Datamonitor Survey Finds Opportunity for Manufacturers in European Fleet Supplier Switching
LONDON – A recent survey of 650 fleet managers in Europe by Datamonitor reveals that more than 20 percent of respondents are considering changing fleet supplier within the next three years. According to Datamonitor’s Fleet Procurement Survey 2003, the potential supplier switch represents a key opportunity for numerous other players, especially vehicle manufacturers that have been developing a presence in Europe over the last five years, reported AutoIndustry.com.Datamonitor’s survey polled 650 fleet decision-makers across Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and the UK. These contacts managed a combined fleet of 250,000 cars. Fleets’ focus on cost cutting is likely to benefit vehicle manufacturers, as the lower the number of vehicle makes operated in a fleet, the greater the savings in vehicle acquisition. According to the survey, nearly 70 pecent of fleet managers operated four vehicle makes or less, and 15 percent operated just one vehicle make in their fleet. Datamonitor believes that the trend toward more limited vehicle selectors per fleet will continue for the next few years. Also encouraging for vehicle manufacturers in general is that approximately 45 pecent of respondents plan to review their choice of vehicle manufacturer within the next two years, with value of money high on the agenda in their purchase plans.However, vehicle manufacturers also face several challenges in the market. According to the survey, 70 percent of fleet managers considered a fleet leasing company to be their primary fleet provider. This conclusion was further reinforced by the fact that 50 percent of fleet managers never had any contact with the vehicle manufacturer.Alliances between fleet suppliers face different challenges, according to Datamonitor’s report. The majority of operators surveyed did not have a view on the effectiveness of alliances as pan-national contract providers, largely because most respondents were not well acquainted with the nature and functioning of such alliances. Of those that did have a view, nearly 25 percent considered alliances inferior to international leasing companies.