|  17.11.2017

Diversifying the range of services is the key for growth

MCR Interview: Frederic Banco, General Manager ALD Automotive

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Q: Operational leasing has increasingly become a habit in Romania, especially since, in recent years, not only multinational companies, but also local companies have been using it. What benefits does an operational leasing have and how have service providers adapted their portfolio to the local market?


Frederic Banco: During ALD Automotive’s 12 years’ experience on the market, not only have we learned everything there is to know about the specifics of the market, but we have also shaped modern operational leasing services in Romania. If at the beginning our main focus were multinational companies, in order to achieve our desired growth we later started looking beyond this sector and focus our attention towards a new segment with huge potential: SMEs.


We have developed specialised programmes for these potential customers and our sales consultants can offer custom advice during the entire purchase process.


Apart from focusing on local customers, another local market trend exhibited by customers is to opt for full-service operational leasing, which offer them the best option for business efficiency and longterm business stability. Overall, in this dynamic environment, our customers go for this funding option as it provides total predictability: fixed monthly instalments, 0% down payment, technical expertise in relation to suppliers, permanent mobility. Moreover, the operational leasing can provide flexibility to the companies, as the costs are kept under control and the time invested in managing the fleet is also reduced. When companies opt for this product, they also outsource the risk of servicing, maintenance, repair, and insurance and they are in control of their fleet expenses, as they can access daily monitoring reports.


QHow would you characterise the evolution of operational leasing from the first services offered on the market, in 2005, up to now?


FB: If we analyse the situation from the perspective of figures, we can say that operational leasing have exhibited positive developments, because they are the form of financing with the greatest magnitude in recent years, with constant annual growth. For instance, in 2007, out of 348,000 newly registered vehicles on the Romania market, just 1.6% were financed through operating leases, while, in 2012, this percentage rose to 13%, then 17.3% in 2013, and then 16% in 2014 and last year it was 13.3%.


Meanwhile, the number of vehicles registered by lease companies within this segment has grown constantly reaching 64,350 units during the first half of this year according to ASLO (The Association of Operating Lease Companies).


We have noticed that more and more customers, thanks to the constant efforts of communication made by companies in the field, have started to understand the benefits of operational leasing and to access this type of financing. So, in my opinion this sector has shown positive development every year and still has huge growth potential.


The developments of this industry are also shown by the trends that are starting to be adopted in our market. We have moved beyond the traditional operational leasing product towards diversifying the range of services and facilities to provide the best mobility solutions and unique business experiences in terms of financial flexibility. And here the following are worth mentioning: web platforms for fleet managers, applications for mobility of the drivers, operational leasing for electric and hybrid vehicles, telematics solution, car sharing. There is also a level of accelerated competition, driven by the high professionalism of the relevant players and which ultimately serves our customers’ best interests. Things are moving at a constant pace; international trends are being adopted faster and the market players are doing everything to integrate the new tendencies in their offers as quickly as possible.


As for ALD Automotive’s historical activity on the local market, innovation, sustainability and quality are our core values which guide our local activity.


Since we entered the Romanian market in 2005, we have launched innovative mobile apps, as support for our customers’ activities; we have created the first White Label operating lease product in Romania, and have been the first operating lease company to be actively involved in greening car fleets.


In the years we have been operating in Romania, we have definitely left a mark on the level of market professionalism, on the diversity of the services and the quality of the customer care offered.


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