I – Market Features
At the global European level (12 countries took part in this survey: Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the UK), our confidence indicator shows that fleet managers are slightly more positive concerning the growth potential of their fleets. The balance between professionals who anticipate that the size of their fleet will grow minus those who think it will be reduced is positive whatever the company segment size. This means that growth on all segments can be expected.
Large companies remain the most optimistic. Small companies are still having more difficulties.
- countries anticipating solid growth for their fleet size are: the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
- countries anticipating a very weak growth are Italy and the Netherlands
The cases of Spain and France should be highlighted as the forecasts are pessimistic (slight contraction) on the small and mid-sized companies segment (less than 100 employees) and optimistic (balance at +22% for Spain and +12% for France) on the large or very large companies’ segment (more than 100 employees). Of course, there are fewer companies with 100+ employees in comparison with companies with less than 100 employees. Still, the share of vehicles bought by large or very large companies is big. This might explain why the overall market could still grow in 2014.
Concerning the fleet vehicle detention period, two cases stand out:
- a detention period which remains stable over time for small and mid-sized companies: globally there are as many professionals claiming that they have noticed a lengthening of the vehicle detention period as there are professionals saying that they have observed a shortening.
- a detention period which continues to get longer at large and very large companies (100+ employees): a bigger proportion of professionals who note a lengthening of their fleet vehicle detention period versus those who observe a shortening: a + average 12 points difference for PCs in 2013 and also in 2014.
II – Financing solutions
The main financing solutions that are chosen remain linked to the size of the company:
- In very large companies, Operating Leasing keeps a market share around 50%; the sum of Operating + Financial Leasing reaches 70%. Self-purchase still represents the main financing solution for 28% of the very large surveyed companies. Car credits are used only very rarely.
- On the large companies segment (100+ employees), the penetration of Operating Leasing and self-purchase are at the same level: 36%.
- For small companies (less than 10 employees ), self-purchase predominates: 49% - operating leasing is used very rarely: 8%
- For mid-sized companies, leasing (operating + financial leasing) has a 49% penetration and self-purchase is at 44%
In dynamic terms, one sees a slow evolution on the mid-sized company segment (10 to 99 employees):
- slight growth of operating leasing going from 16% in 2008 to 19% in 2014 (+ 3 points)
- decline of financial leasing which goes from 37% in 2008 to 30% in 2014 (- 7 points)
- growth of self-purchase from 40% in 2008 to 44% in 2014 (+4 points)
For Europe as a whole, very limited structural change is observed over time for the other size segments.
III – ‘Car Policy’ and selection criteria
The 3 most important criteria when selecting a fleet vehicle: purchase price / acquisition cost, the TCO and the brand/make of the vehicle. Are present but of secondary importance: taxation and environmental friendliness.
The hierarchy of these criteria is very much linked to the size of the company:
- TCO is the most important criteria for large and very large companies (100+ employees)
- The purchase price / acquisition cost is still the first selection criteria for companies with less than 100 employees, followed by the TCO and the brand/make of the vehicle which is placed in third place
IV – Outsourcing
Concerning full outsourcing or sub-contracting all or parts of the job of the fleet manager, all segments be introduced to this concept via outsourcing of the preparation of reporting for taxation purposes.
On the other hand, only very large companies go further in this area and many of them outsource the following tasks: electronic invoicing (20%), online quoting / online ordering (19%), reporting on fleet related expenses for payroll purposes (18%), ensuring the compliance of company rules (13%), reallocating unused vehicles (11%) and managing pool cars (10%).
Professionals were quite receptive to the different arguments supporting full outsourcing that we submitted to them. This shows that this practice has a good growth potential for the future not only for large companies (the priority) but also among small and mid-sized companies.
V – Mobility
In more than 1 case out of 2, employee travel and mobility management is centralised in only one place.
The motivations that underlie this organisation depend on the size of the company:
- organisational need given the small number of employees in small companies
- the will to optimise mobility management in larger organisations
The interviewees did not demonstrate a clear-cut enthusiasm towards the proposed services linked to mobility. Only the proposition of consolidated report and analysis of business travel interested a non-negligible proportion of companies with more than 100 employees (18% are certainly or probably interested). The other services seem to interest only the very large companies: implementation of an internal audit of employee mobility (21%) and a tool to manage global mobility and real expenses per employees