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Leasing and rental industry 'ahead of future fleet challenges'

Date: 05 December 2019

Embracing technology and the demand for more sustainable transport - the BVRLA's new Industry Outlook 2020 report claims that the vehicle rental and leasing industry is already getting to grips with tomorrow's fleet challenges.

The report, unveiled at the association's Industry Outlook conference, highlights the impact that electric vehicle supply, vehicle data access, vehicle repairability, garage capacity and knee-jerk local transport policymaking could have on the fleet environment next year.

Using the insight of 20 experts from across the automotive sector, the BVRLA claims the report shows its members are developing new digital platforms, boosting their compliance teams, exploring electrification and trialling new mobility models.

"Our sector is in for a bumpy ride in 2020, but it has both hands on the wheel," said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

"BVRLA members are providing more consultancy and advice and building stronger customer relationships and loyalty.

"They are ideally positioned to take advantage of some of today's key megatrends. Finance remains cheap and society is becoming used to the idea of buying a service rather than owning an asset. At the same time, road transport has risen up the political and business agenda and expertise is in short supply."

The BVRLA Industry Outlook 2020 report provides a collective industry view on nine key areas:

  • Company car consolidation - Reports of the company car's death have been greatly exaggerated. But is the sector struggling on with a chronic condition, or on the rapid road to recovery?
  • Fleets within fleets - The word 'fleet' suggests an amorphous, singular mass. Taking a 'one-size fits all' approach creates efficiencies, but today's complex business environment demands a more sophisticated methodology.
  • Delivering digital - Rental and leasing companies are embracing digitisation in all its forms. The main limit to their ambitions will be an adequate supply of vehicle data.
  • Elusive electric dreams - Electrification is the future, but we are not there yet. 2020 could see a wide gap between what is expected and what is deliverable.
  • The diesel debate - There is a future for diesel, if politics doesn't get in the way. Newer, cleaner diesel powertrains provide a low-emission solution for logistics and long distances, but there is a lot of re-education to do, and confusion to be cleared up.
  • The mobility mix - While many in the automotive sector continue to dabble with a range of different mobility services and partnerships, others believe that the servitisation of existing parts of their business will provide a faster route to profit.
  • Clean air chaos - The fleet industry continues to highlight the need for a consistent approach when introducing measures to tackle air quality in UK towns and cities. But is anybody listening?
  • The cost of compliance - Compliance teams are expanding in the face of a growing regulatory burden. Far from seeing it as a red tape exercise, most firms are embracing the focus on developing more robust standards and processes.
  • Pairing and repairing - Showrooms and websites are competing hard to sell you the latest connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles. But is the aftermarket ready?