Nissan was voted Manufacturer of the Year and received gold awards in the leasing and rental sections at the annual Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Savrala) awards.

Nissan was voted Manufacturer of the Year and received gold awards in the leasing and rental sections at the annual Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Savrala) awards.

Although it represents the rental and leasing industries, Savrala is the only recognised national body in the fleet market and its award programme is seen as a credible representative sample of manufacturers’ performances in the fleet arena.

The rental and leasing industry accounts for a third of all new vehicle purchases in South Africa and this year 574 rating sheets were received, covering 21 manufacturers dealing with 11 leasing and 12 rental Savrala members in South Africa.

Nissan finished with a combined overall score of 70,9 , followed by Ford (67,8), Volkswagen (64,1), Delta Motor Corporation (63,2) and Toyota (61,6).

Nissan was dominant in the leasing section, winning the gold ahead of Ford (silver award) and Volkswagen (bronze award) and again in the rental section where the company took the gold ahead of DaimlerChrysler (silver) and BMW (bronze).

“We consider this award as high recognition indeed and are honoured to receive it,” said Mike Whitfield, sales and marketing director of Nissan South Africa.

“The awards confirm that Nissan is indeed ‘Shifting Expectations’ and mirrors the successes we have seen in our fleet market. Nissan has seen a year-on-year sales increase in our fleet sector of 76%, this on top of a 2002 growth over 2001 of 68%. The independent car rental and leasing sector has shown sales growth of 66%.”

“It is most pleasing to see customers who would not previously consider our brand because of negative perception now becoming satisfied and loyal supporters in our growth,” says Whitfield.

Roland Reid, fleet operations manager for the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, said "being voted second overall in the 2003 Savrala Awards is an excellent achievement for the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. We are always delighted when our customers vote positively on our service levels and winning a Savrala award is an achievement we are particularly proud of.

"Competition is always tough and our customers are extremely knowledgeable and discerning. This is also a wonderful reward and recognition for the individuals within the fleet team of FMCSA who contributed towards this achievement.

The event is the culmination of the results of surveys carried out among association members and recognises motor manufacturers and importers who have consistently provided superior support to Savrala members over the year - as judged by association members.

Leasing and rental respondents are asked to rate the level of service and support provided by each of the motor manufacturers in two separate surveys.

The leasing section surveyed vehicle financing, communications and marketing, maintenance and support, while the rental section includes customer feedback on vehicle reliability, vehicle security, service and support.

Original article from Car