• Unique franchise fleet deal
  • LCVs selected for eco-credentials
  • 100 vehicle potential for 2012

Nissan has secured a unique fleet supply contract for a national renewable energy franchise company; a deal that other motor manufacturers rejected as not being “fleet business”.

nissan electric vehicle fleet

The not-for-profit organisation, Puragen, has selected the newly-launched Nissan NV400, the NV200 and the Primastar for its 72 UK-wide franchise owners.

Jeremy Malindine, head of Puragen, says that despite its well-established corporate backing, the newly-launched organisation faced the seemingly impossible task in getting any motor manufacturers it approached to provide fleet terms.

Jeremy says: “What we needed was recognition that, although our franchise owners were new-start businesses, they would benefit from the strength of the group from day one. But we soon discovered the problem that faces every new, national franchise operation made up of privately-owned franchises with no trading history; motor manufacturers tend to see each franchise owner as a single entity, rather than recognising the aggregate value of the entire franchise network.

“This, typically, results in franchisees having to buy a single van as an individual, without fleet support and the protection that a fleet contract hire agreement provides. This is problematic for businesses that need to maintain vehicle uptime and have access to a replacement in case of maintenance.

“It was a hard journey finding a vehicle buying arrangement for our franchisees and Nissan appeared to be the only manufacturer with the innovation and imagination to recognise the unique demands of franchised fleet supply.”

Nissan and the UK’s largest Nissan dealer group, West Way Nissan, was central in organising a range of contract hire agreements from a pool of suppliers, offering three-year, fully-maintained deals for Puragen franchise owners.

Jeremy adds: “We selected Nissan’s light commercial vehicles as they are more economical than most of the other vans we considered and also have better emission levels; an important factor to align with our credentials as an eco-business.”

“Load space in the vans is also critical as the systems we are carrying, including solar panels and hot water cylinders, can be large and bulky. That’s also why every vehicle is being supplied fully ply-lined.

“Other standard specifications we have requested include a roof rack with ladder systems and pipe carriers, though individual franchisees can add other features, such as racking or false floors, if needed. The silver vans are all liveried by the West Way Nissan dealerships, helping to support the brand image we want our representatives to portray.

“And with the amount of time our drivers will be using the vehicles, a high standard of comfort is essential. Features such as air conditioning are not always standard in this type of vehicle, which is why the Nissan options were the obvious choice.”

Nissan’s fleet sales director, Barry Beeston, says: “It’s great that we were able to deliver for Puragen, especially since they had been turned away by rivals.

“Working in partnership with a renewable energy business also fits well with our wider environmental ethos and the innovation we are bringing to the electric vehicle market.”

Puragen expects its franchisees to acquire at least 100 vehicles within the next 12 months.