ALD’s acquisition of LeasePlan at the beginning of this year created a 3.5 million fleet and a raft of process and cost synergies, but the true value of bringing two industry heavyweights together lies in the creation of a new global sustainable mobility player, according to Tim Albertsen, who heads up the combined operation, dubbed NewALD.
“If you’d looked at this transaction five or seven years ago, it would have been all about scalability. That’s not the case today, when the market is moving so fast, and people are no longer looking to buy cars any time soon. People don’t want ownership, they want ‘usageship’, and that’s underpinned by our product. You could say that in future, every single car will be financed. The question is, who will grab that market?” Albertsen explained.
While car sharing has failed to take off, partly because most drivers saw this option as inconvenient, the past two years have demonstrated that flexible, exclusive use of a car has become key. ALD’s purchase of Fleetpool, a leading German car subscription company, was in response to significant growth in this area.
“Subscription offers big potential – while it’s still centred on the car, it definitely fulfils the need from the consumer, with ownership fading fast. This way, drivers get a car and if in three months they don’t need it, they don’t have a car.
“Ride hailing is already there in urban mobility terms, and that could be a good segment for us serving operators and their fleets,” Albertsen maintained.
Albertsen said that merging ALD and LeasePlan meant combining the best of two very different groups with a different approach to market, but with a lot of synergy. “There’s a lot of pride in both groups and the ideal is not to destroy value but to create something new.”
NewALD has established a dedicated Integration Management Office to handle the merging of the two entities, which is expected to take between 18 and 24 months, and to ensure there is minimal disruption to the running of the new business.
But the bigger ripples are likely to be felt across the market, with Albertsen declaring: “The automotive sector is probably the most competitive in the world, and as soon as they get back to normal production there are going to be a lot of cars to sell, and manufacturers are going to need to be on our panel.”