Fleet News

Fleet News Europe Conference 2004: Working with, not against, change

CHANGES to block exemption offer major opportunities to fleet manufacturers, service companies and end fleet users if companies approach the market in the right way.

But there are key challenges facing companies since the new legislation came into effect last year.

And fleets will need to tackle these to make sure they succeed in the future, Steve Simpson, head of European development at HSBC Vehicle Finance, told delegates.

A primary challenge is to work with the changes, not against them, to make the most of new opportunities from the alterations to sales and servicing rules for new cars.

Companies need to ensure that safety standards are not compromised, while manufacturers need to treat leasing companies as end users. Simpson said open system standards needed to be encouraged, while all parties have to work to the highest standards.

He added: 'Suppliers need to treat the business car driver as a VIP and work together to shape the customer experience, giving real added value and that should be followed by real business growth.

'The regulation is not just about legal changes, but an opportunity for us all.'

For the dealer, he predicted the changes would bring the benefits of collaborating with other market players and a real opportunity to increase fleet market share.

Looking at servicing, Simpson claimed dealers might dispose of valuable city centre sites and decamp to new purpose-built out-of-town premises.

There would be new entrants and new propositions with financial services and retail ideas, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through scaled operations and offering while-you-wait services.

He said that would mean the driver, fleet operator and fleet company all had economic servicing with confidence and convenience.

Increased competition and choice would encourage drivers to judge services from car companies against consumer standards in other business areas, bringing new demands for higher quality and new services, including web-based products.

He said: 'For dealers, there will be increased volume certainty and greater income, for manufacturers there will be distribution efficiency and market share opportunities, for the fleet company, they would have improved terms and service standards, while for the fleet customer there would be lower cost of operation and better service experience.'

Key challenges

  • Work with the regulations and not against them
  • Remove pricing uncertainty
  • Ensure safety standards are not compromised
  • Recognise and treat fleet companies as end-users
  • Encourage open system standards
  • All parties must work to the highest standards
  • Treat the business car driver as a VIP

  • For full copies of the Fleet News Europe Conference 2004 presentations in Powerpoint and pdf format click here.
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