Return to tender: Why going regional now is a better option than the pan-European approach

After a decades-long slumber, inflation is back. But inflation is doing something else: it’s amplifying a trend towards regionalization of fleet management – and fleet tenders – across Europe.

In international fleet management, there’s a strong trend towards the bigger playing field. Multinationals often organize their national fleets on a regional, continental and if possible, even global scale. Because greater scale provides opportunities to rationalize, to economize.

That works best in a world in which not just fiscal and economic policies, but also cultures and trends are converging. The EU is perhaps the most effective example of such an environment. But even in the EU, regional differences persist. The monetary policy of “Euroland” is set by the ECB in Frankfurt. But the EU has plenty of member states, mostly in the east, who retain their own currencies, and with it their full monetary as well as fiscal autonomy.

Pro-active banks

As inflation rises and fluctuates, central banks are becoming more pro-active than they have been for years, adjusting interest base rates to defend the economies of their countries. In Poland, the name of that interest base rate is WIBOR, in the Czech Republic it’s PRIBOR, and in Hungary BIRS.  And so on.

As inflation and interest rates differ across Europe, the argument for regionally tailored fleet management increases. There is a noticeable trend to launching fleet tenders on a regional level (say, Central Europe) rather than on a pan-European one. Why? Several reasons:

  • Corporate fleets get an outcome customized to a particular region’s monetary and fiscal situation.
  • Regionally focused fleet management allows a company to create local “ambassadors”, who in turn generate local support for any given direction.
  • Local preferences for services or certain brands, show that a different approach tailored to the region creates more support to foster the company policy amongst employees.
Supplier models

Some fleet supply models even explicitly cater to the advantages of regional tendering and management, by specifically selecting two suppliers: a pan-European one, and a regional one.

However, the recent rise in inflation is not the only reason East and West are divergent within Europe, nor the first. One major difference is the attitude towards electrification. As electrification accelerates in Western Europe, it faces a different pace in Central Europe. Right now, while electrification is gaining market share, that is really widening the gap between how one should tender for and manage fleets in, say, Poland and France.

The different speeds at which EVs are introduced are a sign of wider cultural differences. Another example is Mobility. In some progressive Western European markets, a mobility budget would be a status symbol, whereas a petrol-guzzling luxury vehicle as a company car is now frowned upon. In Central and Eastern Europe, where there is still a strong preference for the freedom of having your own vehicle, it’s still very much the reverse.

Its own pace

Things are changing in the wide swath of Europe from the Baltic to the Black Seas, but each market has its own pace and its own dynamic. That’s why it is so important for Fleet owners, managers and HR managers, to be up-to-date with the latest developments and know how to streamline their operations, and car policy(s).

How to index your car policy

Vehicle leasing prices have changed significantly. Many fleet managers wonder these days whether to review their car policy in order to align it with the current market, or perhaps wait a little longer until markets stabilize. Revising the car policy often feels inevitable. But, what is the actual cause of the fact that the current car policy budget doesn´t fit with the changed market? In many countries, multiple causes can be pointed out, such as higher investment value or inflation.

We may carefully presume that the figures will not go back to where they were, any time soon. What is the impact on your lease price? An what actions are expected from Fleet Managers?

Price indexation

To make the complexity of the current price developments more tangible, a lease price index has been developed called the “Car Policy Index”. It monitors the behavior of your Car Policy categories. And with categories we mean the job levels and the corresponding lease price that the employee is eligible to have. This so called Car Policy Index enables companies to adjust their Car Policy categories based on actual facts from the market.

All developments at a glance

The Car Policy Index is a dashboard with graphs which simply can be filtered by year or brand, giving insight in the development of the monthly lease rate since your car policy was last revised. Besides that, it also displays the development of list prices, interest rates, cost of maintenance and dealer discounts – all per car policy category.

The Car Policy Index was launched on 1 September 2022 and is initially applicable for Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Additionally, Fleet Europe has hosted a live webinar about the Car Policy Index, which was moderated by Steven Schoefs, including a Q & A session with the audience. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube:  LINK TO WEBINAR.

Full Electric Vehicles for Central European countries

Increasingly, local authorities and even national governments are banning the most polluting diesel and petrol cars. Some have even announced a ban on all cars with combustion engines by 2025 to 2030.

At the same time, electric vehicles are slowly hitting the mainstream. More and more carmakers are introducing affordable EVs with ranges of well over 300 kilometers. So, is the time now to electrify your fleet?

Optimal fleet electrification

Many international fleet managers ask themselves “To what extend can I optimally ‘electrify’ my fleet?” Electric cars are everywhere. Or, at least, you’d expect them to be everywhere, judging from how much people in the fleet and mobility industry are talking about them.

The answer to the question can be found in looking at the problem country by country. Realistically, each country has different circumstances, i.e. terrain, government incentives, taxes, public charging grid, maintenance grid, and many more. These have an effect not only on your TCO but it also effects the time drivers spend to get to the nearest garage, the time they wait at a charging station while their car is recharging, or even the time spend finding a charging station and planning their trips.

In reality

Only few fleets are walking the talk. European-wide EVs don’t even represent 6% of new vehicle fleet registrations but that is likely to change now new EU regulations have fixed the threshold in 2030 for manufacturers to allow selling fully electric vehicles from that point on. To know where to go is to know the full picture.

The facts

The E-mobility factsheet sums up the facts about;  West versus Central Europe, the numbers of charging stations, the number of PHEVs and EVs,  governmental regulations in Central Europe country-by-country and made a comparison with Western European countries. The E-mobility Factsheet shows you the latest data about electric vehicle adoption and charge point infrastructure.

Request the E-mobility Factsheet here