Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Do You Qualify for Fleet Status?

If your company’s fleet has grown, you may qualify for fleet status. If you do, the savings on work vehicles can be substantial.

January 2013, by - Also by this author

When ordering, some models also come with the ability to delete certain options (called “fleet delete”) that come standard on some retail units, such as GM’s OnStar or satellite radio.

While ordering vehicles can incur substantial savings for your fleet (see an example below), it also takes some planning and forethought on the part of the fleet. Order-to-delivery times vary per model and generally range from seven to 12 weeks, or more for some models. “It’s one of the toughest things for the small fleet customer to understand, to order a vehicle as opposed to buying out of stock,” Nicoletti says.

But dealers understand that sometimes buying out of stock is unavoidable. “You can easily save $2,000 by ordering,” Schoonbrood says. “Of course, if you don’t get that truck for the job you could lose $2,000 in two days.”

Fleet Savings Example:

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 2WD Regular Cab Work Truck:

  Retail Non-Business Purchase
Out of Dealer Stock
Ordered with GM Fleet
Account Number
Negotiated Base Price $27,542 $27,542
Additional GM Accessories $1,000 $1,000 
Vehicle Subtotal $28,542  $28,542 
Advertising/Dealer Contributions $603  $0.00 
Destination Charge $995  $995 
Subtotal $30,140  $29,537 
Retail incentive ($2,000) n/a
Fleet incentive n/a ($3,000) 
Business Choice GM Accessory Cash n/a ($1,000) 
Association Discount (ABC/AGC) n/a ($1,000) 
Grand Total $28,140 $24,537
These examples represent two hypothetical acquisitions of a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 2WD Regular Cab work truck. The example shows a pure retail purchase out of dealer stock using a retail incentive of $2,000 available as of January 2013. The fleet example shows a purchase using a GM Fleet Account Number. Discounts include waiving of the “advertising” fee; the vehicle’s 2013-MY fleet incentive; Business Choice incentive available to small commercial accounts; and an association incentive, assuming membership in either Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) or Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC).


Find a Fleet Dealer

One hesitation you may have upon “graduating to fleet” is how it would affect your relationship with your dealer.

Essentially, if you’re already using a fleet-minded dealer, that relationship won’t change. With your fleet number you can log on to the manufacturers’ fleet websites to configure a vehicle. But you’ll still negotiate the price of the vehicle with the dealer and you must still place the order through the dealer.

You may find, however, that you’re using a dealership that does not focus on fleet. This may not have been an issue in the past — you bought or leased your vehicles for a fair price and kept your dealer “honest” by shopping around from time to time. But now that you have your fleet number, your present dealer might not be the best fit anymore.

“All dealers aren’t necessarily knowledgeable on fleet,” Schoonbrood says. “It’s not that they don’t want to help you, but they may not have the answers.”

Moreover, that dealer may be concentrated more on retail sales.

“If a company has grown from two cars to 15, [the company] is probably dealing with one sales manager through the years that isn’t thinking about fleet,” Nicoletti says. “He’s thinking about moving something off his lot right now, as opposed to someone who is fleet minded who knows the best way is to order the vehicle and wait eight weeks, saving the customer some money to get the vehicle they want without compromise.”

To find a fleet-minded dealer, Durham suggests contacting the local OEM fleet representative. The fleet representative can suggest two or three fleet dealers in the fleet’s area. Manufacturers’ fleet websites will also have a contact list of fleet dealers in your area.

Today, fleet dealers don’t even have to be in the same area to service a client. Deals can be made over the phone and units can be ordered through the fleet system, and the selling dealer can have units “drop shipped” to your local dealer that takes courtesy deliveries.

Gaining fleet status provides companies with work vehicles a host of benefits and savings. If you’ve made the grade, it’s time to graduate!

Auto Manufacturer Directory for Small Fleets

Audi of America
Michael Stafford, sr. comm. accounts mngr.
(650) 596-AUDI
[email protected]

BMW North America LLC
(855) 217-9819

Chrysler Group LLC
(800) 999-FLEET (for 10+ vehicles) (for less than 10 vehicles)

Ford Motor Co.
(800) 34-FLEET

General Motors Corp.
(800) 353-3867

Hyundai Motor America
Richard A. Pipenhagen, corp. sales mngr.
(714) 887-2575 [email protected]
Christine Wein, asst. mngr. comm. fleet
(714) 965-3942 [email protected]

Kia Motors America Inc.
(800) 225-5542
[email protected]

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC
(866) 628-7232

(615) 725-5065

Tina Kourakos, nat’l comm. accounts mngr.
[email protected]
Ron Lasman, nat’l comm. accounts mngr.
[email protected]
Charles Reed, nat’l fleet sales operations mngr.
[email protected]

(800) 255-3987

Volkswagen of America Inc.
(248) 754-6503

Volvo Cars of North America LLC
Gerry Merritts, nat’l fleet mngr.
(877) 283-5338
[email protected]

Fleet Incentive Resources:

For new-model fleet incentives,
go to

For pre-2012-MY fleet incentives,
go to

This article was updated at 9:53 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2012 to correctly identify the fleet phone number for Ford Motor Co. We apologize for this error.

More articles from Business Fleet's January/February magazine issue can be found here.

« Previous  |  1  2  |  Next »
Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Market Trends

Mike Antich
The Popularity of Euro-Style Vans to Put Upward Pressure on Euro-Metric Replacement Tire Costs

By Mike Antich
Sales of Euro-style vans exceeded total sales of traditional body-on-frame vans for the first time in 2015. This is an important milestone in the evolution of the fleet van market, but the rapid market share expansion of Euro-style vans will have a near-term impact on replacement tire availability, which, in turn, will exert upward pressure on pricing.

Flat Fuel Prices Forecast to Extend Through 2016

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Mike Antich
2016 Ram 3500 HD with 6.7L Diesel

By Mike Antich
The Cummins 6.7L diesel powertrain generates 385 horsepower and an amazing 900 lb.-ft. of torque, which increases towing capacity to a record-breaking 31,250 pounds, the most ever for a mass-production vehicle.

2017 Jaguar XE S

By Paul Clinton

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Safety Equipment: Taking the Lead

By Sherb Brown
We bang the drum for fleet safety a lot here at Automotive Fleet. It’s an area of top concern for most of our readers and for most of the suppliers that do business with them.

It's Not Just What You Know

By Sherb Brown

View All

Auto Focus

Chris Brown
How Will New Lease Accounting Rules Affect Small Fleets?

By Chris Brown
The move to put lease obligations on the balance sheet brings up questions on whether the change would affect a company’s ability to borrow money, its financial statements and the accounting of closed- and open-end leases.

Why the Optimism in Car Rental?

By Chris Brown

View All


Business Fleet Magazine - November/December 2015

Featured Articles Include: * Driver Safety 101: Braking, Steering and Scanning the Road * 2016 Medium-Duty Truck Trends * Pest Control Fleet Manages High Mileage and Heavy Loads

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher