Lease and Fleet Management Review July 2015 - Prediction: sunny
Expect to hear a lot more of Element and Arval in the months and years to come; their Alliance has divided the spoils of GE's global divestment from the fleet management business. A business which is doing very well indeed, thank you very much. Even in the mature markets of Europe, leasing is still gaining in popularity – mainly among SMEs, a recent study suggests. As even the disastrous Russian car market seems to be bottoming out, the prediction for the European fleet industry is: sunny weather, and plain sailing.
DEALS & ACQUISITIONS
A new partnership deal has been signed between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Bolloré have committed to developing shared mobility solutions, including car sharing schemes using conventional and electric vehicles. PSA will assemble and distribute Bolloré’s Bluesummer four-seat EV, with a range of 200km.
TÜV SÜD Auto Service, parent company of Fleet Logistics International, has acquired Belgium-based TCOPlus and its sister company FleetVision. TCOPlus provides fleet-owners with an overview of cost and other key data of their international fleet, including a simulation of multiple local tax systems. FleetVision provides consulting services for fleet clients.
ALD Automotive has taken over Munsterhuis Lease. The partnership provides both companies with economies of scale, and brings together ALD's global reach and the local expertise of Munsterhuis, which is based in the east of the Netherlands.
NEW MARKETS & EXPANSIONS
GE has sold the majority of its global fleet business to the Element-Arval Alliance. The Canadian group will take over GE's fleet business in the U.S., Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Arval will do the same in Europe.
Following the successful launch of its leasing subsidiary on the stock exchange, Sixt is planning further expansion beyond its German home market. The rental network in the U.S. will grow, and an agreement with SNCF will see the addition of 14 locations at French railway stations.
Europcar has launched its initial public offering on Euronext Paris. The indicative offering price range for the French public offering and the international offering is between €11.50 and €15.00 per share. The initial size of the global offering amounts to approximately € 854.5 million.
Opel/Vauxhall has launched its OnStar connected vehicle service across a number of European markets. The package includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology. The system will be available in selected models, either as standard or option. Use of the service will be free to customers for the first year.
The data-sharing service Netfoil is proving a powerful weapon in the fight against 'crash for cash' fraudsters. The service operates the largest privately-owned car insurance database in Europe, allowing to cross-check suspicious claims.
Europcar is enhancing its van fleet offering with the launch of half a dozen specialist Van Supersites across the UK. The centres, each with the capacity to store hundreds of vans, will include five and six seat Crew Vans, 4x4 pickups and other specialist vehicles.
In Belgium, LeasePlan has introduced a Mobility Card for business travel. The card provides for a wide range of business travel options including car, train, tram, bus, share bikes, share cars, parking and electric charging.
Also in Belgium, LeasePlan has launched a Lease Calculator, aimed at the self-employed and SMEs with up to 20 cars. Users pick a vehicle, and then the tool produces an accurate lease quote, taking into account LeasePlan's discounts and actions.
Arval UK has enhanced and re-launched its Driver Solutions support product. It contains the full range of driver-related services from ordering to returning the vehicle, including the build of a secure driver website and numerous administrative tasks like driving licence checks and managing driver documentation.
Arval has also updated Arval Analytics, Arval Fleet View and Arval Mobile+, and has launched Active Link, a new, integrated telematics offering allowing customers to access in-depth info on a car and its driver’s behaviour, plus optional services including pinpoint GPS tracking and mileage capture. The complete rollout of all tools and applications in the 25 Arval countries is scheduled between 2016 and 2020.
In the last quarter of this year, Arval is to launch a B2E platform, targeting not just lease drivers within companies, but all their employees. The platform allows mobility managers to provide budgets for all employees, check mobility expenses but also restrict access to the mobility budget.
Ford will test car-sharing programmes via its Ford Credit finance arm in both the U.S., in partnership with Getaround across six major cities, and the U.K., together with easyCar Club in London. Ford Credit's 12,000 London customers can enroll in a 6-month pilot via the easyCar Club website.
Ford will also make its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public in the next stage of its launch. The scheme, which started as one of more than 25 experiments that form Ford Smart Mobility, is the only car-sharing service offering one-way trips with guaranteed parking.
Avis Car Rental has launched Travel Partner, a new 24/7 concierge service designed to aid customers when on their travels abroad. The service, priced at around €10 per day, offers assistance with lost luggage, lost or stolen bank cards, and passport and visa issues.
The European remarketing industry finally has a champion: the Car Remarketing Association (CARA) will be launched officially at the second Fleet Europe Remarketing Forum coming November in Rome. It will lobby for the industry's interests on the national and European level, and aim to simplify and clarify cross-border trade regulations.
Daimler Fleet Management is introducing DriversCheck, an app for the digital checking of drivers licenses. This will allow fleet managers to minimise administration and costs related to verifying the identity of their drivers.
MINI will expand its parent company BMW's car-sharing scheme DriveNow to allow Mini owners to use the same smartphone app to rent out their vehicle to third-party drivers. Mini's DriveNow plan will go in effect in the U.S. next year before being implemented elsewhere.
TomTom Telematics has launched CURFER, an app that gives drivers real-time, visual feedback on their braking, cornering, acceleration, idling and other aspects of their driving style. Drivers can share the info with friends over social media networks, monitor long-term trends and earn digital badges and similar recognitions.
Roadsense has launched Roadwatch Live, a fleet camera system that provides almost instant video retrieval, with the potential to reduce accident frequency by more than 50% by providing info on driver behaviour and the cost of accidents by more than 24%.
Partnering with AttainIT, TomTom Telematics has developed an EV booking and management system. It has already been successfully adopted by software integrator Be Smart for an EV-sharing scheme across Italy. The system allows Be Smart to check remaining battery power in each car, activate cars remotely, track their location and monitor journey information for accurate billing.
Synthetic 'e-diesel', produced by Audi in an experimental facility in Dresden, could turn every diesel engine clean within a decade. Micro-organisms help create a fuel that is free of sulphur and aromatics, and that can be blended with regular fossil fuel diesel. The e-diesel should be ready for commercial use around 2020.
The worldwide number of EV charge points is to increase twelvefold in just over half a decade, from 1 million in 2014 to 12.7 million by 2020, says a new report by IHS Automotive. Most charging stations are expected to be installed in domestic applications, with around 10% in the public domain. In Europe, the U.K., the Netherlands and Norway will lead the way.
'Green tyres' reduce fuel consumption by up to 7% in urban traffic, research by rubber supplier Lanxess and energy provider RheinEnergie suggests. These high-performance tyres – graded “C” or above for fuel efficiency on the EU tyre label – also significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Stop-start technology saves 2% of fuel, road tests by Emissions Analytics prove. A Volkswagen Golf fitted with stop-start technology spent 9% of its time in idle/off mode resulting in a combined fuel saving of 2%. Those results are a far cry from the official New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) in which the car spent 24% of the time idle and achieved a 5% combined fuel saving.
Alphabet has launched a new tool that can identify where fleets can introduce electric vehicles in line with their individual mobility needs. The Electrification Potential Analysis (EPA) tool forms part of the firm’s AlphaElectric EV consulting approach and has already been piloted by Deloitte Italy and Interserve UK.
ALD France will add EVs to its ALD rent medium-term lease solution. Already offering 1,800 vehicle types, the solution is aiming for 2,000 by year's end. They are to include the Renault ZOE, Kangoo Z.E, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. The solution will give fleets the opportunity to check the compatibility of EVs.
A Greenpeace report, which details that 45% of greenhouse gases produced by road transport in the EU come from company fleets, claims that EU fleet managers could save millions of tonnes of CO2 and €28 billion a year trough a variety of measures that are both economical and eco-friendly.
Following the smallest annual reduction in road deaths across the EU since 2001 (-0.6% in 2014), member states now need to cut deaths by almost 8% each year to meet the 2020 target – halving deaths from the 2010 figure. There is concern that a planned EU target to reduce serious injuries appears to have been dropped by the European Commission.
The European Parliament has greenlighted eCall to be installed in all newly-approved car and light van models from 2018. Providing rescue services with the exact location of the vehicle, eCall will allow faster road assistance and could cut the EU's 25,700 road deaths by 10%. Installation of the devices will increase vehicle cost by about €100.
From 2017, new passenger car models will have to undergo real-world tests to measure NOx emissions against EU limits, the European Commission has decided.
The EU should implement strict fuel efficiency standards for cars, LCVs and trucks by 2025 if it is to meet its 2030 climate obligations, say experts. Under those obligations, EU transport emissions need to fall by 30% from 2005 levels.
The European car manufacturers association ACEA protests France's decision to penalise diesel cars even if they comply with Euro 6. It says government policy should be technology-neutral, and states diesel, which has lower CO2 emissions than petrol, is an important means for the EU to achieve the EU's 2021 CO2 fleet average targets.
In early June, the Renault-Nissan Alliance sold its 250,000th electric vehicle: a white Renault Zoe, sold to a French computer engineer. The milestone was reached 4.5 years after the launch of the Nissan Leaf EV, which has sold over 180,000 units. From January through May, the Alliance sold around 31,700 EVs.
Lex Autolease has delivered its 300,000th vehicle to cement its position as the UK’s largest fleet company. The vehicle management and fleet funding specialist wants to grow to 375,000 units by 2018.
The company has also reached another milestone in recent months, adding the 2,000th plug-in electric vehicle to its U.K. fleet. The Nissan e-NV200 Electric Acenta Rapid Plus van was delivered to the NHS.
Tesla has announced its total vehicle pool worldwide – some 75,000 Model S cars – have driven over a billion miles (1.6 billion kms) since the launch of the all-electric Model S in 2012. The manufacturer's Billion Miles Tour will travel around North America, Europe and Asia to offerpotential customers the chance to experience the Model S.
Arval Belgium has surpassed the milestone of 40,000 vehicles. Growing 2% in Q1 2015, Arval outperformed the market by almost double. That market is compressing: the gap between 1st and 5th was 22,000 units in 2011, but only 5,000 units today.