an increasingly intense match between business areas

One has only to browse the showrooms of the manufacturers, and in particular the sales points reserved for professional buyers, to realize that the business ranges are ubiquitous in the catalog of car brands.

In France, the B2B channel has clearly become a primary target for most brands. It is even sometimes the first of the markets for some of them. Everyone is busy refining their corporate finish anyway, starting with the use of embedded technologies.

Car brands, such as Ford, specifically target professional customers thanks to studied business finishes.

Finish the extra equipment with accessories and driving assistants

In recent years we have seen an increase in the range of onboard equipment offered to fleets. Like what is done, for example, at Fiat with the Tipo Cross Plus, at Ford through the Trend and Titanium Business collections, like what applies at Hyundai. All Business versions of the Korean manufacturer are overequipped. They include (especially on Tucson and Kona trims) parking assistance, cruise control, but also a driver fatigue detection system, automatic climate control, Bluetooth and even European navigation. So many effective ingredients which, together with a wider range of engines, strongly contribute to the growth of the “Business Hyundai” range in the French market.

Mercedes Class A, number 1 of foreign cars distributed to tricolor fleets, also emphasizes an incentive livery. As an emblem of the Mercedes-Benz Business Solutions division, the German compact can’t be content with just its attractive appearance. When it becomes a company car, it intends to provide more services. Then it gets the most out of its MBUX infotainment console. A customizable voice-activated tool that is useful, for example, for dictating a text message to an employee or colleague without taking your eyes off the road. The A-Class Business Line, like most of its work-ready counterparts, also offers real-time traffic information and driving aids such as blind spot warning and lane keeping.

Models centered by nature on the ecological expectations of the professionals

If the brands insist on technology at the wheel to shape their corporate finish and meet the comfort needs of self-employed, small business and large accounts, most also do not forget to highlight their stylistic and mechanical innovations. Like Tesla with its Model 3 sedan, the new Volkswagen ID.4, the BMW X1 or the Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid urban SUV. Some even consciously focus their communication on the motor arsenal. This is, among other things, the case with the Peugeot e-208 city car, which has been on the market since the end of 2019. It has a strong visual identity, of course a qualitative standard endowment. But above all, it has a 100% electric motorization that is both sufficiently invigorating (136 horsepower) and autonomous, capable of delivering up to 340 km per hour.

Renault Zoé is another example of a product that is naturally adapted to the fleet’s environmental requirements. With the difference that it was one of the first to venture into this niche. It has now been eight years that the city car with the diamond has occupied the public and private professional field and is trying to improve its potential almost season after season. The main asset of the Zoé is its 100% electric motorization (110 to 135 horsepower) and its degree of autonomy, which now claims 395 km. These mechanical advantages, combined with a design and built-in equipment that is much less versatile than original, have helped place the Zoé in 13th place in sales to professionals in 2020, all energies combined.

Allowing drivers to drive in zero-emission mode while guaranteeing them dynamic driving and a credible level of autonomy, these are the two arguments that today are really decisive in the eyes of fleets in a context where the concept of park greening imposes more every year or even every semester.

Lines intended for companies, rental companies and administrations are increasingly equipped with driving equipment, such as the technologies on board the Hyundai Tucson.
Lines intended for companies, rental companies and administrations are increasingly equipped with driving equipment, such as the technologies on board the Hyundai Tucson.

Towards the rise of marketing “coup” to increase business supply?

Given that nearly 60% of company cars are now held on a long-term lease basis, taking control of a business variant (among other trim choices) is generally accompanied by assistance and maintenance included, sometimes even a “financial loss” guarantee.

At the same time as this attraction of the foot that has finally become classic, some manufacturers imagine really new offers to build customer loyalty even better. For example, within the Toyota-Lexus alliance, where the business range represents 40% of the models delivered on the B2B channel and where around 90% of the cars of interest to the fleets run on hybrids, a unique marketing campaign of its kind emerged. last summer. The ambition of the two Japanese brands is to reward every buyer of a new hybrid and Business (or Dynamic Business or Design Business) vehicle with half a day of free eco-driving coaching. A well-considered publicity stunt given the increasing interest of companies in this approach, which combines ecology, security and TCO savings.

The intense competition in which manufacturers are currently engaged in the market for professional vehicles may favor commercial approaches of this kind in the coming months.

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