Competition between car makers for public sector fleet business has intensified sharply after Toyota Fleet Management (TFM) revealed it has appointed a dedicated new manager for the Australian Capital Territory to target both Federal and Territory government clients in the Capital region.
Long term government and corporate fleet expert Sarah Hanrahan has scored TFM’s high profile Canberra gig , with the company saying her appointment as fleet sales manager for the ACT reflects its growing commitment to servicing existing and gaining new customers in the region.
The conspicuous targeting of the Federal and ACT market comes ahead of anticipated changes to longstanding procurement rules that govern federal vehicle purchases. The rules presently mandate that federal departments must, where possible, buy locally made cars — a position that will necessarily need to be revised as Ford, Holden and Toyota all wind down local manufacturing over the next couple of years.
The move to provide senior on-the-ground representation in the national capital signals that Toyota Fleet Management is prepared to invest talent and resources into developing better relationships with clients and prospects well ahead procurement changes. The company had previously run its sales in the ACT out of its New South Wales regional office.
Toyota Fleet Management is also pushing its position as an integrated one-stop-shop for fleet customers, stressing the depth of its “One Toyota” relationship across the Toyota group that includes Toyota, prestige brand Lexus, Toyota Material Handling (forklifts and machinery) and the Hino truck range.
The integration of different offerings under the one bundled brand is a significant potential competitive advantage because it allows the company to sell across its light and heavy vehicle range as well as integrating logistics products through a single arrangement.
That offering is likely to appeal to clients that need a combination of light passenger vehicles, light commercials like the Hilux and four wheel drives and bigger trucks.
“We fulfil the roles of financier, fleet manager and salary packaging provider,” Ms Hanrahan said.
“This makes us easy to deal with, and we can provide savings to employees who take advantage of our novated leasing and salary packaging arrangements.”
One notable aspect of Toyota Fleet Management’s wider services play is that it doesn’t just manage its own product range and is prepared to bowl-up not Toyota alternatives if that’s what the client wants.
“We have strong relationships with many different manufacturers, not just Toyota,” Ms Hanrahan said. “We also manage commercial assets like plant and equipment.”
Toyota Fleet Management’s general manager, Ed Stanistreet, said the ACT region contained a “diverse range of organisations managing fleets with varied vehicle requirements – from federal, territory and local governments to not-for-profits and private businesses – that can benefit from the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the products we offer.”
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