Although the automotive industry is nearly two years removed from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new-vehicle inventory shortage continues due to a lack of critical parts, including semiconductor chips, tire rubber and more. In addition to the lack of automotive parts, there have been significant delays at US ports because of labor shortages and high consumer demand, creating further backlogs to the larger automotive supply chain. According to ACERTUS’ business intelligence, in 2021, OEM volume of moves was down 15.7% as compared to 2020 – and down 42.1% as compared to 2019 – as a result of there not being enough new inventory to meet demand.
As a result of this lagging new-vehicle production, used vehicles are now in high demand. Auto retailers have been getting creative with how and where they source used vehicles, often going far distances to acquire used inventory. Many retailers are turning to auction sites, other retailers and even consumers to find more vehicles they can sell.
Faced with this grim industry reality, rental car companies, upfitters, fleet-management companies (FMCs), OEMs and other companies with fleets have realized full vehicle replacement and fleet expansion are not realities at this time. Regardless of their size or type, companies are being forced to hold on to vehicles for much longer than usual. In order to successfully extend the lifecycle of these vehicles and prevent unnecessary downtime, there are four key steps auto players should take to keep their vehicles in top condition.
1- Care, Maintenance and Reconditioning:
As auto players hold on to their vehicles much longer, they’ll need to utilize reconditioning services to ensure vehicles function well for as long as they need them, regardless of vehicle age or resale value. In addition to reconditioning work, fleet vehicles will also require consistent care and preventative maintenance. Certain services are and must be covered, including regular oil changes, tire rotations and car detailing.
Although the automotive repair cycle is slow because of supply-chain logjams and the lack of ability to get critical parts quickly during this time, repair work is still an important element of extending the lifecycle of a vehicle. As such, it can be useful for auto players to partner with a logistics provider that has existing partnerships with various vehicle-parts vendors and can help ordering and then receiving the vehicle parts that are required. While the cycle is slow right now, there are ways for providers to work around hurdles and lean on trusted vendors to keep orders moving as fast as possible and prevent any unnecessary breakdowns or prolonged waiting time.
Auto players may want to consider strategically repositioning their fleet vehicles where it makes sense for their respective business interests. By doing so, vehicles can be deployed quickly and efficiently when they’re needed. Additionally, depending on the storage-facility provider they use, companies can gain access to additional service options for their fleet vehicles.
Providers that offer in-storage servicing like detailing, oil changes, windshield and mechanical repairs and body work can help companies with getting vehicles in top condition and ensuring they’re ready-to-drive when deployed. Better yet, some providers even offer title-and-registration services for vehicles while they’re in storage, which only further benefits a business and helps to ensure road-readiness.
To , companies with fleets must ensure their vehicles are fully compliant. This requires staying on top of all first-time registration and renewal needs, as well as overseeing compliance with driver safety, telematics, International Registration Plan (IRP), International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), even if fleet vehicles are temporarily being stored or are undergoing repairs.
The list of compliance needs for a fleet is long and complex, and each fleet has its own set of needs and requirements. This work can certainly be time-consuming and intensive, so it’s often ideal for companies to outsource much of this work to an expert compliance provider.
ACERTUS as a Vehicle-Lifecycle Partner
Vehicle-logistics provider ACERTUS can service the full lifecycle of a finished vehicle, as well as support fleet owners and management companies in maximizing the life of their fleet vehicles. With the largest capacity of drivers and carriers in North America, ACERTUS offers multiple vehicle–transport solutions, including car haul, drive away and multi-modal transports, allowing for heightened efficiency and speed when it matters the most.
ACERTUS’ hub–and–spoke infrastructure, as well as its 55 safe and secure storage and field locations all help companies to strategically place their fleet vehicles across the country. In these storage sites, vehicles can undergo the proper care, maintenance and reconditioning work to ensure they’re ready for future deployment. ACERTUS offers companies the ability to choose between a network of ACERTUS-preferred vendors or their own self-chosen vendors. ACERTUS’ goal is to help companies make their vehicles road-ready while they’re being stored – helping with detailing, oil changes, body work, title-and-registration services and whatever else is needed along the way.
And while the vehicle-repair cycle is quite slow right now due to supply-chain constraints and delays when ordering parts, auto players know they must move as fast as possible, and ACERTUS can help. Despite the current delays, ACERTUS has strong working partnerships with vendors across North America and can lean on these relationships to keep fleet operations moving and get orders processed more efficiently on behalf of its partners.
Since ACERTUS has a full suite of vehicle-logistics services in its arsenal, including entire teams dedicated to compliance and title and registration, its customers receive a single, cohesive service experience. ACERTUS’ team can also help auto partners and their fleets stay on emissions, renewals and other regulatory compliance needs. The ACERTUS team works closely with companies, helping them with everything from managing Driver Qualification (DQ) files to staying on top of IRT, IFTA and DOT compliance. This work can even be done while fleet vehicles are being stored, under maintenance or being reconditioned.
With end-to-end services and a start-to-finish approach that combines technology, people and experience, ACERTUS can partner with a wide variety of auto players to help extend the lifecycle of their fleets amid ongoing industry challenges. Depending on the services its partners request, ACERTUS will move, store, recondition, title, register and oversee compliance for vehicles – keeping them in top working condition and helping companies get the efficiency out of their fleets.
Learn more about ACERTUS’ end-to-end logistics solutions and fleet-lifecycle management services – including transport, storage, reconditioning and compliance – at https://acertusdelivers.com. To connect with one of our team members or receive a quote, contact us here or call us at: 855-ACERTUS (855-223-7887).