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Toyota's eco message translating to fleet sales

Date: 29 August 2012   |   Author:

Clean models such as the Prius have boosted Toyota's fleet sales

Toyota claims the strong green argument for its models, combined with the associated tax benefits, is driving growth in the fleet sales of the brand and its premium subsidiary Lexus.

Fleet boss Ewan Shepherd claimed Toyota and Lexus fleet registrations were up 26% and 32% respectively at the end of June, and that the firm's range of low-CO2 cars are a strong driver behind the growth.

"The proposition we're putting to larger companies is that [brand consultancy] Interbrand has for two years running called us the world's cleanest brand, so if you're serious about green credentials then think about partnering with Toyota," Shepherd told BusinessCar.

He said Toyota has won 52 major new accounts in the first half of 2012. "People are finally waking up to green meaning low tax, and the new models we're bringing in means we can take advantage," said Shepherd.

The firm held a huge fleet event late last year where it pledged to improve communication with the corporate market.

"We're trying to demonstrate the range of cars, cost of ownership, the back-up from our fleet services charter, the sustainability message," said Shepherd.

"We've got something to answer most of the questions the fleet industry wants answered."

The public sector has been another strong area for Toyota, with Shepherd claiming the firm is up 52% on last year. "It's largely [due to the] Yaris and Aygo because we've put a more dedicated focus on that market.

"It used to be three or four people with partial responsibility but we've now got a dedicated team there for the first time in four years and it's really paying dividends," revealed Shepherd, who added that the new Yaris Hybrid will be "very successful within the public sector for us".

In the corporate sector, Shepherd said the other bonus this year has been the 16% increase in sales of its hybrid pairing of the Prius and Auris. "People are understanding them more. We've done four million hybrids, 2.6 million of which are the Prius, and we've shown how much you can save versus diesels."

He added the Prius has the lowest warranty claim cost of any Toyota.

Looking ahead, Shepherd said the next bout of growth for the company in the UK will come from the next generation of new models.

As well as the new Auris (See page 7), new RAV4 and Lexus IS are due next year.

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