Blog: RALPH MORTON
AS you would expect at industry dos, the room was full of key industry personnel – and the ACFO awards last night was no exception.
I managed to catch up with Lee Wheeler, the head of corporate sales at Honda.
Lee’s always been a friendly, happy sort of chap, but last night he had good reason to look happier than usual.
“I’ve just decided to accept the role of head of corporate sales on a permanent basis,” Lee told me.
This is good news. Lee had been appointed Honda’s interim head of corporate sales following the departure of Ed Hummell, a move that looked at best like a stop gap, at worst it reflected a seeming paralysis at Honda to inject any momentum into their product development or business car sales strategy.
Lee taking on the role full time brings some welcome stability to Honda, and in particular to the corporate sales operation.
“We’ve got an exciting time coming up too,” Lee explained. “We’ve launched the CR-V which has been well received and next year we have the 1.6 diesel for the Civic. With just 94g/km CO2 this diesel Honda Civic will put us right back into contention with company car buyers.
“We’ll also be adding it to the Honda CR-V at a future date too.”
The CR-V needs it. It’s a very likeable car – SME business car buyers and company car drivers have always been partial to a bit of Swindon-built SUV. But the new model is off the pace in terms of CO2 emissions, the four-wheel drive version offering 149g/km CO2. Even though that’s a 12% reduction on the old model, it could – it should – be better.
The new 1.6 diesel should help sort that out. In the same way that Lee should be able to sort out Honda’s corporate company car sales.