Alan Carpenter, director of international fleet sales at Volvo, told delegates at Fleet News Europe Conference that pan-European fleet agreements are not only possible, but can provide substantial savings for the companies willing to take the corporate decisions needed.
They can only be successful if there is a total alignment that eliminates all anomalies, he said.
One of the major challenges is reducing the number of suppliers, especially in companies where a wide choice of cars is considered essential.
But the benefits of achieving a reduction in suppliers can be massive: the volume discounts available to a major fleet that goes for just one supplier across Europe will be huge.
However, as Mr Carpenter pointed out, with a pan-European fleet agreement, there may be savings in one country but cost increases in another.
“To be honest, these have failed more than they have succeeded,” said Mr Carpenter. “But where they do succeed the savings across the agreement outweigh the costs.”
While the opportunities of pan-European agreements are now presenting themselves, they have only recently become possible.
“There is now a huge potential in the European fleet arena,” said Mr Carpenter.
“But just eight years ago there was not the infrastructure in place to deliver, since then there has been rapid growth.”