Fleet News

UK fleet industry remains upbeat despite sluggish economy

The UK fleet industry remains optimistic about future prospects for the rest of the year, a new report has revealed.

The report, conducted by Timetric, found that 42% of suppliers are ‘more optimistic’ about revenue growth in 2013 than they were last year. Meanwhile, 39% of respondents are ‘neutral’ and only 15% are ‘less optimistic’ about their company’s prospects. Optimism is attributed to increases in sales of vehicles such as vans – which are primarily used in fleets, development of low-emission vehicles, and the increasing popularity of company cars.

In March 2013, the SMMT announced that new van sales in the UK registered a growth of 11.8% year-on-year during February. The association also noted that fleet sales of leading brands such as Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat and Nissan grew strongly during February, and forecast similar trends for the rest of the year.

The positive outlook for 2013 builds on a strong 2012, in which members of the BVRLA recorded a 9% increase in fleet size in 2012 over the previous year. Optimism from suppliers comes despite the report also showing that buyer procurement budgets are expected to fall slightly, by 0.3% over the next 12 months.

This year the top priorities for suppliers are improving operational efficiency, expansion in current markets and pricing management. Market uncertainty remains a concern within the industry, as does pricing pressure and increased competition. Rising fuel prices are also a major concern to fleet managers.

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