Fleet News

Managers buy British as delays hit foreign makes

FED-UP fleet managers and company car drivers are opting to take 'British'-badged cars as an antidote to waiting up to two years for some foreign marques. New figures from two of Britain's leading fleet management and leasing companies reveal the lengths that some fleets are waiting for their cars and also that some companies are not prepared to wait for their chosen vehicles.

Figures from GE Capital Fleet Services show that fleets could wait up to six months for an Alfa Romeo 156 and an Audi A3, up to two years for a BMW Z3, up to 18 months for a Mercedes-Benz CLX and 12 months for an SLK, up to five months for a BMW 5-series, two to five months for a BMW 3-series and three months for a Volkswagen Passat.

Meanwhile, cars from volume manufacturers are largely available from stock, although factory orders could take four to 12 weeks depending on the particular version but fleets could wait longer for some models. The longest factory orders are on models such as the Audi A4 and A6 (eight to 10 weeks), Lexus GS300 and LS400 (eight to 12 weeks), Mitsubishi Galant and Shogun (six months), most Nissans, Peugeots, Rovers, Toyotas and Volvos (up to eight weeks).

PHH Vehicle Management Services says the number of 'British' cars being ordered had risen as fleets faced long waiting periods for some foreign models. However, the waiting list dilemma is a double-edged sword with the delays building up a 'scarcity' value for their vehicles which boosts residual values and therefore results in improved wholelife operating costs.

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