ATS Euromaster reports that service maintenance and repair (SMR) budgets are coming under pressure as fleets are forced to run vehicles for longer.
The problem is down to a lack of vehicle availability thanks to the global semiconductor shortage, with fleets and leasing companies having to juggle new car availability against extended rentals and increased maintenance work.
Jess Jones, director national fleets, at ATS Euromaster, said: “Vehicles are being built to order and lead times are being increasingly stretched, in some cases to in excess of 12 months.
“With that lead time pushing out further and further, fleets are running vehicles for longer, which is impacting SMR budgets.
“It’s not as if fleets can turn to rental for new cars since the rental companies are also short of vehicles having de-fleeted during Covid lockdowns.
“What this means is a renewed focus on managing out maintenance budgets, particularly as many vehicles will require additional MOTs not originally envisaged at the commencement of the vehicle’s lifecycle.”
Jones says that, as a result, informal rentals are many, while new approaches to SMR delivery are being actively considered.
Beyond the current new vehicle shortages, ATS Euromaster is also speaking to customers to understand their level of electric vehicle (EV) orders and delivery to driver times.
According to Jones, it’s important to understand the likely volumes so that ATS Euromaster centres can prepare for the appropriate levels of support required, and the types and volumes of tyres to stock.
Jones concluded: “With leasing EV order banks running at circa 40%, we’re ensuring our centres are fully prepared with correctly trained technicians to meet the growing number of electric vehicles that will require servicing.”