No one knows whether it was a high level of Audi service, the right price point, or something different altogether, but the stars recently aligned to make Audi the preferred brand among UK fleet owners. For the first time since the German car maker set its sights on the fleet market some 30 years ago, the company has finally eclipsed BMW as Fleet Manufacturer of the Year.
The Fleet Manufacturer of the Year award is presented by Fleet News based on an annual survey of its readers. Audi beat BMW for the top spot this year, followed by Ford at number three and Jaguar Land Rover in the fourth spot. Rounding out the top five was Mercedes-Benz.
If the Fleet News award stood as the only recognition of Audi’s impressive accomplishment, there would be reason to suspect they have not truly achieved the same status BMW has long enjoyed as a fleet provider. But Audi’s sales figures back up what readers believe to be true. They have consistently boasted strong fleet sales for several years running.
Quality and Pricing
In announcing the award, the Fleet News release did not specifically mention why readers named Audi their favourite fleet manufacturer. But knowing what we know about fleet buyers, it is quite likely they considered things such as vehicle quality, service quality, pricing, and customer service. These are all things fleet owners consider very important given the amount of money they invest in their fleets.
Audi service has always been top-notch, but the quality and pricing of some of their vehicles has not been up to par with BMW in the past. According to the Fleet News release, Audi has been working hard on “getting its products and fleet strategy right” in order to better compete. It appears they have succeeded.
Audi’s fleet offerings include a number of luxury vehicles for company executives alongside compact hatchbacks and reliable SUVs for more utilitarian purposes. Their fleet vehicles are appreciated by company car drivers and executives alike. Audi is also building a reputation among car hire companies specialising in German nameplates.
The Competition Heats Up
Now that Audi has managed to eclipse BMW as the preferred fleet brand in the UK, you can bet the competition is just starting to heat up. BMW will not rest on the successes of the past. Other German brands, including Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, will not either. Competing in the UK fleet market is very important for German car makers who rely heavily on the UK market for a solid bottom line.
No matter how good Audi service gets or how competitive their pricing, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen are going to continue to push. We would not expect anything less. All the German brands want to maintain the best possible reputation among fleet owners so as to facilitate robust sales both now and in the future. That is good for fleet owners because it means they will always have a great selection of cars to choose from.
Fleet News – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/manufacturer-news/2017/04/20/fleet-news-awards-2017-fleet-manufacturer-of-the-year-audi-uk