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16th May 2017
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Petrol v Diesel – Thoughts

Fuel
Petrol and Diesel, which to choose. Big decisions, big topics. Currently the Contract Hire and Leasing industry has few bigger topics than the Petrol v Diesel debate. How does this affect a fleet makeup? Should choice-lists be changed? What about our Corporate Social responsibility and our CO2 cap? I think the first point is not to make sweeping changes suddenly. Much of this will naturally change as vehicle manufacturers revise their product offerings.

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22nd February 2017
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5 and Country

It’s been a very busy time at VLS HQ (or Tordoff House, to give the proper name) but new products don’t wait for anyone. Before I catch up with all the new items from the last couple of months, I really ought to cover what’s new This Week.   BMW. Not content with setting Premium sales records in 2016, they know that to be able to maintain their momentum, they’d better introduce some all-new replacements for their most important car and one that they have high hopes for further growth.

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27th September 2016
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The #untaggable Audi Q2

Audi Q2
  Hash tags. Searchable bits of text used in the social media platform Twitter, but now commonly used to 'define' something or someone. Audi have come over all 'yoof' with their new Q2 and claimed it is #untaggable. The translation of this is it is lots of things to lots of people - i.e. you can't pin it down. Conversely, it could be argued that Audi don't actually know what it is... Now, we all like an analogy to help understanding, and in this instance I would suggest the Mercedes GLA.

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6th July 2016
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SEAT Ateca

SEAT Ateca
Platform sharing. A phrase that is used often in the motoring press, but isn't regularly explained. What is it? Simply it is using the guts of one vehicle to create another, generally only changing the visible parts - body panels and interior. The kings of this art are the Volkswagen group. They share between VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda as a matter of course. But this also extends to Porsche (the Macan is related to the Audi Q5) and even Bentley (they use bits from the VW Phaeton and will be using parts from the new Porsche Panamera).

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23rd June 2016
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Ford Fleet Expo 2016

Ford Edge Sport
Ford. We've all had one at some point of other. Certainly travelled in one. Passed every day by many. It's quite a big day when Ford put on an event to not only launch a car into a sector they have been absent from for quite a while, but to also launch/extend their luxury presence and incidentally (!) mention their all new engine to serve the Transit family. The new Ford Edge re-introduces the Blue Oval into the large SUV segment where they haven't competed for many years.

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10th June 2016
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Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace R-Sport
Premium. Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV to you and me). Join these two together and you are looking at the hottest sector in the car market in both desirability and value terms. It is debatable as to what Premium really means, however most of us, if asked for brands that come to mind when asked about Premium SUVs, would answer roughly the same. Audi, BMW, Mercedes and some of us may also say Lexus.

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19th April 2016
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The New Toyota C-HR

C-HR Front
Crossover. Not only a term for hi-fi buffs nowadays. These are the higher set hatchbacks that have become spectacularly successful over the past few years. Pretty much since the Nissan Qashqai was introduced in 2007. Toyota have a new take on this segment with the C-HR. That's Coupe-High Rider, but it is probably the C-HR name that will stick. This car is the same size and goes head to head with Qashqai.

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1st April 2016
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Tesla Model 3 Reveal

TeslaModel3
Tesla revealed its new Model 3 today (01/04/2016) 4am UK time. The headline figures are impressive and certainly not an April fool! The company's chief executive Elon Musk said the five-seater would start at $35,000 (£24,423) before incentives and have a range of at least 215 miles (346km) per charge. Model 3 combines real world range, performance, safety and spaciousness into a premium car. With a five star safety rating, Model 3 will also be the safest car in its class.

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14th October 2015
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New Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra
Watch out Golf and Focus! There's a new kid on the block called Astra and he's coming to get you. A contingent of leasing industry and fleet managers was flown to Granada on 7th October to test drive the new Vauxhall Astra. It was another of those tough assignments which only people with an iron constitution could undertake (and in this case sleep in a self-contained pod in the Spanish desert near Granada).

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25th July 2015
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An Audi Bonanza – A4/Q7

A4 Soloon
Not content with showing us one new car, Audi took advantage of its leasing customers presence to exhibit two. The first, in volume terms at least, was the most important. It was the all new Audi A4. To reinforce the point that it was new from the wheels up the 'old' model was displayed alongside. For those not in the know the most obvious changes are inside the car. The front and specifically the bit in front of the driver is fitted and finished to the usual impeccable standard, but the instrumentation and controls are radically different.

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17th June 2015
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The New Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar
A Nice drive. A quick Google search reveals that Khadgar is the most accomplished of all living wizards in the internet online game World of Warcraft and that Kanjar is the name of a nomadic ethnic group found in North India and Pakistan. So have Renault produced a piece of C-class crossover magic capable of holding its own in the wandering urban wildernesses of the UK? Well, I am guessing there will not be too many sparks but they have produced a sold contender.

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2nd June 2015
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The New Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb
Let's start with a hackneyed cliché - this car is Superb by name and Superb by nature. In profile view it's the equal of an Audi A6 saloon. Only by looking at the front will you see how proudly Skoda it appears. The same very high quality is evident inside the car. It's a gem. Anyone under 35 years old would have absolutely no qualms in welcoming this as their company car. They would have no recollection of jokes such as “how do you keep your hands warm in winter?” “By push starting a Skoda with a heated rear screen” or “What do you call a Skoda with twin exhaust pipes?” “A wheelbarrow”.

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20th March 2015
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The New Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90
I have just returned from an extended test drive in Volvo's pride and joy, the all new XC90. Having to do so in the Spanish countryside around Barcelona was a tough assignment but it was a job somebody had to take on… Suffice to say it's a very significant improvement on the last hugely successful model which was sold for 13 years - itself a major achievement in an industry that launches replacement models at between 5 and 7 years.

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