There are approximately 3.8 million fleet vehicles in operation in Colombia and
most fleets are small. “A company with 20 vehicles is considered a big fleet,” said Carla Podesta, service development manager for RENTING Colombia. However, there are exceptions. In 2007, RENTING Colombia signed up SABMiller, which operates a 1,500-vehicle fleet.
During 2011, there were approximately 320,000 new vehicles sold in Colombia, which represented a 30-percent increase over the prior year. “There were several factors contributing to this, which included lower taxes on imported vehicles, an average income increase for Colombian workers, brand and price diversity, and growing financing alternatives,” Podesta said.
In 2012, Colombia stopped importing used vehicles from China. “Once used vehicles are no longer imported, it will help new-vehicle sales,” Podesta said.
Key drivers for fleet sales growth are companies focusing on their core businesses. Also, free-trade agreements are forcing companies to invest in productive assets and consider leasing. There are tax benefits to company-provided vehicles.
New-vehicle prices are going down and the used-vehicle market value is difficult to predict, resulting in increased depreciation risks. Poor road conditions and an insufficient number of qualified drivers also contribute to poor vehicle condition, which directly impacts depreciation.
--By Mike Antich