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Glass's targets fleet sector with new forecasting tool

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Pricing expert Glass’s is stepping up its focus on the fleet and finance sector as it attempts to topple CAP’s dominance.

It already provides data to a number of fleets, but the dominance of CAP among fleet providers and its long association as a car trader tool has made it difficult for Glass’s to gain wider traction.

The Weybridge-based business told Fleet News it will be ready to launch a revamped fleet forecasting tool in April.

Glass’s had hoped to launch it this year, but managing director Ian Tillbrook (pictured) said it wanted to ensure everything was right before offering it to the market.

The development team has been working with the leasing industry to refine it further and Tillbrook is bullish about its prospects.

He said: “We’ve been talking to a number of leasing companies in recent months and there is a strong desire for alternative values to the ones they are currently using, particularly where forecasting is concerned.

“We intend to offer a forecast tool with a level of transparency and structure that we believe will meet the needs of the fleet and finance sector.”

Richard Parkin, director of valuations and analysis at Glass’s, added: “We’re not saying we’re here to try and displace Monitor or CAP Gold Book; we’re here to work alongside them because there’s definitely room for two forecasters in the marketplace.”

Glass’s already has a significant presence in other sectors, such as insurance and service, maintenance and repair, but has struggled to get a foothold in the fleet and finance sector.

CAP has been the dominant force and CAP coding has helped it become synonymous with the fleet and leasing industry.

However, Parkin believes the fleet and leasing sector wants two independent views. He said: “It wants a high and a low one.

“It wants the low one to go to OEMs to negotiate its discounts and the high one to get its funding from.

“It’s all about having the particular data to hand according to what you’re trying to negotiate.”

The fleet forecasting tool follows a period of significant change for the company, with several key personnel being poached from CAP.

The sales team, which is led by the former head of corporate sales at Honda, Ed Hummel, includes Steve Worrell, head of dealer sales, who joined from CAP, along with Lee Coomber, head of partnerships, and Dan Parnell, who is head of fleet and finance sales.

Parnell is targeting leasing, fleet management and rental companies, and their respective funders.

Tillbrook said: “That’s a key area for us, because those organisations that are funding the activities, particularly of some of the smaller independent leasing companies, have a big say in the methodology used in the management of their residual value book.” 

Hummel is confident that it now has the right mix of product and personnel to achieve success. He said: “I’m certain we will make rapid headway in that sector. We’ve got the right talent to drive us forward now; we just need to get the products out early next year.”

But as Glass’s gears up for an assault on the fleet and finance sector, it is also calling into question the accuracy of recent CAP valuations (see below). It has been tracking the difference between its predictions and those from CAP and the actual prices of used vehicles at auction during 2013

Tillbrook said: “Over the past six months based on the top 100 observed selling vehicles, Glass’s valuations have been more accurate.”


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