Fleet News

Company car is here to stay - but changes loom

THE company car will be alive and well in 10 years' time, but in an environment radically changed as a result of e-commerce and green legislation, Fleet Show 2000 Forum visitors were told. By 2010 employees may have to prove the need for a work car in a business culture which will have reacted to mandatory alternative travel plans by introducing vehicle sharing, people-carrier pooling and home and satellite teleworking centres.

And Stuart Mitchell, of Business Mobility Group - a relocation and traffic demand management consultancy - warned at the 'Fleet industry in 2010' Forum, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers in association with Manheim Europe, that those with long-term office leases had cause for concern, as traffic congestion will have forced companies to move to smaller premises on more accessible sites. While green travel management measures will see a shift away from large, inner city-based corporate buildings, the internet will have had a more profound impact on working practices.

Peter Leith, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the forum that the automotive industry had no choice but to follow the lead of retail commerce, where the web had irrevocably changed the landscape of buying and selling and would account for an estimated $7 trillion worth of transactions by 2003. 'Business to business is where the internet will take off,' he said.

Mann Egerton Vehicle Contracts and Kenning Leaseline managing director Brian Back told the forum that crystal ball-gazing was 'a mug's game', but conceded that radical changes were inevitable and described the move to electronic trading as 'technology or bust dot com' which would ensure the future of the company car.

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