"Fleet" is sort of a dirty word when describing vehicle sales, and the Detroit Three have traditionally been quite smitten with bulk buyers. Unfortunately fleet sales have been demonized for a reason. They can adversely affect resale values, and since fleet buyers tend to expect warehouse store pricing, they're obviously not great for the bottom line, either. But one automaker seems more than happy to sell to fleets: Ford.
Bloomberg reports that a larger percentage of Ford's overall sales are going to fleets, rising from 22 percent of in 2006 to 27 percent in 2011. Of those vehicles, 41 percent reportedly went to the likes of Hertz and Enterprise. That leaves the rest of the sales at the local, state and federal level, plus a smattering of commercial buyers. In other words, needy customers with cash in hand. And those buyers tend to want high-margin rides like trucks, crossovers and SUVs; vehicles Ford make money on.
Ford fleet director Kevin Koswick tells Bloomberg that the automaker knows what it's doing, adding "I don't see it as an issue as long as you manage your fleet and you're balanced in what you do."