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Variable servicing to reduce Seat SMR cost

Date: 29 November 2010

Nick Andrews

Seat has launched variable servicing to fleet customers across its entire model range, shifting from the 10,000-mile or 12-month frequency to one that could be up to two years depending on sensors in the car that assess how it has been driven.

The company claims the shift could save around £300 in SMR costs over a three-year period. "Leasing companies are absolutely focused on reducing costs and we can directly claim that variable servicing reduces costs," said fleet boss Nick Andrews.

He dismissed any concerns that some whole-life cost calculators have historically worried about the unpredictability in variable servicing, as the way a car is driven can impact upon the number of services it will need over the agreed mileage. "Leasing companies are now used to it, they're used to what it means for costs and can use three years of history [with other brands] to predict costs," he said.

Seat is also shifting the use of its low-CO2 Ecomotive branding, which has previously been reserved as a badging for ultra-low CO2 models such as the 99g/km Leon and 92g/km Ibiza. Going forward, Seat will use the Ecomotive branding on any model that contains some of the green technology, while or E Ecomotive badge will be applied to the lowest CO2 model in the range. "We'd introduced a lot of important technology like start/stop and brake-energy regeneration but there was no external acknowledgement," said Andrews. "I'm not worried about it being confusing, but we will have a short-term challenge to make sure it's understood. In a short period of time people will naturally understand.

"One of our key pillars of fleet is raising awareness and image," said Andrews, "we have got a great message but not enough people know about it."

In other news, Seat has appointed a new fleet marketing manager, with Peter Brooking taking on the role.