Fleets should consider their response to the effects of current global vehicle production issues, according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).
Several major manufacturers have been affected by a shortage of semiconductors – a vital component in modern vehicle making – causing some factory shutdowns and delivery delays.
AFP director Denise Lane said that the issue had been rumbling in the background for some time, but was now starting to affect vehicle production on a day-to-day basis.
She said: “Some manufacturers have already sent out messages to fleets listing which models are likely to be in reduced supply and, for some operators, there are very clearly going to be potential problems with getting hold of the vehicles they need.”
Lane said the first task for many fleets would be to ask manufacturers and leasing companies about how existing deliveries and future lead times were likely to be affected, so they could formulate a plan.
She said: “There are a number of options – for example, if a car or van they have ordered will be slow to arrive, they can continue to operate their existing vehicles for longer or potentially look at alternative models.
“Where vehicles are required to fulfil a new need, then short- or medium-term hire may be the best option, although it could be that daily rental companies themselves could come under pressure, both in terms of getting hold of planned vehicle supply and meeting increased demand as a consequence of the semiconductor shortage.
“What is most important, we believe, is for manufacturers and others in the manufacturing supply chain to continue to provide updated and accurate information. Fleets should be able to resolve most of the problems created by this situation but clarity is needed so they know exactly what problems they are likely to face.”