Easy to include Brazil in your fleet policy? Yes, but...
The fact that more and more multinational companies are including Brazil in their global fleet policies indicates that at least it's easier than it was a few years ago.
But market analysts warn that global fleet executives (or global procurement managers) ignore the peculiarities of the Brazilian market at their peril. Because those peculiarities are still manifold.
For example, the fact that global incentive schemes are still the exception in Brazil will influence their negotiations with local carmakers and other fleet suppliers. Or the fact that Brazil's legislative and fiscal landscape is extremely complex and highly changeable will determine the time and effort they have to put in overcoming red tape. On top of that, Brazil's economic landscape is very volatile, prone to bouts of high inflation and subject to huge regional price variations. And then there's driver culture in Brazil: low on safety, high on personal use of company cars, and very reluctant to allow the installation of telematics.
Topping it off is the sheer size of Brazil – the fifth-biggest country in the world, which presents unique logistical problems in and of itself.
That level of complexity makes it very difficult to include Brazil in a standardised analysis that compares fleet indicators of various markets. Of course, the right way forward is not to despair of these complex issues, but to manage them. For example by selecting a small group of key market indicators, the comparison of which will deliver meaningful data.
This is why a lot of multinationals install a regional level of supervision in or over Brazil, working from that level to optimise the situation in Brazil by getting to grips with the local peculiarities as closely as they can.
Supervision is not everything: many industry professionals advise to use local fleet management professionals, embedded in Brazil's culture and traditions, but able to deliver services and tools at a consistently high level. It's this fine balance between global and local approaches that global fleet customers most appreciate. | 02/12/2015 | Steven Schoefs