Julie Jenner, Chairman of ACFO with Nick Andrews, Head of Fleet Sales at Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is aiming to become the UK’s number one premium fleet manufacturer, Nick Andrews, the manufacturer’s head of fleet sales, said at the ACFO Conference and AGM.

The event, held at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, Weybridge, saw the UK debut of the marque’s all-new A-Class, which will go on sale in January 2013.

Mr Andrews said the decision to give a UK debut to the new A-Class at the ACFO event underlined the importance of the fleet sector to Mercedes-Benz.

He told delegates: “We want to be closer to the fleet market than we have been historically. Mercedes-Benz fleet sales department is open for business and it is my job to make Mercedes-Benz more accessible to fleets than we have ever been before.

“We want to become the number one premium fleet manufacturer in the UK in terms of sales and market share and for the best fleet manufacturer experience.”

Mr Andrews also said that AMG – the Mercedes-Benz sporting brand – would become more prominent in products starting with summer 2012 changes to the C-Class.

Stressing that Mercedes-Benz was ‘all about improving efficiency’ he highlighted how the marque’s core fleet models – the recently launched B-Class as well as forthcoming changes to the C-Class, the launch of the E-Class hybrid and the new A-Class, which made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March – were key to ensuring fleet competitiveness.

Mr Andrews said:

• Carbon dioxide emissions on the new B-Class were up to 26% lower than on the previous model

• Nomenclature on the C-Class would change from SE, Elegance and Sport to Executive SE, AMG Sport and AMG SportPlus from June production in readiness for August customer delivery. Alongside specification improvements he pledged: “From a whole life cost perspective we are making Mercedes-Benz an affordable proposition.”

• The third quarter 2012 launch of the E-Class hybrid would mark the introduction of the world’s first premium diesel hybrid. Delivering 231 bhp, it will return 65.7 mpg with emissions of 109 g/km.

• The arrival of the new A-Class in January 2013 with emissions from 99 g/km would be a ‘true competitor’ to the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

For more information: www.acfo.org