For 10 years in Romania, ALD Automotive builds on its international experience gained in over 40 countries. The company managed to increase every year by quality customer service and innovative programs that it created over time. About these and the future plans of the company we talked to Catalin Olteanu, Commercial Director ALD Automotive.
ALD Automotive celebrates this year, 10 years on the market in Romania. What did these years meant for the company?
ALD Automotive is present for 10 years now on the full service operational leasing market in Romania and, from the outset, it has shown that it has the expertise and knowledge that the customers need, for a professional vehicle fleet management. Even in the first year we had outstanding results at the end of 2005 figures indicating a team of 12 people and a fleet of 170 vehicles. 10 years later, in June 2015, the company had a market share of 17%, an active portfolio of over 300 customers and a fleet of over 8,700 vehicles.
We want to invest in the telematics, as well as in promoting the electric vehicles. I have seen a growing interest from our clients high for these types of cars and we hope that in the coming years, we will deliver more and more environmentally friendly fleets.
This approach has helped us to mark several firsts in the local market, ALD Automotive being one of the companies that has shaped this segment in Romania and imposed a high level of innovation and service quality. Thus, we launched a series of mobile applications and online in support of our customers, we have been actively involved in greening the fleets and accountability of drivers and we were the first company that has launched a White Label operational leasing in Romania. In addition, ALD Automotive was the first player on the market that has engaged in the research activities: together with Nielsen we studied the attitude of managers regarding the operating leases, which provided us with relevant insights on their mentality and how they relate to these services.
There are extraordinary results achieved thanks to a team that has mastered the innovative spirit of ALD Automotive Group and succeded in providing to the customers in Romania the best service, always one step ahead of market trends.
What is the basis of the company’s business philosophy?
Our philosophy is centered on three main pillars: providing quality and innovating services, customized networking with customers both through dedicated staff and using mobile applications and online to support the need for mobility, and a third pillar through which we involved in protecting the environment.
On each of these levels we develop projects and services that support our customers and convince them to recommend us and stay with us. We are very involved in all the contractual stages, by offering our partners not only a powerful operational leasing service, but also advice whenever needed. Moreover, they have handy programs that help them to be more responsible behind the wheel and environmentally friendly, and mobile applications that facilitate their day-to-day activity, or to provide real-time information about the fleet. Finally, we invest heavily in our customer care service, being the first company in its field which introduced a call center application with connection to Internet, Visual IVR.
From a strategic standpoint, what approach did you chose to maitain yourselves one of the market leaders?
ALD Automotive is one of the first operational leasing companies that have entered the market in Romania and we can say that we had a major role in shaping it. At first we based the business on working with multinationals, which were opened to such a service, thanks to their international experience. We then went on an information stage and advice, offered to the local managers, who were beginning to adjust to this new type of financing and its benefits. We managed alongside other major players in the market to communicate the benefits of operational leasing, so the vast majority of customers now understand what such a contract means. We engaged with all openness in this process since the beginning, and now our sales consultants are true business advisers to their clients and help them choose the best solution in terms of financial and related services.
ALD Automotive is present for 10 years now on the full service operational leasing market in Romania
Also, we turned to the creation of new and innovative services and adapted to market needs, maintaining the same high quality standard. We were constantly connected with our customers’ wishes, so that every time we managed to keep one step ahead of the market trends.
What are the plans of ALD Automotive ?
We proposed that in 2015 we want to focus heavily on developing new fields of business such as the niche of SMEs, which we have already begun to explore. Due to the business development in this direction, we aim to reach a fleet of 9,000 vehicles by the end of this year.
We also intend to develop services that would help our customers, to help them increase their mobility and to focus on their business objectives. Thus, we want to invest in the telematics, and promoting electric vehicles. I have seen a high growing interest from our clients for these types of cars and we hope that in the coming years to deliver more and more environmentally friendly fleet. But for this segment, clearly a support in the infrastructure development is needed, which we hope will improve in the near future.
Thus, we expect to have a very interesting upcoming period, as the international trends will enter the Romanian market.