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Honda revises Platinum Programme to deliver more targeted fleet approach

Honda is taking further steps to enhance the fleet benefits of its Platinum Programme through a smaller, more targeted group of dealers; one of the first actions to be carried out by head of car Phil Webb who’s now in charge of fleet operations.

The Platinum Programme aims to build closer relationships with small fleet customers and user-choosers through the brand’s national dealer network, and was revised under former fleet sales operations manager Marc Samuel.

Now, Honda head of car Phil Webb, who has assumed responsibility for fleet following Samuel’s departure to Pendragon Vehicle Management, has announced plans to relaunch the programme, aimed at further bringing corporate and fleet customers in to the existing retail network.

Launching as the carmaker reduces its overall UK dealer network, the revised Platinum Programme, which officially comes into effect in early 2020, will deliver a more targeted approach for corporate and fleet customers, with a two-tier system compromising of Platinum Plus and Platinum dealers located strategically throughout the country.

Around half of dealers that are currently signed up to the Honda Platinum Programme will take part in the relaunch, and will undergo specific coaching support and development for each tier to ensure all staff are fully conversant with the specific needs of corporate and fleet customers. Platinum Plus dealers will be required to sign up to enhanced terms and conditions of the programme aimed at supporting engagement with local businesses. These include minimum sales objectives, an agreed number of corporate demonstrator cars, utilising an updated CRM system and specific service level agreements with leasing companies.

Platinum dealers will be requested to implement an updated CRM system and run an agreed number of corporate demonstrator cars.

Phil Webb said: “The relaunch of the Platinum Programme is a two-pronged strategy. Firstly, it’s about focusing on the customer experience, and while all of our retail network is fully encouraged to still handle corporate and fleet sales, this will now provide a much more focused and dedicated approach aimed at supporting local businesses.  Secondly, it’s about generating profitable business rather than incremental volume, hence the need to work in partnership with our retail network to roll out the programme.”

Honda is also restructuring its overall UK dealer network, with the recent removal of volume-driven targets and a reduction in its network from 155 sites to approximately 125 by 2020; a move expected to both deliver against customer drivetime requirements as well as doubling the average return on sales to 2%.

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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