Fleet News Awards praises fleet bosses and suppliers who keep Britain moving

One of Britain's best-selling premium cars, the Audi A4, has been voted the Company Car of the Year in this year's Fleet News Awards, held last night in London.

Hundreds of fleet operators, who between them operate hundreds of thousands of vehicles, gave their vote of confidence to the model, which was also named Best Large Premium Car at the annual industry awards.

Britain's best-selling brand, Ford, took home four awards, including the coveted Fleet Manufacturer of the Year title, along with key prizes at the 'working' end of the market with Best Small Car (Ford Fiesta), Best People Carrier (Ford S-MAX) and Best Small SUV (Ford Kuga).

But it was BMW that took most prizes on the night as it swept the board at the premium end of the market with five awards, taking Best Small Premium Car (BMW 1 Series), Best Executive Car (BMW 5 Series) Best Large SUV (the X5), Best Luxury Car (the 7 Series) and the Mini scooped the prize for Best Residual Value Star.

In the remaining headline awards, the VW Golf was Best Small Family Car while the Best Large Family Car was won by the Mazda6.

With the tough trading conditions being faced by the motor industry, the evening was viewed this year as an opportunity to strengthen business relationships and share ideas.  As well as the various company car based awards, there were also awards for fleet industry bosses and suppliers.

The Awards were judged by a panel of industry experts, chaired by former chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Christopher Macgowan, who commented: "Despite the difficulties being faced by the fleet industry, this year's awards attracted high-quality entries, and the theme running through many of them was innovation, safety and environmental awareness, which bodes well for the future".

Several new Awards were introduced this year, to reflect changes in the way the fleet industry suppliers work with customers.  They include Best Environmental Initiative (won by LeasePlan for GreenPlan) and Boardroom Initiative of the Year (won by Avon Cosmetics for Hello Green Tomorrow).  Company car safety is always at the top of any fleet's agenda, and this year's Safety Initiative Award went to Fleet Support Group for Riskmaster.

Stephen Briers, editor of Fleet News, explains the importance of recognising best practice in the company car industry:  "These awards are a showcase for talent and innovation that will inspire other fleet managers and industry suppliers with ideas than can be adopted and adapted to raise standards across the industry."

FLEET NEWS AWARDS 2009

CATEGORY WINNER
Fleet Manager Awards
Fleet Manager of the Year - up to 100 vehicles Rob Paddock, Commercial Group
Fleet Manager of the Year – 101-400 vehicles Marie Jarrold, British Car Auctions
Fleet Manager of the Year – 401+ vehicles Gerard Finn, Avon Cosmetics
New Fleet Manager of the Year Alan Legge, British Standards Institution
Boardroom Initiative of the Year Avon Cosmetics, Gerard Finn
Manufacturer Awards
Best Small Car Ford Fiesta
Best Small Family Car Volkswagen Golf
Best Large Family Car Mazda6
Best People Carrier Ford S-MAX
Best Small SUV Ford Kuga
Best Large SUV BMW X5
Best Residual Value Star Mini
Best Small Premium Car BMW 1 Series
Best Large Premium Car Audi A4
Best Executive Car BMW 5 Series
Best Luxury Car BMW 7 Series
Service Company Awards
Best Environmental Initiative LeasePlan
Best Safety Initiative Fleet Support Group
Best Leasing Initiative Arval UK
Best Short-term Rental Initiative Europcar UK Group
Best Customer Services Initiative Zenith Provecta
Headline Awards
Fleet Supplier of the Year Kwik-Fit Fleet
Fleet of the Year IBM, Phil Redman
Company Car of the Year Audi A4
Fleet Manufacturer of the Year Ford
Fleet News Hall of Fame Award John Bradley, Hampshire Constabulary