Fleets Hold Up Sagging Car Sales

Oct 07, 2011
The economy is still making new car buyers wary of purchasing new vehicles, but it seems like fleets are not sharing the same fear. New registrations stayed almost level in September despite falling retail sales, which shows that business fleets have been actively restocking. Take a look at some recent data courtesy of Financial Times:

The market was supported primarily by fleet buyers, who registered 7 per cent more vehicles than a year ago, with many businesses that postponed renewing their fleets during the financial crisis buying vehicles again as part of their routine replacement cycle. However, registrations of new cars by private buyers showed a 9 per cent year-on-year drop last month.

Analysts said that the car-registration data reflected the pressure on consumers’ purchasing power from the weak economy and government spending cuts.

“It seems inevitable that many consumers will be unwilling or unable to spend on big-ticket items like a car, given squeezed purchasing power resulting from high inflation, low wage growth and tightening fiscal policy”, IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said in a research note.

Buying new fleet vehicles at this time is not just a way to help the industry; you can make it work for your business too. With demand for new cars low, you are in a better position to negotiate with dealers for a better price or even a volume discount for multiple vehicles. Be proactive with your vehicle restocking and you could come out ahead by spending a little money in the short term.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what your fleet is doing about new vehicles in what is, for some, still a very economically challenging time.

Photo courtesy of Emilio Labrador and re-used under the Creative Commons license.