Mazda's small fleet market programme has been extended for a further two years as a result of the success of the first 12 month programme.
Officially launched in May 2010 with 16 dealers, the Business Development Programme has seen 19 more franchise dealers join with others queuing to be involved.
The Programme focuses on the sub-50 fleet sector and to date has resulted in more than 360 accounts being opening, with a collective total of 7,700 company cars.
276 vehicles have been delivered through the scheme so far and sees franchise dealers working in tandem with an outsourced specialist sales team, established by Magma Services - part of the London based automotive specialist Magma Group.
Magma Services has been awarded a two year contract as a result of the success of the 12 month initiative.
Four Business Development Managers are located regionally to provide support to dealers to maximise local business opportunities in their respective areas. The four managers spend at least 50% of their time working with the dealers on prospecting, marketing and joint visits.
The rest of their time is spent exploiting direct selling opportunities to local businesses and educating SMEs about the opportunities available to them in running their fleet vehicles in partnership with Mazda.
Although a significant number of SME's still continue to outright purchase their vehicles, there is a trend towards leasing - and the improved business cash flow opportunities offered via both Mazda Contract Hire and Personal Contract Hire products are being exploited by potential customers.
Mazda Fleet and Remarketing Director Steve Jelliss said: "Investment in the Programme in terms of helping franchise dealers establishing relations within businesses in their areas is being rewarded with significant business opportunities.
"Companies that have taken delivery of Mazda vehicles represent conquest sales for the brand. Moving forward the Business Development Managers will not only be working with dealers new to the Programme, but they will also support the franchises in training staff to pro-actively manage our fleet customers."
He added: "Not only are dealers benefiting from the initial supply of new Mazda cars to fleets, but they will also see workshop business increase as a result of service, maintenance and repair work.
"For the first time in many cases, businesses are experiencing a local franchise dealer approaching them with information and advice on company car acquisition and operating policies and procedures.
"The Business Development Managers working with selected dealers over the next 24 months will leave a legacy that is sustainable long term. Ultimately by forming a strong partnership with SMEs in their respective areas the dealers can look forward to long-standing business relationships."
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