BL praised by car fleet survey
By Edward Townsend, Industrial Correspondent
BL’s Mini, Metro, Maestro and yet-to-be-launched Montego cars have won accolades in a new survey of the British fleet market which shows them to be among the most efficient and cheap for a company to own. The survey, conducted by the Birmingham-based Interleasing company, shows that the Montego 1.6 litre model should cost a fleet owner who leases the car 19.6p a mile to run.
This is cheaper than the competition, including the Vauxhall Cavalier and Ford Sierra and only 0.4p more expensive than the Ford Orion. The results of the survey, which covered 120 cars divided into 12 sections, should prove heartening to BL at a time when its market share has been stagnating. This month, Vauxhall’s share is expected to be over 20 per cent, compared with BL’s 17 per cent, thanks to the continuing success of the Cavalier, Astra and Spanish-built Nova models.
General Motors, Vauxhail’s parent, is expected to be confirmed as this year’s leading importer so far, beating Ford for the first time. Interleasing’s figures, which BL stressed yesterday were unofficial, put the Montego two-litre Vanden Plas automatic model, the top of the range, in the lead at the expensive end of the fleet market with a mileage cost of 25.9p against the Ford Granada 2.0 LX at 26.3p and Rover 2000 at 27.6p.
BL, which is launching the Montego publicly on April 25, declined to comment yesterday on its specific performance figures and it appears that Interleasing has made assumptions based on the Maestro. However, the new car, officially called the LM11, is BL’s answer to the fleet sector dominance won by cars such as the Sierra and Cavalier. Austin Rover said: “We think the fleet market has great potential growth in 1984”.
Interleasing, which claims to operate the UK’s largest contract hire fleet, based its figures on a mileage of 18,000 a year and took into account leasing and all motoring costs.