Honda predicts rise in grey fleet and end-user purchasing
16 January 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
2019 in the fleet sector will see an increase in the popularity of grey fleet and end-user purchasing, according to Honda.
The manufacturer says it is making the prediction following a 7% decline in the fleet new car market during 2018, as reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Honda says it has been refocusing its fleet efforts during the past 12 months to work closer with fleet end-users, anticipating an increase in grey fleet enquiries and user-chooser customers.
Fleet sales operations manager Marc Samuel said: "Fleet procurement is changing and for many, last year's decline in sales will not come as a huge surprise.
"Some organisations have made the traditional, professional fleet manager job redundant in recent years, augmenting the position to be responsible for multiple other areas as well as vehicles - and in several examples we have found companies have turned away from fleet solutions altogether.
"In place of these solutions, we are seeing more professionals using their own cars for business travel and end-users assuming more responsibility for fleet management."
According to Samuel, while larger organisations can struggle to manage grey fleet compliance, Honda is seeing an increasing trend towards it among smaller companies that do not have a traditional fleet function.
He says this is helped by Honda's Platinum Programme, through which it works closely with its nationwide dealer network to help them understand the needs of fleet and corporate customers.
He added: "By building relationships with end users at a dealership level, we are not only able to maximise aftersales services through keeping dealers involved at every stage of the vehicle lifecycle, but we can also provide valuable advice on vehicle maintenance and documentation to ease some of the concerns businesses have around grey fleets.
"By keeping grey fleet vehicles in the hands of professional Honda dealerships, we are also helping SME business owners and their associated HR managers to access and collect important vehicle data, and enabling them to carry out their duty of care commitment to employees."