27 Jun 22

How to keep your drivers driving when car deliveries are delayed

The cars you want, when you want them? Not so fast! OEMs are still experiencing shortages of material and manpower, and other disruptions. But delivery delays can be managed, with the help of your fleet supplier. Here are two expert views, from ALD Automotive and Fleet Logistics. 

What are the delivery delays that you and your customers are experiencing?

Thibault Alleyn (Head of Global Mobility Solutions at Fleet Logistics): “Delivery times have not improved since the start of 2022. We continue to see increasing pressure with practically all brands, independently of powertrains or production locations. The next challenge linked to this situation are reducing timelines of price validity, in combination with recurring price increases and reviewed discount structures. Overall, this leads to great tensions between supply and demand, and between OEMs and funding suppliers.”

Thierry Faure (General Manager Global Strategic Accounts, ALD): “The average delay is between 6 and 18 months, and it has further deteriorated for some makes, German ones in particular. The conflict in Ukraine has further disrupted some supply chains. We see LCV models with even longer delivery times than passenger cars. Obviously, EVs are least impacted, as OEMs need to achieve their CO2 targets to avoid penalties.”

Which solutions do you propose to your customers to deal with these delays? 

Thierry Faure (ALD): “We offer contract extensions, and we also provide advice on alternative brands and models that are more readily available. This includes TCO comparisons across models within the same segment. We also propose ALD Flex, which offers rental agreements from one to 24 months for new and used cars, with the flexibility to return the car at any time without penalty. ALD Flex uses our fleet pools in each country.”

Thibault Alleyn (Fleet Logistics): “The possibilities include contract extensions, adding new models and/or brands, used-car leasing, mobility alternatives, short-term rental, etcetera.”

Which of the solutions that you propose are the most popular, and the most effective?

Thierry Faure (ALD): “ALD Flex is the most popular. Contract extensions are becoming increasingly more difficult because some vehicles have already been extended due to covid lockdowns and various previous disruption in supply chains. These cars are also ageing, with high mileage, and cannot be further extended. Adding new models requires more change management and deviation from existing car policies and for some fleets, this is not that straightforward.” 

Thibault Alleyn (Fleet Logistics): “Fleet operators have limited options. The first and most important action is to get more control and transparency over the fleet and its actual usage. This can be achieved internally by the company, or with support from third parties like Fleet Logistics. We have the tools and processes to monitor this on a continuous basis. Next step is to make sure new orders are initiated on time – up to 12 months prior to the end of the contract, in combination with effective pool and/or surplus vehicle management. 

“Last but not least, drivers must be pro-actively informed of current market realities. This will generate support and understanding when the company is defining alternatives to keep its employees mobile. The ability to be flexible in terms of supply and therefore the option to plug-and-play additional types of suppliers - while respecting long term partnerships - is indeed key for the foreseeable future.”

Authored by: Frank Jacobs