Alphabet enters Greek market
Business mobility provider Alphabet has entered the Greek market. The BMW subsidiary has achieved this by partnering with local leasing expert Autohellas SA (pictured), a Hertz licensee headquartered in Athens.
In fact, Alphabet now enters four markets at once, since Autohellas itself has a presence not just in Greece, but also in Croatia, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Via the cooperation, Alphabet clients gain access to Alphabet-compatible products and services in all four countries.
For Alphabet, the cooperation is a large step towards expanding its presence in Europe. The company now provides mobility solutions in 28 countries around the world – including Australia and China.
The origins of Autohellas lie in the 1960s when Theodoros Vassilakis Autohellas acquired the Hertz franchise in Crete with a fleet of just six VW Beetles. In 1974, he formed the company under its present name in order to acquire the Hertz franchise for all of Greece. Autohellas has since become an expert in leasing and mobility, both in Greece and in the wider Mediterranean and Balkan areas.
Nowadays, Autohellas (Hertz) has five fully-equipped workshops and more than 350 authorised service points across Greece, ensuring a range of services well beyond leasing: from regular maintenance and tyre changes to emergency repairs, accident management and 24-hour road assistance.
We had a little Q&A with Alphabet on the background of this move.
This is a partnership, not an acquisition. What does the partnership entail? Will Autohellas operate under the Alphabet name, for instance?
“It’s a partnership covered with a cooperation agreement between the parties, where Autohellas serves Alphabet’s international customers in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus under its own name and in its own capacity. The purpose of our cooperation approach is to be present where Alphabet customers need Alphabet-level services.”
How many vehicles does Autohellas manage across its markets?
“As a Hertz Intl. licensee, Autohellas SA is a well-established player in Greece, with subsidiaries in seven countries in Europe and a fleet size of more than 40,000 vehicles in operational leasing and short-term rental.”
These are relatively small markets. Why expand here? From customer demand or as an opportunity to introduce new products and services?
“Supported by our commitment to global coverage and continuous innovation, Alphabet customers around the world will benefit from the mobility services through the Alphabet international network, consisting of Alphabet entities and independent partner entities with dedicated geographical responsibilities”.