With economic concerns slowly subsiding, both consumers and business fleets are finally purchasing new or replacement vehicles. New data shows the car market is on the rise, and fleet purchases make up a significant portion of those improving sales.
More businesses, government agencies adding fleet vehicles
Fox Business reported Detroit's "Big Three" automakers experienced significant gains in the past month. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors (GM) reported the strongest sales seen in more than five years. Chrysler reported a 5 percent jump in sales, Ford's March performance spiked by 6 percent and GM saw the most improvement in sales last month, experiencing a 6.4 percent gain in sales.
While GM saw its retail sales rise 4 percent, its fleet sales were truly significant, growing 12 percent in March. All four of the company's brands - Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC - saw an improvement last month. The growing number of purchases could indicate organizations and agencies are feeling slightly more confident about the economy and are eager to invest in new fleet vehicles or replace outdated models with new versions that are more fuel efficient and require fewer repairs.
Growing fleets mean more complex fleet management
Light and medium-duty fleets often found in local distribution operations, restaurant and food suppliers, janitorial and linen services as well as municipalities may be cautiously expanding, but increasing fleet activity makes efficient management of drivers, equipment and schedules more challenging. Fleets as small as fifteen vehicles that are involved in schedule stops such as pickup and delivery throughout the day can reduce costs and improve efficiency with vehicle routing software.
With rising fuel costs, increasing traffic congestion and continual pressures to reduce operational expense, many business fleets are finding strong return on their investment in route optimization software, also known as routing and scheduling systems. These applications can automate the planning of daily, weekly or monthly driver schedules and routes to minimize total miles traveled and maximize driver productivity, all according to the unique requirements and constraints of the business and its customers. When combined with GPS tracking systems in fleet vehicles, routing software offers even more fleet and driver management benefits, as well as customer track-and-trace services for orders.