OEMs increasingly equip commercial vehicles with fleet management systems

March 13, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
OEMs increasingly equip commercial vehicles with fleet management systems
A study from Frost & Sullivan, titled "Strategic Update of European Medium and Heavy-duty Commercial Vehicle Telematics Market", finds that the market registered sales of 542 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach 1.3 billion in 2017. The market research company anticipates almost half the vehicles produced to have a FMS as a standard line-fit by 2017. Telematics solutions supporting an open and flexible platform will allow vehicle manufacturers to survive long-term in this competitive market.

“The current trend of offering FMS as a standard in line-fit has slowly started, with each OEM having mapped out its own strategy based on its business needs,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Sathyanarayana Kabirdas. “Such an approach is poised to increase OEMs' year-on-year FMS installed base in the coming year and neutralise competition.”

Some OEMs might consider offering FMS as a standard based on the country in which they are being offered, while others might base it on models, changing platforms, miles driven or pricing. At present, however, most OEMs consider the particular market or country, when offering FMS as standard. “Certain models sold in Benelux, France or Germany for example, have FMS as a standard, while the same models sold in Italy or Ukraine don't - simply because of the varying level of demand and awareness,” states Sathyanarayana.

A key issue for OEMs is that hardware penetration might not necessarily equate to service penetration. This is because some operators do not want to be linked to OEMs or to a particular OEM. At the same time, some OEMs do not have the capability of expanding outside their own vehicle line. Moreover, operators with mixed fleets do not favor OEMs' base-telematics system. Thus, even with the hardware in place, OEMs are unlikely to win all the associated service opportunities.

The strategy of offering a standard quality fitment, suiting all types of customers and extending the continued relationship, is expected to have a positive influence on the market presence of OEMs in the coming years. This will not only help OEMs to increase their base of active subscribers but will also help them collect a large pool of real-time vehicle specific data to build better trucks for the future.“The best way to increase the base of active subscribers is by offering an initial free subscription period of at least a few months or years,” advises Sathyanarayana. “This will allow

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