SEAT UK Head of Fleet & Business Sales, Peter McDonald

Double wins for Ford, Audi and Skoda at 2018’s Fleet World Honours

Ford, Audi and Skoda all came away from this year’s Fleet World Honours with two car awards each.

Organised by Fleet World magazine and held at the Royal Automobile Club on London’s Pall Mall, the awards recognise the best suppliers and manufacturers in the fleet industry.

The 31 category winners were decided by an expert panel of Fleet World editors and aside from praising the year’s best in class cars, it also honoured innovations that have helped make life easier for fleet managers, such as new products and services that cut costs, streamline operations and contribute to safer, more fuel-efficient fleets.

As for the double winners on the night, Audi claimed best premium lower medium car and best compact executive car for the A3 and A4 respectively.

The Skoda Superb was named best upper medium car and the Kodiaq SUV won best large family car, while the Ford Fiesta bagged best new car and best supermini.

Mercedes-Benz was named fleet manufacturer of the year and also won an award for the E-Class (best executive car).

Reacting to the fleet honour Mercedes’ head of fleet Rob East said: “This award is recognition of our consistent customer approach, which is made possible by the dedication of our retail partners.”

That ‘fleet manufacturer of the year’ honour could go to SEAT next time around after it was deemed to have been the most improved fleet manufacturer in 2017 (that's SEAT UK's head of fleet and business sales Peter McDonald in the photo at the top). 

Fleet World editor Alex Grant said: “Casting the net out to suppliers and manufacturers is always an interesting process, and this year’s entries were stronger than ever.

“The lengthy judging process highlights just how much innovation operators can now call upon to improve the way their business moves. So many thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to our deserved winners.”

Full list of winners at 2018’s Fleet World Honours:

Car awards:

Best new car: Ford Fiesta

Best city car: Kia Picanto

Best supermini: Ford Fiesta

Best lower medium car: Volkswagen Golf

Best premium lower medium car: Audi A3

Best upper medium car: Skoda Superb

Best compact executive car: Audi A4

Best executive car: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Best luxury car: BMW 7 Series

Best large family car: Skoda Kodiaq

Best small SUV: Mazda CX-3

Best medium SUV: Peugeot 3008

Best large SUV: Volvo XC60

Best ultra-low emission car: Renault ZOE

Technology award: Toyota/Lexus Hybrids

One to watch: Hyundai Kona EV

Manufacturer awards:

Most Improved Manufacturer: Seat

Fleet Manufacturer of the Year: Mercedes-Benz

Innovation awards:

Innovation in accident management: Arval Active Link

Innovation in contract hire and leasing: ALD Mobility Experience

Innovation in cost reduction: TMC Mobility+

Innovation in customer service: Zenith Accelerate 2.0

Innovation in driver management: Alphabet Mobility Consultants

Innovation in electric mobility: Alphabet Electrification Potential Analysis

Innovation in fuel saving and management: TMC Fuel+

Innovation in mobile comms: Chevin FleetWave Forms

Innovation in remarketing: Shoreham Vehicle Auctions

Innovation in rental: FleetEurope De-Risk

Innovation in risk management: Licence Bureau View My Data Portal

Innovation in telematics: Crystal Ball SmartCam

DPD Local: ‘We’d recommend Fuel Card Services to anyone’

DPD Local: ‘We’d recommend Fuel Card Services to anyone’

An increasing number of companies and organisations are switching on to the benefits of having a fuel card and one of the latest to take advantage is DPD Local UK Ltd.

Local delivery experts DPD Local completes parcel deliveries from out of 90 depots around the UK, providing a more local service for shippers with smaller volumes.

To do so requires a hefty delivery fleet that needs fuelling and with more than 700 vehicles, DPD Local’s delivery vehicles can be a regular sight on fuel stop forecourts.

Such a sizable fuel spend made DPD Local ideal for fuel cards, making petrol and diesel more competitively priced and helping create fleet savings.

Steve Twist, franchise commissions co-ordinator at DPD Local, approached Fuel Card Services with a view to obtaining some fuel cards and was pleased by the level of service from his account manager Jackie Ellerbeck.

“In all my dealings with Fuel Card Services, I have found all their staff to be helpful and efficient,” he said.

“The customer service operation is UK-based, and unlike some organisations, you can always get through to your account manager and the customer service you receive is first-rate.”

Mr Twist added: “Email queries are also dealt with quickly and efficiently. I would recommend Fuel Card Services to anyone considering using them.”

DPD Local now uses fuel cards from BP, Esso, Texaco, Shell, Keyfuels and UKF with a monthly fuel spend of £210,000.

The company rebranded from Interlink Express to emphasise its level of local knowledge and service. It employs more than 11,000 people in the UK and delivers over 200 million parcels a year.

Drivers look away from the road for 7% of the time

Drivers look away from the road for 7% of the time

In an ideal world, we’d all get at least eight hours of sleep every night, we’d eat five portions of fruit and veg and we’d never take our eyes off the road whilst driving . Of course, for the majority of fully grown humans, those first two rarely happen.

It’s the case with the eyes on the road thing too – a point underlined by new research from Peugeot.

New eye-tracking research conducted by the French car maker has found that motorists take their eyes off the road seven per cent of the time.

In more relatable terms, this meant that on average, drivers didn’t look at the road for more  than two miles over the course of a one-hour journey whilst driving at 30mph in urban traffic.

The tests were conducted using Tobii Pro Glasses 2, which have six small cameras that specifically map where the retina is looking every 0.05 seconds. The driving route was carried out on a variety of roads, which incorporated a range of speed limits and road types.

It should go without saying that concentrating on the road is intrinsic to safe driving. In 2016, “failure to look” was a contributing factor in more than a third of 1,445 fatal crashes in the UK, with a further 140 incidents involving driver in-vehicle distractions, distractions outside the vehicle, and phone use.

Peugeot UK managing director David Peel said that taking your eyes off the road just to change the radio station or the car temperature was a risk.

“When you add the continued distraction of mobile phones, talking to passengers, something catching your eye outside the car and even eating or drinking a coffee, it’s easy to see how the average driver could be in control of a car yet not be looking at the road for over 3,350 metres in a one-hour journey,” he added.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, commented: “It’s near impossible to ensure constant eye contact on the road. If anything, motorists should be aware of their surroundings so such an intense focus is perhaps not the best thing."

Mercedes-Benz has a new-look Sprinter

Since its market launch in 1995, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has given its name to an entire vehicle class thanks to its outstanding qualities. This week, the third generation of this best-selling van is celebrating its world release.

Comprehensive internet connectivity is one of the most important new features and there is a new Mercedes Pro network set-up, providing the perfect basis for all logistical and transport, fleet requirements.

Panel van, Tourer, pickup, chassis, bus or traction head as body types, three drive configurations, cab designs, body lengths, tonnages, load compartment heights and equipment features: these parameters alone allow a further increase in the number of possible Sprinter variants.

The driver’s workplace is uncluttered, practical and designed to meet the relevant transport requirements. The improvements include ergonomically shaped seats, keyless start and an improved air conditioning system.

The safety assistance systems available for the new Sprinter include a self-cleaning reversing camera showing its image in the rear-view mirror, a modern Parking package with a 360-degree view, and a rain sensor with an integrated Wet Wiper system for optimum visibility even during the wiping process.

For further news on this story visit Petrol News

The Sprinter will be available across the Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer Network from June and FCS Vehicle Solutions can find you the best pre-registration deals. Watch out too for the new eSprinter, which will enter the market in 2019. Call 01235 773633 for more details


The Ford Fiesta continued its reign as the UK’s best-selling car in January

New car sales down 6.8 per cent in January

Britain’s new car market continued its downward slump from 2017 into 2018 as sales fell by 6.3 per cent in January.

Some 163,615 new cars found buyers last month, almost 11,000 fewer than in January 2017, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Much of the drop-off was due to deflated sales of diesel cars, which fell by a quarter on last January, but some of this was counteracted by a 8.5 per cent rise in sales of petrol cars.

Demand dropped among all kinds of buyers in January, most notably in the business sector, which recorded a 29.7 per cent decline. The retail market retracted by 9.5 per cent as just short of 70,000 new cars went to private buyers, while the fleet market slipped 1.8 per cent.

The sustained drop in new diesel registrations was a major worry for SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

He commented: “The ongoing and substantial decline in new diesel car registrations is concerning, particularly since the evidence indicates consumers and businesses are not switching into alternative technologies, but keeping their older cars running.

“Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, we need government policy to encourage take-up of the latest advanced low emission diesels as, for many drivers, they remain the right choice economically and environmentally.”

Figures from the SMMT illustrate the importance of diesel cars to the UK economy.

In 2017, more than two in five of the cars leaving British production lines were fuelled by diesel, while manufacturers produced more than one million engines – directly supporting 3,350 jobs and providing £8.5 billion to the economy.

The Ford Fiesta continued its reign as the UK’s best-selling car with 8,335 examples finding buyers in January, almost twice as many as the second-placed VW Golf (4,310).

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, commented: “Words and actions from the UK government regarding diesel cars have issued muddled messages to motorists.

“Simply ditching diesel isn’t the best solution for many drivers, due to their reduced CO2 output and stronger fuel return.”