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Mobility changes present new challenges, says Sofico

Changes to the mobility requirements of major corporate customers present new challenges and opportunities for major European leasing companies, says Sofico.

Sofico analysis and tracking of market trends shows that corporate mobility requirements are changing for a variety of reasons. Increased regulation and higher taxation, plus the need to reduce fleet costs, is increasing the corporate focus on the total cost of mobility (TCM) rather than the total cost of ownership (TCO).

There are also company concerns over growing congestion and a lack of parking caused by overcrowding in urban areas and environmental issues related to fuel emissions. These are typically linked to a programme of corporate social responsibility and a desire for a sustainable business model.

As a result, many companies are evaluating different modes of mobility and an increased use of flexible working, while considering the mobility impact of all employees rather than just calculating the cost of company cars.

At the same time, a new generation coming through attaches less value to a car in terms of ownership and status and considers it more as a utilitarian means of transport. They are also looking for more flexibility than a single car can offer and would consider another vehicle for weekends, holidays or commuting.

Jan Bouckaert, (pictured) head of business development at Sofico, said: “We believe these factors change the mobility dynamic significantly for suppliers, such as contract hire and leasing companies, who need to reconsider and extend their product offering to meet all their customers’ requirements. This way they remain the preferred partner when talking about mobility services, above and beyond the traditional provision of company cars.”

The analysis by Sofico, whose systems help manage around 700,000 vehicles worldwide, reveals that major corporations are looking increasingly at the use of car sharing, particularly in urban areas and different types of mobility packages, incorporating rail or bus travel or the use of bikes and scooters, for wider company use.

They are also assessing the benefits of using zero emission electric vehicles which, with lower operating costs but higher capital costs, are more likely to appear within urban car sharing programmes than on traditional car fleets.

“While the mobility shift certainly represents an opportunity for a leasing company to reach more customers, as all employees come into the picture not just company car drivers, it also presents a threat to their business model as new mobility providers may enter the market” said Jan Bouckaert.

“The main risk for the traditional leasing company is to become just a part of a broader mobility chain rather than being in the driving seat and managing the complete mobility program of their customers,” he added.

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