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Only one-in-four fleets affected by vehicle supply crisis, Arval reports

Date: 19 May 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The global semiconductor shortage, which has prompted widespread vehicle production problems, has only caused issues for 26% of fleets, according to Arval.

In the latest published finding from the leasing company's Mobility Observatory Barometer survey of fleet decision-makers, 16% said they had been impacted when acquiring petrol, diesel, and electric vehicles, 5% with EVs only, and another 5% with petrol and diesel vehicles only, while 74% reported no impact at all.

Out of those who say they have been affected, the top three measures adopted in response include extending the life cycle of current vehicles (83%), speeding up the implementation of EVs (35%) and considering adding other vehicle manufacturers to their policy (11%).

Vehicle supply problems have been a major topic of industry concern for over a year now, and were still being cited in the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' most recent new car sales figures, which showed a 15.8% year-on-year decline in April.

Shaun Sadlier, head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: "This research shines a light on the semiconductor shortage, which has become a growing concern for fleets over the last couple of years and which, even now, may not be resolved for another year or more

"It is perhaps surprising that as many as three out of four fleets report that there has been no impact on their operations. This is, in our view, quite a high figure. 

'The most likely explanation is that it is largely accounted for by either fleets planning further ahead in their vehicle replacement process, or by the contract extensions that were widely undertaken by many businesses during the pandemic when mileage fell dramatically.

"These particular fleets have been unaffected by delayed orders either because they have not been trying to replace vehicles, or have not yet really felt the full impact of the extended lead times."

Sadlier said this line of thinking was supported by the survey's finding that the most common response to supply problems had been to extend life cycles.

He continued: "This is a finding consistent with the experience of Arval in the UK - and a sensible and accessible way of managing the situation for most organisations."

Sadlier also added that it was notable that more than a third (35%) of respondents believe that the shortage will speed up electrification.

He said: "Presumably, in having to wait for vehicle delivery, they have decided to accelerate movement towards their corporate social responsibility targets by leapfrogging a replacement cycle where they would probably have chosen an ICE or PHEV and have instead opted to go straight to an EV, which often have shorter lead times as manufacturers appear to be diverting more of their production to zero-emission vehicles.

"Finally, 11% of respondents have considered opening up their choice lists, 9% have opted for used vehicles to meet their needs and 3% have examined the possibility of mobility solutions as an alternative. These are all creative solutions that we have seen used effectively by different businesses in different situations over the last year or more."