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Deliveries of new cars to drivers by Arval UK fell by just 2% in 2021 compared to the previous year, despite supply issues affecting the motor industry, the company is reporting.
Although vehicle supply is still far from pre-pandemic levels, Paul Hyne, Commercial Director, Arval UK explained that the shortfalls are being managed by working closely with fleets and drivers to ensure that their needs are met, while partnering with manufacturers to forward order vehicles, to help manage the impact of supply challenges.
“Since supply difficulties began to bite due to the pandemic, we have been talking to customers about the best ways to ensure that they still get hold of the vehicles they need, despite the constrictions that have been widely experienced.
“Our advice has not been radical – we work closely with manufacturers, dealers and our customers and help them to plan ahead, order as early as possible, look at alternatives when the models wanted are unavailable and redeploy vehicles – we will continue to work hard to ensure that these options produce the desired results for our customers.
“Despite the fact that 2021 was itself a Covid-affected year, we’ve seen a fall of just 2% in deliveries within the current supply situation as something of a testament to the strength of our account management, as well as the trust placed in us by the fleets with which we work. Deliveries are still being made, although the lead times are longer than we’ve seen previously.”
He added that it was instructive to drill down into 2021’s deliveries undertaken in light of the fleet sector’s rapid move towards electrification – where the supply challenges aren’t deterring sustainable mobility objectives.
“Internal combustion engine (ICE) deliveries dropped by 37% while battery electric vehicle (BEV) increased by 112%, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) by 151% and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) increased by 50%. This is very much in line with industry trends.
Paul added that Arval’s UK fleet composition was changing quite rapidly because of electrification and 2021’s order bank showed the extent to which this was occurring.
“We saw car orders for ICE drop by 22% while BEV increased by 135%, HEV by 153% and PHEV by 78%. This shows that electrification across our entire UK fleet is a rapidly developing trend.
“Our total orders also increased by 24% during the year. This is partially a reflection of the way in which Covid affected orders in 2021, but also illustrates both Arval UK’s current level of growth and the fleet sector’s overall degree of resilience in the face of the challenges it has experienced in the last couple of years.”
Arval UK will continue to work closely with fleets in 2022 to help ensure that delivery disruption continues to be minimised, he added.