Suppliers to the UK fleet sector are optimistic about their prospects for the rest of the year, according to a new confidence report.
The Timetric report 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 new vehicles such as vans – which are primarily used by fleets - and development of low-emission vehicles. It is also linked to growing optimism by fleets which are replacing cars and vans, and improved access to funding.
New van registrations in the UK have grown by 13% in the first five months of 2013, with sales to fleet up 19%. Renault was the only van manufacturer to experience a sales reduction in the year to end of May.
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.
Meanwhile, for fleet managers, rising fuel prices are a major concern.