Fleet News

Terror attacks on USA will affect the industry

IT seems callously premature to assess the impact on the fleet and motor industry of last week's terrorist attacks in the United States.

But it appears that the horrifying incidents will have a significant negative impact on the motor sector.

Fleet operators face the prospect of higher motor insurance premiums as insurers seek profits to counteract the astronomic cost of claims in the United States. And retaliation by the US in the Middle East could upset world oil markets, driving up domestic petrol and diesel prices.

Fuel card giant ARVAL PHH said speculation about further instability in the Middle East has pushed fuel prices higher, but the simultaneous weakening of the US Dollar was helping to keep UK pump prices stable.

Director of Fuel Martin Hender said: 'We will have to wait and see what the long term effects are for the price of crude. However, if the current crisis continues, and the price of oil stays high, we could see the effects filtering through to what we pay at the pumps.'

Automotive consultancy autopolis has warned that the terrorist attacks will cause consumer jitters and disrupt supply lines in the United States, affecting car sales and production.

It also warns that the downward trend in global vehicle sales is likely to continue, 'and that means that the industry is facing a substantial decline,' registering an 11% drop by the end of next year (and 18% in the US).

In the short term, the suspension of domestic flights in the US disrupted the components supply chain, leading to factory closures and loss of production. Ford almost immediately reported significant cuts in production, although GM was more optimistic.

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