Lexus of Edmonton is putting service at the heart of its brand new fleet program.
Lexus is not necessarily a fleet heavyweight in Canada, but Lexus of Edmonton is bidding to change perceptions to build a substantial corporate and executive fleet business.
The newly installed Fleet Manager at the dealership on 170 Street NW, Trish Urban, believes that a combination of great vehicles, competitive rates and some innovative service offerings will give local fleet managers sound reasons to switch from more traditional luxury fleet brands such as Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
“We saw a missed opportunity because many people had never considered the value of our brand from a fleet perspective,” she says. “We’re now working with clients to bring Lexus to the fleet world.”
Lexus of Edmonton hired Urban in April to lead its own push into the fleet market ahead of a supporting national program from Lexus Canada that’s expected to be launched in September this year. Urban previously managed fleet accounts at ARI and Element and has been using her experience and contacts to build the new fleet program in Edmonton.
She believes that the total cost of ownership figures on offer will not only attract fleet buyers away from rival luxury brands, but also from drivers of high-end models from the likes of Jeep and Nissan. However, it’s the dealership’s extensive service offerings, which have contributed to a Google review average of 4.9, that could really make the difference.
The VIP treatment
The VIP Experience at the Edmonton store includes complementary services such as free detailing and windshield chip repair, airport drop-off and collection and a 60-strong fleet of loaner vehicles. Customers waiting on-site during service appointments can take advantage of spa treatments, wine and soft drinks, a business lounge and fresh baked goods.
“There are some amazing opportunities for corporate clients to take advantage of the service offering that we have here,” says Urban. “For example, for executives with tight travel schedules, we have the ability to drop them at the airport when the vehicle goes in for servicing. When it’s done, we’ll drop the vehicle back with valet [parking] at the airport so that when they come back from their trip, they can just drive away.”
As the economy in Alberta continues to recover from the impact of low oil prices, the financial competitiveness of any fleet offering is more important than ever. But Urban is convinced that providing additional value and peace of mind through excellent service remains an important consideration for potential fleet buyers.
Time is money
“The things that we offer here are hugely important,” she says, “especially from a time-saving perspective, but aren’t always focused on. People are used to taking a couple of hours out of their day to have their vehicle serviced, but there is huge value in taking that away: in having their vehicle valeted, taken care of and returned to them. I can put numbers behind the value we can create and they’ve been well received by potential customers.”
Urban and the Edmonton dealership recognize that major fleet decisions aren’t made overnight so they’re building for the long term. It’s expected that the running costs of the upcoming UX, a subcompact hybrid crossover with AWD, will be an attractive proposition for Urban’s fleet customers when it arrives in 2019.