Fleet Management in Morocco: unclear but small
Morocco is a major part of the Maghreb, but its fleet market has not yet emerged into the big time. This may be because tourism represents a significant part of the economy, but industry is there too.
While it is not possible to state accurately what the size of the Moroccan fleet segment is, the major players in the market are able to make some educated estimations. The reason that it is not possible to be definitive is because the country’s political administrations do not release this information.
What is known, in overall terms, is that today, the Moroccan market has a total of approaching 3 million private and utility vehicles in operation. This is for a population of some 36 million, which has grown from 28 million at the beginning of this century. This gives it, as a comparison, a population of just over half of that of France, a country which has, according to figures from ACEA, some 32 million passenger cars on the roads, or around one per two inhabitants. It is also known that private vehicles make up the majority of vehicles in operation in Morocco.
One of the contributory factors to the lack of clarity is also the fact that short-term car rental is a major fleet segment in Morocco. And to further muddy the waters, this segment includes both cars and small vans and is used by business and leisure travellers alike. Not only are there no figures on fleet size, but there is not any official data on the size of the car-rental market to clarify matters either. Despite the lack of official figures, it is however estimated the fleet market comprises around 140,000 – 150,000 vehicles.
The primary method of fleet vehicle acquisition in the country remains purchasing. However, leasing is growing, especially among multinational companies operating in Morocco, which are used to this method of financing their fleets and which do not wish to allocate funds to buying cars. It is believed that just over a quarter of the fleet market is operated under full service leasing – which equates to perhaps 40,000 vehicles.
To help the leasing sector grow in the country, at least two of the major European firms are operating: ALD Automotive and Arval. To these can be added a handful of major local leasing suppliers such as Wafabail, Maroc Leasing, and Maghrebbail. Arval reports it is market leader with around 22% market share on the private company sector.
As is increasingly the case in Europe, long-term rental is becoming a preferred option, particularly when fleet managers find they need to find a rapid and perhaps relatively temporary solution to a need. This method is used by both multinational and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
Some players are now also introducing telematics solutions, like Arval’s Active Link which optimises fleet management and improves driver behaviour.
At the moment, the vast majority of the fleet vehicles in Morocco (more than 80%) consists of European brands. Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, along with BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are the most popular among companies. This is of course influenced by the fact that the largest carmaker in Morocco is Renault. This has led to the fact that Dacia, owned by Renault, was the top-selling brand in the first half of 2018, followed by Renault. Japanese and Korean brands are competitors, especially in the utility and 4x4 segments.
In conclusion, there’s a long way to go for fleets, but the fact that major leasing companies are in Morocco, indicates that they believe that potential is there to be exploited.