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Skoda boss targets growth through business car sales

Date: 25 January 2013   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Skoda's growth will be focused on fleet sales this year, according to UK boss Alistair Stewart, with business volume set to account for more than 30,000 cars, up from 23,524 in 2012, with market share rising from 2.3% to 2.6%.

Stewart told BusinessCar that strategies for all its fleet channels - true fleet, Motability, rental and demonstrators - were in place for 2013, with big opportunities in Motability, which the brand neglected last year, decreasing its volume from more than 2000 in 2011 to 1600 in 2012.

"Motability is quite a low margin business at the front end and we didn't choose to spend money that way last year. But we've agreed with the factory to have good prices at the front end and we will, in turn, increase Motability penetration this year," he said.

So-called 'true fleet', fleets of 30 cars or more, will also be a target with Skoda working more closely with its dealer network: "Some of our dealers, like Benfields, Lookers and Listers, are heavily involved in fleet.

"They've got fleet divisions that are building up relationships with leasing companies.

"We are concentrating on those retailers that have professional set-ups with good resources, demos and back-office support. We're going to be quite selective on who can do it, with a set of standards," Stewart added.

The new Octavia will continue as Skoda's top-selling fleet car with a fleet launch later this month followed by demonstrators in March. Two-week demo loans will also give company fleet drivers a good chance to try it, according to Stewart.

Skoda also announced that fleet boss Martin Burke is moving to a new role as head of customer service for Volkswagen Group UK after nearly eight years in his current position. His replacement has not yet been confirmed.

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