2014 was an excellent year for LeasePlan Romania, not only in terms of financial results but also in consolidating our market position and client portfolio. Our 3% turnover increase to 42,2 million euros, doubled by the portfolio increased by 15%, to more than 10.400 cars consolidated our leadership position and created conditions for good kick off in 2015. As the economy is restarting its engines and our clients active in strategic markets such as energy, banking or FMCG are expanding their business, LeasePlan Romania has very ambitious plans for 2015. The first 3 months of this year confirmed that our plans are properly designed and we will achieve all our goals in 2015, as well.
Why do companies switch to operational leasing?
Number 1 advantage that our clients are very aware of is the total cost of ownership optimization. When signing the contract, our customers know the exact cost of their fleet, which covers insurance, depreciations, taxes, tires replacement and maintenance costs. LeasePlan Romania takes over all the aspects of managing the fleet so our clients can concentrate on their main business activity. For any problem concerning the vehicles, the client has to contact LeasePlan Romania, whose team of professionals will find the appropriate solution. The monthly lease payment is a fixed cost, protected by unexpected events, from interest rate increases or inflation. Of course, when we notice any deviation from the contracted mileage for a certain client, we are flexible in adapting the new contract coordinates to the reality. And, on the other hand, speaking from the accounting perspective, operating lease does not affect the balance sheet and has a lower impact on cash-flow compared to other forms of financing fleet development.
For big companies this kind of service is certainly a plus. But are there any advantages for SMEs?
Especially for SME’s there are a lot of benefits. With these clients in mind, we designed an operating lease product that allows SMEs to reduce the costs by almost 20% comparing with other fleet financing and management methods, such as loan or financial leasing. As an extra benefit, the down payment is 0 and the administrative effort is entirely taken over by LeasePlan Romania. We want to take away the problems connected with vehicle operation from the customer. Basically, all they need to do is to make sure there is enough fuel in the tank, all the other actions are taken care of by LeasePlan Romania – starting with vehicle registration, payment of all legal fees and taxes, arrangement of vehicle insurance, settling the insurance damages, up to the vehicle maintenance.The SME product has three levels of service: Basic, Optim and Premium, covering anything from insurance policies, road fee and repairs to change car and 24/7 road assistance, depending on the needs of every entrepreneur. So it is clear why “it’s easier to leaseplan”. Details about each of the packs can be found on our special SME website, auto.leaseplan.ro.
High tech is changing auto industry. How is it affecting leasing companies?
Fleet management has been constantly changing with the evolution of technology and mobility patterns. For instance, telematics systems are providing fleet managers with information on driver behavior. Using this data, the companies can reduce fuel consumption and decrease the damage rate, to mention just the most impactful. So, this is a simple way to increase vehicle utilization and business capacity, job allocation and routing, timesheet reporting and accurate fuel monitoring. All of that means saving costs for our clients.
Speaking about 2015, which are the main growth drivers for LeasePlan Romania?
As I mentioned earlier, our good 2014 results created the conditions for a proper 2015 kick off. We have already launched a new product dedicated to SMEs, where we believe the growth will come during the next years, as the economy improves. On the other hand, we have an investment plan of 46 million euros for new cars and new services to continue delivering the same excellent customer experience. LeasePlan Romania currently has 259 clients, active in markets such as energy, finance, FMCG and industry, which are likely to grow.