Most technicians will probably know that the light commercial vehicle sector is growing fast. The number of light duty vehicles on the road is expected to increase by 38% by 2020, and from January to November 2016 alone, more than 1.7 million new light commercial vehicles were registered in the EU. With these statistics in mind, ExxonMobil explains why servicing light duty vehicles is a potential growth area for your business.
So what is driving the increasing number of vans in UK cities? The extent of urbanisation in Europe is 74%, and growing. In comparison to heavy goods vehicle driving, the licensing barriers are low – requiring no additional qualifications or spend on top of a car driving license. At the same time, large companies outsource an increasing number of their deliveries to logistics businesses that employ independent van drivers. The online retail sales forecast is set to double by 2019, so the number of delivery vans in urban areas is set to rise even higher.
However, this trend does not come without its challenges. Urban areas are subject to increasing vehicle restrictions and safety concerns. Drivers have to navigate tight spaces and stop-start driving conditions in cities – caused by traffic lights, traffic jams or deliveries. All of these factors put more strain on vehicles and, ultimately, will create a higher demand for regular servicing and maintenance.
For many independent van drivers, the success of their business relies on the performance of their vehicle. Their truck or van is their primary work tool and without it, they cannot work. Therefore, they require the best possible performance from their vehicle at all times. Engine failures, unplanned time off the road, increased maintenance and poor fuel efficiency can all have a serious impact on the efficiency of a van driver’s business – but these issues can be avoided.
For many drivers, a trusting relationship with you, their mechanic, is an important part of their business. So how do you approach servicing vans? Maybe you view them in much the same way as you view a car, and service them accordingly. Perhaps you treat them more like a heavy duty truck – given the heavy loads and commercial operation many vans are used for? The reality is, these vehicles are neither cars nor HGVs, and so they require a tailored service.
While you might be ramping up your service for vans with more frequent oil changes, tyre pressure checks and engine maintenance, at ExxonMobil we’re responding to the rise in light duty vehicles on our roads as well. We have launched a tailored offering for the light duty market; a high performance Light Duty lubricant range.
The range has approvals from leading LCV manufacturers, in order to ensure you can service the majority of the market. The oils are formulated for the rigours of city driving, providing engine protection, while aiding long engine life and fuel economy retention in line with the needs and expectations of today’s van drivers. Delivering the most tailored approach possible will mark you out as a mechanic who understands the unique conditions that vans are put through each day, and so strengthen the loyalty of your customers. The light duty market is growing fast and the opportunities are there for you to grow with it.