Philip Morris: Fleet Management from Europe to Latin America
Following test beds in Europe, both electric vehicles and car sharing are being introduced to the Latin America fleet (some 3,500 vehicles) of international Tobacco company Philip Morris (PMI).
Fortunately, I was able to schedule an interview with Almy Sousa Magalhaes, the company’s global procurement executive and winner of the 2018 Global Fleet Manager of the Year, just before he left the firm for a fleet and travel procurement role at Ecolab.
Overall, about 70% of PMI’s global fleet (22,930 vehicles) is acquired through multi-year leasing, 25% through direct purchases, and 5% by way of rent-a-car. As for Latin America, its footprint includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Almy Sousa Magalhaes (source: Global Fleet)
As it is set on being “greener” by decreasing CO2 emissions, approximately 2% of PMI’s global fleet is hybrid or electric vehicles (EV). Most of them, however, are in the European Union due to more competitive pricing and a larger battery recharging network.
“In Latin America, the company’s pilot country for EV is Colombia with 10 units, followed by Costa Rica and Mexico. Hybrids are also being tested in the region,” said Magalhaes.
As for car sharing, it is also being tested in Europe and on the way to Latin America with Brazil being the starting bed, according to the executive.
For one, PMI Italy has launched an innovative car sharing solution involving a pool of 57 cars contracted through a pay-per-use model. Unlike fleet leasing contracts, it entails a more flexible monthly car payment schedule without the longer commitment of 3-5 years.
In general, the company is seeing a lot of internal interest in the car subscription concept and pilots are underway, especially for benefit cars. Some of the other services also being looked into are shuttle service, park and ride, and transportation allowance.
PMI has a safety policy which, among other things, is focused on improving fleet safety performance, reducing traffic accidents, decreasing property loss, and preventing human impacts to PMI employees, road users and other citizens.
Basically, its fleet safety management system has an integrated approach that is based on nine elements: leadership, baseline assessment, risk assessment, hiring of drivers & placement, training, performance recognition, vehicle selection & maintenance, incident reporting & investigation, management reviews, and communication.
“Among the main tools being used to improve fleet safety and security is telematics. While it is being implemented in 22 countries worldwide, the main countries in Latin America using this solution are Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia,” Magalhaes said.
Starting in April, Mr. Magalhaes is to be holding the position of senior fleet & travel procurement manager for international chemicals company Ecolab. We wish him the best of luck on his new endeavor.