The Mazda3 Diesel

The aspirational and motivational stature of Mazda’s 2004 car line-up has led to ING Car Lease including the manufacturer on its own company car choice list for the first time.

The high-profile vehicle leasing and fleet management company operates a 30-strong essential user petrol and diesel fleet and also makes company car recommendations to the ING Group in the UK, which includes ING Bank, ING Real Estate and the Baring group of finance companies, who between them operate a total of 300 vehicles.

The recently launched Mazda3 as well as the multi-award-winning Mazda6 are the two models from the carmaker included on ING Car Lease’s own job car fleet. Mazda and ING Car Lease combined to stage a special Mazda3 ride and drive event during which 68 employees – 75% of the Bracknell-based staff – got behind the wheel of the new lower medium sector contender.

Commercial director Greg Taylor said: ‘We review our own employees’ car choice list every six months but in reality change it every 12 months. We aim to offer vehicles that are both aspirational and motivational and Mazda product fits both criteria.

‘Mazda has made it on to our choice list for the first time on merit because the company has a genuine fleet offering. In compiling our own vehicle choice list we also take into account the fleet policy of ING Group as, given our marketplace knowledge and expertise, they look to us to make recommendations for their own vehicle choice lists having also taken into account issues such as wholelife costs, benefit-in-kind taxation and Euro NCAP crash test ratings.’

He added: ‘There has been a lot of interest from staff in the Mazda6 and I think the Mazda3 will be particularly popular as a result of the imminent launch of diesel options. Both cars, as well as the rest of the Mazda range such as the RX-8, are fresh good-looking cars.

‘The fact that the entry-level Mazda6 is available with alloy wheels, air conditioning and a CD player as standard makes the model very attractive. However, the real bonus is that there is enough differentiation between the trim levels to satisfy the hierarchical nature of fleet choice lists.’

The Mazda6, launched almost two years ago, has paved the way for the carmaker’s fleet success, which saw sector sales almost double last year and they have continued to ‘zoom-zoom’ in the first four months of 2004.

ING Car Lease says the range has proved extremely popular with its customers and Mr Taylor added: ‘The Mazda6 has proved very popular, particularly the diesel variants, and we have had significant interest in the RX-8 as well as the Mazda3 where I think the diesel will also prove popular.’

Mazda fleet and remarketing director David McGonigle said: ‘Mazda has taken significant strides forward both in terms of its vehicle range and its franchise dealer support in the last three years. I am delighted that ING Car Lease has recognised those efforts in adding Mazdas to its own company choice list.

‘As a leading player in the fleet and leasing industry ING Car Lease obviously keeps an extremely close eye on what is happening in the marketplace and the new models launched. The acceptance of Mazdas on to a finely tuned choice list with opportunities at a wider Group level is a major coup for the brand.’

Published : 30/05/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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