Comparing two versions of the same vehicle can quickly become a nightmare. After trying it for about twenty minutes on a manufacturer’s site, we discover that none of the selection criteria for one version quite matched that of another. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to choose the most economical vehicle based on precise specifications.
To make things easier for businesses, manufacturers have created ranges specifically designed to meet their needs. “Faced with a plethora of and constantly changing offerings, fleet managers, buyers and decision-makers must perform increasingly time-consuming auditing tasks. In this complex environment, our Business range distinguishes itself through simplicity and readability”says Benoît Alleaume, director of special sales and Renault Parc Entreprises.
The Renault Clio Business, the best-selling business car, was designed especially for them. Renault marketed it for 18,000 euros in its dCi 75 eco version2† This budget is funded by long-term rental companies and is smoothed out over three years on average. To this purchase price, and to calculate total cost of ownership, companies add up all expenses, including fuel consumption, maintenance and taxes. The Business version of the Renault Clio dCi 75 eco2 emits 90 g/km of CO . from2 and consumes 3.6 l/100 km in the combined cycle. Thanks to this environmental performance, the company can limit the amount of the tax on company cars (TVS) to 180 euros per year and benefit from a bonus of 150 euros.
With a dCi 90 eco engine2emits the same Renault Clio 113 g/km CO2 for a TVS of 452 euros per year. Less greedy but also less powerful, the Business version is enriched with additional equipment so that the company can continue to satisfy its employees. For example, the Clio Business has a manual air conditioning system, automatic route control, a navigation system with 7-inch multimedia screen and cruise control. If the driver is driving a less powerful vehicle, nevertheless, reassure him of its value by reviewing all equipment.
For Renault, the Business range is a decisive asset designed to convince companies, as it represents almost half of the turnover to this customer base. “Created more than five years ago, this range appeals for its simplicity, readability, efficiency and completeness of the needs it covers”, says Vincent Desprès, fleet sales director for Renault France. Rather than perusing manufacturers’ entire catalogs and their endless lists of configurations, options and engines, fleet managers and buyers immediately focus on those models whose features match their choice.
Third in the list of sales to companies with its Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen Utilitaires brands, Volkswagen France also created in 2011 a department reserved for these customers. As with Renault and PSA in their time, the reorganization of the network has been accompanied by the creation of Business ranges. Today, these represent 80% of the new division’s sales volumes and boost the turnover of the entire group. “Manufacturers’ Business ranges appeal to companies because they are composed of vehicles whose safety and comfort equipment meets their requirements, while also having lower running costs”, notes Jean-François Chanal, Managing Director of ALD Automotive France.
Veolia: 30,000 vehicles
In France, Veolia has a fleet of 30,000 vehicles for its employees. The group distributes its company cars according to a grid whose four categories correspond to the different hierarchical levels. “With a few exceptions, we only list vehicles from the Business range because their equipment meets our requirements in terms of safety and comfort, while respecting the CO2 emission thresholds.2 we solved that”explains Arnaud Willing-Salleron, director of VEGA (Veolia Environnement Gestion Automobile), the group unit responsible for managing the fleet.
Like Veolia, the major groups prefer the Business ranges of manufacturers in most cases. Only senior executives and board members are awarded a vehicle that is more representative of their status. Personalization then takes precedence over standardization. The top models, which have already been generously endowed, come from the classic award criteria and then give a prominent place to options. “We tend to leave the Business ranges for the higher levels of our company car policy”, confirms Arnaud Willing-Salleron.
For its part, in order to allocate its 400 commercial vehicles, Auchan has defined four levels in accordance with the responsibilities of its employees: manager, level 1 store manager, level 2 store manager and member of the executive committee. “When selecting manufacturers, the Business ranges are an extra argumentexplains Benoît Morel, Purchasing Director. If an employee asks for advice, we refer him to such a vehicle, because we are sure that he will be satisfied. On the other hand, car enthusiasts ask for specific options and leave Business to go even further in the market. †The general manager is not an employee like any other, his car cannot resemble that of mere mortals.