Network Automotive says that the core attributes of large 4x4s, their off-road ability and general ruggedness, has strong appeal for core specialist fleet markets, especially the blue light sector.
Colin Bruder, Network’s managing director, explained: "A substantial proportion of dealer and manufacturer profitability in recent years has come from sales of large off-roaders.
“While we are not in a position where the bottom is about to fall out of this market, there are signs that it could slow considerably, especially as concerns about the environmental impact of these vehicles mount up.
"One way of countering this is to go back to basics with these models and promote them to the kind of markets where their core off-road abilities have very strong appeal - such as fire, ambulance, police and specialist public sector fleets. Here, the demand for this kind of vehicle is consistent and relatively strong."
"Certainly, large 4x4 sales have always formed an element of these specialist fleet sales but manufacturer and dealer interest has been sporadic simply because retail demand for off-roaders has been so strong in recent years, which has served as something of a distraction.
"With that retail demand starting to plateau and possibly slide, we believe that there is potential for manufacturers and dealers to maximise large 4x4 sales opportunities through this route."