2023 Press Releases

Fleet Assist strengths SMR proposition to support new EV brands arriving in the UK 02 October 2023

Nigel Ward, Fleet Assist Special Project Manager
Nigel Ward, Fleet Assist Special Project Manager
  • Range of SMR services will help new OEMs establish their brands in the UK
  • Nigel Ward appointed to Fleet Assist’s team of Special Project Managers

Fleet Assist has strengthened its team and launched a new SMR proposition as part of its supply chain management to cater for the growing number of new OEM brands set to launch in the UK over the coming 24 months.

Fleet Assist’s new proposition includes assisting OEMs appoint and manage their aftersales SMR network, setting up and running an online work booking service for drivers and incorporating work direction coupled with ethical authorisation to control maintenance spend.

The OEMs, which are predominantly Chinese and 100% electric, require a garage network already in place to support their aftersales network, or as they develop their own in preparation for when they start selling new models to UK fleets and consumers.

With a network of over 5,000 garages, over 86% of which are ‘EV ready’, Fleet Assist is well placed to set up and manage all elements of their SMR needs.

Nigel Ward has been appointed to Fleet Assist’s Special Projects Management team to manage the roll out of these services to the new OEMs and ensure the Fleet Assist network is best placed to service its existing customers.

Ward has held several positions within the fleet, leasing, and motor finance industry over more than 30 years including operations manager for Peugeot Contract Hire, national sales manager for Free2Move Lease and head of corporate sales south for Groupe PSA.

Ward is already in touch with multiple new brands, many of which have admitted to needing help and support with setting up their SMR network.

“Many of the new EV brands planning to launch here in the next 24 months are on a voyage of discovery as they arrive in the UK market. The UK boasts one of the most mature markets in the world and our aim is to use our two decades of SMR expertise to help and support their launch plans. This includes ensuring drivers are looked after once they get behind the wheel of their new car,” explained Ward.

Coupled with this announcement Grant Thornton’s automotive section headed by Owen Edwards announced it has agreed to collaborate with Fleet Assist on this project. This will allow Grant Thornton to provide OEMs with a holistic view of the marketplace coupled with Fleet Assist which has the breadth of network in terms of size and capabilities.

“There is a myriad of new brands set to launch here over the coming 24 months at both the value and premium end of the market. Having a good SMR network in place will increase confidence with drivers, consumers and company fleets in brands that have previously never sold cars in the UK,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD.

“Fleets won’t entertain offering these cars to drivers, however good they are, unless they have an SMR network in place. We look forward to working with these new brands,” he added.