Fleet managers who spend more time talking about features such as 18 inch alloys, leather seats and satellite navigation in the same breath as low emissions and Benefit in Kind taxation will encourage more drivers into ‘greener' company cars.
In Volvo's recent DRIVe report of more than 250 fleet operators, drivers said the level of luxury was the second most important factor when it came to choosing their next company car, behind the amount of Benefit in Kind tax they have to pay.
"Drivers don't want to compromise on specification, comfort and driveability by going for a green model," said Selwyn Cooper, Volvo Car UK's national sales manager.
"How the car looks and a long list of toys is what many drivers want which is why the R-Design sports trim level was planned in the DRIVe range from the outset. The car provides the right level of visual impact when parked on your driveway or in the office car park, has a high level of equipment as well as offering low Benefit in Kind tax bills through low emissions."
Volvo research also saw seven per cent of fleets admit to plans for incentivising employees into more efficient cars, but Cooper believes the right car choice list should mean companies won't have to adopt this strategy.
"High spec, sporty looking low emission models are increasingly becoming more readily available which, if made available across the company car choice list, shouldn't force organisations to incentivise drivers. Companies should automatically see an improved take-up without having to finance the change as well as benefitting from a lower corporate carbon footprint," he added.
Cooper believes this approach will manifest itself still further when hybrids and electric cars start to become more readily available to the company car driver.
"Drivers thinking they will have to compromise when new low emission technologies are introduced into cars are why we are already in discussion to adopt the R-Design trim on the forthcoming plug-in hybrid and electric Volvos," he said.
Volvo corporate sales are starting to reap the benefits of offering the sporty R-Design trim level on the majority of its DRIVe product. In the first four months of 2011, DRIVe accounted for four out of every ten corporate sales, with nearly one in four drivers specifying the R-Design trim level.
"DRIVe penetration could reach up to 60% of corporate sales over the coming 12 months with the launch of new and revised DRIVe products. We believe the S60 and V60 DRIVe R-Design will help widen our appeal to the corporate driver."
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