Leasing companies should provide fleet management training to offset the fall in the number of dedicated fleet managers, according to Prof Peter Cooke of the Centre for Automotive Management at the University of Buckingham.
Speaking at the Fleet News Europe Conference in Brussels, Prof Cooke said, “The outsourcing of the fleet manager role, as the demands of duty of care and governance increase, provides an opportunity for leasing companies to provide good quality fleet management training.”
Prof Cooke told the conference that the credit crunch and predicted financial downturn will impact fleets directly or indirectly the speed of companies’ development will slow, fuel costs will continue to rise and inflation will possibly return.
Speaking about globalisation, Prof Cooke even suggested new low-cost vehicles like the £1,200 Tata could require a new business model altogether.
Paul Lauria, president of global consultancy Mercury Associates, also spoke about the deteriorating economic climate. “When the economy is strong, companies tend to be strategic, proactive and eco-friendly. During a weaker economy we will see them behaving more tactically and reactive,” he said.
Mr Lauria is a strong advocate of leasing over cash purchase. Fleets bought outright tend to be older and have all the associated challenges, he said.