Fleet priorities and motivators often stem from local initiatives. Yet for managers of multinational fleets, it’s crucial to discern the guiding factors of the provincial landscape to find commonalities that help guide the strategic implications of those goals. For a region-level examination, here are common themes on the minds of LATAM fleet managers.
Mobility & Sustainability
LATAM is no stranger to the mobility movement as its solutions are arriving within the region. Fleet managers are taking on new responsibilities as the nature of their business and the market evolves. Ride-hailing, e-scooters, parking solutions and more are viable players in the region as cities look to eliminate pollution, decrease congestion and stay competitive with global technological innovations.
Answering the call of corporate mobility, fleet managers are considering the implementation of electric single-driver transporters and flexible forms of expensing mobility, such as E-Bike Sharing programs.
“As customers are increasingly looking for well-rounded urban mobility solutions and not only fleet policy strategies, car-sharing and other modes of transportation are key in large cities,” Pedro Reis, Brazil CEO, ALD Automotive, said to Global Fleet.
The coupling of sustainability and mobility is commonplace as these two market motivators are inevitable waves of progress. Additionally, the success of some, such as electric vehicles, is often seen as a prerequisite of others, such as autonomous vehicles.
Clean driving for less pollution
Hoping to thwart pollution, cities are adopting green driving protocols and the largest vehicle markets are following suit. New electric vehicles are being launched, such as the Nissan Leaf’s recent debut in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
Mexico’s environmental program, Hoy No Circula will require special hologram stickers, denoting a “0” or “00” code to operate on roads daily without restrictions. Electric and hybrid vehicles are exempt from this restriction.
“In Mexico, hybrid cars are a reality in the market and the structure to support the future EV is being created,” said Sergio Lecue, an international key account director at ALD Automotive LATAM. “We can consider that the country is ahead on this topic compared with the other countries in LATAM. One reason that can be justified it is that the government is incentivizing it to mitigate the traffic and pollution constraints.”
Multinationals in the region are adopting regional structures that can support different local initiatives. “Regional teams are now in charge of the negotiation with the different suppliers and also leads the implementation of homogeneous fleet policies in the countries,” said Lecue.
Centralization of strategy often helps enforce initiatives occurring at the ground level. This allows fleet managers to share best practices and internally benchmark to support one another.
Foundational Safety Standards
Driver safety is also a major topic in the region. “During these last few years, we’re seeing how this important issue is now part of the daily discussions in most of the companies,” said Lecue. “And those discussions used to be with a regional approach, where companies are able to implement best practices from one country to another.”
While Ecuador and Chile have safety standards in place, other countries are expected to start requiring front impact airbags, headrests, traction control, ABS and more. This with the introduction of telematics can help support the need for other safety measures.
In Colombia, the government implemented a compulsory practice that requires all drivers of fleets above 10 vehicles to fill a daily check list with different topics about current conditions, such as tires, lights, brakes, etc. This is considered as a helpful, innovative practice in the region, so other countries may follow their lead.