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Corsa chases women drivers

Date: 15 September 2006

Vauxhall are targeting women business car drivers with the Corsa

Vauxhall will target younger women company car drivers with the Corsa as the company switches emphasis towards reducing the age profile among drivers of the new supermini.

Revealing the strategy, Vauxhall's fleet marketing manager Paul Adler, said: "Our approach with Corsa in the business sector echoes the general branding philosophy. That change of emphasis means targeting younger drivers, particularly female company car user-choosers."

He added: "The lower-cost parameters including BIK and stronger RVs are complemented by younger business drivers wanting the latest car en bloc, the one with perceived style."

Andrew Cullis, Vauxhall's small car brand manager, confirmed that the brand was aiming to secure a larger slice of the "20-somethings pie", which, he admitted, Renault and Peugeot enjoyed with the Clio and 206 respectively.

Overall, Corsa owners have an average age of 42, marginally above their Clio counterparts but markedly older than the 206's 30-year old norm.

While Adler stressed Vauxhall would "continue to look after blue-chip Corsa customers, like the high-volume British School of Motoring (BSM), banks and estate agencies", plus the NHS, he is seeking a "larger footprint among medium-sized and smaller fleets, both sub-100 and sub-25 unit territory".

BSM Corsas will be fitted with an additional speedometer because instructors cannot see the driver's speedo from the front passenger seat, particularly up to 30mph. It allows driving schools to fulfil duty of care requirements.

Adler admitted that Corsa fleet-buying patterns would more closely resemble retail habits and said that the three-door Corsa could repeat Astra Sports Hatch's success.

Adler said these moves will arguably partially compensate for "massive cuts in short-cycle business", particularly daily rental, although Cullis said bodyshop deals would continue "where and when they are profitable".

Cullis conceded that body repair centre contracts did not always enhance a model's "street cred" with "wheel trims discarded and company stickers on the doors".

Cullis expected the Corsa's fleet factor to settle at around 47%, although that business-buyer element stood at 55% up until the end of August.

Vauxhall currently supplies 3000 Corsas and 2000 Astras to the BSM but also boasts 1200 additional driving school units, including 600 for the Robinson organisation.