Fleet Manager Concerns in 2021
Fleet managers across the industry are viewing 2021 as a transitional year with 2022 being a true recovery year. There are several concerns facing fleet managers with chassis availability being at the forefront couple with longer lead-times and product delivery. With pent-up demand for vehicles, lead-times will most likely continue to be affected. Forecasts for vehicle demand already predict higher than anticipated levels. Inventory constraints in the Cargo Van segment has been greatly impacted and FAs worry this will continue throughout 2021.
The ongoing demand for Trucks and SUVs have resulted in fewer sedans being produced by manufacturers. This not only impacts FAs with portfolio alternatives, however, increased acquisition costs with these vehicles segments and the associated safety technologies being incorporated. This has had a direct impact in accident management costs. Another struggle associated with these issues is getting key decision makers to commit to these additional operating costs. On the plus side, there continues to be upward pressure on vehicle resale values as the rental segment continues to be in disrepair.
Sustainability and upcoming EV products will continue to be of interest as Hybrids continue to be viewed as a short term solution. Unfortunately, for the near short term, there will be lacking EV diversity and availability across the various vehicle segments. FAs are also struggling with the presumption that more and more companies are embracing the work-from-home model which could have an impact on their fleet. As productivity has proven to be unaffected, will this be an impact in the future and a permanent change in the business landscape? How will in-person sales be impacted? Time will tell.