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Impact of the 2020 Fleet Market in Canada

Desrosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) analyzed fleet data for 2020 from IHS Markit to see how the fleet sector performed. PHOTO Shutterstock

The fleet sector plays a crucial role in both the new vehicle and used vehicle markets.

Fleet purchases of new vehicles provide a reliable backbone to the new light vehicle market, normally accounting for approximately 1 in 5 light vehicle purchases in Canada.

On the used vehicle side of the equation, fleet disposal usually represents a steady supply of 1-4-year-old products into the used vehicle market, supplying the used vehicle lots of dealers across the country.

Desrosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) analyzed fleet data for 2020 from IHS Markit to see how the fleet sector performed during the pandemic.

Fleet registrants

The results show that fleet registrations made up 16.7% of all new light-vehicle registrations in 2020, down from 21.5% in 2019.

In terms of raw volume, just over 260 thousand fleet vehicles were registered in 2020 versus nearly 414 thousand in 2019.

“The prevalence of the fleet market did decrease in 2020, falling almost 5 percentage points in share” commented Andrew King, Managing Partner of DAC “and that drop of 150,000 units in fleet volume will be felt in the used vehicle market in the coming years.”

Brand analysis

As is generally expected, Ford, General Motors, and FCA remained the top fleet-oriented brands by volume; even if that volume was down versus the previous year.

  • Of all the Ford light vehicles registered in Canada in 2020, 30.5% were destined for fleets compared to 34.9% in 2019.
  • Fleet registrations made up 23.1% of total registrations at GM, down from 27.9%.
  • At FCA, 24.6% of vehicles were destined for fleets, down from 32.9% in 2019.

With the fleet market in 2021 being constrained by semiconductor-related supply shortages, and with US daily rentals desperately searching for vehicles, the path of the Canadian fleet market in 2021 will be fascinating to track.

 

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