9 juin 20

Building the "New Normal", Latam fleet & mobility

Countries around the world are slowly learning how to tackle the health and economic crises they are facing today, a double-edged sword of which the fleet and mobility industries are also adapting to in order to deal with the “New Normal”, which is the title of the 2020 Virtual Global Fleet Conference that is taking place this month. You can register for free to the conference sessions and network with speakers, participants and business partners via the event App.

Now, with uncertainties still in the air, we have yet to see how long this new normal will last, and to know whether some of the innovative changes will remain in place over the mid to long-term.

To give the industry a better idea of the scenario today, Global Fleet and Fleet Europe recently conducted the May 2020 update of its COVID-19 research which surveyed more than 600 fleet and mobility experts from around the world.

It was focused on identifying the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing how the market is reacting to the situation, and defining some of the expectations and plans seen for the near future. All of those questioned received a copy of the results, giving them a chance at benchmarking and future planning.

Although the survey counted on responses from both fleet buyers and suppliers in a total of 38 countries, here are a few of the outtakes specifically from Latin America (the majority from Brazil).

First, we’d like to point out that the industry is still quite busy for the most part and that there is still quite a bit of optimism despite some short-term concerns.

According to the survey, 95% of respondents from Latin America stated that they were working 5 days a week, similar to the United States but more than the workload reported in Europe. Approximately half of the survey takers did not feel that their job position was at risk while 23% did. The remaining were unsure.

Workload in Latin America (source: Global Fleet)

When it comes to fleet managers, 76% of them feel that innovation (telematics solutions, paperless documentation, etc.) is the most important need for them right now, being more than any other region in the world, and the second most demand was for better communication.

One key to getting through the crisis is by generating value for your company. As such, more than half (51%) of the fleet managers in the region are seeking new ways to decrease total cost of ownership (TCO).  Among the ways to do this is to renegotiate agreements (extending vehicle leasing periods, reducing the number of kilometers per car, etc.).

As for business operations, most companies were being impacted by the crisis but only 30% were seen to be facing a serious impact. Most of the companies (70%), however, said that their revenue did drop, while 5% saw an increase and the rest were unsure.  

Among those seeing upticks in sales were businesses associated with pharmaceuticals, non-restaurant food services, among others.

Looking further ahead, most respondents believe that work travel will return by September and that work - in general – will return to normal between October (2020) and March (2021). Finally, nearly everyone (94%) believe that their company will survive the crisis.

Expectations as to when businesses will get back on track (source: Global Fleet)

With that said, we can see that the region will be passing through some difficult times over the next few months. However, most respondents in Latin America do see themselves out of the woods in 2021 so lets cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, according to Fleet LatAm Institute’s Expert Insights 2, some of the tips and tricks for dealing with the new normal amid COVID-19 include respecting physical distancing, appropriately dealing with idled fleet, not underestimating the need for disinfecting, focusing on clear and transparent communication, and being patient and staying positive. See more here

Authored by: Daniel Bland