Alcomotive becomes Astara Western Europe

The Alcomotive group, the importer of Hyundai, Suzuki, MG, SsangYong, and Maxus, among other activities, changes into Astara Western Europe. The aim for the future is simple: transforming from a traditional car importer into a complete, versatile provider of mobile solutions.

Olivier Sermeus, COO of Astara Western Europe: “We will create a complete ecosystem, and the car will be a part of that. It’s our ambition to offer all kinds of mobility services.”

Spanish origins

Astara (formerly Bergé Auto) is a Spanish car distribution giant that took a 60% participation in Alcomotive in August 2020. The remaining 40% is still in the hands of the Belgian investment company Alcopa, created by the Moorkens family.

The Astara Group is active globally and realized a turnover of € 4 billion last year. The target is set at € 5,5 billion this year, to be augmented to € 6,3 billion in 2023.

For its newly created daughter Astara Western Europe, it has even bigger plans. Where Alcomotive had 8 000 mobility users in 2021, this has to increase to 22 000 this year and up to a whopping 215 000 next year. Moreover, the number of cars sold has to increase from 200 000 last year to 230 000 this year and 265 000 in 2023.

Variety of mobility solutions

“Alcomotive is gone, it is now part of a far larger group, and this has a lot of advantages,” Sermeus continues. “We will benefit from what has already been set up to become a ‘global player’, and offering a variety of mobility solutions is one of the key factors here. The car will be one of the elements to integrate into a global ecosystem.”

“Trends we see already in other areas, like Netflix or HelloFresh, we couldn’t yet imagine five years ago. Now, these new habits will also arrive in the automotive sector. Data will play a major role here,” Sermeus stresses. “Astara will remain a decentralized group of five global ‘hubs’ with a certain autonomy in their specific markets, but all the service platforms and mobility solutions will be developed in common.”

Car distribution is not dead

Astara Western Europe continues to believe in its dealer network, although the dealers will continue under their name and that the network will become leaner. “We will keep to our existing contracts,” says Sermeus, “but the setting will change. A car seller will become more of a counselor; he will advise the future client in different ways. If we succeed in reorientating our distribution network, it still has a bright future.”

Astara Western Europe actually counts 711 selling points and some 375 dealers. “Showroom traffic has indeed diminished,” admits Sermeus, “but direct internet sales stay marginal. Logistics will still play an important role, and the car dealer is well placed here. Mobility companies have often underestimated this aspect until now.” Astara Western Europe wants to add new brands to its importing portfolio at relatively short notice.

 

 

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