Skoda reboots fleet dealer programme
24 September 2013
Author: Jack Carfrae
Skoda is about to relaunch its Fit for Fleet programme in an effort to step up its game in the corporate arena after the scheme's first attempt failed to meet the manufacturer's expectations.
Speaking to BusinessCar, UK director, Alasdair Stewart, said: "We are revitalising our Fit for Fleet programme, where we designated a number of dealers and worked with them to penetrate local businesses. We started that two years ago and in some places that worked and in some places it didn't.
"It didn't work for a combination of factors. In some cases we probably weren't selective enough in terms of the retailers, we didn't pay enough attention in terms of the type of people they recruited into the fleet roles and we didn't give them enough support in terms of finding leads, demonstrators and things like that to manage leads and small business enquires. So those are all things we're starting to address as we relaunch the programme."
The original scheme commenced around two years ago and was revealed to BusinessCar by the then director Robert Hazelwood.
At the time, 40 dealers agreed to participate in the programme, with the expectation that 75-80% of their business would come from corporate customers.
Stewart continued: "We'll probably relaunch the programme towards the end of this year and play a more active role in working with the retailers in terms of selection of people, in terms of monitoring activity and in terms of the provision of demonstrators, leads and things like that."
His announcement follows the appointment of Patrick McGillycuddy, formerly of Vauxhall, as fleet boss and a restructure of the fleet department, with teams looking after rental and Motability and contract hire and leasing respectively, and a field team headed up by former Audi staffer Henry Williamson.
Stewart surmised: "[We can be] so much more involved now that we've beefed the team up - we've got the resource and the capability to do that and allocate clear responsibility about following up and working as well, so the job of the fleet field guys will be to work alongside those retailers and to support them and work much closer them, to go with them on joint visits if they need to.
"I think what we did first time round was to rather leave them on their own, and that's quite a lonely job - being one fleet guy and a bunch of retail guys."