The all-new Volvo V40 has received a warm welcome from the fleet industry just as it opens its order book. Leasing companies and future value guides who have already had detailed previews of the car are positive about Volvo's new five-door hatchback with residual values, demand and desirability all predicted as being strong.
As Selwyn Cooper, National Corporate Operations Manager, Volvo Car UK, explains, it relies more and more on fleet feedback and advice in the final 6-12 months prior to launch. "It is the most important car Volvo has launched in the past 20 years and much of its design, specification and technology have all been developed with the company motorist in mind," he said.
"Fleets are now an integral part of our final development of a car before its launch to ensure prices, specification and positioning are all where they should be. This positive feedback from the industry is vital as our brand tries to improve its foothold in the corporate sector," he added.
Andrew Mee, Senior Manager Pricing Risk, Lex Autolease said: "We believe the car will be a success, and our residual value forecasts are at a similar level to VW Golf, ahead of the current Audi A3 Sportback, and just behind the new BMW 1 series.
"The V40 is an attractive model which provides an improved driving experience over any previous Volvo. The suspension offers control without feeling overly firm. Refinement levels are good, complemented by a high quality interior with the usual comfortable Volvo seats," he added.
Highlights include Volvo's pioneering low-speed collision avoidance system, City Safety, plus world-first pedestrian airbag technology, along with Bluetooth handsfree telephone system - fitted as standard on all specifications.
Denis Keenan, Managing Director KeeResources said: "The 1.6 D2 115hp engine with CO2 emissions of 94g has a strong Whole Life Cost argument. The V40 is a desirable car and with very low initial volumes, we predict RVs will exceed its direct competitors by some margin. Even when full volumes come on stream, this is a car that will maintain its position due to its desirability factor.
"What makes the car stand out, though, is its very individual looks and it is a fantastic drive, providing true Volvo comfort with an exceptional chassis. In our terms, it is the most compelling package currently available in the Premium Lower Medium Sector. Add in a beautiful build quality, obvious in every aspect of the V40, and the car feels a full rung above the majority of its peers."
Jim McNally, Head of Pricing at Alphabet (UK) Fleet Management said: "The new V40 is naturally going to compete with A3, 1-series, new A-Class and Lexus CT. From an RV perspective we believe it will be pretty strong, certainly not far off A3 or BMW 1 series. From the initial launch we see the D3 SE as the volume model in the fleet sector."
CAP's Monitor Editor - Cars, Jeff Knight, said: "The sector is very competitive and for the first time Volvo has produced a car that aligns directly with other key rivals so we can make true comparisons between V40 and its competitors. It's well built, modern and its residuals are on par with the current Audi A3 and the VW Golf."
Dealers are already taking orders for the all-new Volvo V40, months before the first cars will arrive in the UK, while their showrooms will be open on the weekend of 21st/22nd July to showcase this important car to their customers. Customer deliveries are expected to start in September.
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