Fleet News

Fleet manager role boosted by research

The decline in the number of fleet managers has slowed considerably as a result of the recent growth in company car provision, according to a new survey.

The number of companies from the 684 questioned as part of GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services quarterly Company Car Trends report with a specialist fleet manager now stands at 30.4%.

This figure fell by more than 6% in the fourth quarter of 2005, but has only dropped by little more than 1% over the past 12 months.

This slowdown in the decline of fleet manager numbers relates directly to a corresponding rise in company car provision – from 98.8% to 99.5% during the last year for users whose cars are considered essential for their job, and from 68.8% to 77.3% for non-essential users.

The news will be welcomed by fleet managers after research from Professor Peter Cooke (“Decline in fleet manager numbers”, Fleet News, September 27) showed that the number of fleet managers has dropped significantly this century.

Rich Green, managing director at GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services, said: “The factors that are prompting a long-term rise in traditional company car provision – such as duty of care and environmental responsibilities – are also increasingly creating a job need for someone who can manage these issues on a day-to-day basis. Often, the best solution is a dedicated fleet manager”

The forward forecast is also good news for a sector concerned about falling fleet manager numbers.

“The trend should continue, although we’re not sure of the rate of this growth,” explained GE’s Gary Killeen.

“The main factors seem to be that more and more fleets have had to look at their activities across the board in great detail to meet their legal responsibilities when it comes to health and safety.”

However, it appears that while fleet managers are taking daily responsibility for the fleet, other departments continue their involvement in policy decisions.

For example, finance functions have a growing influence over the fleet, as do human resources departments.

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