Triple success for Volkswagen in 2006 fleet world honours

Triple success for Volkswagen in 2006 fleet world honours  
Filed under:
News, Volkswagen
on 05/18/2006

Volkswagen cars and commercial vehicles, plus the Fleet Services department have all claimed awards at the 2006 Fleet World and Commercial Fleet World Honours.

The trophies were presented at a special ceremony held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall today.

The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers and service companies who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector. The judging panel is chaired by industry professional, George Emmerson, who has managed fleets at IBM, NHBC and Black Horse Agencies. Members of the judging panel include Ken Rogers, John Kendall and Ross Durkin from Fleet World’s editorial team, Alan Cole of Glass’s Guide and fleet manager Jackie Pomfrett. Residual value, maintenance cost and reliability
data is also provided by ALD Automotive, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions and ING Car Lease.

Fleet Manufacturer of the Year Award

Volkswagen has won the award for Fleet Manufacturer of the Year in the 2006 Fleet World Honours.

Commenting on the award, Chairman of Judges George Emmerson said: ‘This is an especially difficult award to judge as there are so many fine fleet cars and so many highly professional fleet manufacturers. But when all of the essential ingredients are taken into account, our unanimous view was that Volkswagen was the manufacturer which had made the greatest progress in the fleet industry over the last year.’

Fleet World editor, Ken Rogers commented: ‘As a fleet manager I find it hard to spot a flaw in either the backup provided by Volkswagen’s fleet department, or in the model range that they offer. Both are first class and the company has showed over the years that it is able to maintain a consistently high level of service to fleet operators from all areas of industry.’

Alan Cole of Glass’s Guide added: ‘Whole-life costs are one of the fleet operator’s key concerns and to this extent Volkswagen has maintained a very orderly house. Growing fleet business while maintaining residual values is no easy task and Volkswagen Fleet has done this in impressive style. For this reason, it’s little surprise that the leasing company representatives also endorsed this award.’

Technology Award

Volkswagen has also won the Technology Award in the 2006 Commercial Fleet World Honours.

Commenting on the award, Commercial Fleet World editor, John Kendall said: ‘As emissions limits tighten, vehicle manufacturers will have to take greater control of the entire powertrain to squeeze every last gramme of carbon dioxide, particulates and oxides of nitrogen out of the system. Volkswagen was among the first manufacturers to introduce high-pressure fuel injection to its diesel engines, greatly reducing the amount of pollutants in diesel engine exhaust.

‘A couple of years ago Volkswagen introduced the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) automated gearbox, which set the benchmark for automated shift systems. Using two clutches instead of one, the ‘box is able to preselect the next gear, enabling gear-shifting to take place in a split second with a consistent smoothness that even the best driver could not manage every time. Because the system uses plate clutches instead of the liquid filled torque converter of a fully automatic gearbox, fuel consumption should not suffer, unless the driver gets carried away.

‘After introducing the system on a number of cars in the Volkswagen Group, DSG was launched in the Caddy van some months ago. For drivers in stop/start urban traffic, the system can take a lot of stress out of the process, leaving the driver to focus attention on the road.’

Best Diesel Range Award

Completing the hat-trick, Volkswagen also won the award for Best Diesel Range in the 2006 Fleet World Honours.

Commenting on the award, Chairman of Judges George Emmerson said: ‘With the current situation surrounding fuel costs, many companies are looking hard at policies regarding diesel versus petrol. Volkswagen has won this award in the past and does so again based on the tremendous depth in range of its diesel vehicles. Any fleet manager looking to include diesel vehicles in the choice lists should seriously consider the Volkswagen product.’

Fleet World editor Ken Rogers commented: ‘Volkswagen’s Head of Fleet Services, Vince Kinner, was recently quoted in Fleet World, saying that his customers see TDI as virtually a "brand within a brand". Since removal of the tax advantage previously granted to fleet customers opting for Euro IV diesel-engined cars, manufacturers now sell their diesels on the benefits of the engine, NOT on taxation principles alone. Volkswagen’s range of diesel engines is comprehensive, with no less than five derv-burning powerplants including the 1.9-litre TDI which powers vehicles as diverse as Polo, Golf, Passat, Touran, Sharan and Caravelle and the mighty 5.0-litre V10 that propels Phaeton and Touareg. Power outputs range from 70 to 309 bhp and torque from 114 to 553 lb.ft.

Alan Cole of Glass’s Guide added: ‘Volkswagen’s often-criticised decision to stick with "Pumpe Düse" technology seems to have paid off because its range of diesel engines is extremely popular in the used car market. The name TDI is now synonymous with reliability, good performance and economy. In residual value terms, the Volkswagen diesel range is virtually unbeatable as a fleet prospect.’

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