Autorola Belux director Erwin Coesens discusses how Belgium has fallen out of love with diesel and fleets are moving to a one stop shop approach
After decades of diesel dominance, the Belgian market has virtually switched its allegiances overnight. Thanks to government fiscal reform which includes lower registration and road tax for petrols, hybrids and EVs plus an equalisation at the pumps of the price of diesel and petrol fuel the Belgian motor industry has fallen out of love with diesel virtually overnight.
For companies the more environmentally friendly the car the more it is tax deductible and for employees’ company car tax is lower.New petrol, hybrid and EV cars are now popular
“For many years Belgium was nearly 95% in favour of diesels based on their fuel consumption, reliability and strong running costs. This has changed quickly with car makers now offering a strong range of petrol, hybrid and EV options that are proving very popular,” explained Coesens.
The biggest industry challenge is that consumers now want to buy only used petrols. When the Government introduced its new green road policy it affected cars already on the road as well as new cars so private motorists are moving towards petrols as they wait for hybrids and EVs to reach the market.Consumer demand is high for used petrol cars
“Our used car traders and franchised dealers are desperately looking to buy used petrols to satisfy demand. Consumers are willing to pay more for petrols, but there simply aren’t enough to go around and there won’t be until the substantial number of diesels are flushed out of the system,” said Coesens.
The result is that thousands of used petrols are being imported through Autorola’s online portal into Belgium. This cross-border activity is helping some way to balancing demand and supply.Fleet Monitor grows as OEMs and leasing companies prefer one stop shop
Leasing companies and national sales companies are also changing the way they manage their vehicles by switching to a one stop shop supplier such as Autorola to take care of their assets. Autorola has seen growth for its Fleet Monitor product which manages a car from its inception in the factory to the day it is sold online.
Companies like JLR and Mazda have extended this one step further with Autorola now running the tender process for the refurbishment of ex
company cars and rental cars. The work is offered out to authorised bodyshops and the most competitive price wins the repair contract. The refurb process is vitally important as these cars are being offered to dealers in a ready to retail condition up to six months before they are due to come back to the manufacturer.Pre-selling is now popular up to six months before the car is defleeted
This pre-selling process is being offered through Autorola Branded Sites where dealers can bid on OEM stock in a closed auction environment. The dealer can bid on stock and a final defleet inspection by Autorola means the price the dealer pays is modified slightly depending on the car’s final mileage and condition.
“By selling used cars so early in the life of a car on a buyback agreement the manufacturer is managing its assets more efficiently. They know what pipeline of used stock they have sold and what cars they can then offer out to the wider market. This approach is proving very successful and is a dream come true for many remarketing strategists who have been talking about this approach for many years. Now this has become reality,” said Coesens.