The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

2009 Order-to-Delivery Times Battered on Multiple Fronts

OTD was affected by plant closures due to Chapter 11 reorganizations by GM and Chrysler, an economic downturn that decreased fleet and retail sales, and shipping delays caused by less-than-full loads for railcars and transporters.

October 2009, by Mike Antich & Grace Lauron

Click here for a full version of this article, including charts.

The multitude of factors buffeting order-to-delivery (OTD) times for commercial fleets during the 2009 model-year were breathtaking and historic.

First, the economy went into a freefall in fourth quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009, depressing retail sales. Initially, this benefited fleet OTD by freeing production capacity to build fleet units faster. However, commercial fleet sales volume also decreased more than 40 percent in the 2009 model-year. The low sales volume for both the retail and fleet markets caused shipping delays by increasing the time required to assemble full loads of vehicles for shipment by railcars and truck transporters.

Second, the voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by General Motors and Chrysler shuttered their assembly plants during the reorganizations. In turn, these assembly plant closures caused many component suppliers to temporarily suspend or slow production, resulting in decreased supplier parts availability.

Another factor impacting 2009 OTD was the large number of dealer closures, which required rerouting some vehicles to other courtesy delivery dealers.

These were among some of the findings from Automotive Fleet's 10th annual OTD survey. Seven fleet management companies provided data for this year's study:
●    Automotive Resources International (ARI).
●    Donlen Corporation.
●    Emkay Inc.
●    GE Capital Fleet Services.
●    LeasePlan USA.
●    PHH Arval.
●    Wheels Inc.

The survey tracked deliveries for 114,323 new vehicles in the 2009 model-year, representing 92 models. The models selected were those with more than 1,000 units registered to commercial fleets the prior model-year.

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 information provided by participating fleet management companies.

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