RENAULT FLEET has been established specifically for the brand’s dealer network as a business-to-business (B2B) tool to enable them to transact directly with fleet buyers across the full spectrum of public and private operators, government, long term rental and full maintenance leasing companies.
The main thrust of Renault’s 50-strong dealer network has, until recently, been retail sales-orientated and the launch of Renault Fleet will see its focus being realigned to include fleet business and the long-term planning that sales to the fleet sector entails.
Renault South Africa’s year-to-date sales are extremely positive according to Leslie Ramsoomar, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Renault South Africa. “Dealer channel sales are up 18%, well ahead of the market.”
“Our realization, however, that there was a growing need within our dealer network for a focused business-to-business division was the motivation behind the creation of Renault Fleet brand and we are confident that the formalization of the fleet business under this banner will give our dealer network the added boost to further improve their performance,” he adds.
The new fleet programme is backed by renaultfleet.co.za, a dedicated one stop portal that provides accessible, around the clock fleet and related information for Renault’s dealer fleet executives and their fleet customers.
Ramsoomar says that the company already has its feet firmly positioned in the fleet business sector with government fleet orders seeing the delivery of over 200 vehicles during the first quarter of this year to the Department of Defence, South African Police Service and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
Renault Fleet product offering
“We have identified the vehicles across our product range that we believe to the most fleet- appropriate. Initial pricing, overall cost of ownership, performance and reliability are top-of-mind with fleet buyers and key to the pillar models we have earmarked for Renault Fleet.”
Quality and service are also important criteria and according to Ramsoomar, the marque’s dealer Customer Satisfaction Index on new cars reached an all-time high in 2011 with a brand recommendation rate in excess of 92%. “Our quality and service levels have never been better,” he says.
Safety is one of the cornerstones of Renault’s corporate culture and built into the DNA of every Renault vehicle to come off the production line. “Renault has well-deserved reputation as being the manufacturer of some of the safety vehicles in the world and numerous Renault models have earned the maximum 5-star rating in the independent EURO NCAP crash test programme.”
According to Brian Smith, National Fleet and Pre-Owned Manager at Renault SA and under whose control Renault Fleet falls, with over 30% of government fleet car purchases comprising 1.6 sedans, “we expect the spacious and versatile Renault Fluence to be a strong contender in the fleet sales market.
“The small and medium panel van market represents only about 3% of the overall LCV market and while both the Renault Kangoo and Trafic panel vans are selling extremely well and are amongst the leaders in their class segments, this is a tiny market with all the players competing for scraps.”
- Renault Sandero 1.4 Ambiance, 1.6 Dynamique and flagship Stepway: made-in-SA, well priced, class leaders in terms of space
- Clio 1.6 Yahoo and 1.6 Yahoo Plus: competitively priced, very roomy and boasting benchmark status
- Renault Fluence 1.6 Authentique, 1.6 Expression, 1.6 Dynamique and 2.0 Privilège : 1.6 sedans are a popular fleet choice
- Megane III 1.6 Shake it! 1.4 GT line and 1.9 dCi: pillar model for the Renault brand
- Renault Kangoo 1.6 8V panel van
- Renault Trafic 1.9 dCi panel van
“Fleet is often seen as being LCV-specific and limited to a multi-vehicle purchase and Renault Fleet is designed to counter that paradigm,” continues Smith. “Whether you are a one man operation running a couple of Kangoo panel vans or a multi-national company operating 200 Renault Trafics, you are a business and quality for a business rebate … the only proviso being that your company is VAT-registered.”
He adds that while Renault Fleet will not dictate fleet pricing to its dealers, it will give guidelines.
“Renault Fleet is a robust programme conceived to create awareness of our fleet-appropriate passenger car and light commercial vehicle models while building on and championing the entire range,” continues Ramsoomar.
Unlike in the United Kingdom for example, in South Africa there are few dedicated fleet sites. “We needed a more immediate and regular contact point with our dealers and renaultfleet.co.za is set to become the focus point and key support tool for the programme and the dealer network.
“Its development has been a well thought through team collaboration with support of the dealer network a key objective … there’s nothing at all complicated about it. By utilizing the latest customer relationship marketing tools we are able to monitor and adjust, in real time, to changing customer and dealer requirements.”
While Brian Smith and his sales, liaison and technical support team are on hand to assist Renault Fleet executives out in the field, he says that the website link provides them with all the tools necessary to deliver sales.
“Communication, however, is critical and our customers need to know that they can reach us in real time using the website’s fleet contact point. If any issues do arise, we want to be the first to know … and in real time.”
While the website serves to champion the Renault Fleet brand, it also delivers wide-ranging tangibles in terms of support tools including parts pricing and service costing schedules, comparable competitor models data reflecting detailed pricing comparisons and also a series of calculation tools covering a wide range of fleet management disciplines.
Renault Fleet Promises
Renault Fleet has undertaken to deliver seven non-negotiable Fleet Promises or value added services that will come standard with every fleet vehicle sold:
- Industry-leading 5-year/150 000km factory warranty
- Guaranteed delivery dates will allow for medium/long term planning by fleet buyers
- 96% of parts available within 24 hours
- 5-year AA roadside assistance
- Mobility solution in a fleet vehicle downtime situation
- Full range of vehicles for demonstrations or test drives
- Dedicated fleet/business contact centre number
Eco-friendly ENERGY engines
As a committed eco- and people-centric brand, it is Renault’s duty to provide technological solutions that help its fleet customers reduce their fuel consumption and, at the same time, curb the production of greenhouse gases.
In line with this global commitment, Renault has introduced its all-new Energy dCi 130 turbodiesel engine. Currently fitted to the marque’s new Grand Scènic Dynamique multi-purpose van, according to Ramsoomar, a complete range of Energy engines will be launching in South Africa over the next 12 months and will be an option across a number of vehicles in the Renault Fleet offering.
For fleet buyers serious about reducing their company’s carbon footprint, Renault’s Energy engines will afford lower fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions together with enhanced driving enjoyment and more affordable running costs.
“Our long term strategy is to see Renault as a top three choice when it comes to deciding on a passenger car for a business application and the number one choice when in the small/medium panel van,” says Ramsoomar.
“We will achieve this by ensuring that Renault Fleet’s offering remains competitive in terms of pricing and total cost of ownership, parts and service costing, reducing CO2 emissions and by casting our Fleet Promises in stone.”