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Company employees drive choice lists

  • New research reveals rising trend for everyday luxuries
  • Drivers are driving company choice lists
  • German brands are most desirable company cars

According to a survey, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are dominating company car drivers’ choices when it comes to their next company car.

In one of the largest studies across the fleet market by Sewells Research and Insight, 45 percent of those questioned in the Fleet Operator Attitudes Survey rated the German power houses as the most desirable company cars, BMW topping the list with almost a fifth (or 19 percent) of the votes.

While these premium automotive brands are widely known for their aspirational positioning, the study, which questioned almost 2,050 fleet managers across the UK, discovered that employees are both expecting and demanding prestige when it comes to their next company car.

And with two fifths of fleet managers sourcing information from employees when making decisions about future company cars, this trend for everyday prestige has been reflected in the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) sales data which show that Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have all grown their market share over the last year between 13 percent and 15 percent, while Ford and Vauxhall have only managed five percent and six percent growth respectively.

Simon Staplehurst, commercial manager at Sewells Research and Insight, said: “Our data is increasingly demonstrating a rising trend for everyday prestige when it comes to driving; with BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi scoring highly in our research.  People are demanding more, their expectations are higher and they are not settling for second best anymore.

 “And although premium brand cars will cost more in the short term, the re-sale values are higher, making them a cost effective option for businesses looking to entice and reward employees with a company car.”

According to Sewells Research and Insight, fleet managers are torn between delivering what their drivers want (which is an upmarket badge) verses what their budgets can actually deliver.

Here is the rank order of car manufacturers offer the most desirable cars according to the research:

  1. BMW – 19%
  2. Ford – 14%
  3. Mercedes-Benz – 14%
  4. Audi – 12%
  5. Volkswagen – 9%
  6. Vauxhall – 5%
  7. Toyota – 5%
  8. Volvo – 2%
  9. Jaguar – 2%
  10. Honda – 1%

Do you agree? Have your say – which of these brands would you consider your number one choice for your next company car?