Localised franchise dealer networks are “likely to remain important to fleets” says fleet software specialist FleetCheck following news that more are to close.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said that a long-term situation was being created where many businesses were having to travel further for routine servicing, maintenance and repair.
“We’re not picking out any particular manufacturer here because it is effecting a number but this is something that appears to be happening without much discussion about how it will change provision of SMR for fleets.
“The business argument for rationalising networks is easy to understand – franchise dealers often operate on very low profit margins and these are only going to come under further pressure as cars and vans visit workshops less, especially with the expected rapid uptake of EVs and more dependence on vehicles that can diagnose their own faults.
“However, the fact remains that utilisation is a fundamental element of fleet management and having a vehicle off the road costs businesses money. The further away the franchise repair centre is, it is likely that it will take longer for servicing or repair to happen.
“This is especially important for van fleets. To an extent, car fleet breakdowns can be managed because their use is typically more sporadic – but vans are often used all day, every day and getting them back on the road is important.”