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Hyundai boss: blue-chip clients key to fleet success

Date: 03 October 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

"We need to upgrade dealers to understand the corporate market as they do retail," says Whitehorn

Hyundai UK's president and CEO, Tony Whitehorn, has claimed that the business car industry is the company's strongest source of current growth.

Speaking to BusinessCar, he said: "From our point of view, fleet is really where our growth is coming from this year. We're 45% up in fleet at the moment."

Whitehorn attributed the success in the corporate sector to his fleet team: "We've got six people out on the road and we are really starting to knock over some big clients, companies like Enterprise PLC."

BusinessCar reported the Korean firm's 500-car contract win with Enterprise - a Lancashire-based service and maintenance provider - earlier this year.

Whitehorn confirmed that the organisation was intending to increase its order and that Hyundai had recently scored a new fleet-managed deal with Carillion for around 2000 cars.

He said that winning large contracts was fundamental to a manufacturer's success in the corporate market: "That's what happens in the fleet business.

"Once you win one [big contract], people go 'that's interesting, they've chosen [Hyundai]', so we're starting to get a virtuous circle."

He also claimed it was necessary to make business vehicles appealing emotionally: "When you go into the fleet business you've got to appeal to two people.

"Obviously you've got to appeal to the finance people, but also you've got to appeal to the driver. That means you've got to make it stylish and have good BIK."

Whitehorn said the lower medium i30 was going down well with fleets but the upper medium i40 was taking longer to bed in, despite its earlier launch date: "The Metropolitan Police have just ordered a couple of hundred [new i30s], so that says we had a good relationship with them with the old i30.

"This is an example of how relationships with existing customers are helpful and that's catapulted us into getting orders.

"With a D-segment product [the i40] it takes a bit more time and we haven't had any history with it - that's the biggest issue."

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