A shortage of used cars has caused Hyundai’s dealers to ask the firm to increase its short-term rental activity in order to fill their forecourts, a request that has been backed by the UK parent company. 

Speaking to BusinessCar, European fleet director Adrian Porter said: “The growth in the UK has been fantastic, and whilst it sounds like a bit of PR spiel, we actually don’t have enough used vehicles in the UK. 

“The UK organisation actually wants to do more rental business because our dealers are crying out for used vehicles because they sell so well, and they’re a very profitable source of income for the network.” 

Porter said he would not bow to the network though, and maintained he was happy with the current state of affairs: “We have to be conscious in terms of the volumes we’re producing, and actually to have a shortage of used cars is excellent for residual values.

“So whilst the dealers may want it, I’m not necessarily going to oblige our UK dealers by doing more rental business.” 

He continued: “I think for us, we don’t necessarily want to be number one in the fleet world, but we want to make sure that we have a very consistent balance within all channels.

“The UK business is actually very well structured and very well managed, and for me it’s less of a focus than other markets because they seem to have their act together pretty well.” 

Hyundai UK reported its best-ever quarter in the fleet sector in the first three months of 2014, growing its fleet registrations by 15% to a total of 11,800, with March showing a 30.4% year-on-year improvement.

The company also claimed a 24% year-on-year rise in true fleet registrations.

Hyundai has moved to strengthen its fleet team with the promotion of Paul Williams to national fleet sales manager.

He moves up from his previous role of fleet operations manager that he had held since joining the company from Jaguar in 2009. 

“Hyundai’s fleet sales operation has undergone significant change over the last three years thanks to the launch of several new products,” said Hyundai fleet director Martin Wilson.

“Paul’s appointment in this key role is evidence of Hyundai’s desire to expand its fleet sales operations and standards even further.”

This latest appointment follows the recruitment of Graham Burton as fleet aftersales manager last autumn.

Formerly of Renault and Ford, Burton’s task is, according to Wilson, to “develop our cost-of-ownership proposition, customer experience and overall service and repair transparency”.