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New fleet trim for Astra and Insignia

Date: 01 December 2011   |   Author:

Vauxhall is to launch a new user chooser-focused trim level on the Astra and Insignia, designed to offer all the equipment fleet drivers look for without making them dip into the options list.

Due from January, it will be available across all Astra and Insignia bodystyles, with Vauxhall saying the new addition addresses the second of the two influencers of benefit-in-kind taxation. Having already brought CO2 emissions down to 99g/km on the Astra and 115g/km on the Insignia Ecoflex models, the new trim levels will address a company car driver's P11D level.

The new trim level, announced in the next couple of weeks, will become popular with the corporate sector, and Vauxhall predicts that it will lead to some of the other myriad engine and trim combinations being dropped later next year. "There will be some rationalisation, but we need time to transition customers - there will be natural migration," fleet boss James Taylor told BusinessCar.

The company is now up to speed on emissions, having been initially left behind by rivals when emissions became a driving force in recent years.

"With the restructuring we got a bit behind, but we are now catching up and passing people," said Steve Catlin, Vauxhall's fleet marketing boss. "We've got great USPs, now we need to shout about them. For example, you get more miles per tank in an Astra Ecoflex than a VW Golf Bluemotion - we need to tell people about that."

"This is where the [range-extender hybrid] Ampera will help - we'll use it to get in the door and then mention the 99g/km Astra and 115g/km Insignia," continued Taylor. "We're second in terms of awareness with Ecoflex and we've got to use the Ampera as a bridge to get the message across."

Regarding the trim level rationalisation next year, Taylor defended the huge number of possible combinations of trim and engine. "We've tried to give the best possible choice with different customers, and while it remains beneficial it will happen," he said. "With things like satnav you need the trim level to get the RV uplift. We sell a higher level of nav models because we have that model.

"We will be looking at whether we can strip out some engines," he concluded. "Over the next 12 months we will reduce, but we need to make sure customer requirements are met.

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