“People First,” an interview with Stéphane Crasnier, Chief Fleet Officer at Europcar Mobility Group
Europcar Mobility Group (EMG), initially established in 1949 as "L'abonnement automobile," has undergone a transformative journey. The name "L'abonnement automobile," namely “The Car Subscription” reflects today in the company's dedication to offering appealing alternatives to traditional vehicle ownership.
A notable recent development occurred in 2022 when Green Mobility Holding SA, a consortium consisting of Volkswagen AG, Attestor Limited and Pon Holding BV., became the majority shareholder. These strategic shifts notably underline Europcar Mobility Group's commitment to promoting sustainable mobility solutions.
In September 2023, EMG’s Group Executive Committee welcomed Claire Charbit as Group Chief Strategy and Stéphane Crasnier as Group Chief Fleet Officer, who is with us for an interview.
Chief Fleet Officer
Stéphane Crasnier, after 18 years of experience with various businesses under the BMW umbrella, is now transitioning to Europcar Mobility Group at a pivotal moment, as the company is making significant strides within the mobility ecosystem. In his new role as Group Chief Fleet Officer, Crasnier's primary focus lies in deciphering market trends during this dynamic transition phase. A thorough understanding of the ecosystem is paramount in shaping Europcar Mobility Group's strategy, which emphasizes technology, distribution channels, and optimizing asset utilization. The key challenge lies in aligning these elements within a cohesive plan. Stéphane comments: “It is essential to align the strategies of the OEMs with our plan, culminating in the final stage of the cycle: sourcing, risk management, repair and maintenance schemes, and remarketing strategies.”
Europcar Mobility Group operates globally, and Stephane brings a wealth of international experience to the company, with stints in China and Australia. “My international journey has been invaluable. Working in senior roles in China and Australia, and later as President of Alphabet France, provided a comprehensive view of the OEM ecosystem from different angles.”
Stephane elaborates further, stating, “The entire cycle from sourcing to disposal forms the core of our operations. We are actively broadening our approaches to vehicle sourcing, taking into account various factors including seasonality. For example, we consistently witness heightened demand in the leisure business from March to October. In managing these peaks in demand, buy-back agreements prove highly effective. Nevertheless, there exist alternative usage models where acquiring at risk or even opting for an operational lease might prove more suitable.”
Commitment to Sustainability
“Sustainability is a key consideration, aligning with our commitment to reduce our carbon emissions. In 2019, we joined the Science Based Target Iniative to define our CO2 reduction trajectory and we have been the first car rental company to have its targets approved: -46,2 % for scope 1 and 2, -27,5 for scope 3 by 2030. That’s ambitious. While electric vehicles already play and will a significant role in this decarbonization strategy, we also integrate internal combustion engine vehicles, strategically selecting vehicles to meet our sustainability targets,” says Stéphane.
Partnering with the OEM
Considering the dynamic relationship between short-term rental companies and OEMs, Europcar Mobility Group aims to build a positive and sustainable relationship with OEMs. Stéphane: “The relationship with OEMs is crucial. Historically, the short-term rental business faced challenges from car over-capacity to car scarcity, requiring creativity to navigate the push/pull strategy of OEMs. Europcar Mobility Group focuses on fostering a positive and sustainable relationship with OEMs to overcome these challenges, ensuring mutual benefit.
We are partnering with the OEM and are supporting their transition to lower emission cars. We need to do our best to select the right vehicles.”
Recognizing the priorities of the corporate fleet community, Europcar Mobility Group aligns its goals: “Sustainability is undeniably at the top of our agenda, not just in terms of emissions but also considering "cradle to cradle" sustainability. We factor in emissions during the production process when selecting vehicles.”
“Digitization is crucial for enhancing customer experiences, but we emphasize the enduring importance of the human touch in our business. Additionally, connectivity brings operational efficiencies, contributing to a seamless customer experience at the best price.”
Finally, with Europcar Mobility Group's global presence in over 140 countries and Stephane’s global role, France remains his home country. “Living and working in China and Australia was an incredible experience, both professionally and personally. However, I'm content to contribute to Europcar Mobility Group's global success from France.”