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Chevrolet launches 'prime fleet vehicle'

Date: 29 July 2011   |   Author:

Chevrolet is planning its first serious assault on the UK fleet market with the launch of what UK boss Mark Terry describes as the firm's first "true fleet vehicle".

The five-door hatchback Cruze enters the lower medium segment next month, a sector that accounts for the largest share of registrations.

"This is a very exciting prospect for our customers. We now have the absolutely prime vehicle for the fleet market," Terry told BusinessCar. "We have many good vehicles in fleet, Spark and Captiva in particular, but some user-chooser programmes have a five-door limit to them so we've been slightly excluded."

Terry predicted the five-door Cruze, which joins the saloon launched 18 months ago, will instantly become the firm's biggest-selling model, and he also said Chevrolet will have its record year in 2012. As well as the new Cruze bodystyle, the brand is looking forward to a new supermini Aveo, the new Volt range-extender electric vehicle and better supply of Orlando and Captiva models. "With the supply back, and the economic recovery, even if we just did an average job then we would do our best year."

Terry claimed Chevrolet is a "unique proposition" of value for money combined with a brand containing heritage. "The brand will mean something to someone when you understand we have a full European designed and engineered line-up," continued Terry. "We've got everything included and we've got the Chevrolet badge. It's not a negative and something intriguing - you can't say that for other brands."

The firm's major weakness at the moment is its emissions, which are average at best against its rivals, but Terry has promised developments in that area. "Chevrolet will be bringing constant developments to all models in that regard," he said. The Aveo supermini coming towards the end of this year will be the first model with stop/start. But Terry said emissions are only one part of a competitive company car offering. "We have average CO2, together with our vehicle P11D at a level that makes us very competitive," he said. "CO2 is not the only part of the story. If you can drive down CO2 and keep the value proposition you are potentially class-leading."

Chevrolet is looking to double its European volumes, which means developing into the UK corporate market. "The key is to make sure the business we do in fleet is serious and supports profitability, not numbers for numbers sake but good packages for companies and their users, and good disposal systems that support RVs," he said. "To do lots of volume just to register cars is not our plan."

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