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Leasing company; 'maintenance can be differentiated'

Fleet

The aftermarket in The Netherlands is facing a decline in volume of repair and maintenance jobs due to a structural decrease in the workload, i.e. lower mileage, longer maintenance intervals or just simply less need. The tread, now less it is less than 1 mm.  Since last year and Q1 2013, the tyre industry has faced a decline of over 15%.

The fleet market is always highly focussed on operating costs, but recognises also that safety cannot be compromised.  They will therefore always replace tyres, usually like for like, but in other areas of maintenance, lessors are beginning to see opportunities for savings.  If dealers are unwilling to meet the lessors’ requirements, then the lessors are prepared to withhold job approvals or move outside of the franchised sector.  The new focus is on taking a differentiated approach.

Supplier Intelligence  At the first Dutch National Aftersales Congress late last year, then President Hans Blink of Athlon Car Lease International suggested that he expects that the independent repairer channel will be used by one third of the leasing companies in Holland [in the near future]. Leasing companies have already gained experience with the independent channel in recent years. They understand the capability of the fast fits and independent repairers and especially their costs.  Benchmarking [of cost and quality] is an important issue for the operational managers of the various leasing companies.  LeasePlan get the necessary insight through a collaboration with Bosch Car Service and Athlon Car Lease look at their [allied] Athlon Service Centers for the required transparency on repairs and maintenance.

Netherland 1

Maintenance Schedules Car dealers believe that cars defleeted from fleets and leasing companies have higher levels of overdue servicing and maintenance than privately-owned cars, something strenuously denied by the lessors who are now asking, what is “necessary” maintenance?  Leasing companies, often following consultation with the authorised importers, recognise that there is a need for “some” maintenance, but in the view of the leasing companies – who as the owners of the cars have the final decision – that this does not extend to the full maintenance schedule prescribed by the manufacturers.  “A car which has been driven a high mileage in a short time does not really require the air filter to be replaced as often as the scheduled interval” reports one leasing company.

Netherland 2

Maintenance Differentiation The operations manager of one Dutch leasing company believes that 30% to 50% of what are shown as standard replacements in the maintenance schedule can be managed in a differentiated manner.  In other words, depending on the driving pattern, work can be omitted or deferred resulting in lower costs and a more competitive lease rate for the customer.  Company cars that will extend their contracts face extra maintenance and repair costs. Cova showed some interesting figures to the international aftermarket meeting.  92% of complaints related to ex-lease cars, these were purely mechanical problems such as the transmission, clutch, turbocharger or filter.  3% of the complaints relate to electronic faults such as the navigation systems and encrypted key systems.  A huge variety of smaller complaints, including the cooling system and airbag and oil service lights remaining illuminated make up the balance of 5%. Cova also suggested that as lease terms become extended, there is a large increase in the price tag for repair and maintenance. The question that he asked was, how an MOT however, they are aware that this is an opportunity for car dealers and independents to find some extra repair jobs.  However leasing companies will monitor this closely, the aftermarket is warned!

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