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News fleetnews.co.uk/SME September 2011 7Free advice to help plan fleet and travel policiesACFO's journey planning guide is being used in membership recruitment driveBy Gareth RobertsACFO is hoping to recruit new members with the publication of the second in a series of helpful guides designed to influence fleet and travel policies.The guide, called From A to B: The ACFO Guide to Journey Planning, is designed to provide a basis from which public, private and voluntary sector organisations can look at how effective - and sustainable - their existing mobility options are.Ford has launched a no-fee acci-dent management programme after declaring that the current business model used by fleets is "broken".The company says inflated costs are leading to increased insurance premiums, while its model follows the recommendations of the House of Commons transport committee in creating a trans-parent and efficient programme, which will drive down the total costs of claims."Ford's accident management programme is great news for customers," said Paul McDer-mott, Ford collision repair manager. "It takes over many complex parts of the repair process such as contacting the insurance company, organising vehicle recovery and providing a courtesy car, with a single phone call."Volvo is training its corporate sales team and business centre dealers to help businesses under-stand corporation tax, leasing disallowance and Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP).So far the in-house corporate sales team has received the specialist training and that is now being rolled out to Volvo UK's 24 business centres in its national dealer network.Volvo national corporate opera-tions manager Selwyn Cooper said: "The tax rules are compli-cated, and depending on a customer's personal situation, play a great part in determining whether they would be better off driving a company car or buying the car privately."Jeff Whitcombe, who devised and delivered the training along-side David Rawlings, said: "With the right training, a corporate sales manager can offer in-depth and insightful guidance to the It only takes seconds of sleep behind the wheel to cause a fatal crash, but research released by Brake and Cambridge Weight Plan reveals one in eight drivers has 'head-nodded' at the wheel in the past year.Head-nodding occurs when someone nods off for between two and 30 seconds, often without realising that they have been asleep.The survey of 1,000 drivers also revealed risky behaviour among many that can contribute to tired-ness, with one in four admitting embarking on a journey when they already felt drowsy.The vast majority (86%) are also failing to follow best practice advice on dealing with tiredness by stop-ping somewhere safe for a nap.More than a quarter (29%) put their own and others' lives on the line by continuing their journey after they notice the first signs of drowsiness.In addition, one in seven drivers surveyed (13%) reported suffering from a health condition such as sleep apnoea that makes them tired during the day. Sleep apnoea can cause daytime sleepiness, and in some cases can cause the sufferer to fall asleep without warning.From A to BThe ACFO guide to UK journey planningInitially launched to ACFO members only, the guide can now be downloaded free of charge as a pdf document from the link on the main home page of the ACFO website - www.acfo.org. There are also limited supplies of the printed version available on request from the ACFO Secretariat by email (info@acfo.org) or phone (01730 260162).The 28-page guide suggests that corporate travel - whether by company car, employee's own car, hire car, public transport, motorbike, bicycle or indeed car share - should be overseen by a 'business mobility manager'. The manager could also influence the increased use of technology-based solutions to travel - telephone and video-conferencing, instant messaging and Voice-over Internet Protocol - as well as smart working.Historically, the car has always been the preferred form of travel for the vast majority of business meet-ings and appointments. But this is not always the optimum option in terms of cost, time, reducing risk exposure or carbon-cutting.ACFO chairman Julie Jenner said: "This guide is not about reducing business travel - although clearly that may be possible. But as a direct result of reading the publication, Motorists admit to taking risks by driving when feeling drowsyFinance training for Volvo teamcapemployees in charge of corporate travel maybe able to implement positive changes that also lead to improved corporate efficiency."'The car is not always the optimum option in terms of cost, time, reducing risk exposure or carbon-cutting'No-fee accident service launched

Ground-breaking I-Miev represents a change in approach from manufacturer By Debbie Woodhink of Mitsubishi and the first vehicles that come to mind may be the high-performance Evo or heavy-duty Shogun. The L200 pick-up truck might also crop up.But now the brand is creating a new image, where the environment is placed firmly at the top of the agenda.Given that its recent heritage is in authentic off-road vehicles and rally-inspired sports saloons, Mitsubishi could have its work cut out in persuading potential customers it does something else.Over the past few years it has embarked on a range of initiatives to lower the emissions of its range - including launching a ClearTec version of its Colt which, at launch in 2009, was the only sub-120g/km petrol supermini on the market.Earlier this year it launched the I-Miev - the first elec-tric car from a mainstream manufacturer to hit the market. And Mitsubishi is also improving emissions and fuel consumption throughout its range."It's quite a sea change for us" says Kate Woodward, head of corporate, fleet and used car operations. "Working to reduce CO2 emissions is a key initiative."Being the first to market with an electric vehicle has helped cement Mitsubishi's environmental ethos."We are small players in the UK market and it is unusual for us to be first to market with something as radical as an electric vehicle," says Lance Bradley, managing director at Mitsubishi UK.While the Fleet Van award-winning L200 has been Mitsubishi's best-selling model in the UK in recent years, the manufacturer is hopeful the distinctive I-Miev will begin to rival the pick-up for recognition as interest in electric cars grows.With limited range and a need to access charging points, electric vehicles such as the I-Miev have draw-backs for many companies and drivers, although it is well-suited to some low-mileage fleets with access to charging points.The I-Miev has enjoyed some success, especially within the public sector with Thames Valley police, Carmarthenshire County Council and the Environment Agency all taking deliveries.In April this year, Mitsubishi signed an agreement with rental company Hertz to add the I-Miev to its rental fleet and that of car sharing club Connect by Hertz. Mitsubishi has also been granted a place on the Buying Solutions framework agreement to supply vehicles for public services.Fleet market growth"It has been a good couple of years for us in fleet. We are moving really quickly in the market ready for 2013," said Woodward.Although it might have a relatively low profile, Mitsubishi has witnessed healthy growth early in 2011. Green at the heart of Mitsubishi's futureTIt also continues to expand its network of UK dealers, appointing a total of 17 new dealers in 2010 and a further six so far in 2011, with several other new dealer pros-pects waiting to take on the franchise.Latest SMMT figures show that, up to the end of July, Mitsubishi sold 2,024 vehicles into fleet this year - 28.6% more than for the same period in 2010.But Woodward said market share growth is not a key part of Mitsubishi's strategy over the coming years. "We currently hold a 2% fleet market share and we have no intentions of trying to do anything other than that," she says. "We just make it our business to be good at what we do and deliver the service which makes customers stay. Although we are a small player, we do well in the specialist market. We stand out by offering excellent service."Excellent Service ethosAs a small player, Woodward believes Mitsubishi can make its biggest impression through superior service and customer support.With this in mind, Mitsubishi has developed a new Excellent Service programme for all head office and franchised dealer staff in the UK, outlining its customer service ethos and how to deliver it. To ensure that its dealer network continually delivers the desired level of service, Mitsubishi is assessing its dealers based on real-time feedback from customers. As soon as the feedback is in, customer scores are 8 September 2011 fleetnews.co.uk/SME FactfileHead of corporate fleet and used car operations Kate WoodwardTime in role two yearsTotal 2010 sales 19,0762010 fleet sales 6,020 (cars 3,169, vans 2,851) Best-selling model in fleet L200 Double CabNumber of dealers 114