What will the fleet sector look like in 2020? LeasePlan and University of Buckingham Professor Peter Cooke asked a number of fleets for their views, producing the 'Fleet 2020' report.
The report points to a myriad of uncertainties that are likely to impact the industry between now and the year 2020. These make it difficult to define a single clear picture of what the company car fleet will look like in 10 years time, and, of course, companies will undoubtedly have to make decisions based on their own individual circumstances.
However, by identifying the questions that need to be discussed now, Professor Cooke’s work provides the critical intellectual framework upon which fleets can work to answer the questions and define a long term strategy for fleet.
The principal issues arising from the report:
• Economic forecasts for the period through to 2020 suggest that capital will be in short supply for both new investment and replacement of capital assets. Company cars can absorb large quantities of capital – but is that good use of scarce resources? Businesses are expected to be more risk averse than in recent years and many will move away from a transaction to a collaborative business model – with the implications this could have for the provision of business cars.
• Given expected changes in business models it would be unrealistic to seek a numerical evaluation of the fleet industry in the medium-longer term. However, it is still important that organisations think strategically about the way their fleets might develop. The report focuses on qualitative issues raised by organisations contemplating the future and also seeks to outline a possible framework for planning.
• Pragmatic research undertaken as part of the report indicates the most important drivers for change with regard to fleets are the changes in tax, (both for the company and the individual driver) and the strategic implications of climate change and carbon footprints. Off the back of these factors, critical issues will be cost management and reduction, often driven by new technologies.
• At time of writing, fleet operators are beginning to come to terms with potential issues associated with less capital availability, the changing nature of business and globalisation and the need for more forward planning.
The report provides a series of checklists as a core element to assist users in planning fleets in the future. While exact guidelines would not fit all circumstances, these checklists are designed to act as a base for strategic discussion and debate within an organisation and with its personal business mobility providers.
A growing number of practitioners and commentators are suggesting changes in business practices are making longer-term personnel and business car planning more important than they ever have been.
Click here to download Fleet 2020 - Defining the Future of Fleet.