It’s no secret that procuring fleet autos has been the most important problem dealing with the rental trade because the Nice Recession or 9/11, when operators had been confronted with amassing a whole bunch of stranded rental automobiles. No, let’s face it — that is a lot worse.
If you happen to get rental operators round a desk for a beer, the anecdotes will circulation on how they’re getting by as of late in artistic methods with vastly fewer fleet autos. However what does the information say?
The information affirms the tales.
In response to knowledge collected by Bobit Business Media, the U.S. automobile rental trade fleeted 726,056 new items in 2021. (Bobit doesn’t calculate used fleet gross sales or gather gross sales figures for the posh or unique manufacturers.) That’s solely a 9% drop over 2020 — noting that 2020 was one of the crucial disruptive in historical past with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trying additional again tells the true story. In 2019, the trade fleeted 1,738,993 autos. (That isn’t a high-water mark, as in 2017 the trade fleeted 1.82 million items.) Evaluating 2021 to 2019, society’s final regular yr, gross sales plummeted an astonishing 58%.
A have a look at month-to-month fleet gross sales tells a extra detailed story. Usually, rental firms fleet up within the late-winter, early-spring interval in anticipation of the busy early summer season rental season. February and March are the best gross sales months.
The primary quarter or 2020 adopted a traditional gross sales sample, because the pandemic hit in full pressure on the finish of the quarter. For the remainder of the yr, gross sales had been down from 70% to 88% by way of September. Within the second and third quarters of 2020, the trade solely fleeted about 180,000 autos, when greater than 750,000 is the norm. Gross sales made incremental beneficial properties yr over yr within the fourth quarter.
Within the first quarter of 2021, gross sales nonetheless lagged regular patterns however had been down by a lot smaller percentages. Then the semiconductor chip scarcity took impact — and gross sales steadily eroded. Gross sales had been solely 94,000 items within the fourth quarter of 2021, when a traditional sample can be over 800,000 items in that quarter.
Trying again, the nadir of the pandemic in 2020 really affected gross sales to a lesser extent than the availability chain points seen in 2021. It’s wanting like rental fleet gross sales will keep depressed by way of most of 2022. However will gross sales no less than begin to strategy a traditional sample? We’ll have to attend and see.
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