Vauxhall has been awarded one of its largest light commercial vehicle orders ever with a contract to exclusively supply the BT light commercial fleet with around 16,000 vans over the next three years.
Communications solutions provider BT awarded the three-year contract, with an option for a two-year extension, to Vauxhall following a competitive tender process that included most of the major commercial vehicle manufacturers in the UK.
The company operates what is thought to be the largest independently owned fleet in the country through its subsidiary BT Fleet, with 45,000 vehicles including 13,000 light vans, 16,300 medium and heavy vans and 11,200 cars.
BT will be buying three models from Vauxhall - the 1.3CDTi Corsavan and Combo and the 1.9CDTi SWB standard roof Vivaro - to meet its operational requirements over the next three years.
The vans will be driven by BT engineers in all the company’s main lines of business.
A key factor in the decision to move away from BT’s previous supplier was the whole life cost of the Vauxhall vans, said Head of Fleet Supply, Peter Howard.
"The principal reason for our decision to switch to Vauxhall was the fact that their vehicles offered the best whole life costs and will give us the best return over the contract period.
"They also met our technical and commercial requirements and Vauxhall is committed to excellent aftersales support and back-up to our internal network of workshops," he added.
BT will run the vehicles on operating cycles of between one and five years to ensure it optimises the residual value performance of the vans at the time of disposal.
During the competitive tender process, BT Fleet held product evaluation events where BT engineers and managers test drove vehicles from the shortlisted manufacturers. Feedback gained from the testing sessions was one of the inputs to the adjudication process.
There was a particularly high rating for the driving position and ergonomics of the Vivaro, and the specification and power trains in the Corsavan and Combo, which will both feature the highly-acclaimed new 72 PS 1.3 CDTi diesel engine.
All vans supplied will be fitted with racking and liveried in BT colours with the Corsavan and Combo being modified at the ports of entry and the Vivaro at the IBC Vehicles plant in Luton.
Vauxhall and Saab Fleet Sales Director Maurice Howkins said he was delighted to be awarded the contract to supply light commercial vehicles to BT Fleet, especially as Vauxhall also supplies a substantial number of vehicles to the BT car fleet.
"This highly significant contract for Vauxhall really shows what great teamwork can do. It is the result of an outstanding team effort including dedicated account management, an excellent demonstrator facility and three great products.
"We are especially pleased that BT drivers gave the Corsavan, Combo and Vivaro such glowing reports for their driving capabilities and the exciting new range of diesel engines in all three vehicles.
"And a key factor in our success was the acclaim of the BT engineers for the award-winning Vivaro which is assembled here at IBC," he said.Published 29 October 2004