand awareness.
vGroup International says car mats are the UK’s fastest-selling car accessory. It supplies some 250,000-300,000 sets a year to fleets and contract hire and leasing companies. Furthermore the Group also manufacturers some 3.5 million sets delivered to vehicle manufacturers for production line fit and for sale by franchise dealers and High Street retailers.
vGroup International managing director James Nash said: “Car mats and boot protection mats perform a vital function in a number of areas, not least in offering residual value protection and enhancing the look of a vehicle. Furthermore, car mats boost brand awareness as they are embossed with the vehicle supplier’s name.”
But, as vehicle manufacturers strive to obtain the best possible emission and MPG figures for models they were considering removing accessories from vehicles, said Mr Nash thereby increasing the risk of de-hire damage and slower used car sales.
That’s because vGroup International feels that the recent introduction of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) governing emission and fuel economy homologation could perhaps result in the deletion of car mats as a manufacturer production line fit.
As at least 75% of new cars do not have additional manufacturer floor protection supplied and 100% were without manufacturer rear cargo protection, Mr Nash is urging fleets, contract hire and leasing companies and dealers to specify them as a ‘must have’.
He said: “The demise of ‘three-box’ shaped cars – saloons – and the increase in demand of ‘two-box shaped cars – hatchbacks and SUVs – means that the boot area is now part of the vehicle interior. Yet, frequently, the original carpet remains of poor quality and is even more at risk of wear and damage and in need of protection against loss of residual value and de-hire charges.”
Mr Nash explained: “Fleets – and company car drivers if any end-of-contract damage recharge costs are passed on to them – are potentially costing themselves money by not specifying car and boot protection mats upon delivery of their new vehicles. Simultaneously contract hire and leasing companies and franchise dealers are also losing money by not encouraging sales staff to actively promote them as a ‘must have’ accessory.”
He concluded: “Car and boot mats protect and enhance vehicle interiors and the value added in terms of asset protection is significantly greater than the purchase cost. What’s more mats help deaden exterior noise and provide vehicle branding opportunities.”
vGroup International manufactures both car and boot protection mats. The company offers carpet and rubber mats that are, hard-wearing, fire resistant, water resistant and with a 12-month guarantee, also giving a branding option.
The company has more than 7,000 right hand drive templates/patterns and model specific fixings. Furthermore, vGroup International is upgrading its carpet mat backing to ‘flexi grip’ material which is both environmentally friendly and almost eliminates slippage.