MEASURES may need to be adopted by fleets to cope with the emerging shortage of semiconductors disrupting car and van production globally, the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has warned.
A range of models popular on fleets are likely to be affected with manufacturers including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis, Peugeot and Volkswagen either announcing temporary factory closures or stating that vehicle deliveries will be delayed.
Denise Lane, director at the AFP, said: “This is an issue that has been rumbling in the background for some time but is now really starting to affect car and van production materially on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis.
“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.”
The first task for most fleets, she said, would be to ask manufacturers and leasing companies about how existing deliveries and future lead times were likely to be affected.
“Job one for fleet managers is to get a clear picture of the situation so that they can formulate a plan. 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.”