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The Surprising Financial Advantages of Commercial SUVs

When the job doesn’t call for a truck, what is the ideal vehicle for your fleet? It may seem like a stripped-down sedan is the way to go. But there’s more to getting the job done than getting your employees from point A to point B. And there’s more to saving money than what you pay upfront.

Looking at the bigger picture, business owners and fleet managers may find that an SUV is a better fit and has financial advantages.

Brian Lockhart, VP of National Sales for Commercial Vehicle Lending at GM Financial, says SUVs have benefits over cars that make them worth considering.

“It used to be all cars and trucks, but more SUVs are being manufactured and sedans are becoming rare for a reason.”

Sedans have long been the default choice for company cars due to their wide availability and relatively low price. But times have changed; drivers show a preference for SUVs, which has reduced the overall variety and availability of sedans.

SUVs are a good option for businesses for the same reasons they’ve become popular as personal vehicles. More room, more utility and because they sit up higher, broad visibility. And business owners and fleet managers are increasingly seeing benefits to their bottom line and employee satisfaction.

Companies may find financial advantages, for example, when it’s time to cycle in a new vehicle. “When a vehicle reaches the end of its service,” continues Brian, “SUVs are likely to have a higher resale value because demand is higher. That means more equity to roll into your next vehicle.”

(And don’t forget about the potential tax benefits that come with purchasing or leasing a new SUV.)

Another benefit for businesses that upgrade to SUVs is utility. Compared to sedans, the spacious interiors of SUVs can make employees’ jobs significantly easier.

“Imagine a pharmaceutical sales rep who has samples piled all over the front seat of their sedan because it’s easier than reaching down into the trunk all day,” says Brian. “Then imagine they want to take a doctor out to lunch to discuss a new product. They’re going to have to quickly move the clutter somewhere else, which probably isn’t going to impress their potential customer. But if they had an SUV, those samples could already be neatly boxed up in the back.”

In today’s competitive labor market, employee retention is critical to the bottom line of any business, and SUVs can make for a better employee experience.

As Brian puts it, “Many businesses want to find the cheapest vehicle. But from the employee perspective, that vehicle is their office.” If retaining employees is a priority for your business, doing everything you can to ensure they're comfortable in their mobile “office” is a smart move.

So which SUV should you choose when it’s time to upgrade your company sedans? It may be that your company image, not to mention your employees, would be better served by something nicer.

“What does the cheapest SUV with basic options tell people about your company?” asks Brian. Depending on your industry, it can say a lot. But sending your sales force out in a Buick Enclave can say even more.

“Image always matters,” he continues. “Every customer wants to be confident that you are someone they can do business with. And the quality of an SUV can be the difference.”  

If you have questions about SUVs for your business, GM Financial is here to help. 

 

CONSULT WITH AN EXPERT

 

Ross Appleton
By Ross Appleton, GM Financial

Ross Appleton loves to help people navigate their toughest challenges. He believes that clarity is the key to flourishing in a complex world, and that a timely dad joke is good for the soul. When he isn’t talking or writing about big ideas, you’ll likely find him reading about them in old books. He is married, and two of his four children currently serve in the U.S. Army.

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