According to a report by the Automotive News, between September 2006 and February 2007, 48.5% of Chrysler brand sales were to fleets. That is an increase of 10% from the same period a year ago. 44.9% of Pontiac sales go to fleets, which is slightly lower than the 46.2% from the year earlier.
Most of the fleet sales go to rental companies, such as Hertz and Enterprise. These sales do not bring in large amounts of revenue and most of the time the automakers barely break even.
How do the other U.S. brands fare? Dodge and Jeep report totals of 32.1 and 21.8 percent, which are pretty much the same as last year. Ford remains steady at 33.9 percent. Buick and Saturn are at 18.1 and 22.8 percent.
There are many problems with having a large portion of your sales to fleets:
-For one, revenues from fleet sales are a lot lower than retail sales, so profits will suffer.
-Public perception of certain models can also be hurt by these large fleet sales.
-Resale values of these cars are at the bottom of the barrel.
Automakers recently have been trying to cut down on the percentage of their fleet sales because of these issues. Who knows how cutting the number of fleet sales will evetually hurt their overall sales.
Full Story: Autoblog