Retail giant IKEA has appointed Skoda and Lombard Vehicle Management to provide its ongoing fleet solution. The home furnishings specialist is adopting for a sale and leaseback strategy, with its current car fleet being replaced by Skoda on a solus basis.
As well as moving from purchase to lease, IKEA will now run its vehicles for four years/70,000 miles rather than three years/60,000 miles. The deal is for 100 vehicles over the next three-and-a-half years, with the first 30 now being delivered, through Claybank Motors of Eccles.
"We chose Skoda and Lombard for several reasons," says Andrew Walne, IKEA’s UK IMS Business Developer. "Skoda presents an excellent combination of good pricing and attractive, functional design which fits IKEA neatly. Meanwhile Lombard presented us with a new approach and clear financial benefits. They have been extremely efficient and have given us easy access to their key personnel.
Martin Burke, Head of Business Sales for Skoda, comments: "No car maker is closer to the Ikea ethos than Skoda. Like the famous furniture maker, our vehicles are stylish, robust, practical and above all, affordable. Ikea is one of an increasing number of companies that is recognizing the extra bit of car Skoda provides for your money."
Lombard Vehicle Management’s Head of Sales, Edward Pigg, said, "We are extremely happy to be adding such a popular and successful consumer brand to our client portfolio. It’s very pleasing to demonstrate again that we’re winning business by providing real commercial solutions tailored to each customer’s precise situation, and adding real value in each case."
Skoda business sales volume has grown from 1,273 in 1998 to 10,030 in 2004, a phenomenal growth of 680 per cent. In 2004, while the fleet market was up 2.3 per cent on the previous year, Skoda business sales increased by 5.3 per cent. In light of this success, Skoda is also increasing its number of specialist business sales centres around the country from 18 to 40 to further increase its levels of business service.
In the past 12 months, business sales staff has almost doubled, increasing from 12 in 2004 to 23 in 2005, under the supervision of the newly appointed Head of Business Sales, Martin Burke. Skoda aspires to provide a better service for customers and retailers, mirroring the customer satisfaction already proven in the retail market.
Lombard is the UK’s largest asset finance company. Its specialised vehicle management business is one of the largest in the UK, managing a fleet of over 116,500 cars and light commercial vehicles of virtually every make and model. Lombard Vehicle Management has a specialist team of over 380 people supporting a 5,000-strong customer base covering both private and public sector clients, and provides a comprehensive portfolio of services including insurance, breakdown and vehicle tracking as well as financial solutions.
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