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Fleet Pent-Up Demand in North America to Add Pressure on 2023-MY Ordering

Fleet Pent-Up Demand in North America to Add Pressure on 2023-MY Ordering

Demand for new- and used-vehicles will not abate any time soon due to the tremendous pent-up demand that will carry through calendar-year 2022. Industry-wide (both retail and fleet), it is estimated that there were 4 million vehicles worth of pent-up demand at the start of calendar-year 2022.

January 30, 2022

Retrospective on the Many Pain Points of 2021 M-Y

Retrospective on the Many Pain Points of 2021 M-Y

Two universal challenges faced by fleet managers in the 2021 model-year were longer lead times and tight product availability, particularly constrained was van and truck chassis availability. The COVID lockdowns in 2020 and the shutdown of all North American assembly plants from mid-March to mid-May 2020 triggered a domino effect resulting in delays with the new model-year bid process during a period of widespread budget constraints.

June 25, 2021

Work Trucks Vulnerable to Delivery Delays: How to Minimize Upfit Lead Time
10 Upfitting Proverbs From the School of Hard Knocks

10 Upfitting Proverbs From the School of Hard Knocks

A proverb is a phrase that gives real-world advice learned from practical experience. Upfitting is complicated and there are many opportunities to make mistakes, sometimes very expensive ones. Here are 10 proverbs for a successful upfit.

June 24, 2019

Biggest Challenges Facing Vocational Fleet Managers

Biggest Challenges Facing Vocational Fleet Managers

To get the pulse of the vocational truck and van market, I reached out to a wide cross-section of fleet managers around the country to find out what’s on their minds. Here’s a snapshot of what they told me.

November 7, 2018

Upfitter Backlogs Created by Strong Truck Demand

Upfitter Backlogs Created by Strong Truck Demand

Strong demand for light- and medium-duty trucks in the 2018 model-year increased order-to-delivery (OTD) times, resulting in widespread upfitter backlogs despite reduced fleet allocation availability due to competing strong retail demand for trucks.

September 25, 2018

Today's Top Fleet Trends for Nation's Largest Fleets

Each year, we compile a listing of the nation's Top 300 commercial fleets. This gives us an opportunity to get a pulse on the state of the commercial fleet market. Every fleet in the Top 300 commercial fleet listing has its own fleet strategy and challenges; some unique, but most are common to a number of fleets. Here is my “lightning round” summary of the top trends and operational considerations influencing the management of the nation’s largest commercial fleets.

March 30, 2016

Increased Demand and Rail Delays Create Upfitter Logjam in MY-2015

One challenge for both the 2015- and 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity constraints. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand.

September 17, 2015

High-Roof Vans Causing OTD Delays

Railroad backlogs impacted ship-thru units requiring upfitted equipment in the 2015-MY. Not only is there a rail-car shortage, but there were also logistical delays in loading and unloading rail cars due to the higher volume of high-roof vehicles. The limited number of rail cars that can accommodate the larger, high-roof vans created a backlog at assembly plants and caused delays in shipping to and from upfitters.

September 17, 2015

OEMs Improve Quality Hold Process, But More Needs to be Done to Avoid Backlogs

The good news is the management of quality holds by OEMs has improved tremendously in the 2014-MY. However, much more still needs to be done. As has been the case for the past several model-years, lengthening OEM quality holds continue to adversely impact fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) times by incurring added costs due to missed residual timing, repair costs to older vehicles still in service, and rental expenses

September 17, 2014

The ‘Perfect Storm’ in Rail Congestion Turns Fleet into Collateral Damage

Fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) has been brutal this model-year due to severe weather conditions, which exacerbated rail congestion, creating huge backlogs of vehicles needing to be shipped. However, some are beginning to believe the rail congestion experienced this winter is more of a symptom of a systemic infrastructure weakness and not solely the consequence of severe weather. Here's why they think so.

June 10, 2014

OTD Concerns Due to Surge of Oil Shipped by Rail

The railroad industry is the primary long-distance shipper of automobiles from assembly plants to dealers, which represents almost 9 percent of total rail freight. However, the auto industry is not the only railroad customer, and it competes with other shippers for scarce rail resources. Such is the case with petroleum companies shipping crude oil by rail, which is putting heavy demand on finite rail resources. What impact will this have on fleet OTD?

April 17, 2014

10 Ways to Further Improve OTD

All OEMs have been proactive in providing order-to-delivery (OTD) status updates on fleet vehicles in transit. In addition, fleet management companies have launched a multitude of enhancements to their abilities to track OTD for ordered fleet units. However, there is still much more that can be done.

September 24, 2013

Increased Upfit Volume & OEM Quality Holds Create Backlogs at Upfitters

Upfitters are feeling the pressure from the increase in the number of upfitted vehicles requiring a ship-thru, which is overwhelming some installers and body builders. Also, many upfitter-related OTD issues are the result of OEM quality holds. Oftentimes, upfitted units are held at the body company due to limited storage space at the assembly plants caused by quality hold backlogs. This prevents the release of upfitted units into OEM traffic for final delivery via ship-thru/freight re-entry.

September 20, 2012

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