UK Car Production Up, But Is It All Downhill for Employees?

Two stories of note hit the fleet vehicle headlines last week. For managers looking for low emissions and optimum choice, few places on the globe rival the UK right now. But what do they mean for the humble employee? What’s good for the goose may not be so appealing to the gander:

SMMT Report: June 2015 UK Car Manufacturing Highest Since 2008

SMMT released June’s UK car manufacturing figures last week. Reverse trends, new highs and year-on-year increases all bode well for the economy.

The first point of note is the year-on-year increase. Overall, British industry produced 5.4% more cars this June than last. The government will be impressed with this upturn in output, as increased productivity is one of the cornerstones of their plans to take the UK back to the top of global efficiency.

The half-yearly figure, however, is the one that’s making the headline. The six months to the end of June 2015 saw output rise by 0.3% based on the same period last year. This cumulative figure has seen more cars manufactured in the first half of 2015 than in any similar period since 2008.

Export (up) and Domestic Market (down) Fortunes Flip

What will please economists more than those figures though is the reverse in fortunes for the UK Export market.

In total, 143,759 cars rolled off British production lines in June. In recent months, we’ve seen demand for those vehicles grow at home and shrink abroad. Not so last month.

The domestic market contracted, with 28,351 cars representing 7.1% less demand than June 2014. In contrast, the export market more than picked up that slack. The 115,408 cars produced bound for overseas is 9.0% up on June 2014.

That’s a big drop for at-home sales. It may mean employees turning to their bosses for transport. Which is precisely where this next headline kicks in. Or not.

Fleetdrive in Drive Towards Ultra-Low Emissions

How committed are you to the environment? Well, a new initiative from Fleetdrive is sure to test your green mettle.

In return for sacrificing a part of your salary, you could lease a green, electric car from your employer.

On the face of it, it doesn’t sound such a tempting offer. Company cars may once have been a boon. But in more recent years, they’ve become more of a burden.

The underlying philosophy of Fleetdrive’s new scheme is that ultra-low emission vehicles are cheaper to run. Used on a permanent basis, the reduced fuel cost could be financially beneficial to company car owners.

Barking up the wrong tree?

Fleetdrive has drafted all of the provisional legal documents to make this work from a contractual perspective. That means there’s no comeback on the employer from taking the deduction.

The problem is going to be convincing employees it’s a good move for them. The deal is only a lease, so you’re giving up part of your salary for something you’ll never own. Plus, and a concern for the family man, the car has to be returned in the condition it was leased to them.

We all want to do our bit for the environment. But whilst this scheme may be good for our planet, many employees will think that a little green man from another one devised this initiative.

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