Fleets well on road to recovery, according to latest CVO report
The annual fleet barometer supported by fleet and fuel management company Arval, looked at the state of the market across 14 countries between February and March this year and included interviews with UK decision-makers.
The 2010 CVO survey has shown a significant turnaround in firms' expectations for the growth of their company car fleet over the next three years, with this view now particularly strong amongst larger companies. In the UK survey in 2009 a significant percentage of fleets were expecting their fleet size to decline over the coming period. Now almost half of large businesses expect their fleet to grow and this is a sentiment that can be seen across the fleet size spectrum although not with the same intensity.
Mike Waters, director of market insight for Arval, believes the research shows that the company car hasn't been hit as hard as expected by the global recession, commenting: ‘The research shows that only 18% of businesses have actually reduced their fleet size as a response to the financial crisis and only 26% have reduced their overall fleet budget. Instead, decision makers have recognised the important role company vehicles play in their business mix and have focused on better management of their fleet policy instead.'
With optimism seemingly returning regarding the company fleet, the survey predicted strong growth for leasing and contract hire, particularly from larger organisations as they continue to pull themselves out of recession.
However the survey, now in its third year, revealed a wide discrepancy between the attitudes of large and smaller businesses – particularly when it came to green fleet policies.
Only 8% of smaller enterprises (SMEs) had at least one green vehicle compared to 74% of larger businesses. A tiny 1% of SMEs had hybrid vehicles compared to 40% of businesses with between 100 and 1000 employees.
Mr Waters concluded: ‘There is a marked divide in attitudes between the larger and smaller companies particularly when it came to the green agenda. The bigger businesses are more geared up for a lower-carbon future, but despite the fact that only 3% of smaller companies have fuel-efficient labels at the moment, 43% plan to introduce them in the future. This reveals a genuine green appetite but that SMEs need greater support and advice on how to make the necessary environmental changes.’