The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the fleet management industry, resulting in a sharp reduction in vehicle sales across the world, according to Beroe Inc., a  provider of procurement intelligence and supplier compliance solutions.

As manufacturers return to production, global automotive sales forecast is revised to 20 percent reduction from the previous forecast of 22 percent, with sales of approximately 72 million units, according to Beroe Inc.. The impact of COVID-19 is high on car manufacturers and alternate mobility, and medium on leasing companies.

Car manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe are returning to production with limited capacities and adequate health safety measures, according to Beroe. There has been a slow resumption of fleet activities across the globe, majorly by the essential service operators. It is almost certain that the demand for fleet vehicles has reduced worldwide. OEMs are expected to offer high discounts, as the residual value is likely to reduce. Lease prices are expected to go up as residual values and profitability reduce.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported Q1 sales of 67,746 Mercedes-Benz models. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Vans recorded Q1 sales of 7,520, bringing MBUSA to 75,266 vehicles for the quarter, a decrease of 4.3 percent over the comparable period last year. MBUSA got off to a strong start in 2020, but disruptions to its dealership network caused by the COVID-19 pandemic combined to negatively impact results during the final weeks of the quarter, the company reported.

“Our top priority during this unprecedented global health crisis is the wellbeing of our employees, customers and dealer partners,” said Nicholas Speeks, president and CEO of MBUSA. “Every department is mobilized to responsibly service the needs of our customers and supporting our dealer partners to the best of our ability.”

Mercedes-Benz volume leaders in Q1 included the GLC, GLE and E-Class/CLS model lines. The GLC led totals with 13,098 units followed by GLE with sales of 11,802. E-Class/CLS rounded out the top three with 7,060 units.

Q1 sales of Mercedes-AMG high-performance models totaled 6,427 units.

Separately, Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) models recorded sales of 32,109 vehicles during the first quarter of 2020, up 5.7 percent over the same period in 2019.

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA) reported March sales of 9,394 vehicles, down 52 percent over March of 2019. Calendar year-to-date sales through the end of March totaled 35,563 vehicles, a decrease of 15.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, all MMNA headquarters and regional team members began working from home as of March 16. As of April 1, 97 dealerships (28 percent of MMNA’s national count) have closed the sales side of their facilities, and another 94 (27 percent) are open by appointment-only, due to local government order. MNA and its dealer partners continue to monitor federal, state and local requirements and guidelines pertaining to public health and are reacting accordingly, with the safety of customers, team members and their families, and communities as the highest priority.

Going forward, MMNA will transition to quarterly sales reporting, with April – June sales reported on July 1.

ADESA announced as of March 20, all U.S. and Canadian physical auction locations will run in “minimum essential operations” status until April 3 at the earliest.

It will not host physical sales or simulcast sales during this time. It will operate certain “essential operations” as permitted by local, state, provincial or national directives.

For information on specific auctions, please go to their website Here.

Daimler AG has decided not to hold the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting as scheduled on April 1, but to postpone it to a later date in 2020, according to a press release. The company stated this will inevitably lead to a corresponding postponement of the resolution on the allocation of profit and of the dividend payment. 

The meeting is tentatively rescheduled for July. The decision was made by Daimler AG in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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