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TAG SEARCH RESULT: GE Capital Fleet Services

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Little-Known Story on What Motivated GE’s Entry into the Fleet Market

As we all know, General Electric (GE) has exited the fleet management industry after a three-decade presence, which started in 1984 when GE Credit Corp. purchased Kerr Leasing, a small family-owned leasing company in Englewood, Colo. What is not well known is why GE entered the fleet management industry in the first place. Here is the prologue or “back story” that was the catalyst to GE’s entry into the fleet business.

Why Element Wants to Buy the Fleet Businesses of GE Capital

Element Financial Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to buy GE Capital's fleet assets in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. Separately, Arval will acquire the European portion of GE's fleet business.

The Impact of Larger Diameter Tires on Fleets

The average replacement tire cost per month rose 15 percent, and, on a cost-per-mile basis, rose 10 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. There are a variety of factors influencing tire costs, such as commodity prices and increased global demand; however, the industry-wide retail trend to larger diameter OE tire sizes is a key factor in driving up replacement tire prices in the past decade.

Maintenance Costs Up Due to Frequency of Repair Increases

Maintenance costs increased in 2009 due to higher cost of replacement tires, PM oil changes, and labor rates. However, the biggest factor was widespread deferment of vehicle replacement, resulting in the operation of older units.

Fleet Car Maintenance Costs Increase 5% in 2008-CY

Overall fleet car maintenance costs rose 5 percent for the 2008-calendar year compared to 2007, primarily due to increased prices for replacement tires and higher labor rates. Partially mitigating these increases were flat PM expenses and increased vehicle quality, resulting in fewer warranty claims and vehicle recalls. These findings are based on a survey of actual maintenance expenses of 70,374 passenger cars conducted by GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services.

Fleet Operating Costs Increase Again in 2008

Although gas prices started to decline in August, the year-to-date cost of fuel in 2008 has increased 30 percent compared to last year. The price for replacement tires rose 5-10 percent in 2008 due to higher oil prices and the shift by manufacturers to larger diameter tires. Also, fleet maintenance and repair costs increased across the board in 2008. The cost for non-warranty maintenance services was up 5 percent for fleets.

Mixed 2008 OTD Performance: Some Models Up, Some Down

The 2008 model-year produced mixed results in order-to-delivery (OTD) perfromance. A protracted UAW strike and flooding in the Midwest delayed some models, while other models posted improved OTD due to reduced retail sales, which expedited fleet production. In addition, there was sufficient rail car availability due to soft retail sales and a decrease in quality holds.

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Mike Antich

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