Cox Automotive has highlighted the opportunities for fleets and leasing companies to evolve their business models and invest in new partnerships, in its 2020 Automotive Insight Report.
Following a challenging 12 months for UK automotive, the report explores the impact of Covid-19, growth in online auctions, environmental legislation, and connected vehicles. It suggests fleets must embrace mobility shifts to remain relevant.
Supply and demand trends have underpinned the new and used vehicle sectors in recent years, with factory shutdowns due to Covid-19 earlier in the year adding further delays to already challenged supply chains.
The report highlights that, in the future, not all OEMs may be represented in all markets, due to consolidation activity, the potential introduction of tariffs to import to the UK and reduced model offering because of emissions regulations.
Fleets looking to invest in large numbers of new vehicles sometimes found themselves unable to get what they needed from manufacturers, resulting in a shift to the nearly new market for some and a delay in fleet renewal cycles for others.
This trend is already apparent in the van sector, with strong home delivery demand outpacing supply. The shift to online auctions has also provided both opportunities and challenges for fleets looking to dispose of vehicles strategically.
Philip Nothard, insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: "In 2018, we predicted that 80% of wholesale transactions would be digital by 2022. Since the first lockdown this year, 100% of our transactions have been online. This provides opportunities for fleets in terms of reaching a much wider buyer base. However, it is also important to understand that, with attentions divided on multiple sales, getting cut-through becomes even more difficult."
While the outputs of this year's report have largely been impacted by Covid-19, research also focused on longer-term opportunities around vertical integration to achieve economies of scale. More investment will be required to support the in-life management of new vehicle technologies, while the report also identifies consolidation trends among manufacturers and mobility companies, as well as leasing and smaller rental organisations.
Owen Edwards, associate director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, added: "Change is inevitable, and we encourage all companies to plan as much as they can. Fleet and leasing organisations should employ a short-term business strategy which builds in scenarios to address the unexpected, providing contingency in case of another year like 2020. It is also important to stay ahead of longer-term considerations as the market evolved. Understanding mobility shifts will be vital for success."
Alongside forecasts for the new and used car markets for the rest of 2020 and beyond, this year's Cox Automotive and Grant Thornton Automotive Insight Report also looks at the subscription economy and Big Data, electric vehicles and the digital retail landscape, as well as providing information on integrated supply chains and end-to-end vehicle management.
To view the interactive report, visit: https://coxauto.co.uk/insightreport