Fleet News

Tough year ahead for big lease firms

MAJOR players in the European leasing industry face price wars and a tougher market this year as most fleets are not expecting to grow, a new survey suggests.

In its Fleet Procurement Survey, market analysts Datamonitor says France and the UK are the most volatile.

The company questioned 750 fleet decision-makers across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. Together, the respondents run a combined fleet of 290,000 vehicles.

It revealed that 66% of fleet executives are not expecting to enlarge their fleets over the next 12 months, reflecting the current economic climate. A further 13% expect to see a decrease in their fleet size.

The survey found that most fleets are satisfied with their current supplier, with the majority viewing the performance of their fleet provider to be either 'above average' (49%), or 'excellent' (24%). Only 2% rated their chosen supplier to be 'below average' or 'poor'.

It adds: 'With low growth and satisfied customers, fleet leasing companies are likely to face increasing competition as fleets neither enlarge their fleet or switch their supplier.'

'The fleet industry could be led into price competition,' warned Datamonitor automotive analyst Laurence Stock. 'While fleet decision-makers are happy with the services they are receiving, 63% of respondents cite price as the most important factor when choosing a fleet supplier.'

The survey also revealed that Belgium, France and the UK are the most likely to see increases in fleet sizes, with just over a quarter of fleet decision-makers anticipating such an increase.

However, it adds, both France and the UK also have higher than average numbers expecting to reduce their fleets over the coming year. In all countries, the study found, the overwhelming response was little change to the size of their fleets.

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