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Partner Spotlight Clapham Commercials

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions have been paramount to our growth as a business, helping us connect customer, vehicle and finance seamlessly. 
  • – Clapham Commercials

A word from James Clapham, Managing Director of Clapham Commercials, on how they’re navigating the challenges of supply chain issues, and their response to the growing demand for electric vehicles. 

 How long have you been working with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions?


Clapham Commercials have worked with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions since 2017, funding light commercial vehicles through hire purchase and finance lease products. BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions have been paramount to our growth as a business, helping us connect customer, vehicle and finance seamlessly.


Special thank you to Karen Baulch who performs a critical role to a very high standard, supporting our teams with the day to day, and Byron Boshoff our Area Sales Manager who’s on hand to help with the bigger picture.



 How have the supply chain issues impacted your business over the last 12 months, and what steps have you taken to overcome these challenges?


The last 12 months have proved to be some of the most challenging trading conditions we’ve ever experienced. At a time when demand for new vehicles was exceptionally high, we like many other brokers had to learn how to quickly navigate ever-growing lead times, consistent price increases and in some cases cancelled factory orders.


Faced with the possibility of disappointing our customers, we began looking at a wider range of manufacturers, alternative sources of stock and homed in on specialist LCVs such as Tipper and Flatbed conversions.


Thankfully, by implementing these actions and staying true to our company values we have kept both our customers and teams highly engaged. Remaining open and honest with every inquiry whilst only marketing pipeline stock which we were certain we could deliver, has helped us mitigate the impact of the supply issue.


 Looking ahead, what do you expect over the next 12 months in terms of supply and pricing?


Over the next 12 months we expect to see continued challenges with supply, but things are getting better. The bigger issue we’re currently facing is a drop in consumer confidence.


With the cost-of-living crisis and rising interest rates, customers seem to be less forthcoming with replacing their current vehicle or expanding their fleet, opting instead to hold onto what they currently have. Only time will tell, but we are prepared for another 12 months of uncertainty and further price increases.



There seems to be a large emphasis on transitioning to electric vehicles within the commercial vehicle market. What is your take on this market shift?


We’re embracing the switch to electric, as with any change there’s always uncertainty to begin with, but this has eased as the technology has improved. We’re expecting to see even further developments over the coming years, especially with battery range which will undoubtedly encourage even more of the market to trade diesel for electric.


With this shift, customers are faced with new barriers to purchase which we are supporting them to overcome with the help of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions.


However, from our conversations with customers over the last 12 months, the largest stumbling block we’ve come up against is completely out of our control and relates to infrastructure, specifically to the lack of adequate charging stations across the UK. We believe this has and will continue to slow the rate of adoption, especially within commercial where drivers often complete longer trips.



In your opinion, what does the electric commercial vehicle market look like 10 years from now?


If the next 10 years resembles the last 10 years, it’s easy to see the majority of new registrations coming from EV in 2032. As long as consumer sentiment and legislation continue to support electric growth, running costs remain low and funding is readily available, we’re more than confident all manufacturers will have a complete range of commercial vehicles on the market which could begin to phase out diesel as we currently know it.


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