Arval grows 7.4% in 2017, announces digital and electric push
In 2017, Arval's worldwide fleet grew organically 7.4% to just over 1.1 million units, a record. At the presentation of its annual report, BNP Paribas's vehicle leasing daughter also announced innovative offers for both corporate and private citizens and a push towards digital and electric solutions.
Arval recorded strong growth throughout its core markets France (+5%, breaking the 300,000-unit barrier), Spain (+15%) and Italy (+10%) last year, and noted double-digit growth in many others as well, including Austria (+10%), Belgium (+12%), the Czech Republic (+12%), Luxembourg (+22%), Poland (+19%), Russia (+12%), Turkey (+16%) and Latin America (+13%). While the overall fleet increased by 7.5%, there were marked differences between the various customer segments, with Corporate growing 5%, SMEs 12% and the Private market 33%.
Arval will actively pursue growth in the Private market, both via on its own and via its bank parent BNP Paribas. “A few years down the line, our Private customer segment may be as important as our Corporate clients”, said one Arval exec. However, the company admits that two conditions need to be met before Private Lease can take off: it needs to create win-wins with the OEMs, and must find ways of tapping into the right clientele, to avoid customer solvency issues.
Some other highlights from Arval's previous business year:
- Geographic expansion continued with the opening of a new subsidiary in Norway. Further expansion is a priority only if three conditions are met: Arval's international customers ask for it, BNP Paribas has a local presence, and there is enough business to turn a profit. For now, the focus is on continued expansion in Latin America.
- Accelerated expansion and enhancement of Arval's value-added offerings, e.g. via innovative digital solutions for fleet managers and drivers and the expansion of integrated telematic services, with Arval Active Link. By the way, Arval is well on its way to fulfil its 2015 promise to equip its entire fleet with telematics, via the Active Link programme.
- Arval also increased its CSR commitment, allocating €1 million for a global project allowing its subsidiaries to develop road safety initiatives (via training courses and events) and to improve the mobility of local charities (by donating vehicles).
“These results validate our strategy, as well as the qualities and commitment of our teams”, said Arval CEO Philippe Bismut (pictured), who also announced a series of new offers to “transform the market and expand our global offering”.
Specifically, Arval announced five new offers:
- Arval For Me
Private customers get digital access to Arval's know-how, notably via a complete, extensive and unique range of services including maintenance and repair, and vehicle retrieval and replacement. This service will be introduced first in Italy, Spain, the UK and France, and then across all Arval markets. Arval has high hopes for this offer, especially considering the huge potential: around 90% of employees who are not eligible for a company car could be interested in this scheme, not to mention private customers outside Arval client companies. Via a system of 'sponsorship', which would provide deals for customers who bring in new customers, this offer could have huge growth potential – perhaps 100,000 customers by 2020, Arval thinks.
- Arval Car Sharing
An online carsharing solution that allows employees to reserve a shared company vehicle for a set period of time. Based on Arval Active Link, the app allows employees to open and close the car via their phone. Will be introduced in Italy, then rolled out across Europe. A great way to optimise the utilisation of Arval lease cars instead of leaving them idle in the company parking lot.
- Arval for Employee
Designed for employees of Arval's corporate customers, this solution includes various options: salary exchange, leasing formulas, carsharing offers, and access to Arval's partner network for maintenance and repairs. It's a way for corporates to increase the attractiveness of their brand for their (potential) employees. This offer will be tailored to each market and launched in France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
- My Arval
A complete digital suite, with versions for both Arval customers and drivers. My Arval for Customers is an online platform that consists of reporting tools and of a peer-to-peer information exchange, called My Arval Community. My Arval for Drivers is an app facilitating the day-to-day use of vehicles. These tools have already been deployed across 23 and 19 markets respectively, and will soon be available in all markets.
- Electric Vehicle
Arval is accelerating its EV offer in order to help its customers transition to sustainable mobility solutions. Thanks to its new partnership with Renault and Nissan (offering favourable conditions, but not excluding other brands) and The New Motion (charging infrastructure), Arval's EV offer now covers the entire EV ecosystem, including the installation of charging points at home and at work (including a reimbursement scheme for home-charging), the provision of integrated payment systems, and related digital services.
Arval's EV offer is both flexible and modular. Attractively priced, it offers trial periods and additional services (including the provision of a combustion-engine vehicle for holidays and other short periods). Available from this year in France, then the UK, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands – and in nine more countries from Q2 onwards.
“I am convinced that these new offers, which are based on our digital know-how, will help our customers meet their challenges and make a lasting and decisive contribution to our sector's shift towards sustainability”, Mr Bismut concluded.