“People expect plenty of space in the homes we build, and similarly people expect plenty of space in their cars, which is why our drivers have been looking forward to the arrival of the new Toyota Auris.” So says Stephen Bickel, Administrative Director of one the South’s leading residential developers, Weston Homes Plc.
Following a successful three-year period running all Toyotas in its 57-vehicle non-executive fleet, Weston Homes has recently decided to renew the agreement. Staff currently drive Yaris 1.4, Corolla 2.0 and Avensis 2.2 diesel cars, all silver T-Spirit grade with black interiors and manual transmission. Five Hiace vans are used by Customer Service Technicians.
The Corollas are now being replaced by the new Toyota Auris 2.0 D-4D T-Spirit five-door hatchbacks. “The drivers think it’s great in terms of cabin space, and although only the site personnel generally need to carry a great deal, everyone appreciates having extra room,” says Mr Bickel.
Weston Homes specialises in residential developments from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses, in schemes from nine to 350 units. It currently has major sites in Canterbury, Maidstone, Kenway, Colchester and Battersea.
All the company’s cars are bought outright and replaced after three years with an average of 60,000 miles on the clock. Hills of Woodford supplies and services the Toyotas.
“We’re great believers in developing relationships with people and we’re very pleased with what we’ve done with Toyota to date,” says Stephen Bickel, who carried out a comprehensive review of the market before renewing the contract with Toyota. “It's not a case of the devil we know so much as the devil that’s done well for us!
“The Avensis has proved very popular, particularly with the new 2.2 litre engine, and the Yaris is a nice little vehicle for people starting their run. I think the Auris is also going to be successful, because it’s something a little bit different.”
The 124bhp Toyota Auris 2.0 D-4D returns 52.3mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions are 144g/km. 0-62mph acceleration takes 10.3sec and top speed is 121mph.
Auris T-Spirit standard features include front and rear power windows, radio-CD with MP3 player and six speakers, lockable 16 inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, rain-sensing lights and electrochromatic mirror.
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