Fleet Customers Make up Nearly 20 Percent of Auto Sales
1 in 5 vehicles sold to fleet companies including car rental firms
Automakers haven’t had much of an easy time the past few years generating revenue through sales. A bumpy economy made even more uncertain due to impulsive posturing from the White House and an emerging generation bent more on sharing than buying haven’t been particularly accommodating when it comes to clearing vehicles off the showroom floor.
However, there’s encouraging news for the industry, according to Cox Automotive, that sales are projected to exceed 17 million units by the time 2019 draws to a close. But there’s more sobering echoes from those dispatches that end users aren’t the conventional individual or family customers eager to fork over their credit cards to get a nifty four-wheeler to grace their driveways.
Nope, it turns out that that sales to fleet owners from delivery companies to car rental firms make up for 17.4 percent of all sales. That’s roughly one out of every five cars, a statistic that was bolstered by a 5.8 percent spike in sales to fleets recorded in September. By all accounts, fleet sales could enjoy a record year, as indicated by an increase in unit sales of 52,797 from September, 2018 to the 62,195 tally from last month, representing an increase of 9,393 vehicle sales the past 12 months. Additional states reinforce the fact that an increase of sales to fleet owners was the only bright spot in terms of automaker performance, which experienced an 11 percent downturn since September, 2018.
While that distortion might be disconcerting to anyone with a financial investment in the automaker market, that ratio might spell good news for the car rental industry, which has so far endured the intrusion of ride-sharing companies that have butted their way into the arena the past few years. No doubt they’ve had some impact, although not enough to detract industry leader Enterprise from recording record revenues and competitors like Avis and Hertz from turning the corner into alleviating the losses they’ve experienced after the umpteenth account of negative results.
Buried in those fleet sales are subsidized sales from automakers to dealerships who use those vehicles as service loaners until they’re relegated to the used car lot. Activity in this sub-sector is good news for industry-specific software companies like Bluebird, especially with its LoanerTrack product, car rental management software program specifically developed for dealerships offering a loaner program. Applicable to both Windows and Mac operating systems, LoanerTrack has proven its efficiency in check-in and check-out processes, customer data imports, creating custom status codes and detailed reports. It’s a product that’s also widely used among dealerships that include those operated by Audi, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota and many more.