Connells, the southern and midlands based chain of estate agents, is switching the bulk of its vehicle fleet from Vauxhall Corsas to Astras in a move to improve staff benefits.

The company currently operates a fleet of 360 vehicles across its chain of 150 estate agents on a Vauxhall single badge policy, the majority of them being Vauxhall Corsas which are supplied to sales staff with Vauxhall Vectras for office managers.

The company has now decided to switch from Corsas to 1.6 8v five door Astra Envoys for sales personnel in a move that signals a major investment in recruiting and retaining its key staff. Connells also offers employees a cash for car scheme as an alternative.

Connells Chief Executive Stephen Shipperley said: "Over recent years we have found that an increasing proportion of our sales staff are older and many have families, therefore upgrading from Corsas to Astras was a practical consideration.

"But in addition, whilst the Corsa is a good car in its own right, all the additional features of the Astra make it a really class car. Whilst we never consider cars themselves as an investment, we do see this expenditure as an investment in our staff."

Connells has just taken delivery of the first batch of 60 of the new Astra Envoys, supplied by Motorbodies of Luton, the first of Vauxhall’s new generation two-tier brand centres to be opened in the country.

The multi-million pound split level complex allows up to 18 vehicles to be on display at any one time, and provides premises for new and used car and van sales, plus parts and seven-day-a-week servicing, and comes complete with customer cafeteria to create a customer-centric ambience.

Published : 17/01/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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