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Fleets say vehicle supply has been hit by semiconductor shortages

A range of actions have been undertaken by those impacted, with almost three-quarters (74%) extending the life cycle of current vehicles, more than half (51%) speeding up the implementation of EVs on their fleet, a quarter (25%) acquiring used vehicles rather than new, 21% adding a wider range manufacturers to choice lists and 11% turning to other forms of mobility.
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Shaun Sadlier

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10 August 2023

ALMOST a third of fleets (31%) have been hit by semiconductor shortages affecting their ability to acquire new cars and vans, according to new research from Arval Mobility Observatory.

It shows that 17% have been affected by supply issues across electric vehicle (EV), petrol and diesel vehicles, while 8% have seen an effect on EVs only and 7% just on petrol and diesel vehicles.

A range of actions have been undertaken by those impacted, with almost three-quarters (74%) extending the life cycle of current vehicles, more than half (51%) speeding up the implementation of EVs on their fleet, a quarter (25%) acquiring used vehicles rather than new, 21% adding a wider range manufacturers to choice lists and 11% turning to other forms of mobility.

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “The findings here indicate just how widespread the impact of new vehicle supply problems have been on fleets over the last three years, with almost a third hit by shortages.

“Out of those that report being affected, very nearly three out of four operators have extended replacement cycles, which may have a knock-on effect in ensuring cars and vans are kept in a safe and efficient condition. Older vehicles are unavoidably more prone to breakdown and need more attention in order to remain roadworthy, something that places demands on fleet managers and providers of service, maintenance and repair.

“Buying or leasing of used vehicles as a substitute for new is also a popular solution, as is extending choice lists in order to include manufacturers who can offer better supply. Where operators have been unable to obtain vehicles from their established sources, they have had to become more creative in order to source the cars and vans they need.

“Overall, it is not an exaggeration to say that the whole management of vehicle choice, acquisition and maintenance has been affected by these shortages, and fleets and their suppliers have had to do much to find new ways of both running existing vehicles for longer and identifying other means of supply. It’s brought about fundamental change.”

However, Sadlier added, an unexpected positive effect had been that more than half of fleets (51%) say supply issues have speeded up their transition to electrification.

“While there has been an increase in the average delivery time for all fuel types, the lag for EVs has been significantly less with many manufacturers choosing to concentrate production on this type of vehicle. Certainly, Arval UK reports that many of the businesses with which it works are effectively skipping a planned replacement cycle to move towards full electrification sooner than originally intended.”

Have your fleet renewals been impacted by the semiconductor shortage?

Yes, we have been impacted on EV, petrol and diesel vehicles 17%
We have seen some impact on EVs 8%
We have seen some impact on petrol and diesel vehicles 7%
There has been no impact 68%

What actions have you taken in response to the semiconductor shortage (base: companies that have been impacted by semiconductor shortage)?

Extended the life cycle of current vehicles 74%
Speed up the implementation of EVs on our fleet 51%
Included used vehicles to cover new vehicle supply issues 25%
Added new manufacturers to our choice lists 21%
Used other forms of mobility to cover vehicle supply issues 11%

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Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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