Van drivers start to glance at their feet
IT hardly needs me to tell you that the van driving community is at the heart of the economy. When they’re doing well, the economy is generally doing the same.
So I was slightly alarmed to read the latest Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, a snapshot of business sentiment among trades and business van fleets. It suggested a gloomy outlook with heads dropping, confidence down.
But move aside those headlines, and underlying business confidence looks more upbeat. Delivery drivers reckon their business is travelling on the up escalator. And greater London is a confidence hot spot. But perhaps the mixed picture is just typical of this current phase in the economy, exacerbated by the uncertainty over Brexit negotiations: messages are confused; the narrative unclear. More here on that van survey from Mercedes.
If the economy is uncertain, leasing becomes more compelling
Talking of uncertain times, such elements combine to bring greater focus to the benefits of car or van leasing. With the requirement for just an advanced rental, followed by affordable monthly rental payments, the chance to drive a new car or van is very tangible.
No issues with paying off an expensive asset – just a straightforward usership proposition.
I was talking to Shaun Sadlier, head of consultancy, at leasing and fleet management company Arval, who told me: “Our view is that there has probably never been a more persuasive argument for leasing vehicles than the situation that currently exists.
“We are at a point in time where there are significant risk factors hanging over vehicle values in the future. The potential impact of Brexit on the wider economy, which remains an unknown, will be with us for quite some time.
“Equally important, if not more so, is the developing fuel situation. We have seen quite a sudden shift away from diesel in the overall new car market, if not to the same extent in fleet. It is difficult to say how this trend will develop. How will the public view diesels, petrols and hybrids in three or four years, and how will this affect their values?”
I would also add to that list that while household and business cashflows remain under pressure, leasing is an inexpensive way to run a new car or van.
I think, if you haven’t considered leasing before, then now really is a good time to assess its potential for your SME business (or personally of course). We’ve written an article that may help you decide – it’s called Six steps to landing a great car leasing deal.
Executive changes at Mitsubishi and Maserati
It’s not that often you see a new Managing Director at Mitsubishi Motors. Lance Bradley, the current MD, has been at Mitsubishi for 16 years, nine of which have been in the Big Chair.
But from April there will be a new man at the helm. As indeed will there be a new General Manager at Maserati Great Britain. For more on these changes click here.
Free fleet management advice in the north-west
If your SME business needs some fleet management assistance then you could do worse than heading to the Bolton Wanderers football ground where there’s an expo for SMEs.
There’s a special fleet area where KeyFleet, a member of the Leasing Broker Federation, has a stand and is presenting at a special fleet management seminar. Best of all, it’s free. More details here: Free fleet management for SMEs at E3 Business EXPO in Bolton
Electric cars to make you smile
It doesn’t matter what your budget, the ability of an EV to bring a smile to your driving doesn’t stop. Renault has just upgraded the battery of its Zoe hatchback (left) to give it greater oomph out on the motorway.
Meanwhile we’ve had a chance to review the latest Tesla Model S 100d. Read more about this astonishing car here.
Finally, congratulations Volvo
The Volvo XC60 is some car. Full stop. In fact, at the moment, Volvo cannot put a foot wrong, a wheel tread out of place. The styling looks fantastic; the driving experience is special; and in a market awash with SUVs, the model really stands out.
The special qualities have been recognised with the UK Car of the Year 2018 award. Fantastically well deserved. And who wouldn’t want to drive one?