LATE last year, Skoda formally launched its SME Direct programme for business leasing of Skoda cars.
Aimed squarely at the small business and the SME sector, Skoda SME Direct offers an arm-round-the-shoulder company car care programme that takes care of everything you – as a director running an SME small fleet – might need.
Certainly does. Skoda SME Direct understands that there are too many things for a small business to do, let alone manage company cars for its employees.
So Skoda SME Direct does it for you.
But there is a snag. The headline figures look pricey.
Especially when compared to some of the keen Skoda leasing prices you can find from leasing broker websites.
However, it’s important to compare apples with apples.
Skoda leasing offers on SME Direct include a full maintenance contract – so there are no hidden surprises – and that includes tyre replacement. There is also the opportunity to ‘pool’ mileage (so if one Skoda is going over-mileage and another of your Skoda company cars is going under-mileage the combined mileage can be pooled so you are not penalised).
And perhaps one great aspect is that at the end of the lease there is a £100 cover for any end of lease charges that may be applied.
I was discussing the new Skoda SME direct offer with head of fleet Henry Williams. He told me:
“Our Skoda SME direct is for small businesses running, say, five company cars, but they are not at the stage where they need an account manager.
“These companies are small businesses, focusing on their profitability. They don’t have a huge head count. But it is important to move people around.
“So SME Direct takes that burden away which gives them everything they need in one package. It’s worry-free motoring for the small business user.”
I asked Henry about the cost. He admitted that the headline figure could be a problem, but added it’s an overall price:
“The vast majority of our SME business is done through local business development managers in the dealers. Those guys are trained in what Skoda SME Direct offers and its benefits. So it’s done an individual basis and it’s very much about the local relationship.”
So first stop is Skoda SME Direct; the next stop is developing an aftersales proposition, says Henry, and this will happen in Q1 this year.
“We want to be best in class.”
Certainly Skoda SME Direct is a great start to go with the new range of products, such as the new Kodiaq and Karoq SUVs coming from Skoda.
For SME small fleets, this new Skoda SME Direct leasing product could be just right to take away the company car hassle.