Interviews
28 Nov 17

Danny Meulenberghs (Leasys Belgium) : “Our goal is 8.500 vehicles on the road by 2023”

Today, FCA Bank already offers the services of its long-term rental subsidiary Leasys in Italy, the UK,France, Spain and Germany, with more than 44.000 customers and 150.000 leased cars, but its ambitions lay beyond that figure. Leasys recently announced that new subsidiaries will be opened in The Netherlands, and Belgium. Fleet Europe talked to Danny Meulenberghs, Branch Manager for Belgium.

 

Before accepting the challenge of starting up Leasys in Belgium, Meulenberghs worked at different leasing- and insurance companies for more than twenty years. Among them well known names such as  Alphabet and Athlon, Fleet Logistics and AG Insurance.

 

FE: What is the reason FCA Bank decided to expand the Leasys-territory to four new countries, among which Belgium, and what is the ambition for the Belgian branch?

Meulenberghs: “Today, for example in Italy, Leasys already is one of the top players in the leasing market. We want to become a European top five player within five years from now, , so expanding to Western Europe was a logical next step. For what the Belgian branch is concerned, we have set the ambitious yet achievable target at 8.500 vehicles by the end of 2023.”

 

FE: Today, the Belgian FCA brands operate under the Corporate Mobility Lease white label for their leasing customers. What will become of that partnership?

Meulenberghs: “Given the fact that we will offer our own long-term rental solutions from January 2018 on, the partnership with Corporate Mobility Lease will end by the end of this year.”

 

FE: Will Leasys be a captive or a multibrand leasing company in Belgium?

Meulenberghs: “Both, in fact. We aim for two channels. First, there is our partnership with the FCA dealer network, through which we can offer rental solutions for Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, and Jeep.. It is no more than logical that we work with the FCA brands, having FCA Bank, a 50/50 joint-venture between FCA Group and Crédit Agricole as our mother company. This will be the situation when we will start in January. The second objective is –eventually- to become a multibrand leasing company, to be able to cater to the needs of our corporate customers.  Even with the wide range of excellent FCA brands and models, we still are confronted with a (fleet-)market that also demands German or French cars. So if you want to be a major player, offering a multitude of brands is a necessity.”

 

 

FE : Starting a new leasing company from scratch is quite a task. Will you use existing structures ?

Meulenberghs: “We have the enormous benefit to be able to rely on a great team in Italy, and the experience of the set-up for the branch offices for Germany and Spain.  For all back-office activities, we have a fully dedicated staff in Italy, Leasys has its own IT system which already manages more than 100000 vehicles in a highly efficient manner, and also for sales and marketing, we can fall back on tonnes of experience in other markets.  So, yes, we start from scratch but with a fantastic headstart.  And on top of that, the FCA dealer network offers great opportunities.  Finally, the local Belgian team are highly seasoned leasing professionals. “

 

FE : What is the type of customer Leasys aims for ?

Meulenberghs : “Of course, when you start a captive leasing company that makes use of the car dealer network to offer its products, at first, the bulk of prospectsare independent professionals and small and medium enterprises. Nevertheless, we also aim for larger fleets, knowing that our mother company has a fantastic client portfolio in Italy. Logically, we will be at their service in Belgium too."

 

FE: And private lease?

Meulenberghs: “Developing a comprehensive private lease offer certainly is one of our main goals, and we aim to be a market leader in that area. The FCA models are perfect for this market with a price-value comparison that is unique in the market.  It is our strategy is to do this in close partnership with the FCA dealer network. We want to be ‘best in class’ but will not participate in the current “race to the bottom” on pricing, but will focus on an excellent customer experience in close co-operation with the dealership.”

 

FE: You talked about the FCA dealer network as a sales channel, will you also have a team of account managers?

Meulenberghs: “Right from the start, we already have a team of sales area managers that will visit and help the dealers in proposing our products to their customers. The will also assist them in visiting the clients if needed. With almost 300 dealers and a multitude of salesmen, Leasys will be available everywhere, right from the beginning.”

Authored by: Stijn Blanckaert