Gianluca Italia, Fleet EMEA, FCA: Attacking corporate fleets again
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will become a more dominant player in the European fleet industry than it is today. That is the conviction of Gianluca Italia, recently appointed as Head of Fleet and Business Sales for EMEA region at FCA.
“What I want to say first of all is that we are profoundly changing and evolving when it comes to this domain”, says Gianluca Italia.
“We now have a range of products that will allow us to compete, and especially in the C-segment with new Fiat Tipo family that has 3 body types: sedan, hatchback and station wagon. The C-segment is the largest segment in Europe and we need to be part of it. The new Tipo has been recognised by the industry in terms of TCO and its inherent characteristics, and since the model launch we are already making good headway with corporate clients.
Or other important product is the Alfa Romeo Giulia, with which we have re-entered, after several years, the D-Segment premium segment. This market has traditionally been dominated by the Germans, with their excellent products, but we believe we can be the alternative. We are investing heavily in the quality of our products, and this will have a positive impact for our corporate fleet business success. And we have other important products – the Icon ‘500’ range of course, and don’t forget our brand Jeep, about which you don’t currently hear too much in Europe, but with the growing interest for SUVs is doing particularly well.”
Is LCV important?
“Yes, we have the largest LCV range in Europe, and it covers a wide range of sizes, from Panda and Punto Van, to the Doblò Cargo, the new Talento, the Ducato, and the new pick-up Fullback. Fiat Professional now is a brand Full Linear. This year it has completed its line-up.
So as a group, taking all our brands and models into account, we can cover about 80% of the fleet market, and this is new to us. Our range is also able to be operated on CNG, which has a huge impact in terms of CO2 emissions, of course.”
What about the sales operations?
“This is crucial too, and we have completely reorganised the teams, the way we go to market. We now have a team responsible for big companies at national and international level, a team focusing on rent-a-car and used cars, and a team to work with dealers. We have also identified the best dealers in each country to become fleet specialists.”
Do you have an idea of what sort of market share you are looking for with FCA in fleets?
“Well our objective is more than just to let people know about our cars, we want to sell, and sell a lot, although I can’t give you actual figures. This is especially true for outside of Italy, as we already have a substantial market share in Italy. We can particularly focus on France, the UK and Germany. New Fiat Tipo and Alfa Romeo Giulia will enable us to enter much easier into fleet policies. In Italy, Giulia is already in almost all the 400 company that have D-Segment cars in their policy, and this just a few months after market launch. Our objective is to have a similar approach and success in the other markets. We can provide a solution which enables fleet managers of user-chooser policy companies, to offer a range of products that is different to what they have been offering for the past years. Let’s face it, we are now a credible and attractive corporate fleet alternative.”
So, Mr. Italia, if I come to you at next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, what will you be able to tell me that you have achieved?
“I will be able to tell you how many fleets have introduced Tipo and Giulia into their company policies, and of course the sales will follow accordingly. Our target is to get into as many fleets as possible, but the D-Segment, for example, is new to us, so I can’t give you any figures. What I can say is that I would be happy to have half of the performance outside of Italy, that we have in Italy, in terms of number of companies. As I mentioned, there are around 400 really leading companies in Italy, and we are in more or less all of them. So outside Italy, I would be happy with 200 and I’m sure we are going to reach that target.”