As European leaders Europcar is a front runner in the industry. Leading the way with innovative marketing and strong team building, Europcar was rewarded for its success with the recognition of a World Travel Award in 2003. BTN caught up with Paolo CaputoIn its annual press conference held in Paris some days ago, Europcar announced it has become the European leader in car rental. Can you tell us more about it?
Paolo Caputo: Three years ago, EUROPCAR announced its intention to become the European leader in the sector. This it has now achieved if various key factors in the car rental business are compared: turnover, profits, the size of the fleet and the number of rental desks. With a turnover in 2003 of 1,105 million Euros, Europcar is one of the rare car rental companies to be able to announce positive results.
In addition we are proud to announce that EUROPCAR is continuing to improve its profitability in the car rental market. With pre-tax results of € 72 m in 2003, this corresponds to 6.5% of revenue, the best figure in the history of Europcar.
What are the reasons for such a success?
These results reflect the positive effect of our day to day work. A market leading position can only be achieved if everyone in the Europcar World strives for top performance; nomatter if it is at airport counters, in domestic locations, in reservation centres or at headquarters.
In 2003 Europcar has officially been awarded the title of “European Car Rental Leader ” by the “World Travel Awards” and that of the “Best Car Rental Company in Europe” by the readers of the Business Traveller Magazine. These 2 nominations are proof of the appreciation felt by thousands of customers and travel agents and reflect the quality of
service delivered each day by our teams.
What is it that sets you apart from other car rental companies, what drives you to succeed above and beyond the rest? Explain some of the ways in which you increase customer satisfaction.
Quality service is the essence of our business - not the cars. The difference the customer can feel at the counter is he human approach - the customer care.
Our company shows that, by setting clear and realistic objectives, it is possible to do well and achieve the aim we set: to become the most profitable company in the European market.
What specific area has proved to be the most successful for Europcar? Where would you like to see Europcar in the future?
Having reached this level of recognition on quality service, we are now striving to the strategic key goals in 2004 to lead the industry by proving we are capable of keeping the edge in terms of all parameters on automotive services, quality and products.
Therefore we will launch and develop sales, marketing and operational measures to ensure the broadening of the “Global Quality Service” to be in coherence with our horizon and leading spirit.
Europcar is perceived in the first stage as a service company with clear and transparent terms and conditions, procedures and operational as well as information technology processes. Secondly, but by no means to a lesser degree, Europcar is perceived as a car rental company, delivering the right car at the right place at the right time - at the agreed price.
What always strikes me personally in this particular car rental business is the complexity of our business. Finally everything is linked to excellence in working processes, transactions, mode of operations and management. The perfect orchestration of all these
parameters leads to success, but only if everyone within the process-chain is respecting his/her working responsibility, no matter on what level of hierarchy within the company.
This is why Europcar people are committed to support “Global Quality
Service” to achieve our ambitious long-term goal “to be chosen as the
most preferred car rental by customers, Human Resources and last but
not least Shareholders”.