Paulo Miguel Junior, ABLA: Seeking international collaboration
Brazil’s automobile renter’s association, ABLA, represents most of the large vehicle renting, leasing, and fleet management firms in the country. However, despite the organization’s large network, it is seeking to further strengthen its services by collaborating with experts throughout the world, according to national council president Paulo Miguel Junior.
Global Fleet met up with the executive to discuss issues such as the association’s objectives, challenges in the industry, the benefits of being an ABLA member, and other issues.
How long have you held your position at ABLA and what is the main objective of the association?
PMJ: I assumed my position in January of this year (2018) with the mission to promote ABLA in Brazil as well as abroad. Our main goal is to unify all the car rental companies in Brazil, but also to expand the current thoughts of how to do business in the country by brainstorming with the rest of the world, principally the United States and Europe.
What we want to do is exchange knowhow, professionalize the industry, and find solutions to fleet management problems which would be quite difficult to reach otherwise. Basically, we want a more global vision of the industry.
Could you mention some of the main ABLA members?
PMJ: Sure, among are members are large vehicle renting, leasing, and fleet management companies such as Unidas, Movida, ALD Automotive, Ouro Verde, and others.
And what is it that you provide for them?
PMJ: Besides creating an environment for networking, ABLA supports members legally and commercially speaking. For the latter, due to economies of scale, members gain negotiating power and that is something that can help them get discounts on products such as telemetry and other vehicles services.
We work hand-in-hand with national renting federation Fenaloc regarding political and legislative issues and also team up with all the state vehicle rental unions (known as Sindlocs).
Although I mentioned exchanging experiences with the United States and Europe, our main focus is to seek more integration with rental companies in Latin America.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in vehicle renting in Brazil?
PMJ: The biggest challenge is controlling your expenses, but more specifically, dealing with traffic tickets. It is very difficult to charge a fine to a client once an infraction occurs. In Brazil, fines are charged to the vehicle owner and not the driver, unlike some other countries where the driver assumes responsibility.
What about long-term leasing. Is that an option?
PMJ: Long-term leasing has left a “bad taste” in the market for Lessors and this is due to past experiences. Some years ago, many leasing companies faced ongoing problems from users not paying their vehicle taxes and traffic tickets, or even leaving it up to Lessors to foot the bill for third party damages in accidents found to be the driver’s fault.
In Brazil, Lessors bare a lot of responsibility and many of them just don’t like it.
Having an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid fleet is a slowly growing trend in some countries. However, do you find them feasible for the Latin American market?
PMJ: For the common passenger car, I don’t see it as being worth it right now but maybe in the years to come. However, these types of vehicles could be viable for commercial use depending on how they are being used.
For daily car rentals, it could be an option if drivers are restricted to a specific geographical region such as a particular city or an urban area. It may also be a good option for freight vehicles with predefined routes and distances to be travelled.
For now, commercial operations in these controlled environments are those I see benefiting most from these types of vehicles.
ABLA president Paulo Miguel Junior and Global Fleet editor Daniel Bland
Represents from both ABLA and Gobal Fleet are speaking at the Welcome Tommorow mobility conference which has been put together by Instituto PARAR this week. It is taking place October 29-31 in the city of São Paulo.