Only a quarter of fleet companies say they have been impacted by the global shortage of semiconductors, according to one of the fleet industry’s most respected surveys.

The 2022 Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer is an annual survey of key trends in the fleet sector, and has found that issues in the supply of semiconductors have not had the impact that some analysts may have thought.

Just 16% of respondents to the survey said that they had been affected when purchasing petrol, diesel or electric vehicles. 5% were impacted trying to acquire EVs, while 5% had issues buying petrol and diesel vehicles.

The research was undertaken between November 2021 and January 2022, since when the shortages of semiconductors have increased. As we reported last month, car production in the UK fell by a third in the first quarter of this year, and the conductors of the research feel that the results may not be a true reflection of what is happening now in the industry.

“It is perhaps surprising that as many as three out of four fleets report that there has been no impact on their operations," said Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK.

“This is, in our view, quite a high figure (even for the research period). The most likely explanation is that it is largely accounted for by either fleets planning further ahead in their vehicle replacement process, or by the contract extensions that were widely undertaken by many businesses during the pandemic when mileage fell dramatically,” said Sadlier.

“These particular fleets have been unaffected by delayed orders either because they have not been trying to replace vehicles, or have not yet really felt the full impact of the extended lead times.”

Extending the life cycle of current vehicles was by far the most popular reason (83% of responses) given by fleets when asked how they were responding to the shortage of semiconductors and the reduction in new vehicles being manufactured.