Servicing The Car Fleet Market
The car fleet market varies from country to country across Europe, but in countries such as Germany and the UK, it is an important percentage of the car market. Increasingly, the owner of the car fleet is paying a fleet management company to maintain the cars and carry out maintenance, tyre replacements and so on. Many leasing companies expect to expand on a pan-European basis, which means that, increasingly, the service provider has to have continent-wide coverage.
In the UK, the market leader in this field is Kwik-Fit Fleet, followed by ATS Euromaster, FTM Tyrefit (an affiliation of independent retailers, giving nationwide coverage and which has linked up with point S for coverage on mainland Europe) and National Tyres & Autocare. All these have operations outside the UK. It is easy to see the attraction of the fleet market – it is estimated that sales of tyres, batteries and exhausts to this sector are worth £180 million in the UK alone – and for the tyre manufacturers, it is strategically important as a means of increasing market share.
The fleet customer is extremely demanding; not only in terms of service, but also in management reports and information, so the fleet service provider has to be much more than a mere tyre supplier. The market is very competitive and the motto of the provider is ‘service, service, service’. The attitude is summed up by Simon Roper, Managing Director of Kwik-Fit Fleet, who says, “Nobody takes tomorrow’s business for granted.