“aFleet wants to give its letters of nobility to the fleet leadership”
L’automobile & L’Entreprise: Can you tell us about the origin of aFleet and how you built this organization together?
Theophane Courau: We are seven companies that jointly created aFleet (Aficar Mobility, Direct Fleet, Fatec Group holson, Phoenix Development, Solucar, Traxall France). We have one thing in common in the Fleter profession, behind which there may be different definitions. And we thought it was important to define it precisely. Also, in our business, there are key trends in the disrupted ecosystem where builders and tenants are very well structured – increasing outsourcing of support functions, strengthening customer needs, etc. We, on our part, had not yet taken the time to organize ourselves and told ourselves that professionalizing the fleet manager profession could bring more to this ecosystem. Especially since it is a scarce profession that requires effort in recruitment and training. There is a real need to move up the value chain by focusing on people first.
Laurent Hauducoeur: Today, many players can claim to be a car fleet manager. Expressing who we are, what we do and how we do it in concrete terms seemed interesting to us because of the specificity of our profession. We need to pool our knowledge to present fleet management as a whole and participate in non-commercial discussions.
A&E: How did you define the work? What else will he bring to this profession?
CT. : The profession of Fleeter is not always sufficiently defined in the French market. Taken individually, we are all gamers on a human scale. Collectively we begin to have an interesting weight and an equally important dynamic. Between seven of us, we represent 500 clients, nearly 300,000 vehicles driven, just over 330 dedicated employees and growth rates well above the French economy. When we see that lessors advertise 300,000 vehicles in fleet management, on behalf of management, finally our association has the same weight as SesamLLD, even if it reads a little in terms of value or fees. It gives us legitimacy and allows us to open up the discussion.
LH. : That’s the basis of our thinking: we want to bring something to the discussion. Our companies have been around for more than a decade, and in a concrete sense, we face the changes in the automotive ecosystem together with our customers. In this context, as fleet management professionals, it is important to be able to share our vision, approach and good practices with the market with a logic of structuring our business.
A&E: What is aFleet’s vision for global fleet management and what best practices would you like to share?
LH. : We emphasize the complexity of the fleet manager profession. Until now, we have been in a fairly binary organization, with economic and budgetary imperatives on the one hand, and the use of vehicles as a recruiting or motivational tool on the other. Today, we see the CSR dimension of companies dominating with a highly variable balance. Thus, it is necessary to be able to handle all dimensions of the trade: economy, procurement, human resources, knowledge of vehicles, environmental approach… And this is despite the fact that in many companies it remains a fleet management function. internal evolution. Therefore, our approach is that it is necessary to become professional.
CT. : Our customers have a conflicting injection between a strong desire to support the energy transition and the fact of managing costs while providing the best possible mobility for employees, yet they expect a complete view of all issues from their fleet. In the context of a balance of power with builders who have completely reversed and unpredictable energy prices. They therefore need a global vision and sharing of best practices for greater added value.
A&E: You want to take an active part in the debates about today’s and tomorrow’s mobility. Have you already taken some action?
CT. : The first step is to introduce our association first to show who aFleet is and what it can bring. In the second step, we will try to co-build and improve to work better together by adopting best practices. We also plan to address topics related to the energy transition and taxation.
LH. : We are independent companies and protect the interests of our clients. But we are not in the logic of unification in the opposition. We want to take things forward with co-construction to add value to the market and simplify all of our relationships with the ecosystem and expand fleet management as a whole and give it letters of nobility.
A&E: We can expect this to develop rapidly on the subject of car taxation, especially for anything related to electric vehicles. Is aFleet also giving itself a mission of protectionism over what the government might envision for the future?
LH. : This is indeed a mission that will become possible once we establish our legitimacy and vision. This first step is necessary to be able to discuss with the authorities, to be able to speak and above all to listen. In any case, we already have a clear view on certain subjects that we need to clarify regarding the application of certain tax rules, classification… This is one of the elements that we want to focus on, such as the association of rental companies. a few years ago, he took action on benefits in kind. A great victory for Sesamld then, to the credit of all the fleet chiefs.
A&E: Can you give us specific examples?
CT. : Once we get enough recognition, for example, we can add our stone to the building on the social and tax treatment of the mobility budget. We believe that the rules deserve to be clarified because they slow down the deployment of this system.
LH. : There are questions about the changes in the rules applied by the URSSAF in calculating the allowance in kind, especially the re-introduction of the fuel budget. This is one of the questions we would like to ask URSSAF under the association. From aFleet’s common base, we will engage in discussions whether it is public, before authorities, and ultimately within our ecosystem. All in constructive logic.
A&E: Do you also intend to have discussions with manufacturers that change the balance of power?
CT. : We will go step by step and at this stage we should first meet with financiers, especially long-term rental companies, before we go to meet with builders.
A&E: How is the association organized and are you open to other memberships?
CT. : We are inspired by Europe’s governance with a rotating presidency to get everyone involved and ensure sustainability. Today we are represented by seven companies. We will be able to open it by 2023 once the core is robust and autonomous enough.
LH. : There is good dynamism with regular meetings and involvement of all members. This associative approach will undoubtedly serve the development of the profession.
aFleet’s first office consists of:
Teofan Curau, President
Laurent Hauducoeur, Vice President
Philip Ambon, Secretary
Maxim Sartorius, communication
Fabien Goussault, treasurer