LeasePlan is looking to lead the industry in areas like electric cars, cars-as-a-service and autonomous vehicles with its new company strategy called What’s Next.
The campaign has launched in all 32 of LeasePlan’s global territories simultaneously and coincided with an email campaign targeting 250,000 individuals with products and services.
LeasePlan has the ambition to be for cars what Spotify has been to the record industry and Airbnb to the hotel industry. Any song, anywhere, anytime, accommodation in any country, anywhere, anytime and Leaseplan’s What’s Next tagline of ‘any car, anywhere, anytime’.
Matt Dyer (pictured), Leaseplan UK managing director, told Fleet News: “This has been in soft launch for a few months but I’m particularly excited about how it’s all come together.
“This campaign is centered around providing new products like car sharing, click and drive, electric vehicles, autonomous technology, cars as a service and making sure we’re set up digitally to deliver.
“It’s putting the onus on us to be a catalyst for those conversations.”
What’s Next has been supported by a three minute movie starring ex-Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond and if that seems like a consumer focussed marketing strategy, it’s intentional.
Dyer said: “The three minute movie with Richard Hammond doesn’t take itself too seriously but it gets the key messages across.
“It the next strategic step for us. Leaseplan is going to be much more creative and it’s a very consumer style offer.
“This is my opinion, but I think Leaseplan will become a very large fleet manager in the future. The world is going to become less binary with how they look at their mobility. Mobility is going to have to be much more adaptable. Whether that’s subscription models where people can switch out to different types of vehicles during the agreed period.”
Dyer said he sees the leasing industry as the major provider of mobility for business users and private customers in the future.
He said: “I can’t see anyone else stepping up to the table . There is talk of the tech companies stepping into this space but I really don’t think they want to own or manage the asset.”
One of the new products being offered as part of What’s Next is Click & Drive.
Click & Drive offers SMEs the opportunity to lease a new vehicle and trade in their old one if they own outright. LeasePlan will manage the part exchange process as part of the deal and cars can be taken with repairs, maintenance, administrative support and reporting included.
LeasePlan has taken on an extra 1,000 vehicles in a selection of trims and model types to support the Click & Drive service. As the cars have already been selected by LeasePlan it can cut delivery times down to “a matter of weeks”.
The stock line-up for Click & Drive includes Mercedes-Benz A-Class, C-Class, Audi A3 Sportback, A4 avant, Q2, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Volkswagen Tiguan, Passat Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 108.
Customers can choose a personal or business lease with terms from 24 to 60 months, with annual mileage limits between 10,000 and 50,000 miles.
Dyer said that alongside LeasePlan’s previous commitment to EV100, a global transport initiative designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles among corporate companies, the company will also transition its employee fleet to EVs.
The company will also continue to electrify its risk fleet and has invested in consultancy teams that will work with companies to help them review what plug-in cars are best for them and what charging infrastructure they will need.
What’s Next will also be looking at autonomous vehicles, a car sharing proposition and investing heavily in digital to set-up the business to better operate online with SMEs, corporates and consumers.
While LeasePlan is investing in the business to set it up for future growth, Dyer said the new car market is challenging right now and will be for the next few years.
He said: “This year has been challenging and I think the next few years are going to be difficult for everyone when looking at the UK car and van market.
“The key is to plan for growth in the right way. It certainly hasn’t been plain sailing this year. You have to earn the right to grow the business.”
Dyer said there are further opportunities for consolidation in the FN50 but “acquisitions are not LeasePlan’s priority right now”.
He said: “Our focus is on improving the business and delivering the right level of investment on digital. We’ve hired a new senior vice president of digital so I think that sends a message about where we’re headed.
“SMEs will be the major growth engine in the UK and it’s already the biggest segment for our business.”