Fleet News

Fleets slated for failing to embrace European business

PURCHASING, human resource, marketing and distribution departments are streets ahead of fleet managers in their approach to European business, according to a new report. Research for European Fleet Management: A Boardroom Briefing, commissioned by BMW's multi-marque leasing subsidiary Alphabet, and produced by the Centre for Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Trent University, reveals that fleet decision-makers are standing in the way of companies trying to embrace a pan-European approach.

The report says that in the search for greater efficiency, international companies are looking to leverage pan-European economies of scale, but fleets are lagging behind most other departments. Interviews with more than 100 senior managers across seven European countries about the impact of globalisation on their businesses revealed that marketing, personnel, distribution and buying departments are expecting 'globalisation' and preparing for it.

Petra Kerp, chief executive officer of Alphabet Europe, said: 'I believe that the fleet markets in Europe are reaching a point of critical change. On the one hand, we have the arrival of the single currency, which will accelerate the processes of harmonisation in the euro currency zone. On the other, we have the growing influence of e-business and the emergence of new fleet service providers that have a truly European mentality and capability.' Fleet departments were least prepared for change, despite three-quarters of those surveyed confirming that they anticipate changes in fleet decision processes within their companies over the next five years. Prof Peter Cooke, the report author, said: 'The message is simple.

'By a considerable margin, the fleet departments in the organisation surveyed consider themselves the least prepared within their businesses for globalisation of the business. Yet Alphabet's study suggests that, over the next three to five years, there will be a steady move towards the centralisation of fleet management within participating companies. Such change will call for different ways of doing business.'

  • The report costs E150 (£90) and is available from Martin Haley, on 01256 747314.

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