The Toyota Avensis has become the car of choice for Ashfield Healthcare. One of the country’s biggest sales recruitment, training and salesforce resourcing agencies in the UK pharmaceuticals industry, Ashfield Healthcare has agreed a limited-badge solus deal with Toyota Fleet for at least a year. 100 vehicles have already been supplied, with a further 100 or more expected to be injected into the fleet by summer 2000.

Ashfield, which is based in Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, has expanded rapidly in recent years and at present runs around 400 cars. It provides dedicated mobile salesforces of all sizes, either on a contract or permanent basis, for major pharmaceutical companies. Demand from its clients can be sudden and unpredictable, calling for rapid response by Ashfield and equal flexibility on the part of its vehicle supplier.

Toyota Fleet was able to fulfil two one-off agreements at short notice for the company before the contract went out to tender earlier in the year. “Pricing was the main reason we went with Toyota,” says Karen Hutchinson, Ashfield Healthcare’s Fleet Co-ordinator. “We looked at a number of manufacturers but they were not as competitive.”

Eighty top-of-the-range Avensis CDX models have been supplied to Ashfield – among them the 750,000th model to have been produced at Toyota’s UK plant since it started production in 1992. The quality of the cars has been highlighted by their popularity with the drivers. “They’re incredibly happy with them all round,” says Karen. “It’s the first time we’ve known people actually bother to call and compliment the cars!”

Recognising that the company’s requirements were demanding, she describes Toyota Fleet as helpful. “It has worked hard to respond to our demands,” she says. The cars are supplied on full-maintenance contract hire. Fleet size in the future hinges on demand from the pharmaceutical market, but if Ashfield’s current rate of growth continues it looks set to expand considerably.

“Ashfield Healthcare is a fast-moving, dynamic company, and it would clearly be a challenge for any manufacturer to provide the appropriate level of service,” says Mark Hall, General Manager of Toyota Fleet. “We’re confident that we’re equal to the task, and delighted that our product seems to be proving both cost-effective and popular with Ashfield’s sales teams.”


Lexus Press Team

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