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Hyundai plots push into fleet top 10

Date: 06 May 2010   |   Author:


Korean brand Hyundai is planning a huge sales growth in fleet, with UK managing director Tony Whitehorn looking to elevate the company from its position at 23 in the fleet table into the top 10.

Whitehorn admitted "to our detriment the corporate buyer has been ignored", but said the company's raft of new product and increase in retail sales fuelled by the scrappage scheme means the time is right for a serious attack on corporate sales. "We have got to get into the proper corporate buyers, it's really important for us," said Whitehorn, who added that the lower medium i30 is starting to get fleet attention thanks to its P11D price, and that the supermini i20 is finding favour with driving schools moving from the increasingly expensive Vauxhall Corsa.

Whitehorn is looking for Hyundai to move into the top 10 overall by 2012, and ultimately the top five in retail, but accepted that building in the fleet market takes longer. "You've got to allow three or four years before there's proper acceptance in the fleet environment - it takes a long time," he told BusinessCar. "Although fleets don't like to admit it, they don't like change, they like continuity and stability so they buy traditional brands.

The UK boss is looking to model Hyundai's development on that of Toyota and Nissan. "They entered the market on affordable quality and moved out of that space by raising prices," he said. "To be in the top 10 in fleet takes a long time. We could do it quickly through daily rental but that doesn't do the brand any good. Getting into corporate business is long-term."

Whitehorn did, however, say Hyundai will do up to 3000 units of daily rental volume this year. "We specifically wanted to do that for the dealers - they're starved of stock," he said. That volume will be on buyback with Europcar and with Enterprise, which will take the residual value risk on its volume.

Hyundai’s eight new models in 18 months
ix35 crossover March 2010
Supermini-MPVOctober 2010
Small coupe Early 2011
i40 estate Early 2011
i40 saloon October 2011
All-new i30 October 2011
Seven-seat MPV Late 2011
ix45 Sante Fe replacement Early 2012

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