Most readers will already be aware that the light commercial vehicle sector is growing fast. The number of light duty vehicles on the road is expected to increase by 38% by 2020 and from January to November 2016 alone, more than 1.7 million new light commercial vehicles were registered in the EU. That’s an increase of 12.1% compared to the previous year. ExxonMobil explains why carrying out work for small local firms is a potential growth area for fleets.
What is driving this increasing number of vans in UK cities? The extent of urbanisation in Europe is 74% and growing and, in comparison to heavy goods vehicle driving, the licensing barriers are low – requiring no additional qualifications or spend on top of a car driving license.
At the same time, large companies increasingly outsource deliveries to logistics businesses that employ independent van drivers. And with online retail sales forecast to double by 2019, the number of delivery vans in urban areas is set to rise even higher.
However, this trend does not come without its challenges. As Fleet Managers will be only too aware, urban areas are subject to increasing vehicle restrictions and safety concerns. Drivers have to navigate tight spaces and stop-start driving conditions in cities, caused by traffic lights, traffic jams or deliveries. All of these factors put more strain on vehicles and ultimately, create a higher demand for regular servicing and maintenance.
Much like truck fleets, for many independent van drivers, the success of their business relies on the performance of their vehicle. Their vehicle is their primary work tool and without it, they cannot work. Engine failures, unplanned time off the road, increased maintenance and poor fuel efficiency can all have a serious impact on the efficiency of a van driver’s business. But these issues can be avoided.
ExxonMobil has responded to the rise in light duty vehicles on our roads with the launch of a tailored offering for the light duty market – a high performance Light Duty lubricant range. The range has approvals from LCV manufacturers including Peugeot, Citroen, Iveco, Volkswagen, Ford and Mercedes-Benz to ensure you can service the majority of the market. The oils are formulated for the rigours of city driving – providing engine protection, and aiding long engine life and fuel economy retention, in line with the needs and expectations of today’s van drivers.
Delivering the most tailored approach possible will enable fleet workshops to capitalise on their understanding of the unique conditions that vans are put through each day by carrying out work for small fleets in their area. If fleets have the facilities, then it makes good business sense to service external vehicles where there are gaps in the in-house schedule. The light duty market is growing fast and the opportunities are there for you to grow with it.