Fiat and Mercedes-Benz Vans have been recognised by fleet operators as the best performing brands in a new survey.
Other leading manufacturers lagged well behind when it came to satisfying their customers.
The UK Fleet Van Market Report 2018, by Sewells Research & Insight, questioned 1,088 fleet decision makers responsible for running light commercial vehicle fleets that range from a handful of vans to several thousand.
Respondents were asked to assess 13 manufacturers in 33 different areas of vehicle performance, cost effectiveness, and aftersale support. Fiat achieved the highest percentage of ‘very satisfied’ customers in 14 of the 33 categories, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz with 13 top scores.
Citroen and Toyota also topped or came close to the top in several categories, but LCV-giant Ford managed only one top score, and Volkswagen failed to come in the top three in any of the 33 categories.
Mercedes-Benz led the prized criteria of reliability and build quality; while Fiat rated highly for its cost effectiveness and the specialist support of its dealer network.
The results have assumed additional importance as the LCV market suffered declining sales in the final quarter of 2017. Whether this fall in sales is a blip or a trend is not yet clear, but there are indications that the economic uncertainty cascading down from the Brexit trade talks is starting to impact on business confidence and companies’ willingness to invest.
If the new van market contracts, manufacturers will need to ensure their customers are ‘very satisfied’ in order to ensure new and repeat business. The UK Fleet Van Market Report 2018 identifies key areas where manufacturers, dealers and leasing companies have opportunities to strengthen their relationships with customers, from managing the initial conversion process of LCVs to providing out-of-hours service and maintenance support, and winning the backing of drivers.
The UK Fleet Van Market Report 2018 also addresses the fuel policy of van fleets as UK cities put the finshing touches to ultra low emission zones in a bid to combat serious air pollution problems. Among the existing fleet parc, the penetration of Euro 6 compliant diesel vehicles is worryingly low if fleets hope to avoid stiff ULEZ charges. And the adoption of alternatively fuelled LCVs remains stubbornly below 1% of the new van market (where 99% of sales are diesel) despite the fact that almost one third of vans drive fewer than 50 miles per day, a range easily satisfied by electric power.
For details and to obtain your copy, contact Sewells on 01733 468254 or firstname.lastname@example.org