Tight control of costs can open up major growth opportunities in the commercial vehicle sector.
This was the overwhelming sentiment from ExxonMobil’s 'Future of Fleets' survey that tapped into the behaviours, concerns and predictions of senior managers at top commercial transportation companies operating across Europe.
The survey revealed a complex, challenging, but equally promising picture of the future.
Across all markets surveyed, 71% anticipate business growth in the next 12 months, with 48% predicting an impressive 11%-30% increase.
However, this is set against an array of challenges, with 40% of respondents foreseeing tough economic conditions and volatile markets as the biggest trend to affect their business in the next five years.
With unpredictable fuel prices and factors such as increasing emissions regulations including the 2020 EU Directive all high on the agenda, the future of fleets, on the surface at least, is shaping up to be a tough one.
With such a strong growth outlook despite a tough economic climate, the survey revealed that for many fleets the immediate concern is cost control rather than long term investment that could put forward-thinking fleets ahead of the curve.
Such a sharp focus on cost is unsurprising in challenging economic times and concern over fuel efficiency has led 65% of those polled to look closely at how they keep their fleet well-maintained.
Driver training and the use of telematics feature prominently in the drive for fuel efficiency, but only 32% ensure they use fuel efficient rather than standard lubricants to help with this.
“The long-term potential of lubricants to help drive fuel efficiency remains untapped for many fleets,” said Maciej Marcinowski, commercial vehicle lubricants marketing advisor, Europe, Africa and Middle East, ExxonMobil.
“When choosing lubricants, nearly 40% of those polled purchased the cheapest option available. And, when asked how lubricants are viewed within their business, 64% replied that they are seen as a cost that needs to be kept low. It’s important that the approach changes to viewing the purchase as an investment that may help save money in the long run.”