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Fleets split on whether to ‘advance or consolidate’ under coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus crisis is creating an “advance or consolidate” moment for fleets when it comes to their planning for the future.

FleetCheck says some fleets are very much doubling down on their strategies for the future, especially around electrification

Two schools of thought appear to be emerging, according to FleetCheck, with operators either pushing forward with plans for strategies such as electrification and adoption of mobility solutions, or digging in and make the most of existing resources; potentially putting groups in the latter category of being left behind in the move to electrification and new forms of mobility.

Peter Golding, managing director, explained: “Some fleets are very much doubling down on their strategies for the future, especially around electrification, with some businesses looking to accelerate adoption, and push forward in areas such as EV-based salary sacrifice and handling increased amounts of grey fleet activity.

“The other main approach appears to be to work to contain costs and maximise efficiency as much as possible through sweating existing assets and refining current processes.

“Of course, the difference between these two contrasting lines of thought is very often cash. Businesses that want to undertake radical change need to be free to make investments to see them through while those that are facing tougher times are under pressure to make the most of what they already have.”

Golding added that it was interesting moment as the current situation, while obviously dreadful in most respects, had created time and space for fleets to think and to consider ideas that might once might have been considered too radical to be practical.

He also said that this divide might persist as different parts of the economy were likely to experience very different speeds of recovery.

“Fleets in sectors that are currently doing well – such as delivery companies and online retail – will be able to afford to invest in the future. Those operating in areas such as overseas tourism and hospitality face very different prospects.

“It’s not inconceivable that, in a couple of years, we will see that some fleets have rapidly moved forward and are almost fully electrified while others will have not had the resources to advance much beyond their current situation. How many will fall into one camp and how many into the other will generally depend on their individual rates of recovery.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.