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MG takes 'considered' fleet steps

Date: 19 May 2016   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

MG has appointed contract hire specialist Ben Morris, formerly with Nexus Vehicle Management, as its fleet and used car coordinator, to lead the Chinese-owned brand's "considered" move into the corporate sector.

Head of sales and marketing Matthew Cheyne has charged Morris with getting MG on the consideration lists of contract hire companies, generating competitive leasing rates, and "fostering better relationships with RV guides and the whole-life cost community".

Central to the change of emphasis for the predominantly retail company will be the June sales release of its new mid-size GS SUV, while a smaller counterpart, aimed at the burgeoning supermini-based crossover market, is due next year.

Cheyne said: "Corporate sales have not been top of my agenda up until this point, although it has churned over regularly in my mind. Volume for its own sake, particularly daily rental, is not part of our growth strategy. We don't have deep enough pockets to compete or a mature enough sales network to cope in that battleground.

"Ben Morris understands the need to cultivate SMEs through our dealer business programme, with our total outlets rising from 65 to 90 by the end of this year. Corporate is not an area in which we have concentrated. If it takes time I will not lose sleep."

He admitted: "We have not done this very well previously and suffered by comparison on the RV front. Some lazier RV people gloss over us. We want to do it in a controlled and considered way."

MG's fleet factor runs at 2% of sales and the target corporate element target is 15%.
Mark Jowsey, manufacturer liaison director for automotive data provider KeeResources, welcomed MG being more proactive in the corporate sector: "It is good MG has appointed someone to liaise with industry influencers and data providers. It is too easy for smaller or emerging brands to overlook the fact that finance companies take new vehicle data and RV information from independent providers."

Jowsey added: "If MG's market proposition includes low-rate finance, PCPs or contract hire deals, they must ensure that they are aware of influencers being kept up to date with current and future products, plus understand brand strategy.  Without that level of engagement, RV forecasts are inevitably tempered with caution."