Fleets Responsible for Auto Sales Rebound

Aug 04, 2010

It seems that the auto industry is finally starting to turn around following the downturn in sales that came with the recession, but that improvement is being driven largely by fleet sales to rental companies and other businesses, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Fleet sales are up 60% over last year’s numbers, while retail sales are up only 9%.  Auto sales in general have risen 16.7% in the United States so far this year, but little more growth is expected.  One reason for the stall in growth is a resurgence of the luxury car market, in which leasing is a preferred form of ownership.

And while the increase in fleet sales from major automakers is good for the fleet industry, some say that the rapid expansion of the market could lead to over-saturation and hurt sales in the coming years.  Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for truecar.com, warned against letting fleet sales get too high.  But he does concede that "most automakers have a much better sense of where they need to stand in terms of a healthy fleet and rental mix."

So if your fleet is looking to replenish as credit becomes more readily available and the industry surges forward, make sure you purchase according to your needs and keep an eye on the market!

Photo courtesy of Jeff Wilcox and re-used under the Creative Commons license.