Hyundai to use UK as Euro fleet benchmark
07 November 2008
Author: Tom Webster
The UK is providing the model for Hyundai's new Europe-wide assault on the fleet market.
Paolo Bossi, Hyundai's European fleet boss, said: "The UK experience has guided Europe. We've taken the best and used it as a model as the UK knows how to deal with fleet."
Bossi said the i30 is key to any future success. "Finally we have a European car that's started to be accepted. Our main customers are new customers."
The i30 has not been specifically developed with the fleet customer in mind, but that could change.
"We are talking about making a special section of production a fleet line," said Bossi. "All our production lines are working at full speed, but a new plant is coming."
Andrew Cullis, Hyundai UK marketing manager, said small businesses will prove key for the company's future fleet progress. This explains the decision to offer a five-year unlimited mileage warranty instead of sister company Kia's seven-year 100,000-mile deal, he said.
"The small business user would prefer to have unlimited mileage over what is a usual business lifetime of five years," said Cullis.
He ruled out offering the option of both warranties: "That would be confusing, we want the message to be clear and unifying."
Hyundai has also invested heavily in protecting the residual values of its models.
"We are trying to be very close to the decision makers and trying to convince them the cars are keeping value," said Bossi. "We want to keep the total cost of ownership under control and cut the cost of SMR and insurance."
Bossi also ruled out the possibility of going to daily rental companies. "We will never make the big rental company deals. We don't want to give the big discounts offered by the likes of Volkswagen and Peugeot."
The Korean firm has also announced a pair of new larger diesel engines. The 184PS 2.0-litre and 200PS 2.2-litre diesels will make their first appearances in the Hyundai range towards the end of next year in the all-new small 4x4 Tucson and the facelifted Santa Fe large 4x4. There's also a chance the 2.0-litre could find its way into the firm's i30 lower medium model.