WASHINGTON (May 27, 2015) — Automotive Service Association (ASA) Chairman Donny Seyfer testified at a congressional hearing recently in favor of privatizing vehicle fleet maintenance for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
The hearing, held May 21 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Operations under the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, concerned USPS and civilian vehicle fleet procurement.
At the hearing, Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., suggested that the USPS could save money by closing federal government vehicle maintenance facilities and outsourcing the maintenance of its fleet to private-sector auto repairers.
“I was a mayor at one time, and I had to manage fleets of vehicles similar to the postal fleet,” Rep. Carter said. “We used best practices, and found that sometimes it was more cost-efficient to go to the private sector to have maintenance and repairs done on our vehicles.”
Mr. Seyfer agreed with Rep. Carter. “Small businesses should not have to compete with the federal government,” he said. “There are thousands of privately owned vehicle repair facilities across America that can make these repairs in a competitive, cost-efficient, professional environment.”
Joseph Corbett, chief financial officer of the USPS, testified at the hearing that the USPS has approximately 500 vehicle maintenance facilities across the U.S.
The USPS pays about $500 million annually to repair its vehicles at its own facilities, and another $200 million annually in outsourcing vehicle repairs, Mr. Corbett said.
Earlier this year Tire Business reported that retreaders that supply tires to the USPS are watching closely as the agency prepares to select vendors for a new commercial van to replace its current “Long Life Vehicles,” (LLV) which have been in service more than 25 years.
At stake is business valued at nearly $12 million last year but which could require affected retreaders that use mold-cure systems to invest tens of thousands of dollars in new molds.