fleet management in Europe study


Fleet management in Europe

Growing importance in a world of changing mobility

Fleet management has developed into a multi-billion-euro industry in Europe in recent years. More importantly, the fleet management business continues to grow and is gaining significant strategic importance in a world of changing mobility.

Relevance of fleet management

Today, the ability to manage and operate fleets of multi-brand vehicles is a highly profitable business which is gaining significant importance. Particularly when we think about two of the main trends which are most likely to substantially influence the future of the automotive industry: 

  1. the trend towards sharing instead of owning and  
  2. the trend towards self-driving vehicles.

It comes as no surprise that more and more OEMs are actively pursuing opportunities in the multi-brand fleet management market. Historically, the business was largely dominated by fleet management companies fully or partially owned by large banks. And today, several of the largest players still are. In recent years however, several OEMs have (re-)entered the multi-brand fleet management market, or substantially expanded their operations.

Overview of study

In this study we will explain in greater depth why the strategic relevance of fleet management will continue to grow, what the key characteristics of the business model are, and what will be the future drivers of the corporate car market. Furthermore, the study names the key players in the industry, which main M&A activities have recently characterized consolidation in the industry, and what implications the main trends in the automotive industry with regard to the future of mobility will have for fleet management. Our study concludes with a summary of major strategic implications and respective fields of relevant actions required of the various players in the fleet management business.

Key findings

Overview of corporate car market and development

Fleet management in Europe is a multibillion-euro industry based on a profitable business model and the increasing shift of new car sales towards the corporate channel. The top five players combined make up for more than 50 percent of the managed cars. Current key players are predominantly bank-backed coming from the roots of this asset-based business. Nevertheless, more and more OEMs are putting focus on this market as they see an increasing relevance for their core business in a world of changing mobility.

Increasing relevance of fleet management market

The relevance of this market will further increase in the future due to multiple influencing factors. The younger generation will buy fewer cars in the future. Firstly, the relevance of owning a car for social status is strongly declining (also blurring the importance of brand perception of cars).

Secondly, the increasing urbanization drastically reduces the attractiveness of owning a car, amongst other things due to the high cost and hassle associated with finding a parking space alone. The increasing shift from ownership towards usage fueled by the increasing mobility offerings and business models especially in urban areas will further shift new car sales towards the corporate channel. Corporates will start to see their company fleets not only as a cost but also as a potential revenue model leveraging services such as corporate car sharing.

Typical fleet management profit allocation

Implications of main trends for fleet management

In the further future with autonomous cars such as robo-taxis being a reality the trend described will further accelerate. The increasing customer demand for multi-modal integrated mobility will require only a limited amount of truly integrated mobility platform providers. These players will be in a unique position to take ownership of customer access and data (mobility, payment, etc.) which will be the key to monetizing the mobility ecosystem.

Major strategic implications, fields of actions required

To answer these trends requires bold strategic choices under uncertainty. The fields of action for current or potential future actors in this environment differ depending on their background and strategic aspiration. OEMs face the threat of losing ownership of the customer contact and large parts of their value chain and being reduced to sole providers of hardware. Fleet managers need to rethink their position as asset-managers towards integrated mobility providers also offering services that are not necessarily related to the vehicles. Platform providers and tech companies might think about entering the market top-down, leveraging their existing customer access.

Fleet management will be one of the key capabilities to be successful in this Future of Mobility. Deloitte is ready to support you in deriving the necessary strategies and actions.