The location of the Global Fleet Conference alternates on an annual basis between Europe and the U.S., and this year we were fortunate enough to attend in warm, sunny Miami. Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise to step out of the airport into a very humid ninety-degree atmosphere and then experience hard intermittent rain showers at the same time! Luckily enough for us, the weather held back, the umbrellas were closed back up, and the conference was uninterrupted by any adverse conditions.

The Hilton Miami Downtown did an excellent job organizing and hosting the event. Thanks also to the great team at Bobit Media and of course, LeasePlan’s very own event manager, the inimitable Kayla Bailes, whom I’m sure most who attended pestered at some point over the course of the week with executive and logistical questions.

Over 350 attendees made the trip, some from as far away as Australia. As a relative newcomer to both LeasePlan and the fleet sector, it was great to see so many industry giants coming together to share years of expertise and valuable insights. The wealth of experience and depth of knowledge was evident throughout the entire schedule.


Digitization – strengthening the buyer’s market

Whilst I could only attend a limited number of presentations, seminars and discussions, it was clear to me that the fleet industry was almost entirely aligned on the issues and trends that they’ll face together over the next decade or so.

Everyone referenced the transformation that the industry is experiencing, and the importance of digitization supporting that transformation. There were individual sessions on more focused topics of course, such as: safety, electric vehicles, connected vehicles, and telematics, but all returned to the core issues of data, development, and digitization.

Transformation and digitization aren’t new buzzwords though, and neither are they groundbreaking trends for the industry. The differentiator now is the speed at which these technologies are being adopted, and the corresponding demand from end-users for these technologies. “Consumer centricity” was mentioned plenty over the course of the week, and I think it’s an important point to make that we’ve now seen a shift away from product centricity and moved toward more tactical business-driven models. Customers now more than ever have serious buying control because of the data that is afforded to them and indeed expected from us as providers of these services.

“We’re in the era of the customer journey, and it’s very much about envisaging the digital opportunity through the customer journey lens.”  Matt Dyer, CEO LeasePlan USA

Businesses are beginning to understand that they need to distinguish themselves and compete on the customer journey by providing the ultimate customer experience.


Difficult choices – the consultative approach is still appreciated

Another key takeaway was the difficulty that some businesses are having in identifying the most important digital strategies to focus on. The speed and spread of this stuff is sometimes bewildering, and I can see how easy it could be to get lost in a vast sea of buzzwords. Should we be investing long-term in autonomous vehicle technology for our fleet? Maybe telematics? Or will the EV revolution predominate all of these other issues as environmental sustainability becomes more and more significant? No one had an answer, and I don’t think there is an answer. There is no singular approach or winning strategy. But that’s where fleet management companies come in ­­­‑‑ to provide guidance, advice and continual support.

It was made clear at the conference that the consultative approach is still appreciated, as the global fleet community continues to rely on support from us, making sure that they get the best use from their data and digital, and making sure that they are adopting the right technologies at the right time, for the right customers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The fleet manager’s role will evolve

All of these digital disruptions and developments are enabling new products, services and business models, including new approaches to financing and insurance services. These advances are reshaping the future of fleet management and consecutively reshaping the role of the fleet manager. We heard ad infinitum how the role will be heavily influenced by technology, data, and critically, analytics. Therefore, in order to be successful in this new future, fleet managers will need to be the early adopters, the technological guides, the walking-talking FAQ sheets for their clients. The technology will enable them to do these things, but they must also embrace this new direction and understand that the customer will come to not only want data transparency and analysis, but expect it. Fleet managers may even be more accurately defined as fleet controllers, with a keen eye not only for automotive and fleet, but for IT systems and infrastructure.


Welcoming Matt Dyer to the stage

The topic of sustainable mobility is generally dominated by discussions around electric vehicles, charging points, new green initiatives for cities, ride-sharing, etc. However, there’s an alternative definition that is perhaps more important for fleet management companies, and of course, the fleet manager. Sustainable mobility in this context refers to keeping your fleet healthy, relevant, and proactively managed at both a global and national level, and topically, how managing the data around your fleet can help you do this. This was the basis for Matt Dyer’s presentation on Thursday and I must say, I think it landed very well with the audience and provided some probing points for them to discuss. I’d also say that visually, the presentation was the best I’d seen on screen all week, but then again, I would say that… I made it.


Until next time!

 

About the author

Ollie Lindrup is a digital content strategist at LeasePlan USA, a global leader in #fleetmanagement services. He is responsible for developing and executing an integrated marketing and communications program, promoting awareness of LeasePlan USA and increasing engagement with the brand online and in the media. And if you’re reading this, he must be doing something right.

Read More

 

Matt Dyer, President & CEO, LeasePlan USA, will present at Global Fleet Conference 2019. His session, Realizing Sustainable Mobility in the Digital Era, will explore how technology will play a significant role in the transition to sustainable transportation – both locally and globally. From the evolution of EVs and other low-emission technologies across the world, to developing strategies to sustain a healthy fleet.

Check back on our blog after the event for a roundup article and for key takeaways set to influence the industry.

Until then, watch the video below to hear about LeasePlan’s commitment to fully digitizing the service experience for our customers, and ultimately becoming a digital services integrator.

 

 

Read More

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but car care doesn’t take a vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The warmer months present some challenges to personal transportation and maintenance, but this list will help us all have a summer we can enjoy. Here are our top 10 tips to keeping your car – and its passengers – in good shape this summer.

 

1. Coolant System

Keeping cool is paramount, not just for ourselves but also for our cars. In addition to checking the level of coolant fluid in your car, go the extra mile and inspect the state of the hoses and the coolant reservoir. Keep an eye out for leaks, especially at joints and connection points, such as where a hose connects to the engine block. Also, squeeze the hoses (when the engine is cool) every once in a while to make sure they feel firm and not excessively squishy or soft.

2. Engine Belts

There is usually a serpentine belt that runs between the alternator, the fan and several other components. It can deteriorate, become loose, start to squeal, and sometimes just break for no apparent reason. It needs to be in good condition and at the right amount of tension. If you see cracks in the belt or small pieces missing, it’s time to replace the belt.

3. Wipers

Yes, it’s summer, but it’s probably going to rain at some point. Worn wipers create nasty streaks across the windshield and can affect your vision while driving. Replacing them doesn’t cost much, but it can be a fiddly operation. If you’re in the habit of taking your car in for oil changes, ask them about the wipers, too. Sometimes a dealership will sell you the wipers and install them for free.

4. Other Essential Fluids

Check oil, brake, power-steering and windshield-washer fluids regularly. These liquids never stop being used and consumed. Speaking of brake fluid, how do the brakes on your car feel in general? Are they lacking in bite? Feeling a bit spongy? If so, new pads and a system bleed might be required. This is the kind of maintenance you should have your mechanic or dealership take care of.

5. Air-Conditioning System

Air-conditioning is a summer essential. If the system hasn’t been working properly but wasn’t really a pressing issue over the winter, now’s the time to get serious. If it’s an older system, then leaking Freon into the atmosphere is not good. There are plenty of leak-sealing products and refrigerant rechargers available from hobbyist stores and even places like Walmart. Remember, if there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, you have a leak. Have a qualified mechanic fix the leak before paying to have the air-conditioning system recharged.

6. Air Filter

The winter’s decomposing leaves may be clogging up drainage points, windshield-washer nozzles or your car’s air filter. Now might be a good time to buy a new one or take the current one out and give it a cleaning. Many modern cars also have pollen filters or cabin filtration systems, so take a look at those, too. Sometimes these cabin filters are easy to change yourself. Like everything else mentioned here: When in doubt, consult a qualified technician.

7. Tires

Tires really need to be checked regularly all year round. Pressures must be correct (consult the manual because sometimes that information is on the inside of the fuel door or the door jamb for the driver’s door), treads should be free of stones, stray nails and the like, and all four should be in good condition. Good condition means no cracks, no uneven wear (this might be caused by a suspension problem) and plenty of tread depth. Since summer is a time for road trips, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a can of Fix-A-Flat that could at least get you to a shady spot where you could change the wheel more comfortably. The spare obviously needs to be usable, too.

8. Dashboard Sunshade

For those times when you’re not driving, but the car is still out in the sun, a cover that goes in the windshield will protect the dashboard against ultraviolet rays and help the cabin stay a little cooler. Some even have solar panels to keep the battery charged. Consider shades for the rear side windows, too, as they’ll provide some protection for the kids. This also helps prevent areas such as the rear seats and dashboard from fading over time.

9. Clean the Car

Those long, balmy evenings when the sun is a huge, orange orb hanging low in a pinky-blue sky sound blissful. But they can also be a hazard, especially when your car’s windshield is dirty. Even from the inside, that haze will diffuse the light and make things hard to see. That grime has a tendency to build up over a long period, so we don’t really notice it. Things look much sharper after your car has had a good wash, though. Keeping the exterior clean also protects the paintwork from the sun’s rays, as well as any damage caused by birds and insects. Finish off the cleaning with a good-quality wax. Car care makes financial sense in the long run.

10. Driver and Passengers

It’s hot out there. Make sure everyone’s hydrated. It’s better to make a few more bathroom breaks and stretch your legs than to end up cranky and fatigued. Plan road trips as if you were a general marching against an opposing army. Make a list of everything you’re going to need. For example: sunglasses, hats, travel mugs, games for the kids, snacks, chargers for the phones and tablets, route planner, weather forecasts, emergency triangle, flashlight and a small tool kit. If a scheduled service is coming up, think about getting it done before a long drive. It’s also wise to make sure your insurance and driving license are up to date. Have a great summer, enjoy the roads, and take care of yourself and your car.

 

 

Source: Autotrader

Read More

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, 15 May 2019 – LeasePlan Corporation N.V. (LeasePlan; the “Company”), one of the world’s leading Car-as-a-Service (“CaaS”) companies and a leading Pan-European used-car market place, today reports its Q1 results.

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan:

“We delivered solid results in both of our businesses this quarter, while continuing to make significant strategic investments in CarNext.com and our Digital LeasePlan initiative.

In our core Car-as-a-Service business for new cars, which operates under the LeasePlan brand, our fleet grew a healthy 3% and we delivered solid growth in our Repair & Maintenance Services and Damage & Insurance services. We also successfully issued our first ever Green Bond, which we will use to purchase or refinance electric vehicles. The high level of demand for the bond was a clear indication of support from European investors for our sustainability strategy and will help us accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility.

CarNext.com, our disruptive, digital, used-car marketplace, continued to grow rapidly, supported by a new store opening and our continued commitment to revolutionizing the customer experience for used-car customers.

Going forward, we will continue to invest in CarNext.com in order to accelerate its growth. We will also continue to invest in our Digital LeasePlan program, through which we are bringing LeasePlan firmly into the digital world.”

 

Q1 2019 financial highlights

  • Net result stable at EUR 132.0 million
  • Underlying net result down 7.1% to EUR 149.6 million due to long-term strategic investments in Digital and CarNext.com of EUR 16.8 million
  • Serviced fleet up 3.1% with growth in both Europe and Rest of the World
  • Lease & Additional Services (CaaS) underlying Gross Profit up 4% to EUR 390.8 million
  • Profit and Loss on Disposal of Vehicles (PLDV) and End of Contract Fees underlying Gross Profit down from EUR 25.2 million to EUR 18.8 million as a result of EUR 10.8 million lower PLDV
  • CarNext.com B2C volumes up 40% to 14,700 vehicles in Q1 and a 21% runrate for B2C sales penetration, Used Car as a Service (UCaaS) contracts up 22%
  • Underlying return on equity down slightly to 16.7%

 

To read the full financial report, please click here.

Read More