GPSV was pleased to host its second online re-sales forum on 30 Apr, attended by a range of our clients from public and commercial sectors. The forum was an opportunity to share updates, experiences, and ideas about fleet operations, management and financing in the current COVID-19 situation, and reflect more broadly public sector transport and services, and commercial haulage, construction and agriculture sectors and how they might adapt in the longer term.
Starting with the public sector, COVID-19-related workforce shortages have been less than anticipated and this is enabling local authorities to re-instate many of their transport-related services more quickly. To date, vehicle serviceability had not been affected, with spares provision not yet a problem, although the planned supply of new, replacement vehicles had been subject to intermittent supplier disruption. How longer-term fleet replacement plans are affected is difficult to judge, though the introduction of more sustainable fleets would continue, though likely more slowly due to supply-side delays. There was a broader observation that local authority funding faced a perfect storm of increased expenditure and collapsed revenues; the hope is that, central government would offer relief.
Commercial hire companies reported an increase in business activity in smaller companies, in particular, as they resume work within the bounds of lockdown. Construction, building, agriculture and haulage had all seen some increase in activity, though not to anything like pre-crisis levels. There was a broad view that vehicle asset values were likely to be depressed for some time to come, as declining end user demand meets increased supply from newly-insolvent vehicle operators and surplus manufacturers’ stock. Some consolidation in all industry sectors is expected – especially in the haulage industry – but some smaller local authority service providers may also prove attractive acquisition targets.
Finance companies reported widespread requests for repayment forbearance from both heavily-leveraged companies and those with stronger balance sheets.
It was also remarked upon that post-COVID public sector budgetary constraints may drive further consolidation in local government, with an acceleration in the formation of unitary authorities.
The GPSV team would like to thank everyone for taking part and sharing their experiences and thoughts. We look forward to hosting our next session – provisionally planned for Tuesday 19th May at 14.00. Invitations to follow.
In the meantime, GPSV remains open for business:
- Our online auctions and direct sales continue
- We are ready to collect items help clear your yard whenever you need.
- We can support you with re-sales price projections and valuations as you adapt your fleet replacement plans
- We offer support with finance repossessions, and additional services such as finance, de-fleets, off-hire inspections and value-add repair and refurbishment