• Jul 23rd 2007 at 5:56PM
  • 8
OK, this seems like a no-brainer. As GM and Ford have gradually pulled back from the low-margin fleet sales market, import fleet sales have surged. After all, somebody has to keep the rental car lots filled. It's mostly been the mainline Asian automakers that have stepped in to fill the void. Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Kia have all increased their corporate sales of cars and trucks, but they still remain bit players overall. About 11 percent of U.S. import brand sales are to fleets so far this year. That is up from just 8% last year. In comparison, the domestics sell 31 percent of their overall production to corporate customers. Although some fleet sales can be quite lucrative, the vast majority of rental car sales are end-of-year surplus that is heavily discounted to move.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Told you, months ago. Fleet sales are legitimate sales and all the whining about reduced value is just that whining. Someone was going to fill the hole, as the article states, guess who?

      What a lot of posters (posers) here leave out of the equation is buying power of a manufacturer if they hold the title of largest (regardless of how they get there) this affects pricing at retail, fleet and at build time.

      So, when will the whining start about the diluted value of your vanilla appliance Toyota?

      Time to get back in the game Detroit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      More power to them! The big 3 make one mistake after another and give up market share thinking nothing of it. If you rent a foreign car, just never leave anything in it!
      Especially in CA. If you own one, disconnect the trunk key mechanism so it only opens from inside. Rent American is what the police told me after the 2nd break-in in a week. We caught the second guy. Rent car agency didn't even ask if there was any damage. They know!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Domestics sell to renters = Bad

      Asians sell to renters = Understandable, even laudable

      Auto Pundits = Silent

      - "Cue the choir, release the doves" -
      • 8 Years Ago
      Even if its a slim margin why would US automakers back out of fleet sales? Sounds like easy money.

      Is it the warranty cost or the potential negative image of being associated with rentals?

      Chrysler should be looking to fleet sales as a way out of all those 06s still on the lot.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Of course Japanese brands are taking up the slack -- obviously, the demand for fleet vehicles isn't drying up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      well, someone has to pick them up

      and as mentioned above, if all companies gave equally to rental fleets, than no one would have the advantage of 'the car holding it's price' because it sells less to rentals.

      sort of levels that plainfield, and so they'll hold their price on merit.

      • 8 Years Ago
      If I were an automaker, I'd only sell high-trim level examples to fleets. As advertisements.

      You'd rent a stripper Caliber one day and a loaded Elantra the next... and you'd notice how much nicer that Elantra is. I think it'd work.
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