Franco Capurro, Salfa: Providing vehicles & equipment in Chile
Boasting sound economic policies which have been maintained consistently since the 1980s, Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country. This is a good thing since the country does not produce its own automobiles.
Helping to maintain the Andean country as the fourth largest automobile fleet in South America is local vehicle and equipment leasing company Salfa Salinas Y Fabres. The following spotlights a brief discussion with Franco Capurro Reposi, the company's leasing manager as well as a Fleet advisory board member.
Franco Capurro Reposi (source: Salfa)
Chile imports automobiles instead of producing them. Is This good or bad for your business and why?
Capurro: There are two main advantages in a country like Chile. One is that we have a large selection of brands and models to choose from and the other is that we do not face auto industry protectionism.
We don’t have high import taxes and this makes the price of new vehicles relatively low as well as stable. When demand is low, less vehicles are imported to deal with the lack in sales, and it is this control which maintains prices and correlatively, the used car market.
Pharmaceuticals, Mining, IT, and Telecom industries are common holders of corporate fleet. What are the key industries for Salfa?
Capurro: Well, we have a firm policy of diversification so we participate in all sectors of the economy. Spreading out risks is important in Chile.
Are you planning to expand to other countries?
Capurro: We are currently working toward offering our Operational Leasing product for individuals as well as corporate car sharing, but our focus is only on Chile right now.
What is the biggest challenge in Chile’s leasing industry?
Capurro: Besides the overall challenge of getting customers to migrate from their own fleet to a leased fleet, the biggest challenge would be dealing with the arrival of international operators such as Arval and ALD Automotive.
They have business models that are different than the traditional ones in Chile. They are quite flexible and heavily impact vehicle rental pricing.
Are there any trends you expect to be taking place in Chile over the next year or so?
Capurro: The industry of renting or leasing trucks and vans is growing, primarily those with diesel engines and this is due to fiscal incentives encouraging their use.
However, government policies in some countries stemming from the worldwide growing trend of replacing diesel with petrol or electric engines is something I feel could impact the Chilean market.
As such, we must recognize what is happening and deploy new technologies such as vehicle sharing, electro-mobility and others, pushing integrated-mobility that brings the customer experience to the next level.
Headquartered in Santiago, Salfa has over 77 years experience in sales and service of light vehicles, trucks, machinery, industrial engines, parts and accessories, with original parts, emergency care and a wide network of branches nationwide. Although it is partners with several brands, it currently boasts having the largest Chevrolet branch network in the country.