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By Amy Hamman

Building Your Own Virtual Marketplace

In 2000, Havill & Company published a nationally syndicated market research study entitled: “The Commercial Fleet Market Forecast: 1999-2001”[1].  The research found that over 30 percent of all trucks and buses are owned by businesses.  Including sedans, there are an estimated 17.3 million vehicles owned by business that, in total, own four

or more vehicles.  These vehicles are owned by over 1.1 million businesses.  A breakout of the 4+ fleet market by class of vehicle (Sedans and LD, MD, HD Trucks) and market segment (Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale, Retail, Short Haul, Long Haul, Utility, Service, and Government) is shown below.

Sedans and light duty trucks account for nearly equal portions of the 4+ fleet market 36 percent and 35 percent, respectively.  Similarly, medium duty trucks and heavy duty trucks each represent 10 percent of the fleet population.  Tractors and buses combine to represent nine percent of commercial vehicles. 

As the table below indicates the commercial fleet market is very fragmented.  All types of businesses operate commercial vehicles.  Government entities account for the largest number of vehicles (3.8 million) followed by construction companies (3.3 million) and service related businesses (2.6 million).  Ironically the long haul segment accounts for the fewest number of vehicles in the four-plus fleet market.

4+ Commercial Fleet Vehicles By Business Type and Vehicle Class
(In Thousands)

Agr

Cnst

Mfg

Whls

Rtl

Shaul

Lhaul

Utl

Srvc

Govt

Total

Sedans

580

786

499

363

391

381

84

435

1,202

1,535

6,254

% of total

29%

24%

56%

35%

32%

45%

14%

42%

46%

41%

36%

LD Trucks

730

1,612

213

234

469

74

33

380

927

1,436

6,107

% of total

37%

48%

24%

23%

38%

9%

6%

37%

35%

38%

35%

MD Trucks

251

363

52

121

239

58

10

105

204

279

1,683

% of total

13%

11%

6%

12%

19%

7%

2%

10%

8%

7%

10%

HD Trucks

229

462

86

148

116

54

18

105

198

373

1,789

% of total

12%

14%

10%

14%

9%

6%

3%

10%

8%

10%

10%

Tractors

146

108

41

170

23

136

440

8

56

49

1,177

% of total

7%

3%

5%

16%

2%

16%

74%

1%

2%

1%

7%

Buses

34

3

[2]s

-

2

143

9

s

48

89

328

% of total

2%

<1%

s

-

<1%

17%

1%

s

2%

2%

2%

Total

1,969

3,333

890

1,035

1,240

846

595

1,033

2,635

3,761

17,338


Are you getting your fair market share?

As a business-to-business marketer, one would have to ask, "Am I getting my fair share of the opportunity within my market?"  To be actionable, this market opportunity data must also be available at the regional and local levels.  Unfortunately, most marketers do not have an accurate measure of the opportunity available to them.  As a result, marketing and sales efforts are shortchanged.  Sometimes marketers focus primarily on the biggest accounts while missing the small and medium sized businesses that aren’t as visible but represent a substantial potential nonetheless.  Other times, entire business segments are excluded simply because “no one thought to market to those types of businesses.”

Understanding your market potential is half the puzzle.  Identifying the characteristics of your profitable customers is equally important.  A variety of business demographics can be considered when profiling your good customers including:  credit ratings, number of employees, years in business, SIC codes, etc.  Once you have identified common characteristics among your profitable customers, you can then solicit prospects within your market that “look like” your good customers.  To see these ideas put to action, read the letter from the author. 


[1] Research findings were based on a survey of 1,600 fleet operators across the country.  The results were projected to the national population using federal vehicle and fuel consumption statistics from the Census Bureau and the Federal Departments of Energy and Transportation.

[2]  An “s” indicates results were withheld because estimates did not meet Havill & Company’s standards for publication.

In 2000, Havill & Company published a nationally syndicated market research study entitled: “The Commercial Fleet Market Forecast: 1999-2001”.  As a courtesy, you are receiving an excerpt from this syndicated study because you serve the transportation industry.  Please refer to our privacy policy if you do not wish to receive these market research report excerpts.

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