Fleet operators are being urged to allocate time for forward planning this year, as vehicle orders, rental and SMR needs are likely to be affected by parts shortages, according to Arval.
The leasing and mobility solutions provider says a forward-looking approach will help it to make sure that it can secure volumes of new vehicles for its customers’ orders and help them to remain mobile while servicing and repairs are underway.
Arval UK commercial director, Paul Hyne (pictured), said: “We’re working tirelessly behind the scenes using our strong relationships with manufacturers and supply partners to make sure that our customers’ vehicle orders, and service, maintenance and repair needs are met. However, the impact of the pandemic is here to stay for the foreseeable future – and our industry needs to change to stay ahead of the situation.
“We’re working with manufacturers to secure bulk orders of vehicle stock, so if we know a customer needs a particular type of vehicle or there are a number coming up for a service, MOT or repair, we will proactively work with our supply chain to ensure that there is limited downtime or that a rental vehicle is available where possible.
“The pandemic and semiconductor shortages have placed our industry in a position where forward planning is a necessity rather than a nice-to-have and we want to help our customers through this period.”
Arval says that manufacturers are prioritising electric vehicle (EV) orders and that’s good news for fleets, with the favourable benefit in kind rates today. It is urging customers, if they know they need larger numbers of a particular type of EV or they’re keen to transition to a particular electric van, to let it know in advance so orders can be placed as soon as possible.
In December, the firm advised van fleet operators to start planning for the arrival of electric commercial vehicles in 2022, if they are not already doing so.
It said that availability of these vehicles is likely to remain constrained next year and companies that have a clearer plan of their future requirements will be in a better position to place vehicle orders and help secure supply.