LeasePlan’s Sandra Tappermann-Pieper on future fleet strategies

Sandra Tappermann-Pieper, global director of marketing and branding at LeasePlan, speaks to Natalie Middleton about global marketing campaigns and new propositions for the corporate, SME and private sectors.

Sandra Tappermann-Pieper, global director of marketing and branding at LeasePlan

Q. What’s the basis behind the ‘What’s next’ global marketing campaign?

A. LeasePlan is always looking at what’s next and the answer is any ‘Any car, Anytime, Anywhere’. That’s what we’d like to make possible for everyone. We have a couple of examples where you can see we are really working on it. One this year is a completely new way of buying a used car using our ex-lease cars. We plan to do that through a sophisticated digital platform and also link to a seamless experience where you can test-drive your car and pick it up if you want to, but also complete the full buying process online with home delivery if that’s what you want.

What is unique here is that we talk about fixed price – no negotiations; we’re very transparent on pricing.

Another main strength is that a lot of people feel very uncomfortable buying a used car. Because our cars are leased cars, potential buyers have full transparency of the maintenance and the full history of the car and can see immediately how well we have taken care of these cars. They can try the car for 14 days and if they don’t like it after this, they can just give it back with no questions asked.

We are also trying a new car subscription model in the UK from January. This model provides drivers with more flexibility for what type of car they’d like to drive and what period, and enables them to change it as required, for example when they go on holiday. We will transform ourselves more and more to this type of model in this future.

A ‘Click & Drive’ offering will also be introduced for the SME segment, offering special online lease deals, an all-inclusive service package and fleet reporting along with fast delivery times – so if you order a car now, you can drive it next week.

Q. How are you targeting bigger fleets with the ‘What’s next’ programme?

A. If we look at the bigger fleets, we see more developments there to make themselves more sustainable and we’re committing ourselves to a point where there are no emissions anymore. We’ve already signed up to the EV100 campaign for multinationals, with plans to have all our employees driving electric cars by 2021.

And we are also helping to migrate our customers to EVs with an end-to-end service, so we offer initial consultancy on which vehicles will work for that particular fleet. We make sure that the charging infrastructure is in place and can ensure there’s just one travel card for everyone, including employees in hybrids.

The ‘360 formula’ will also be new for 2018. This initiative covers three elements. First of all, we cover the total cost of ownership: looking at the total cost involved and how we can make sure those costs become lower in future. The second part is how we can increase the sustainability of your fleet and last but not least, how we cn improve your employee satisfaction and driver safety.

Of course in the very far future we’re looking at autonomous vehicles, which will bring lots more opportunities; that’s the area where we really think we can also play a role.

Q. What about the shift to mobility solutions?

A. In certain countries such as the Netherlands, we can already provide mobility cards, but it’s still really hard to see the take-up. I believe we will see the market move to a position where mobility is provided through the vehicle. I can also imagine in the future that bigger companies will say that if you just provide the driver with some cash, they can just sort it out themselves. That’s also going to be an area where we see the industry probably evolving over the years.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.