Editor's choice
6 Jul 16

“Deal with Daimler Fleet Management will strengthen Athlon’s position”

It’s one of those deals that will reshape the landscape of the European lease industry: Daimler Fleet Management has acquired Athlon Car Lease International. But what exactly will be the consequences – in the short and long term? Frans Janssen, CEO of Athlon, provides some perspective: “This venture can and will accelerate growth”.

For his part, Gero Goetzenberger, CEO Daimler Fleet Management, said of the Athlon acquisition: “This is a consequent step in our expansion strategy to become an independent, international fleet provider. With the expanded portfolio and a broader international presence, we will maximise our economies of scale to provide outstanding services, products and mobility offers for our customers across Europe.”

Janssen echoes that statement: “The combination of Athlon and Daimler Fleet Management (DFM) will lead to a new, innovative and strong provider. Both brands share a long and inspiring history of innovation in mobility. Combining the strength of both brands will enhance the development of new solutions and concepts”.

“Additionally, it will lead to growth of our global footprint. Athlon and DFM will operate under the Athlon brand name. Athlon will remain a multi-make brand with a new, strong and innovative shareholder”.

How will the deal affect existing commitments?

“They will be honoured. Both Athlon and DFM will focus on continuity and reinforcement of their market positions until the integration will be completed. The interests of all existing stakeholders are clearly a priority. DFM is clearly aiming for growth, and this will set us in a new direction. We’re looking forward to this new venture”.

DFM is a captive lease company. By this acquisition, Daimler now has an extra instrument to attract customers to its parent brand. What’s in it for Athlon?

“It’s obvious that with Daimler as our new parent company, we have a strong brand with more than 130 years of experience in the automotive industry. The combination of Athlon and DFM will allow us to bring mobility solutions to the next level. It enables Athlon to share knowledge of and experience in automotive and financial solutions, while tapping into the extensive network of Daimler Financial Services, which operates companies in 40 countries worldwide. Our joint strategy, global footprint and combined know-how will enable us to accelerate our strategic initiatives in order to offer the best solutions to our customers”.

Athlon’s specific growth strategy places great emphasis on mobility, even determining your expansion plans – to the Nordics rather than to Latin America, for instance. Could this change?

“Athlon’s strategy has been discussed with DFM’s management. The strategies of both companies are very much the same. This venture can and will accelerate growth as an outcome. In parallel, thinking and strategising around the new mobility landscape will be as important as just scale. The combination of Athlon and DFM will strengthen our position in the field of global mobility solutions”.

Image: Fleet Europe

Authored by: Frank Jacobs