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Skoda steps up fleet push

Date: 22 September 2010   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Martin Burke

Skoda is to launch a fleet pricing strategy for aftersales as well as introducing a single point of contact for customers as part of its drive to grow business sales.

The carmaker is currently talking to its dealer network, receiving feedback from the fleet industry and looking at other Volkswagen Group brands' pricing strategies before putting together a plan, which is expected to be introduced in the first half of 2011.

Its intention to provide a single point of contact for fleet clients, which will be launched this year, aims to build up relationships and provide the best customer service possible, according to Martin Burke, head of fleet sales at Skoda UK.

This week the brand launched its 'Customer Promise', which includes a service level agreement. It outlines what fleets can expect from Skoda: "Fleets will be dealt with in exactly the same as our retail customers. It is a transparent proposition but helps give confidence in using our network," said Burke.

Skoda has also announced plans for a city car, which starts production late next year, and a compact family car, which will be made from autumn 2012.

Burke said the city car will have a place in "some of the more defined fleet channels" such as the NHS and other public sector companies, and is also an opportunity for rental firms. The compact family car, which will be positioned between the Octavia and Fabia, is expected to be more hard-hitting in the fleet arena. "It will a real opportunity to help us grow our fleet volume," added Burke.

Skoda's fleet market share was 2.4% in August, but is expected to finish at 1.9% for 2010 overall. Its goal remains to hit a 3% market share by 2015, which would mean 25,000-30,000 fleet sales.

The carmaker is also set for a rebrand, which will include a revised badge. No more details could be disclosed, but Rainer Mielke, director, global fleet for Skoda, said: "We want to be more modern, self-confident, enjoyable, dynamic and visible. We want to be less traditional, ordinary and conservative."

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