ALD acquires subscription specialist Fleetpool
ALD has just announced that it has acquired Fleetpool, a leading German car subscription specialist with a portfolio of 10,000 vehicles. “They will stay independent, and we will help them grow”, say Tim Albertsen (pictured left) and John Saffrett (right), CEO and Deputy CEO of ALD, in an exclusive conversation with Fleet Europe.
Founded in 2008 to fill the need for mid-term vehicle leases, Fleetpool operates via a digital subscription platform that serves private consumers, corporate customers, and third parties. Its all-inclusive subscriptions are managed completely online, from car selection via credit assessment to e-signing of the contract.
The Cologne-based company is currently the only major car subscription provider in Germany addressing all customers and channels, via multi-brand and white-label strategies. Subject to agreement by the German Competition Authority, this deal is an example of ALD’s focus on targeted, value-adding bolt-on acquisitions, within the framework of its Move 2025 strategic plan.
By acquiring Fleetpool, ALD is in a position to rapidly develop its digital car subscription services – for individual and corporate customers, and for OEM partners – and expand the commercial reach of its mobility solutions across Europe. By 2026, ALD wants to offer subscription services in over 10 European countries.
Gentlemen, why this acquisition, why now?
Tim Albertsen: “With ALD Flex and ALD Move, we have products to cater to the growing demand for flexible solutions. The pandemic has accelerated that megatrend, so we wanted to go even faster with our flexible offer than we initially set out in our strategic plan Move 2025. Fleetpool ticks that box. It’s the leading player in vehicle subscription in Germany, and probably in Europe as a whole. They have a lot of interesting digital assets – and an interesting mindset.”
John Saffrett: “Fleetpool is a good fit, because it covers all the market segments that we cover – they have a direct offer to consumers, a B2B2E offer for corporates, a white-label solution for OEMs. They provide the potential to grow our existing customer segments in a massive way.”
What does the future hold for Fleetpool with ALD?
John Saffrett: “We will take them into new markets where we can combine their digital platform and expertise with the ALD engine in those markets, offering a full suite of digital subscription solutions to our customers. The plan is to roll out subscriptions in 10-plus countries in Europe,– basically, all major markets – by 2026.”
Tim Albertsen: “This was also the right time for Fleetpool. They’ve developed their offer in Germany to perfection. Our synergy is also about us helping them build their offer and grow internationally. They will stay independent from ALD, with their own various brands. For us, this is a new style of acquisition. We want to keep their start-up culture intact, offering them ALD’s international presence as a lever for growth.”
John Saffrett: “Fleetpool don’t actually trade under that name. Their consumer branding varies per segment, with brands such as eazycars and like2drive. Their white-label solutions include CONQAR for SEAT and Kinto Flex in cooperation with Toyota.”
Following this acquisition, what will be the first thing your customers notice?
John Saffrett: “Fleetpool gives us the brand and the platform to complement our employee scheme offering that our corporate customers are asking for. So we will be offering subscription.
B2B2E schemes soon to some of our corporate clients. We can also go to our OEM partners and offer solutions for white-label subscriptions. The interesting thing is that the Fleetpool platform was designed not only with a fully digital customer journey in mind, but also one that takes on board the dealers. That’s obviously very important for OEMs.”
Tim Albertsen: “This acquisition will help Fleetpool grow much faster than they would have been able to do on their own. But we will learn as much from Fleetpool as they will learn from us. Fleetpool will be ALD’s growth engine in the mid-term space, whether you want to call it subscription or flex lease.”
Any new acquisitions coming soon?
Tim Albertsen: “This is our third this year. We have a few nice ones in the pipeline. So perhaps there will be more news later this year. What’s important is ensuring that we have a common vision and development mindset in any acquisition we do.”
Images: ALD Automotive, 2021.