For commercial fleet managers, courtesy delivery is a practice that allows fleets to procure vehicles from dealers. While not embraced by all dealers, the process of offering drop-shipped vehicles to fleets offers opportunities for dealers as well as OEMs.
Fleet managers and fleet management companies provided feedback on the process for Automotive Fleet's annual "Industry Report Card" feature. Follow links below for stories focusing on the OEMs, fleet management companies, and order-to-delivery times.
Educate Dealers About Importance of Courtesy Delivery
"Educating dealers about the importance of courtesy fleet deliveries and what it means to their business, as well as all other people involved, is needed. There is a lot of missed opportunity in this area."
Incentivize Dealers to Improve Courtesy Delivery Process
"Improve courtesy delivery programs at local dealerships; incentivize the dealership to provide excellent service by surveying fleet drivers after delivery to measure dealership performance. Fleet business is a big part of the manufacturers' total business; they should throw more resources to the local dealership to get better customer experience."
Some Dealerships Can't Service Medium-Duty Trucks they Sell
"The majority of our fleet is medium-duty trucks, and they are usually around 27-feet long. I can't tell you the number of OEM dealers that cannot handle that size of vehicle. OEMs need to guarantee that if they sell a product, their dealers can service the product. Another example is alternative fuels. If you sell it, your dealers must be able to service the vehicles and actually know what they are doing."
Need for Consistency in Courtesy Deliveries Among OEM Dealers
"I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but there is a huge miss when it comes to courtesy deliveries/drop-ships in the auto industry. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good dealers out there that take this seriously and understand the value, but we have more and more problems every year with our drivers complaining about rotten service, paperwork not handled correctly, or vehicles not prepped with any kind of care.
"There is a huge opportunity being missed here. The dealerships could be gaining a customer for life if they 'wow' someone. Not just for fleet vehicle service, but personal vehicle purchases and service, as well. I think manufacturers need to take a hard look at their dealer network and start developing some consistent practices and processes that each dealership is expected to follow, including consistent pricing."