Fleet News

BVRLA chief tells firms to prepare for rough ride

THE contract hire and fleet management industry should brace itself for an 'exciting and rough' ride over the next five years as the pace of change in the industry quickens. Norman Donkin, director general of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, told delegates at a Driving Forward conference that the industry faced increased competition for business, growing demands to show their 'green' credentials and a continuing trend towards consolidation which would change the face of the industry.

He said: 'If a week is a long time in politics, then five years is an eternity in the world of fleet. If the pace of change over the next five years merely matches that of the last five, we are in for an exciting and perhaps at times rough ride. The changes which we will see over the next five years in the rental and contract hire industry will mirror those which happen in the fleet market generally.'

Consolidation in the market will combine with increased levels of service as contract hire companies fight for new business to stem falling residual values for their vehicles, he said. Contract hire companies would have to adapt to changes in the market, for example to meet the needs of firms wanting to introduce downsizing.

Donkin added: 'We are heading into an era where environmental concerns will dominate fleet issues. We will see real downsizing, driven at least in part by consumer moves away from larger cars in the used market towards smaller more fuel-efficient models.'

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