Chevrolet, which is now free from the shackles of operating under General Motors UK, is pushing ahead with a corporate sales strategy designed to boost fleet sales by two-thirds over the next three years.
The company is not diffident on the reasons why its fleet performance has underwhelmed in recent years – last year it sold 7,976 cars, down 13%, partly due its the decision to pull away from short cycle business.
“The multi-brand approach doesn’t work," said Managing director Mark Terry.
"Chevrolet was down the pecking order in discussions with residual value guides and that has an impact.
"Now we have specific people focusing on Chevrolet and that will give us some gains – now they understand our product line up.
“We are also now able to talk to user-chooser fleets on a Chevrolet-specific basis for the first time. We have a demo fleet, including a three-day test car programme, and we are getting in front of fleet decision makers. We have to get Chevrolet on the map as a sought after choice.”
The new freedom has enabled the company to start talking to leasing companies about terms for cars sold on salary sacrifice schemes.
It is looking at how to ensure its cars are tax efficient by providing leasing companies with a matrix of terms specific to salary sacrifice.
“We feel we can leverage this and will launch a programme this month,” said Terry.
Chevrolet is targeting 19,000 total sales this year, up slightly on 2009, although it is already suggesting 20,000-plus is a possibility.
Just under one-third will be fleet, equating to around 6,500 units – a further year-on-year fall.
“However, this could be 7,000-7,500, even 8,000, with an increase in supply,” Terry added.
Key models are Cruze, Captiva and Spark, with some Aveo into the courtesy car sector and Lacetti Wagon into Motability.
“Within the next three years we will sell around 30,000 units. Our proportion of retail to fleet could go to around 60:40,” said Terry.
This means fleet volumes rising to 12,000 in 2012/13. Five new models, including five-door Cruze and the compact seven-seat Orlando MPV, are due by the end of next year.
Some will move Chevrolet into new sectors, attracting new fleet customers to boost its sales.