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Survey reveals positive outlook for fleet industry but driver behaviour remains a concern

The survey of 72 European fleet companies, which collectively manage more than 150,000 vehicles, found that 80% of respondents expect their fleets to grow or remain stable in the next 24 months. Furthermore, respondents have an overwhelmingly optimistic international outlook, with more than four out of five respondents surveyed planning to expand their fleet into new countries -with Turkey, Russia and Brazil attracting particular interest.

Heading the list of challenges for the coming year is improving the behaviour of drivers, with 61% of respondents ranking it as a top concern. Out of this group, 41% are hoping to reduce damages and accidents, whereas 30% want to reduce CO2 consumption. Despite this clear concern, only 49% of respondents actually have active programmes in place aimed at influencing driver behaviour.

The next greatest challenge comes as a by-product of international expansion, with 54% looking to optimise their global fleet. Behind this comes fuel management, with 48% of respondents wanting to improve their approach.

One of the most striking trends to emerge from the survey is the rise in emissions management. 61% of companies surveyed now have CO2 emissions restrictions in place, whereas in 2008, this cohort was just 38%. Emissions are limited at 130-140gCO2/km for almost two thirds of respondents (63%), whilst for 11% the limit is even lower at 110-120gCO2/km.

The report kick-starts The Fleet Debate; a year-long GE Capital programme engaging European industry leaders on areas including cost savings, efficiency and best practices in fleet management.

Majk Strika, new relationships development leader at GE Capital International, said: ‘The picture of fleet management painted by our survey is an overwhelmingly positive one, with substantial optimism for the year ahead.

‘This said however, developing an effective global fleet management strategy is truly complex. Through benchmarking how companies across Europe structure their car policies, we aim to identify some of the more pressing challenges facing industry leaders and ultimately provide guidance as to how these can be overcome.’

For more info on The Fleet Debate or for a copy of our report, please visit www.Gecapital.eu.

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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.