Takeaways of the 2022 Fleet LatAm Conference
Although consumption has rebounded in Latin America following the COVID-19 shock, tighter financial conditions are still hindering growth in much of the region, according to a Moody’s presentation which opened-up the second day of the 2022 Fleet LatAm Conference in Mexico City on Tuesday (20 September).
“High inflation has cut household purchasing power and credit-financed consumption is growing costlier. However, tailwinds from the appreciation in the value of commodities are seen benefiting Latin America,” said Adrián Garza Patiño, CFA, VP-Sr Credit Officer at Moody’s Global Project Finance and Infrastructure Group.
This was just the start of a long list of speakers at the event – now in its 7th edition – which was aimed at accelerating international growth and optimizing fleet and mobility management in Latin America.
In the Morning
Following a discussion by Jaime Bringas (Fleet and EHS manager at Philip Morris International), Alberto Gomez Delgado (President of AMAVE & AVIS Mexico), and Cristina Vazquez (Coordinator of economic studies for AMDA) about what suppliers and corporate fleet managers can do to turn today’s market challenges into opportunities, was a presentation by Rui Stoffel, CEO and Founder of mobility service provider Busup.
During his talk, he highlighted success stories of innovative and efficient corporate shuttle programs around the world. In one scenario, “The cost of private car in Spain for example runs between $420-$691 while providing a shuttle for you employee would only set you back some $120,” said Mr. Stoffel.
However, if you do use cars in your fleet, use fuel cards to improve fleet efficiency. You will be in control with specialized metrics and rules to control fuel consumption and identify actual km/L, fuel consumption (both idling and in use) and fuel levels, according to Hugo Aguilar, Head of Shell Solutions in Mexico.
“Choosing the fastest route and best roads can significantly increase fleet efficiency and productivity, while reducing costs. And don’t forget the importance of good driver behavior. Aggressive driving can affect fuel economy by 15% or more,” said Mr. Aguilar.
“Before adopting a policy, you must really know your business needs and then benchmark global/regional/local trends. And make sure you align short and long term objectives to set your strategy, added Karina Uribe who is Global Operations Manager for Fleet at Pfizer pharmaceuticals.
Although TCO-control is key to fleet operations, fleet managers – especially with complex logistics operations - should also look beyond TCO, according to Geotab VP for the Latam region Sean Killen. “Remember that fleets sit in the middle of the supply chain. Pay attention to what data the fleet is producing and ask yourself a couple questions,” said Mr. Killen.
• Does it have value to the overall supply chain and logistics teams?
• How can this data be shared outside the fleet team?
And remember that developing an international fleet management operation has several benefits, Fleet LatAm Manager of the Year 2021 Tania Mijas said at the conference.
“By leveraging the volume of bundle services, aligning company car offerings, and standardizing policies, you will achieve cost control savings, a simplified overall process, besides providing streamlined mobility, safety, and comfort for your drivers,” said Ms. Mijas.
Rountable with largest leasing and fleet management companies in Latin America. (pictured above)
“As most of you know, ALD and Leaseplan are merging worldwide, and this includes our operations in Latin America. With this, we see our fleet doubling in size here in Mexico and it should be about one third larger in Brazil. The transition is going well,” Kent Bjertrup (Regional Director Latin America, ALD)
“Localiza is also merging with Unidas in Brazil. For this to go well, we need to understand what each company has done to achieve success, respect their values and learn from our new colleagues. With now just over 500,000 vehicles in Brazil alone, looking to other opportunities abroad could be a possibility,” Joao Andrade (Managing Director, Localiza Fleet Solutions)
“Although developing an international fleet strategy has many advantages, you need to have strategic partners to help you with implementation in various countries, all of which have different regulations, culture norms, etc. Remember that you can implement a global strategy but take into consideration the differences in the countries.” Regina Granados (CEO for LeasePlan Mexico)
“Know the numbers. Make note that Brazil has been the most impacted by TCO recently. From 2019-2022, TCO rose approximately 76% for the monthly lease of a vehicle, impacted by interest rates being up 180% and inflation up 24%. Vehicle price tags are also up by 65%.” Ricardo de Bolle (Global Business Development Director for the Latam region at Arval).
“Considering the challenging times of today, it is a good time to rethink policies and lease terms by thinking outside the box. However, it is not only about extending lease terms and there is no one solution for all. Take a deep look into your fleet (kilometers traveled, vehicle usage, vehicle types, etc.) and them make the necessary adjustments to reduce costs,” Manual Tamayo (Country Head Mexico, Element Fleet Management)
In the afternoon, the first presentation was from Rocío Rivas (Managing Consultant, Mobility & Road Safety at CEPA Mobility) who highlighted that the safety culture of an organization is the product of its values, and this is really what shows their commitment to the health and safety of their workers.
In the Afternoon
Maria del Pilar Bonilla (on the right on the picture) (Channel Marketing Manager for Latin America at Lytx) followed by stressing the importance of high bandwidth connectivity in video telematics services. “Although 5G coverage is available in some regions, there is still a lack of actual connections in some more rural areas.”
While GPS and telemetry are driver centric, telematics is fleet centric. However, what we are focused on is more operation centric and this includes services such as EV sustainability assessments and big data benchmarking as well as driver behavior monitoring and vehicle tracking,” said Geotab VP of Latam sales Juan Cardona. (on the middle on the picture)
On another note, Business Line Director for Auto at Axa Insurance Diego Mendez Onate said that knowing your traditional conditions, exploiting the added values and then having an insurance partner embedded in your business continuity and operational designs is key to unlocking growth potential.
The conference ended with talks on corporate mobility solutions. Following a presentation by Pablo Alvéstegui Seelenfreund (Co founder at AllRide Mobility) who highlighted how technology can be used to improve corporate mobility through his company’s comprehensive mobility solutions, Arturo Simone (CEO & Founder of Keko) followed with a talk about the corporate mobility alternative of car-sharing.
Mr. Simone was joined by Javier Amozurrutia (Founder of Maz Mobi) and mobility consultant José Luis Criado to further address the topic of flexible mobility options in corporate fleet, an alternative impacted by multi-modal transport, connected vehicles, and intelligent cities.
Last but not least, we cannot forget that the night ended with the awarding of the Fleet LatAm Manager of the Year, as well as the Fleet LatAm Innovator of the year. See more here.
Thank you to our partners!
top photo: left to right, conference host Steven Schoefs, Kent Bjertrup, Manuel Tamayo, Regina Granados, Ricardo de Bolle, Joao Andrade (source: Fleet LatAm, Daniel Bland)