Traditionally known as a leisure brand, Europcar has spent the past 18 months laying the foundations to become a key player in the resources industry – opening mine specific branches in strategic locations, bolstering its fleet of mine-ready vehicles and appointing a team of experts to drive Europcar’s commercial expansion.
Europcar’s Commercial Development Manager for WA, Fred Lawrence, who attended the Mining Procurement and Supply APAC in Perth this June, said recent industry trends presented a huge opportunity for Europcar to service the resources industry.
“The mining procurement market is an evolving one – with economic changes there is more emphasis on adding value and safety requirements for light vehicle supply,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Exploration has slowed down as companies concentrate on production, which means less staff and fewer infrastructure requirements. Combined with the changing value of the dollar, there’s a definite slowing in the marketplace.”
While this situation could be seen as a challenge, Mr Lawrence said Europcar was in a strong position to meet the developing needs of the resources industry.
“Europcar is taking a customer focused approach, which means resource clients have the opportunity to help shape our offering to suit their business model,” Mr Lawrence said. “Our clients can tell us what they want and we can make it happen for them – it’s a real ground-floor opportunity to collaborate and develop business-by-business solutions.”
Mr Lawrence said Europcar was also well equipped to meet clients’ safety needs thanks to its new and modern fleet. “Light vehicles on site is one of the highest safety risks in the mining industry so companies are looking to only use vehicles with the highest 5 star ANCAP safety ratings,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Our expanding fleet already includes 5 star rated mine-equipped vehicles with all the latest safety features. Our 4WD Ute range includes the 5 star Ford Ranger, Mazda BT50 and the VW Amarok – all superb vehicles with the latest technology to protect the driver and passengers.
“This impressive fleet range means we can not only offer customers newer vehicles with higher safety ratings, but also a very competitive rate because of the high resale value for our vehicles.”
Mr Lawrence said the changing nature of the resources industry also meant the vehicle rental industry would continue to play a vital role in meeting the sector’s needs. “Anybody who runs a fleet of any kind in the resources industry needs to have a combination of fleet costs – their own assets, a leased fleet and a rental fleet,” Mr Lawrence said.
“To efficiently manage the changing demands of this industry, resource companies need to be able to bring in fleet quickly and also de-fleet quickly with no penalty costs involved – that’s the flexibility that comes with a rental fleet and we have the vehicles and systems to meet that need.”