A new GE Capital survey of 413 executives with global responsibility for company fleets at middle-market firms reveals that nearly one-third (27%) expect to increase the size of their fleets in the next 12 months.
In the report, “Fleet Market Economic Outlook,” half of the companies responding said the companies in their respective industries will expand in the coming year. Also:
- Margins are expected to increase in the coming year for 42% of the respondents
- Financing for equipment over the next 12 months is being considered by 40% of the respondents
- Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said their firms will add workers.
GE Capital said the respondents also identified reducing maintenance costs and cutting fuel costs as the top “primary objectives of leadership.” These areas were the top two fleet-related costs incurred in the past year
On that note, the survey discerned a marked shift in focus to alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs). While a mere 4% of the companies surveyed currently field AFVs, nearly half (48%) reported they plan on adding green vehicles “in the coming years.” And 92% of those companies say they will bring such vehicles into their fleets within the next five years.
“Many [fleets] are considering AFVs to reduce the impact of rising fuel costs,” sates the GE Capital report.
The report suggests that the popularity of alternative vehicles, specifically hybrid and natural gas-powered units, will increase in the future as electric charging and NG refueling infrastructure develops. That will also help make more of the alternative fuels for financially and operationally viable.