5 different vehicles every fleet manager should consider buying
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The modern fleet manager has a range of different vehicle options to choose from, each with its own unique set of pros and cons for them to address.
One type of car will not be applicable to every job. For example, fleet managers providing for tradespeople will get little mileage out of tiny hatchbacks, but may want to consider purchasing either utes or crossover SUVs.
On top of this, those looking for green cars might also have to make compromises, as some sectors of the market are better suited to meeting these demands than others.
Here are 5 common vehicle types and the ways they can serve a fleet.
1. Sedans - The quintessential passenger vehicle
One of the oldest, and most well-established, modern designs. Typically comprised of four-doors and defined by their practicality, there's a reason automotive manufacturers have produced these vehicles for such a long time.
Because of their well-established position within the automotive landscape, most manufacturers have refined their designs over the decades, giving fleet managers a range of options to choose from.
Sedans run the full gamut of automotive options, from green cars like the Toyota Camry Hybrid to sports-oriented monsters like the latest BMW M3. Chances are there's a solution that is perfect for any fleet.
- Pros - Plenty of space and a range of versatile options.
- Cons - Not as efficient as a hatchback or as spacious as an SUV.
2. Hatchbacks - The ultimate city car
Businesses that rely on a nimble fleet to navigate city streets with agility should look no further than the current crop of modern hatchbacks. Ignoring the 'hot hatch' performance variety that's been thrilling enthusiasts on a budget since the 80s, the rest of the options synthesise practicality and sportiness.
Few people will be surprised that Toyota is dominating this market. While the Corolla has been a dependable hatch for decades, the even more compact Yaris has also made an impact in the 10 years it has been around.
According to Toyota, drivers of all shapes and sizes have been snapping them up at a rate of 54 units per day, with a number of these surely finding service in the country's fleets.
- Pros - Great combination of practicality and efficiency.
- Cons - Small size means it's not an option for every fleet.
3. Utes - Keeping Australia's tradespeople on the go
While not quite the size of the 'trucks' that dominate American roads, Australia's utes are more than large enough to handle the punishment they're likely to take on the country's construction sites.
Prioritising function over form, in many cases, utes are an exercise in creating purpose-built machinery from the world's automotive manufacturers. For tradies, there's little else that will do the job. Although an SUV might be capable of carrying the same amount of equipment or towing an equal load, few are built to sustain rugged environments.
That's not to say these cars are light on features. Many, like the Ford Ranger, still come with a range of gadgets in the cabin, and are available in dual-cab varieties so there's space for the whole family.
- Pros - Built to handle extreme conditions.
- Cons - Constructed for work rather than play.
4. Crossover SUVs - New kids on the block
These vehicles have quickly become cash cows for many automotive brands, with rabid consumer and commercial demand creating a buzz around the various models available in Australia.
SUV sales rose 20 per cent throughout the last year.
While they may draw ire from the country's petrol heads, the most recent sales figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries suggest the hype is genuine.
According to the organisation, total SUV sales increased by 20.5 per cent in October in comparison to last year's numbers. Small SUVs, in particular, were the catalyst for this growth, as sales for these vehicles rose 37 per cent, dwarfing the figures for the medium and large varieties.
- Pros - Jack of all trades.
- Cons - Master of none.
5. All-electric vehicles - The odd one out
While not as rigidly defined as the types of vehicles listed above, the growing demand for green cars means these are a notable point of interest for many fleet managers.
The current entrants to the market, including the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf, could provide insight into the future of fleet management in Australia. However, the vehicles are currently still in the early adoption phase, as is the case with most emerging technology.
Once these options gain traction, and the supporting infrastructure develops, they are likely to represent the future of the automotive world.
- Pros - Zero emissions, no fuel consumption.
- Cons - Relies on supporting infrastructure that is still in development.
Regardless of the type of vehicles fleet managers choose for their business, they'll need dependable telematics solutions to ensure efficient operations. Contact the team at Smarfleet to find out how this software can help.