BMW and Ford have been ranked as the best fleet suppliers by operators running hundreds of thousands of vehicles in a major new survey.
Fleet News Fleet200 members, who operate more than 500,000 cars and vans, rated the two manufacturers as the best in their respective sectors.
BMW was named best premium vehicle supplier while Ford was commended twice, firstly as best volume manufacturer and secondly as best LCV supplier.
The two carmakers are also the two most popular among fleets, appearing on more choice lists than any other manufacturer. Ford, second behind BMW, is also the most popular vanmaker among Fleet200 members.
Fleets focused their praise on a small number of brands, with Audi, Volkswagen and Vauxhall LCV named as runners-up in their respective sectors.
Fleet200 members have combined annual spending power of more than £3 billion. They purchase around one-fifth of fleet vehicles that take to the road each year.
The national research project into the large fleet market is carried out by Fleet News sister company Sewells Research & Insight and results are revealed in a special Fleet200 supplement produced with the next issue of Fleet News.
In addition to identifying the best car and van suppliers, the latest report reveals major strategic differences between fleets in the 20 industry sectors covered by the Fleet200.
For example, although car and van fleet sales are rising, strong overall sales mask a two-tier recovery where confidence is apparent only in some sectors.
With billions of pounds being poured into home building, including the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, the Architecture/Construction/Building sector is the most confident about growth, with 80% of companies expecting spending on cars and vans to rise.
By contrast, half the companies in the public sector expect spending on cars and vans to decline over the next year.
One-third of Fleet200 companies expect to increase their spending on risk management services, while nearly 50% intend to increase their level of spending on telematics.
The research also reveals that contract hire has extended its dominance of the UK’s largest fleets, accounting for the biggest proportion of both car and van fleet funding.
There is now only one industry sector where outright purchase is still listed as the main form of funding for cars – Bluelight/NHS Trusts. Outright purchase also remains the dominant form of funding for vans in the sector.
Historically, outright purchase has also been the dominant form of funding in the other Fleet200 category devoted to the public sector – Government/Public Sector/Education/Health – but for cars, an equal share of fleets now say contract hire and outright purchase are their main form of funding.
Dedicated fleet departments remain the most common way for large companies to manage their vehicles, the research found.
Fleet200 companies have identified which department the fleet team is part of and the majority indicate that they are a standalone fleet team, although the proportion has declined slightly from 39% to 37% year-on-year.
Finance remains the second most common home for fleet, closely followed by HR and procurement.
What is the Fleet200?
The Fleet News Fleet200 was created in 2010 to provide a unique insight into key trends and changes in the fleet market.
It focuses on the 20 largest fleets in 10 broad industry sectors and is designed to track changes among the largest fleets overall and also identify differing strategies and attitudes between sectors.
Fleet200 members meet four times a year to discuss key industry issues and also provide an annual update of their key fleet data for the Fleet200 supplement, which is distributed directly to end-user fleet operators.
In addition, Sewells Research & Insight produces a number of reports based on the data to help suppliers improve the services they provide to the industry.