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Plan early, have patience, and be able to pivot is the advice offered by the Office of Vehicle Management (OVM) to Executive Department fleet managers seeking to purchase new vehicles. The supply chain disruptions affecting the vehicle manufacturing process are profound, resulting in scaled-back production of new vehicles and extended order times.

On average, OVM processes 250 new vehicle requests a year. In FY21, due to the pandemic, this number dropped to 170, with 30 of those deliveries pushed to FY22. Thus far in FY22, approximately 100 new vehicle requests are in process. The chart below illustrates Vehicle Production and Lead Time changes experienced through November 2021.

With the timeframe for delivery of new vehicles growing longer each month, OVM recommends agency fleet managers use the OVM Vehicle Lease Program to assist in funding vehicle acquisitions. Through this Program, OVM secures funding to purchase vehicles directly and leases them to Commonwealth Agencies and Departments. The OVM Vehicle Lease Program allows agencies to obtain the vehicle ordered should there be a production delay that extends beyond the end of the fiscal year, and it allows an agency to spread the acquisition cost over a five-year period.

The OVM Lease Program is unlike retail vehicle lease programs, in that there are no mileage maximums, no charges for little scratches, and no “balloon payments.” Preventive maintenance and certain repairs are factored into the monthly lease rate, so the administration and cost for these services are covered through the lease term. However, Agencies are responsible for all costs not covered by the Program, including fuel, annual fees for OVM and telematics services, and any unexpected repairs which were not factored into the monthly lease rate. Agencies also have the option of keeping the vehicle as an “owned” unit at the end of the term because the capital expense has been fully paid. At that time, all costs become the responsibility of the Agency. Fleet managers interested in participating in the Program should review the OVM Lease Agreement to learn more.

The OVM Vehicle Lease Program is available to organizations that utilize the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS). Visit the OVM Vehicle Lease Program webpage to learn more.

Other OVM Recommendations

  • Plan for increased repair costs due to vehicles being in service longer while waiting for replacements to arrive. Of course, there also are supply chain issues regarding the availability of replacement parts.
  • Review the vehicle usage data provided by Telematics devices to identify underutilized vehicles that may be repurposed or redistributed within their agency in place of ordering a new vehicle. Any remaining underutilized vehicles should be surrendered to OVM, which subsequently will transfer them to another agency/organization where they will experience greater use.
  • If the OVM Lease Program is not a feasible option, work closely with your budget/finance director to ensure that funds will be available when the vehicle does arrive. With production delays, new vehicles may not be delivered by the end of the fiscal year, which could be problematic if the funds may not be rolled over to the next fiscal year.

Ongoing Changes to Vehicle Production and Lead Times

OVM production and lead time table

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