The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Job Suitability Is #1 Acquisition Factor for Commercial Fleets

May 2002, by Staff

 

Highlights of the NAFA Survey

  1. Job suitability was again listed as the most important factor for commercial fleet managers when making acquisition decisions.
  2. Sixty-two percent of commercial fleets surveyed have no executive vehicle purchasing policy.
  3. The average cost of a commercial fleet executive vehicle rose 9.6 percent since the 2009-model year.

If you ask Dale Pollard for some of the reasons he chooses a particular vehicle model for his fleet, he mentions acquisition cost, reliability, and the quality of the warranty program.

"But job suitability is No. 1," said Pollard, fleet manager for Boyd Coffee Co. in Portland, OR. "You can lose money if the vehicle doesn't do the job."

Job suitability is again the top factor fleets look at when choosing which vehicles to acquire. According to the 2002-Model Year New Vehicle Acquisition Survey released by the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA), the to three reasons fleets give for choosing a particular model are job suitability, initial cost, and safety record. The same three reasons, in the order, were listed in NAFA's previous survey in 2000.

Kelli Pugh, fleet administrator for Guide One Insurance in West Des Moines, IA, said safety was an important factor to her this year.

The selector list for the fleet at Guide One Insurance includes mainly the Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Century, and Chevrolet Impala. The Guide One Insurance fleet has 140 vehicles.

In looking at costs, the company was considering going to smaller vehicles, Pugh said. "But we looked at the safety records of the smaller vehicles and stayed with the intermediates," Pugh Said.

Chad Roberts, who manages 840 vehicles as fleet manager for Gordon Food Service in Grand Rapids, MI, said company image is important to his fleet, as is acquisition cost and job suitability. He said management came to him for ideas on cost-cutting and he started to look at whether to go with a less expensive van on the selector.

"They took my recommendation and switched to the Chevrolet Venture, which produced cost savings," he said

Job Suitability Still No. 1 Factor in Acquisition Decisions

(1=Not Important, 5=Very Important)

 

Commercial Fleet

Average Weight

Job Suitability                  
4.5
Initial Cost                       
4.4
Depreciation                      
4.3
Safety Record                   
4.2
Delivery Time                  
4.0
Repair Record                  
4.0
Serviceability                   
3.9
Warranty Program           
  3.8
Fuel Economy                  
3.6
Company Image                
3.5
Administrative Ease3.3
Incentive Program3.3
Country Where Built
3.3
Driver Preference3.0
Insurance Cost2.9
Fringe Benefit Value 
2.4

Total Number of Vehicles Expected to Be Acquired for 2002-Model Year: Autos Still the Vehicle of Choice

 

Autos

Passenger Vans

SUVs

Cargo Vans

Light-Duty Trucks

Medium-Duty Trucks

Lease

31.7%

13.2%

5.2%

9.5%

5.7%

1.6%

Purchase

19.7%

7.1%

3.0%

1.2%

0.9%

1.2%

 

Half of Commercial Fleet Drivers Don't Get to Choose Make and Model from Established Selector List

No Choice51%
Can Choose Both Make and Model32%
Can Choose Make, Not Model8%
Can Choose Model, Not Make9%

 

 

35% of Drivers Can Choose Exterior Color; 34% for Interior Options

Exterior Color

Interior Options

Seating Packages

Option Packages

Other

No. Choice

35%

34%

9%

11%

6%

9%

 

22.8% of Commercial Fleets Place New-Vehicle Orders in September

(Percentage of fleets responding)

Total 2002-MY

 

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Ordered

2.6

4.3

3.5

1.8

.9

1.8

12.3

16.7

22.8

17.5

13.0

1.8

Delivered

10.5

4.4

7.0

8.8

3.5

2.6

1.8

3.5

8.8

19.3

14.9

14.9

 

Most Commercial Fleets Have No Policy of Side Airbag Purchases

No Policy........................................................................ 71%

Only Vehicles with Side Airbags When Available............ 17%

Allow Drivers to Select at Own Expense........................ 11%

Only Vehicles with Side Airbags....................................... 1%

 

2002-Model Year Medium Trucks & SUVs Have Highest Commercial Fleet Cap Costs

Auto........................................ $22,719

Passenger Vans...................... $22,762

SUVs........................................ $27,897

Cargo Vans.............................. $21,053

Light- Duty Trucks.................... $22,666

Medium-Duty Trucks ................ $39,551

62% of Commercial Fleets Have No Executive Vehicle Purchasing Policy

Selector List............................... 16%

Set Dollar Value......................... 22%

No Policy.................................... 62%

 

46% of Commercial Fleets Order Only Vehicles with ABS

Only Vehicles with ABS.............. 46%

Only Vehicles with ABS When Available.................. 26%

Do Not Order, No Policy.................................... 24%

Allow Drivers to Select at Own Expense............... 3%

Allow Drivers............................... 1%

 

Average Cost of a Commercial Fleet Executive Vehicle from Selector List Rises 9.6%

 

Selector List

Set Dollar Value

2002-MY

$31,058

$38,162

2000-MY

$28,350

$38,740

 

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