6 Dec 17

Corporate side presentations at Fleet Europe Summit 2017

The 2017 Fleet Europe Summit was the ideal event for international fleet and mobility partners to showcase their latest product and service development in the Fleet Europe Village. Five companies even shared their views on a variety of topics touching on mobility and fleet management.

Parminder Kohli of Shell presented his company’s views on the next generation of fleet management in our rapidly changing world. A range of solutions is needed to guarantee our energy supply in the future but diesel and petrol will remain a part of the mix for some time to come. Nevertheless, fuel economy will improve thanks to technological advances. There will be a mosaic of other solutions, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen cars and EVs.

A number of disruptive technologies are already helping make transportation solutions more efficient. In conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover, Shell has developed a new way to pay for filling up a car while the driver stays behind the wheel. In Rotterdam, they have launched a mobile filling-up service where your car can be filled up while it is parked.

Open-end leasing

Fleet management specialist ARI sent its New Business Development Manager Enrique Montoya to stir up enthusiasm for open-end leasing.

The European market is dominated by closed-end leasing, a financing scheme that according to Mr Montoya creates the perception that it is easy, certain and without residual value risk.

But it is anything but that says ARI. The company sees fleet managers trying to lower or avoid hidden penalties, fees and margins when in full service leasing, and so operating in an unclear zone that can add up to 15% on top of the contracted fee.

According to Mr Montoya and ARI, open-end leasing offers plenty of advantages, the biggest being that "it is the funding method with the lowest TCO and offers full flexibility without penalties and hidden margins. By not packaging services like maintenance, taxes and remarketing into a bundled rate, organisations and fleet managers avoid carrying the burden of these services,it's to say paying huge profit margins."

Smart cities and smart mobility

Hervé Girardot of Corporate Vehicle Observatory, Arval’s think tank on mobility, stressed the growing importance of smart cities and smart mobility. Air quality is often very bad in European cities, and city councils are starting to take measures to improve it. They are increasingly banning the most polluting vehicles, introducing car-free areas and new infrastructure such as bike share schemes. At the same time, technological innovations are offering new possibilities in terms of autonomous and connected vehicles.

Fleet managers need to take into account these new services and challenges when reviewing their fleet and mobility programmes and when establishing their new employee policies.

In-car technology can save money and lives

The next side presentation was jointly presented by Harman’s Stéphane Lagresle and Maarten Baljet (pictured) of Bähr & Fess Forecasts. They went into some details about in-car technology from a user and a cost perspective.

Driver distraction can be deadly but it is no easy feat to forbid the phone behind the wheel completely. Voice-activated systems, head-up displays and cloud integration can help make traffic safer. This requires high-end navigation systems.

Mr Baljet analysed how safety and financials can be reconciled. His company analysed used-car prices for mid-sized and executive cars. They discovered identical cars commanded prices up to 3 % higher when equipped with high-end navigation systems.

He went on to demonstrate how residual values can be optimised by offering market-conform sensibly-equipped business models including high-end navigation systems.

Keys as a service

Continental ended the side presentations. Raj Sundar started by enlightening his audience, most of whom were unaware that a mere 40 % of his company’s sales represent rubber products as his company offers many technological products to a wide range of OEMs.

His talk focussed on keys as a service. Continental’s system is compatible with around 60 % of cars on the market today and is future-proof. Their device needs to be kept in the car but requires no installation or wires. A smartphone app connects to the Continental cloud that sends a signal to unlock the car. It is also possible to only give access to the car’s boot, opening the door to delivery services.

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck