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Mazda fleet restructures for an easier leasing life

Date: 11 June 2007   |   Author: Tristan Young


Mazda's new fleet boss James Hopkins has restructured his department to not only increase sales, but also improve the ease with which the rest of the company car industry does business with the manufacturer.

The move comes four months after Hopkins started in his new role and has been put in place ahead of the launch of a host of all-new models including the 2, 6 and the CX-7 off-roader.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar Hopkins said: "Now we're industry focused. We're doing a lot more work with the top 50 contract hire firms because the industry is far more user-chooser focused. The leasing firms always liked Mazdas because they are reliable and drivers enjoyed them."

Alongside improving the 'ease of use' of his department, as part of the "three-year blueprint" Hopkins is also aiming to improve Mazda residual values: "RVs are one of the core objectives of all the members of our team."

He added: "We're not big into daily rental and a tactical campaign for us is a 100 cars here or there."

Hopkins also hinted that other larger volume car makers were currently pumping far greater numbers into the daily rental market.

As part of this aim to improve residuals Mazda is aiming to persuade a few leasing firms to get involved in an extended trial of a central disposal system. This system uses an electronic 36-hour auction system to resell cars to the Mazda dealer network.

Hopkins claims first tests of the system have reported a "3-4% improvement over cars at a traditional auction".

He added: "It's an Ebay type system for our dealers run by Manheim.

"Selling used cars from contract hire firms better and getting the dealers selling to small businesses are our two holy grails."