Our latest Zoom meet-up is a great success!

GPSV was delighted to host the latest in its series of online re-sales forums on 18 May, attended by a range of our clients from both public and commercial sectors, including local authorities, fleet hire and finance companies.  We had a wide-ranging discussion – sharing updates, experiences, and ideas about how fleet operations, management and financing have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation and how things are starting to take shape as we start to emerge from the worst of the crisis.  We looked at local authority transport and waste service provision, as well as commercial haulage, construction, ground care and emergency services sectors.

A snapshot of local authorities suggests that transport and waste service levels have been successfully maintained despite the challenges of the lockdown period, largely through temporary re-allocation of staff and adjustments to operational patterns.  There is a clear understanding that further changes will be needed as schools and businesses return towards normality but there is sufficient capacity and agile thinking to be able to meet the demand.

Interestingly, local authority plans to migrate to more sustainable fleets (transport, waste, highways) seem to have been given additional impetus from the public perception of improved air quality, especially in London.

So, while there have been many reports of OEMs delaying new vehicle and equipment deliveries, broadly speaking these fleet replacement plans remain in place, although in some authorities these plans have been suspended as people try to work out the full implications of changes in patterns of services delivery and future funding in plans developed pre-Covid-19 .

The common observation is that future funding challenges are anticipated but they are just that, at the moment – future funding challenges. The hope that central government may offer some relief remains.

Workshop and maintenance facilities have remained operational, but offices have been closed and there is an expectation that there will be substantial enduring changes to office-based working.

The groundcare sector is broadly split between sports and amenity usage and then split between local government and private ownership.

A key part of maintaining public health during the crisis has been people’s access to shared space for exercise, safely. So ensuring these spaces are fIt for purpose has been key. Wherever practical and safe, grass cutting and routine maintenance has continued. On a more optimistic note, comments were made that perhaps these previously under funded and under resourced local authority departments could see some positive changes, given the acknowledgement that access to green spaces helps with physical and emotional well being at any time.

Sport has always been a central tenet of British life and as part of the leisure industry, has been hugely impacted by the crisis, as highlighted in the commercial section below. Whilst the premier sports clubs and events are attracting all the headlines, the lower tier clubs, groups and societies are the most likely to see large scale closures, as a result of zero revenues for Q2 and possibly longer. This in turn will impact the new supply and maintenance of equipment and associated products.

In keeping with other sectors, grounds care OEM’s are considering how they might adjust the way they conduct business to ensure their customers can continue being customers, including payment holidays, paused deliveries and support in extending machine life.

The commercial sector is undergoing substantial turbulence, with substantial requests for payment holidays from businesses to finance companies, who in turn are doing their best to be flexible and accommodate reasonable requests.  Their view is that we are still in the first wave of requests for re-payment flexibility and as we move beyond the initial three month payment holidays we will start to see less viable businesses defaulting.  It will take to the end of October before we see the ongoing results of this turbulence.  The haulage sector has previously been highlighted as likely to come under particular pressure – especially for smaller haulage companies, but the bus and coach sector, as a part of the wider events and leisure sector, may also be entering an equally turbulent period, as demand changes shape and reduces.  Construction had steadily increased activity in recent weeks, with agriculture largely conforming to seasonal norms of activity.  The broad consensus is that vehicle asset values are 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.

Rosenbauer gave us a snapshot perspective of both the fire and rescue sector and as an OEM; fire and rescue services and airports have to maintain both maintenance and re-equipment plans therefore continue to publish new equipment tenders.  The short term disruptions being felt elsewhere had not yet had a substantial effect on fleet replacement plans though it was anticipated that there could be some minor delays for specific materials and components due to short-term supplier disruption.

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 – date tbc in mid-June.  Invitations to follow.

In the meantime, GPSV remains open for business: our online auctions and direct sales continue, whenever you need it done, and we can support you with re-sales price projections and valuations as you adapt your fleet replacement plans.  We also offer repair and refurbishment to existing fleets and short-term hire of specialist vehicles, where new, like-for-like fleet replacements are either not permanently required or where budgets are overstretched.  We look forward to continuing to work with you and helping to chart our collective way out of the crisis.

It’s Good to Talk

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

First online re-sales forum

On Thursday, 9 Apr GPSV hosted its first online re-sales forum, to which we invited some of our local authority and commercial fleet management company clients. It was a useful session, in which people shared their current experiences and issues, for the benefit of everyone. We had a wide-ranging discussion which raised a number of issues for local authorities, managing services during the current ‘response’ phase of the coronavirus crisis and which included re-prioritisation of services and the temporary re-deployment of people and vehicles, the close management of workshop capacity and concern about potential spares availability, and the likely disruption to fleet replacement plans through delay in manufacturers deploying new vehicles. Private sector clients were most dramatically affected by the sudden shut down of small and medium sized business – notably the construction industry – and by the extent to which some of their clients’ financial leverage that had rendered them especially vulnerable. All had been variously affected by staff furlough and sickness and the need to adapt to social distancing measures.

There was a wide range of views about what the next phase of the crisis might look like, and what to expect as lockdown begins to ease. There was optimism from some that smaller firms would be quickly back into business, driven by financial necessity. Others felt that it could be months before a semblance of normality resumed in both local authority service provision and commercial activity.

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 Thu, 23 Apr – St George’s Day!

In the meantime, GPSV remains open for business: our online auctions and direct sales continue, we are ready to help clear your yard whenever you need it, and we can support you with re-sales prices projections and valuations as you adapt your fleet replacement plans. We look forward to continuing to work with you and helping to chart our collective way through the crisis.

COVID-19 Update

As the effect of coronavirus on the UK economy really starts to bite, we are closely monitoring the impact on our clients and their industry sectors. Many of our local government and emergency services fleet managers are focused on maintaining their fleet availability and outputs to ensure essential services can continue, while also adapting to new tasks directly and indirectly supporting the public sector’s huge coronavirus response effort.

Fleet renewals and disposals are not high up their agenda currently. For our commercial clients the challenge is operational and commercial, with a sudden drop off in construction work, a surge in logistics effort and a fluctuating effect on waste management and highways operations. Behind this sits the need for businesses to stay solvent and to try to manage their assets against these rapidly-shifting industry dynamics.

We see the need for the vehicle resales and remarketing industry to be exceptionally agile to meet the broad range of its client needs. Expect to see a dramatic increase in online auctions; an increase in vehicle finance defaults; a drop in demand for some sectors and an increase in others; and the need to preserve resales companies’ capacity to surge to meet expected demand when the worst of the epidemic has subsided.

GPSV remains open for business and ready to support all our clients as they adapt to these unprecedented times.

If Carlsberg did Workshops…