Corporate Vehicle Observatory

Arval’s Own Independent Think Tank

The Corporate Vehicle Observatory -- Arval's think tank -- was founded in 2002 in France and deployed across 16 Arval countries. The observatory produces an annual barometer analysing industry trends when it comes to fleets, vehicles and mobility across 16 countries. CVO is:

  • completely independent
  • composed of panels of international experts
  • focused on industry trends.

We will be happy to provide you with the current study free of charge.


Fleet Barometer 2017: important findings

The Fleet Barometer 2017 was another milestone and was expanded both in scope as well as in the catalogue of questions vis-à-vis the previous years. In total, 3847 interviews were carried out, 3540 in Europe and 297 in Switzerland. The interviews were distributed equally across the four sectors of construction, manufacturing, services and commerce and also across the four company size categories of up to 10 employees, 11 to 99 employees, 100 to 499 employees and 500 and more employees. The most important findings from the 2017 survey are listed below.

Considering how long it usually takes to amend company car guidelines, the speed and strength of purpose with which companies have reacted to the diesel emissions scandal is more than just impressive. In Switzerland, 26% of the big-fleet guidelines have already been adjusted to the new situation compared to a 14% European average.

No modern economy would be able to maintain its current prosperity level if the mobility of goods and people were inhibited. (Asked whether they expect their company fleets to grow or shrink over the next three years, the fleet professionals in Switzerland specified +4 on balance versus +11 for the rest of Europe; on balance = the difference between anticipated growth and shrink figures.)

This is not about banning cars, this is about intelligent and sustainable mobility (the CO2 footprint is a factor in the sustainability strategies of 55% of all Swiss companies in Switzerland that engage in corporate social responsibility programmes), and leasing companies as mobility providers are a part of the solution. (Whilst hybrid vehicles feature in 26% and plug-in hybrids in 20% of the fleets, trending down, electric vehicles feature in 33% of all company fleets in Switzerland.)

In future, fleet managers will be as familiar with terms such as SEAMless mobility (Shared, Electric, Autonomous Mobility), MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and modally agnostic (not required to use a specific means of transport) as they are today with ABS, injection pump and cylinder head. 29% of all company fleets in Switzerland are planning to introduce, or have already introduced, an alternative to the traditional company car (car sharing, bicycle sharing, mobility budget).

Telematics has yet to shake off its reputation as a 'big brother' system, the all-seeing eye, so to speak. However, telematics systems can significantly enhance safety, help recover stolen vehicles, and contribute to smooth maintenance scheduling without the need for an activated location function. Telematics systems are only used in 10% of all company vehicles in Switzerland compared to 20% in the rest of Europe.

The notion that employees no longer see company cars as an important perquisite is the subject of much discussion. The opposite is true. Company cars can be a valuable incentive when it comes to retaining good employees and recruiting new talent (59% effective for top managers, 56% for executive staff, 48% for young talent).

The above-average length of time that vehicles remain in a company fleet is an obstacle to the early introduction of environment-friendly technologies. Markets with a high incidence of operating leasing make especially effective use of the potential provided by efficient and ecological drive technologies. (In Switzerland, vehicles remain in a company fleet for 7.1 years on average before they are sold off compared to 5.9 years for the rest of Europe. Moreover, the readiness to exploit the potential of operating leasing is hardly pronounced in Switzerland – a low 15% versus 24% in the rest of Europe.)

Do you have any questions about the CVO? We will be happy to provide you with information in person.

Malte Lindberg
Head of Consulting & CVO