Q&A: Olivier Ferry, Hyundai, corporate sales & remarketing director

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Hyundai has increased its presence in Europe thanks to aggressive growth that now includes 40% sales going to fleet. Jonathan Musk catches up with Olivier Ferry, corporate sales & remarketing director.

Olivier Ferry, corporate sales & remarketing director

Olivier Ferry, corporate sales & remarketing director

What key factors do you credit Hyundai’s growth in the European market in 2017 to?

2017 was the third consecutive year of growth for Hyundai Motor with registrations of 523,000 units. Our fleet business is accounting for more than 40% of our total sales volume in Europe – and therefore key to our success. This success has been driven by a young and growing product line-up, including the all-new Kona and the i30 range.

We are building European cars for our European customers: more than 85% of all Hyundai vehicles sold in Europe are also designed, engineered and built here to meet the needs of our customers. Customer-centricity is a key element and the foundation of Hyundai’s strategic ambitions in Europe. The specific requirements of the fleet customers have been influential in developing our latest models, such as the growing SUV range with the fourth-generation Santa Fe and the eco-mobility products Nexo, Kona Electric and Ioniq.

What are the forecasts for 2018?

With a full year’s sale of the whole i30 range and the Hyundai Kona and many new models, we are looking positively into 2018. With the product launches coming to market in the first half of 2018, Hyundai will have renewed 90% of its line-up in less than two years. These include the Nexo, the Kona Electric and the fourth-generation Santa Fe. And with our new eco-cars we are already leading in future mobility solutions when others are just getting started.

The Kona Electric as well as the Nexo are our door openers for fleet business. Both set new standards on range and will therefore create an added customer demand.

With the growing portfolio, we see a high potential of growth in the fleet business above market.

With a strong electrification agenda, where do the 18 electrified vehicles by 2025 fit into fleet plans?

It is our goal to make innovative technology accessible. We are “democratising” eco-mobility, which becomes more and more relevant for European drivers – and our fleet customers. That is why we have set up a dedicated team for this topic.

We have to get potential customers accustomed to eco-mobility and new forms of mobility overall. That is why we have initiated several sharing programmes like our first pure-electric car sharing service in Europe in Amsterdam: the ‘Ioniq car sharing’ consists of 100 Ioniq Electric vehicles, making zero-emission driving accessible everywhere in the city. Already after three months, over 4,000 users registered for this programme.

Another remarkable eco-mobility project is the ‘hype’ taxi fleet in Paris. It is the largest fuel cell taxi fleet worldwide, with 60 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicles.

And with our just presented cars, Hyundai Nexo and Kona Electric, we are offering eco-cars with class-leading ranges from 482 up to almost 800 kilometres. That makes them interesting for fleet customers travelling longer distances.

Is Hyundai having to adopt new sales tactics in light of these vehicles?

The broader portfolio is giving us more opportunities especially also in the field of future mobility. Our focus is to reinforce leasing partnerships and improve our leasing offer. But also our point of sale has to be professionalised to meet the demand of our fleet customers and our B2B business. But we are building up a steady platform of continuity. That means we will also continue to improve with our sales programme for dealers and companies.

Are there any specific fleet incentives being introduced in 2018?

Overall we will improve our leasing offers, especially with the new mobility solutions coming up. But we will also work on the residual value of our fleets to further improve the offers we can give to our customers.

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.