Company cars: less diesels and shift towards multi-mobility
Leasing companies are announcing record numbers for 2018 with a yearly total that could exceed 400.000 cars. Diesel is in recession while petrol-powered car registrations have nearly doubled. Clients shifting toward a multi-mobility mode are forcing leasing companies to reinvent themselves.
The Belgian Car Leasing Federation, Renta, recently announced that the sector should reach a record number of 400.000 vehicles this year, representing a 4% growth compared to last year. If that number is reached – and possibly exceeded – leased cars will represent 7% of Belgium’s 5,75 million-strong fleet.
Battle of the fuels
After the dieselgate scandal and the different bans and restrictions on diesel in Belgium and in other countries, people are changing their minds on which fuel to choose. On the whole Belgian automotive market, petrol has reached a market share of 58% while diesel only represents 36%. The public’s preferences have flipped.
In the historically diesel-prone fleet sector, petrol-powered car registrations have nearly doubled from 17% in 2016 to 32% this year. Diesel is losing some ground, coming from 80% two years ago to 64% in 2018. Hybrid cars account for only 3,2%, while electric cars only represent a very small 0,5%.
From car to mobility services
“It’s not leasing that needs to be challenged but mobility”, declares Renta’s president, Miel Horsten. Taxes, fuel and especially traffic influence company car users and push them to look for alternatives. Leasing companies are well aware of that and they are, slowly but surely, morphing into mobility service providers.
“From the single-product leasing (car) we’re evolving towards mutli-mobility”, resumes Miel Horsten. The company car is now backed by public transport cards, shared bicycles or scooters and more.
Managing each and every client’s desires in terms of mobility is a much more complex task than just managing a fleet of cars. The Federal Government’s mobility budget should help that transition but it won’t come into effect before 2019. “Companies don’t want to wait anymore and citizens want flexible solutions combining different types of transport”, continues Renta’s president.
That transition opens the way to newcomers who can offer a different approach. App developers have jumped on the band wagon and a bunch of them now offer different mobility solutions. Finnish Whim is operating in Antwerp since last month, Belgian Joyn Joyn has been launched in Brussels and Namur, and Pikaway from D’Ieteren’s Lab Box should be available next year.
Just like Cambio, Taxistop and VAB’s Olympus Mobility, these apps offer users the possibility to order public transport tickets, locate the nearest shared bicycle or scooter and even plan and reserve ahead. The major part of leasing companies is already working with Olympus. “I don’t consider them our competitors. In the current mutating market, they offer a new source of income and we have to adapt”, concludes Miel Horsten.