Lexus Leasing Charter Signals An End To ‘Invisible Sales’

2 December 2003

Business drivers whose companies obtain their Lexus cars on lease will in future be able to enjoy the same “full Lexus luxury experience” that retail customers enjoy – if the lessor is a participant in the groundbreaking Lexus Leasing Charter programme.

Leasedrive Ltd, the contract hire and leasing arm of one of the UK’s largest independent privately owned vehicle management groups, has become the first company to participate in the innovative Lexus corporate sales scheme. Leasedrive’s clients include global companies Microsoft and Orange.

Lexus is offering Leasedrive and other leasing companies a series of attractive benefits in return for access to their customer databases so that it can identify Lexus owners. The relevant information would be fed into the Lexus customer database and all new names would be added automatically.

The data would be used by Lexus to offer added-value benefits to those customers, in the same way that it would approach private customers.

“Fleet drivers currently miss out on some of the ownership experience that differentiates Lexus from other premium brands,” said Andy Simpson, Lexus GB’s National Corporate & Re-Marketing Manager. “When a motor manufacturer sells a car to the leasing industry it has no direct connection with the end-user.

“To all intents and purposes these are invisible customers, and it is this missing link that we are addressing with the Lexus Leasing Charter. Fleet customers’ brand experience has been limited to our products and aftersales, but we want to ensure that they get the chance to enjoy the whole unique Lexus experience.”

Benefits for participating leasing companies include:

  • Access to the Lexus Electronic Auction to remarket its used cars;
  • An eight-week maximum Delivery Promise on all but the SC430 model;
  • A generous Cancelled Order policy, which provides that if an order is cancelled the car can be returned to the Lexus Centre with no cost penalty;
  • Ability of the lessor to offer customers added value in the form of access to the Lexus customer loyalty programme, RAC Roadside Assist and Lexus Magazine;
  • Pilot access to any new Lexus programmes;
  • Access to Lexus aftersales data and dedicated support.

“There are significant advantages here for the leasing company, not least access to the well-proven electronic auction for end-of-contract returns,” said Andy Simpson. “Up to 51 Lexus Centres could be bidding for its used stock, which will in itself help to maintain strong residual values.

“This is a groundbreaking idea with significant benefits for the car lessor, for Lexus and ultimately for the customer,” he went on. “We are delighted that a major operator such as Leasedrive has been so quick to realise the mutual benefits of this concept, and we’re confident that this agreement will be the first of many.”

The charter will be rolled out gradually to the leasing industry, said Mr Simpson, with ING, MNH and ALD (Hertz) already considering participation. He also referred to the possibility of the charter scheme being extended to larger fleet customers.

Fleet drivers who obtain their cars through Leasedrive will be invited to participate in the Lexus customer loyalty programme, including its Open Road driving events, Golf Challenge, Summer Ball and being hosted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. They could enjoy first-class hospitality at exclusive venues, such as the Aravis Alpine ski retreat in Switzerland, and enjoy privileges such as unaccompanied test-drives of Lexus cars.

They will also benefit from complimentary three-year Lexus RAC Roadside Assist European cover, with individual cover for the driver and a registered partner, provision of a replacement vehicle, and onward travel and hotel cover. The glossy Lexus lifestyle magazine will also be delivered to keep them up to date with brand and product developments.

Leasedrive Ltd is part of the Leasedrive Group, based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. The group was the subject earlier this year of a £45 million buy-out by a new management team including, as Commercial Director, Roddy Graham, former Managing Director of Budget UK.

Graham, commenting on the new scheme said: “Historically and indeed understandably the leasing industry has been reluctant to openly share end user details with manufacturers, for fear of losing that customer to a direct manufacturer offer in the future. However, this is yesterday’s thinking. We welcome this initiative from Lexus, as it embraces the true concept of business partnership. That is, mutual respect for each other’s professional integrity and a desire to ensure that the customer receives the best possible customer service and brand experience.”

“In the luxury end of the market where Lexus operates, this is particularly important. Our strategy at Leasedrive is to ‘raise the bar’ with all of our vehicle and driver management products and services. Our commitment to this exciting new initiative with Lexus is just another example of this.”


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Lexus Leasing Charter Signals An End To ‘Invisible Sales’


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