U.S. Fleets Look to Grow, GE Capital Says

GE found 42 percent of respondents expect increasing margins at their firms in the coming year.

COLUMBUS, OH- GE Capital surveyed over 400 U.S. fleet execs and found that most fleets are  looking to add more employees and grow their businesses in the next year.

Most of the participating companies predict improved revenues for the next year and most firms expressed confidence in both local economies and the U.S. economy on the whole.

By the numbers, the survey found:

  • 27 percent of execs expect to expand their fleets over the next year;
  • 50 percent said they forecast industry expansion that warrants fleet growth;
  • 51 percent believe fleet costs will rise in the next year;
  • Fleet execs think their capital expenditures will rise by 39 percent on average.

Roughly two-thirds of the executives at the helm of companies with sales between $10 million and $1 billion said their firms saw 65-percent better performance along with 69-percent better financial performance compared to a year ago.

Nearly half of companies surveyed say their firms will add workers. Employment at these companies is expected to grow at an average rate of thee percent year-over-year.

Top Business Challenges

The biggest cost increases in the past year came from fuel and maintenance, particularly in older vehicles and unexpected repairs. As companies look for ways to maintain margins, many are considering alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) to reduce the impact of rising fuel costs.

Top three concerns:

• The cost of health care;

• Ability to maintain margins;

• Ability to continue to grow revenue.

What fleets said about AFVs:

  • Four percent currently operate AFVs;
  • 48 percent plan on adding them in the near future;
  • Of that 48 percent, 64 percent plan to add AFVs in the next two years and 92 percent expect to deploy them within five years;
  • 30 percent primarily lease new vehicles;
  • 28 percent used cash in hand.

The surveyed fleets were part of a number of different industries, including construction, automotive, healthcare services and products, telecom and media, food and beverage, retail and trucking.

The average revenue of the surveyed companies that operate vehicle fleets was about $191.8 million, while the fleets averaged 1,439 employees.

More information on these and other industries is available at gecapital.com/cxosurvey.

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