VFW: What is Vauxhall’s position in the fleet LCV market at present?
RC: ‘Total sales are up 3.16% to the end of October and all of our model lines are performing ahead of plan. As you are aware, this year has seen the launch of New Vivaro, which has been our best van launch ever.
‘Whilst we are currently fourth at total level and third at retail, we have over 12,000 orders for new Vivaro alone and the outlook for 2014 and 2015 is very positive. The Vivaro plant in Luton is looking forward to a bright future with a second shift being added in January, creating around 250 new jobs.’
VFW: As new Vivaro arrives with UK fleets, is the van changing your mix of fleet and retail customers?
RC: ‘Vivaro competes in the medium van segment, which represents almost a third of all commercial vehicles sold in the UK. In 2013 Vivaro represented 24% of this segment and our sales volume was up by 34%, a significant achievement for a vehicle first launched in 2001 and in its run out year.
‘New Vivaro is a great whole-life cost proposition and is proving to be a very popular choice for both fleet and retail customers alike.’
VFW: How do Vivaro sales break down in terms of engine power and body volume?
RC: ‘Most customers are opting for the all-new 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo Stop/Start 120PS model, with 155g/km CO2 and 47.9mpg combined. That is followed by the 1.6 CDTi Stop/Start with 90PS, with 160g/km CO2 and 46.3mpg combined. It’s a fairly even split between base and Sportive trim.
‘Approximately 75% of customers are choosing the L1 body, which is an increase over the outgoing model and represents a significant whole-life cost benefit. This is no doubt due to the fact that we’ve increased the load length in both the L1 and the L2, which increases the load volume to 5.2m3 and 6.0m3 respectively.
‘With it’s FlexCargo bulkhead, the option of two hatches – one in the bulkhead and one under the passenger seat, creates the possibility to load even longer items. That means lengths of up to 4.15m can be carried by the L2 – that’s longer than any other van in the segment and almost as long as a Movano L4. In addition, the payload of the new Vivaro is still well ahead of key competitors.’
VFW: Is the UK van dealer network as you would like it to be?
RC: ‘Our network of 116 heavy van distributers, 272 heavy van authorised repairers and 100 Premier Van Centres is where we would like to see it. Our Premier Van Centres offer a one-stop shop in terms of sales, service and finance expertise and can cover 90% of all UK businesses within a maximum 30 minute drivetime.
‘In turn, this helps maximise mobility and minimise downtime for our customers, who can expect diagnostics without appointment, lead times no longer than three days and a dedicated Premier Van Helpline. All Premier Van Centre sites carry out Class 7 MOTs and have a 5-tonne lift on-site.’
VFW: How is Vauxhall doing in other sectors of the UK LCV market?
RC: ‘Very well. At a total level Corsavan is up 10%, Combo is up 41% and Movano is up 37%.’
VFW: With a new Corsa car just being launched, how long until we see an updated Corsavan?
RC: ‘We are due to make an announcement on this very soon so watch this space.’
VFW: Why should fleet mangers pick Vauxhall for their LCVs?
RC: ‘We have great network coverage for sales and aftersales, a dedicated commercial vehicle team of 17 people and a proven track record in supplying fleet customers for many years. That’s in addition to a solid UK manufacturing base that makes us Britain’s only volume van manufacturer.
‘The decision to continue production in Luton represents an investment of £185m and secures 1,200 jobs well into the next decade. Our UK based suppliers are also set to benefit from £600m worth of new business with the UK-sourced content for Vivaro increasing from 24% to 40%.
‘We have a full range of products too, with an ever expanding range of core and recognised conversions over 300 different variants for Movano as well as recently adding the new Combo L2H2 and Combo Crewvan to our portfolio.
‘We can also provide turnkey solutions to meet customer requirements and have our own in-house Vauxhall Conversion Centre, that provides a one-stop-shop end of production line conversion capability if required. There’s also a UK-based engineering team that will work closely with convertors to meet bespoke requirements.’