Fleet News

Fleet Europe Forum: Toyota prepares benchmark study

TOYOTA has revealed it is to build its own major database looking at the total cost of ownership of some of the most popular fleet vehicles in Europe.

The project, revealed at the Fleet Europe Forum, in Prague was launched so the company can benchmark itself against key rivals more effectively.

Johan Verbois, fleet manager for Toyota Motor Europe, told delegates: ‘There is a lot of information around for the fleet manager to compare total cost of ownership figures, although one of the easiest ways is to benchmark the leasing cost.

‘We are now building our own total cost of ownership tool and the information has taken a lot of finding, but it will be ready in the next four to five months. We will be benchmarking the top eight brands.’

To help fleets understand the concept of TCO, Verbois turned to recent meetings of the International Fleet Managers’ Institute, where it was summarised as ‘the sum of direct and indirect costs related to running the company car fleet during a fixed period.’

In addition, it was explained as the lifecycle cost view of an asset which includes finance, acquisition, delivery, support, ongoing maintenance, service and all operating expenses.

Importantly, it focuses attention on the sum of all costs and is useful in outsourcing decisions.

But Verbois added: ‘There are as many definitions as there are people in a room.’

Verbois revealed a version of a TCO model that had been created by Toyota executives, which identified key factors ranging from price, residual value and fuel type to reliability, warranty and tyres, to reach a theoretical cost.

This could then be used to add further costs, such as driver influences, such as damage and excess fuel use, along with wear and tear, management costs and replacement vehicles or lost staff hours during downtime.

The result then provided the real costs, which could be filtered once again to add profit and end of contract charges to achieve a predicted lease cost.

This would help with benchmarking leasing costs, as Toyota has found a 27% variation in lease quotes for the same D-segment car, mainly because of a 53% variation in views on residual values.

He added: ‘Fleets might find out that leasing rates are not in line with the TCO. It is up to the fleet market to challenge quotes by benchmarking on TCO.’

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