Many luxury automakers offer executive fleet programs. From Audi, to BMW, to Mercedes-Benz, to Volvo, there are numerous programs available to help fleet managers manage executive fleet vehicle programs.
These programs include vehicle incentives, courtesy delivery payments to dealer partners, fleet pricing, and enhanced service.
Fleets looking to utilize executive vehicles as reward and recruitment tools should look no further than these executive fleet vehicle programs.
The automakers also took time to discuss some current trends in executive fleet vehicle management.
Audi of America
Reward company leadership with a car offering class-leading luxury, design, quality, and safety. Audi has evolved into a pioneer of technology and designs and is repeatedly setting new standards in the automotive industry. Producing cars that are innovative, sporty, progressive, and sophisticated, it’s clear why the Audi brand is quickly becoming the choice for companies that do not wish to be generic, according to the automaker.
“Audi is now in its 20th consecutive month of record sales in the U.S.,” said Michael Stafford, commercial accounts manager at Audi. “Our growth and popularity now translate directly to higher resale results at auctions. This, in turn, benefits our residual values. Our combination of class-leading residual values and 24/7 roadside assistance are appealing to fleet managers who are not only looking at Audi’s total cost of ownership for their executives, but for their entire organization.”
In regards to trends, Stafford commented, “There has been a gradual shift from drivers receiving a specific dollar amount from their employer to employers electing one or two OEMs to qualify for volume fleet incentive programs. This helps leverage the company’s purchasing power with the selected OEM.”
Audi of America offers a variety of fleet incentive programs to bona fide commercial accounts possessing a valid Audi fleet account number. Audi also offers customized volume incentive programs developed in consultation with corporate fleet managers specific to the needs of their company. Additionally, Audi compensates its dealer partners with a courtesy delivery payment. This ensures a highly satisfactory new-vehicle delivery experience.
Equally as important, there is no courtesy delivery charge to the corporate fleet buyer. For more information on Audi’s corporate vehicle program, visit www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/offers/audi_corporate_sales.html.
BMW North America
BMW North America’s executive fleet program is offered for drivers who are eligible under their company’s vehicle policy program to get a vehicle as part of their employment package, get a monthly allowance from the company to pay for a vehicle, or get a true “Company Car” from their employer, or from a fleet or leasing company.
Corporate drivers and fleet managers are given high priority at BMW through membership in the BMW program, according to Drew McClelland, corporate sales manager, BMW North America. Some of the benefits of purchasing or financing a new BMW include:
● Fleet pricing to approved corporate customers holding a valid fleet account number (EPAN) for factory order or off-lot purchases.
● Fleet incentives are applied to dealer invoice/cost.
● BMW and MINI Service includes no-cost maintenance for four years/50,000 miles, and roadside assistance for four years/unlimited miles.
● Preferential rates for BMW Performance Driving School courses.
● Access to a dedicated fleet representative at participating BMW dealers.
● A dedicated corporate sales team at BMW of North America, available to answer any questions.
● New vehicle delivery can also be accommodated at the BMW Performance Driving Center in Spartanburg, S.C., adjacent to the BMW factory.
● Invitations to specific BMW model-launch events, where fleet managers can see the latest BMW models and learn about features and technological innovations.
McClelland is seeing many fleets beginning to use the company vehicle again as a recruiting or retention tool for eligible employees, as the economy continues to improve. “With the large amount of experienced and qualified job seekers in the current market, being able to attract and retain the best-of-the-best is a critical challenge,” McClelland said. “Providing a BMW or MINI maintenance program and our low total cost of ownership, the range of BMW and MINI vehicles can significantly contribute to a lower fleet cost.”
The BMW Corporate Fleet Program is also actively working with companies that have fleet sales. “We also see a slight raising interest in returning the ‘true executive’ driver to a reimbursement or allowance program. With some of the pending tax changes, this has again become a topic of conversation; however, it is very fleet specific,” McClelland noted.
For more information, visit www.bmwusa.com/corpsales.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Fleet Program offers special incentives for eligible business organizations with company-owned or externally managed fleet/executive vehicles.
Companies with 15 or more vehicles (any make or model) currently registered in the company name are eligible to apply for a Corporate Account Number (CAN). New vehicles must be purchased/leased in the name of the company/corporation with the approved CAN.
The Executive Allowance Bonus (EAB) program is an important enhancement to the Mercedes-Benz fleet program. Available exclusively to executives who receive individual vehicle allowances from their companies, EAB enables these executives to take advantage of the same fleet incentives available for company-owned or leased vehicles.
According to Mick Morris, department manager, fleet operations for Mercedes-Benz USA, “If we view the executive fleet in the classic sense of a ‘perk’ vehicle, we see the segment declining. A driver needs a legitimate business reason for a car. The pendulum is swinging more toward other forms of compensation or reimbursement scenarios.”
He noted fleets that offer vehicles to management do so for a variety of reasons. “Using the vehicle as a reward and/or recognition tool, or upgrading the fleet offering to reflect a more open-minded approach to a drivers' desires pays off when it comes to employee retention and satisfaction,” Morris said. “What drivers want to drive versus what fleet managers traditionally offer does not need to be at odds with one another. Paying attention to total cost of ownership levels the playing field considerably.”
Morris believes management vehicles set the example for environmental sustainability. “New diesel and hybrid technologies permeate all levels of vehicles now, including the ultra-luxury segment.”
Global buying also influences fleet manager decisions. “If the headquarters in Europe is offering Mercedes-Benz vehicles to management, the local fleet manager is more likely to give it a shot. More often than not, they are surprised by our fleet pricing and favorable TCO,” Morris noted.
For more information and details about the Mercedes-Benz Fleet Program, visit www.Fleet.mbusa.com or call (866) 628-7232.
Volvo Cars of North America
Volvo Cars of North America provides fleet organizations the Premium Volvo Fleet Experience program. The automaker’s core values of safety, quality, and environmental care are the essence of its brand, and its dedication to these values allows the company to build world-class automobiles that meet the needs of today’s demanding fleet decision makers and drivers, according to the company.
The Premium Volvo Fleet Experience enhances customer treatment and satisfaction by providing consistent order-to-order delivery times with priority order placement at the factory, direct-order relationships with major fleet leasing companies, and premium courtesy delivery via a Volvo retailer that is convenient to the driver’s location. Additionally, Volvo’s vehicle lifecycle cost analysis allows it to fulfill all customer needs at every level, including upper-management and executive vehicles.
“We are seeing more companies move toward a true selector for their executive vehicle needs,” according to Gerard Merritts, national fleet manager for Volvo. “Having three to four vehicle options allows a company to maintain and control a certain corporate image, while still allowing choices for their drivers to meet their personal/professional needs.”
Merritts continued, “We have also seen a move toward globalizing fleet selectors. With more companies looking to maximize their purchase power, overseas headquarters have been seeking global programs to maximize economies of scale.”
For more information, visit www.volvocars.us or call (877) 283-5338.