Many companies today are having trouble stocking up their vehicle fleets. If this sounds familiar to your team, you are not alone. As it turns out, there is a widespread shortage of vehicles and inventory in vehicle dealerships available for purchase.
Any company currently looking to expand their fleet or build a new fleet may find it difficult to stock up on the uniform collection of vehicles you need. Normally, businesses buy their fleet vehicles out of dealer stocks. Now that dealers are out of stock, what can business fleet managers do?
COVID19 and Vehicle Stock Shortages
The pandemic interrupted a great many markets, the vehicle market is one of them. With travel restrictions in place, overseas cars and even parts for domestic vehicles were stopped in their shipments. Since the height of the pandemic, there have been ongoing shortages of new vehicles. Some brands suffer from a lack of production during the pandemic. Some could not be shipped and may still be under transport restrictions.
As a result, dealers' inventory has been low to dwindling, especially for new and specific models. This has limited availability for vehicles across the country.
Dealers Reprioritising Stock for Retail Sales
As car dealerships see their inventory reduced, they tend to rethink B2B fleet sales. Businesses and fleet management services can often get deals by buying vehicles out of the dealership stock. By buying off the lot instead of ordering cars, companies have helped dealers keep their inventory fresh with new arrivals.
However, with low inventory, dealerships are prioritizing retail sales to local buyers instead of business fleet deals. Businesses are having a harder time finding fleet vehicles for sale and there is a growing shortage of vehicles to buy out of dealer stock.
How to Find the Vehicles You Need
The challenge today is finding vehicles that are for sale locally and suit the needs of your fleet. Fortunately, each fleet has core functions and principles that can help guide your vehicle purchases even with a low inventory situation.
Be Flexible About Make/Model/Year
First, consider some variations in the appearance and design of your fleet. Many companies prefer a fleet of vehicles identical in make, model, and even year. However, as inventory shrinks a large train of perfectly identical vehicles may not be available. Instead of identical fleet vehicles, consider constructing your fleet from vehicles that are similar in style and performance but based on what is actually available.
Buy Used and Leased Vehicles
Instead of new vehicles, look into high-quality used vehicles in fleet condition. Used vehicles may even be available in the make and model you desire and may be sold by private owners, dealers, or your local fleet services team. Leased vehicles are like owned vehicles but they have been managed through lease instead of belonging to an individual.
Use Paint or Vinyl for Fleet Uniformity
If you're worried about fleet uniformity, make your fleet uniform in other ways. Identical custom paint can be a powerful upgrade to your fleet. You can also use vinyl wraps for fast and temporary - yet digitally precise - vehicle adornment. Vehicles with matching paint or wraps look like a unified fleet even if the make and model of the vehicles vary.
Wilmar Fleet Management in Low Inventory
Does your fleet need vehicles or professional fleet management? Here at Wilmar, we specialize in offering streamlined vehicle leasing and fleet building with new teams. While it has become more challenging to find the fleet vehicles you are looking for, the job can be done with energy and determination.
Contact us today to explore your fleet management and low-inventory fleet purchasing options.