The expansion of the markets, where Alphabet is active, is actually by 4 countries simultaneously – Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus. The market entry to these markets is based on the partnership of Alphabet with Hertz. The operator for Hertz in the new countries within the portfolio of Alphabet is Autohellas SA.
Who are Alphabet?
No, they have nothing to do with Google – just a name coincidence. Alphabet is a European company, established in the UK in 1997, as a daughter company of the German automaker BMW, and specialized in fleet management. Although the company started its activity as a captive leasing company, today it is focused on “corporate mobility“. With the four new markets, today the company is active in 28 countries /including Russia, China and Australia/ and manages a lease portfolio exceeding EUR 6 billion with a fleet of 700 000 cars. The presence of Alphabet on various markets is either directly or through cooperation with a local partner. The market entry of Alphabet to the Bulgarian market is through the cooperation with the Greek-based Autohellas SA, which is also the operator of Hertz for all four markets.
„Autohellas holistic service approach, combining classic leasing topics with workshop expertise, aligns well with Alphabet’s mission to guarantee customer satisfaction and to help companies achieve their goals by implementing the right mix of products and services“, shared the Chief Commercial Officer of Alphabet Mr. Richard Schooling.
Who are Autohellas?
Autohellas is a Greek public company registered in 1974. The company is specialized in operational leasing, fleet management, and rent-a-car services. Autohellas manages a fleet of some 44 000 cars on the Balkan peninsula. In Bulgaria, Autohellas is represented by Autotechnica – the official importer of Seat and operator of Hertz for Bulgaria. The company is the second largest specialized op-leasing company in Bulgaria. It is exactly here that we may expect the new partnership with Alphabet to manifest.
Initially, the services will target „international corporate clients“, as we learned from the Deputy GM of Autohellas Mr. Dimitrios Mangioros, who shared: „Joining forces to provide best-fit mobility solutions to international corporate customers is a logical and future-oriented step of Autohellas”.
What can we expect?
Obviously, the poor penetration of operational leasing in the Bulgarian market (less than 5%, as per the Bulgarian leasing market review for 2018) is noticed by operators in the fleet management segment. Besides “notice”, obviously all view this as a market opportunity. The leading specialized leasing company in this segment (as per the ranking of the Bulgarian leasing companies)in Bulgaria is ALD Automotive (which is part of the European leasing leader group – Societe General). Beside ALD, two of the Bulgarian leasing groups also have their own fleet management companies:
- „DSK Operational Leasing“ – part of the Group DSK-OTP;
- „Eurolease Rent-a-car (or car rental) is the... More“ – part of the Eurohold Group, who is also the operator of Avis and Budget.
Further all Captive Leasing Company is a company... More A company whose main activity is... More (Porsche Leasing, Moto Pfoe Leasing, Sofia Leasing, and Euratech) offer operational leasing and fleet management services to the clients of the respective brands. Last, but not least – all large bank-owned A company whose main activity is... More also offer operational leasing – Unicredit Leasing, UBB Interlease, Raiffeisen Leasing. Many operators – but small op-lease business. We may be certain that soon the penetration of operational leasing on the Bulgarian market will start to grow in the wake of strong competition. The Alphabet stepping on the Bulgarian leasing market will only exacerbate this.
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