The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Mixed 2008 OTD Performance: Some Models Up, Some Down

October 2008, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

Order-to-delivery (OTD) times for fleet vehicles ordered during the 2008 model-year increased for some models, while others saw improvements of one to two weeks.

Many models experienced increased OTD due to the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against American Axle, a Tier I supplier.

"Although there were a number of factors that resulted in delivery delays, the most notable was the UAW strike against American Axle, a key supplier for General Motors," said Jan Freund, director of manufacturer relations for Wheels Inc. "The three-month-long strike forced 30 General Motors parts and assembly plants to cease production either partially or completely. The affected assembly plants were primarily those that build full-size pickups, SUVs, and vans. However, as the strike continued, GM was forced to cease production at some of its car assembly plants, including the plant that builds the Impala sedan."

Another factor that impacted 2008-MY OTD was the substantial floods that occurred last summer in the Midwest. "The summer flood waters in the Midwest had a direct impact on the rail lines, which slowed deliveries," said Tim Martin, vice president, operations for LeasePlan USA. "As a result, all of the major manufacturers were proactive in immediately addressing and redirecting vehicles utilizing alternative rail lines. The manufacturers continually communicated their position relating to these issues, which allowed fleet management companies to effectively relay updates to our client base."

However, the decrease in retail sales volume has resulted in faster production of fleet vehicles and greater availability of truck and rail transport, which helped expedite some fleet deliveries.

These were among some of the revelations from Automotive Fleet’s ninth annual OTD survey. Six fleet management companies provided data for this year’s study:

  • Automotive Resources International (ARI).
  • Donlen.
  • GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services.
  • LeasePlan USA.
  • PHH Arval.
  • Wheels Inc.

The study tracked new-vehicle deliveries for 216,306 models during the 2008 model-year, representing 91 models. The models selected were those with more than 1,000 units registered to commercial fleets in the 2008 model-year; however, there were exceptions to this criterion.

OTD time for cars was calculated from the day an order was placed with a factory to vehicle delivery to a dealer (not driver pickup). Truck OTD was calculated from order placement to delivery to an upfitter or, if no upfitting was required, to a dealer. The days spent at an upfitter were not included in truck OTD times. An industry average was calculated for each model tracked based on the information provided by participating fleet management companies.

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