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Ford defends ballooning fleet sales

Posted Mar 31st 2012 4:03PM

2006 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-H

"Fleet" is sort of a dirty word when describing vehicle sales, and the Detroit Three have traditionally been quite smitten with bulk buyers. Unfortunately fleet sales have been demonized for a reason. They can adversely affect resale values, and since fleet buyers tend to expect warehouse store pricing, they're obviously not great for the bottom line, either. But one automaker seems more than happy to sell to fleets: Ford.

Bloomberg reports that a larger percentage of Ford's overall sales are going to fleets, rising from 22 per cent of in 2006 to 27 per cent in 2011. Of those vehicles, 41 per cent reportedly went to the likes of Hertz and Enterprise. That leaves the rest of the sales at the local, state and federal level, plus a smattering of commercial buyers. In other words, needy customers with cash in hand. And those buyers tend to want high-margin rides like trucks, crossovers and SUVs; vehicles Ford makes money on!

Ford fleet director Kevin Koswick tells Bloomberg that the automaker knows what it's doing, adding "I don't see it as an issue as long as you manage your fleet and you're balanced in what you do."

News Source: Bloomberg


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Glenn Laycock

What is dangerous too, is that when "large" orders like that come in .. the actually production specs can be changed to meet the customers price target. So the car will look like the "dealer" model - but the specifications can be different. So in the used car market .. say an LS or Limited model might not actually truly be the same model sold to private individuals. An example like this:

April 01 2012 at 3:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply