How the Halt in F150 Production Impacts Your Company Car Program

What happened to the F150?

After a fire at one of their suppliers on May 9th, Ford halted production of the F150. The Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America Award winner is a common company vehicle in industries with heavy lifting and off-roading requirements: oil and gas, construction, heavy equipment, forestry, fishing and agriculture. Though production resumed Friday May 18th, the question of reliability remains. If your company depends on the fleet of F150s in your company car program, now might be the time to start looking at other vehicle program options. Here are a few reasons why:

Reliability

Production has come a long way since the birth of vehicles. With the invention of the assembly line in 1914, a Model T could be assembled in 93 minutes. Today, an F150 can be assembled in 60 seconds. But, for all the advancements in technology, a vehicle is nothing without its components. The accident at the Meridian Magnesium Products Plant serves as a reminder. As far as we’ve come, we still need the right components to make a reliable vehicle. As your company depends on your mobile workers traveling, they rely on their vehicles to conduct business. So where do you go when replacing old trucks in your fleet with the same model is no longer an option?

With the decline in sedan sales, the possibility of vehicle manufacturers canceling lines all together is high. Add the increase in car recalls and Ford’s recent safety hazard and you’re facing hard facts. You can no longer rely on turnover from the same automaker. If your next move is looking for a new truck, this is a great time to consider a new vehicle program.

With the Fixed and Variable Rate (FAVR) reimbursement program, mobile workers are reimbursed for the use of their personal vehicle. This offers several advantages to both company and employee. At the top of the list? An employee vehicle is personally-owned and ready as needed. And its a great way to simplify the role of the employer in the business vehicle program.

Choice

Mobile workers may drive company vehicles for work, but is it their favorite vehicle? Well, without jumping to any conclusions, let’s just say every truck driver has a preference. Of all the brands of all the trucks out there, Dodge versus Chevy versus Ford … it’s hard to keep up. With a fleet program, companies generally use one model, like the F150, across their entire fleet. Kiss those driver preferences good bye.

In a FAVR program, the employer chooses the standard automobile that reimbursements are based on, but mobile workers have the freedom to drive their own vehicles. No more complaints about driving an undesirable vehicle, no worries over seat warmers. Mobile workers drive what they’re most comfortable driving.

Liability

Accidents happen, regardless of what vehicles your mobile workforce is driving. Driver injuries have increased 6.2% since 2013. 40% of those are work related and 53% of those injuries caused employees to miss work. The difference between your mobile workforce and the rest of the driving public? Your company is paying for damages. Any scratch, dent or flat is paid for by the company. Repairs on small things aren’t cheap — but the worse the damage, the larger the bill.

Let’s say a company vehicle is found at fault in a major accident. Your company will have to pay that out. If injuries or worse are incurred, that pay out skyrockets. Motor vehicle crashes cost employers $56.7 billion in 2017. You’ve never really considered the value of your company car program until you’ve considered how much it could potentially cost you.

With the FAVR program, companies limit their risk exposure by not carrying the expense of fleet vehicle damages. While a portion of the program helps cover the cost of depreciation, accident costs are no longer in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. Additionally, mobile workers behind the wheel of their own car are safer drivers. Tied with a proactive approach to help employees improve safe driving skills, companies can reduce collision rates by an average of 35%.

Whether your company is invested in the F150 or another company car, it’s time to start looking at other options. Whatever associated benefits your fleet program offers, other business vehicle programs can ensure better, at half the cost. Curious to know more about vehicle program options?

Learn More about Personalized Mileage Reimbursement

The Author

Ben Reiland

Read more by Ben Reiland

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