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Face-to-face with Alphabet’s CEO, Norbert van den Eijnden

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with our CEO, Norbert van den Eijnden, to hear his latest thoughts on the status quo at Alphabet – and where we are heading to in 2016.

Alphabet just released its figures for 2015. Can you say a few words about them?

Gladly! 2015 was a really successful year for Alphabet. We grew by 8.5 % and outperformed market growth throughout our business segments. Additionally we are thrilled that we exceeded the 600,000 milestone of leased cars and LCVs. These are two things our company can be proud of.

What were your personal fleet-industry highlights in 2015?

The fleet leasing is very dear to my heart, so I was extremely pleased to see leasing re-emerge as a very attractive financing option. Clients have the opportunity to entrust fleet services providers like Alphabet with more aspects of Business Mobility, which gives them more time to focus on reaching their business targets. Outsourcing relieves fleet managers and is financially advantageous for companies.

Buzzwords were also big in 2015. Autonomous driving, Internet of Things, Big Data … Used correctly, the latest technologies and innovations can strengthen the leasing business and our company’s performance. Just as an example: Current innovations in international reporting und apps will strengthen and enhance services like damage management and fuel services.

In 2015 we also proved that Alphabet’s approach of combining hassle-free, tailor-made solutions with innovation is the right course to follow: we received awards in the UK, the Netherlands and Poland. We are very proud to be distinguished as the ‘most innovative leasing provider’.

What’s the biggest challenge the fleet industry currently faces?

These are most certainly alternative fuel sources, whether we are talking about hybrid, electric, hydrogen or a combination thereof. The fact is that right now the car industry is constantly developing new technologies.

Company fleets can’t be switched to new drive lines from one moment to the next. Sustainable preparation and good advice to change the car policy are crucial for those clients who think about adapting their fleet.

For us, it’s essential to select the right kind of mobility for each user from a growing number of possibilities. Personalised, perfect-fitting mobility packages are becoming increasingly important, including letting users choose their transport form on a situation-to-situation basis. Therefore we are aligning the future of Business Mobility with our clients’ needs.

Based on your own experiences as a company car driver, what services do you appreciate most?

All services that are hassle-free and make my life easier as a driver. For me, the must-haves are a fuel card and insurance coverage in foreign countries. When driving I don’t want to worry about locating the right petrol station and how to pay. All-inclusive mobility packages let me devote my attention to my work.

Which products in Alphabet’s portfolio should get more attention because they truly make life easier for drivers and/or fleet managers?

Operational leasing and insurance with coverage and assistance in foreign countries are two products that immediately come to mind. Also, our wide selection of electric vehicles (EVs) and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The demand for these two categories is rapidly growing, but they also require comprehensive consultancy. Fleet experts advise clients whether they need help determining the best vehicle size for their company, the ideal type of transmission or which on-top services to purchase. Alphabet excels here with its consulting offer, in-depth knowledge and tailor-made solutions from its full-service portfolio.

Tell us: what’s Alphabet’s secret to success?

First and foremost, our full-service offer. We strive to give clients the support they need – be it something required regionally, our tailor-made mobility solutions or something else entirely. That’s why I highly value client satisfaction and being a one-stop shop.

On a strategic level, our link to BMW certainly helps. Our parent company clearly defined the vision for the next 100 years. This vision confirmed Alphabet’s innovative and future-oriented approach. We are exploring new technologies, actively drive innovation – and are committed to sustainability and reducing COemissions.

Last but not least, we give our clients fleet solutions that are flexible, open and adaptable with vehicles from multiple manufacturers.

What can we expect from Alphabet in 2016?

Of course, we continue working hard to develop new and advanced products and services to facilitate the life of fleet managers and drivers. Our employees and their experience make the difference and will bring Alphabet International forward. But if I had to name one concrete example, it would be the upgraded AlphaGuide app. It’s dynamic and we are constantly advancing it by integrating new features. The latest version enables users to experience enhanced mobility and our target in 2016 is to underline this promise by adding more and more market specific services.

What are three things you look forward to accomplishing in 2016?

  1. Building on the progress we made in 2015
  2. Enhancing reports and data management to ease the job of fleet managers
  3. Serving clients – also in new markets medium term

Thanks, Norbert van den Eijnden, for your intriguing insight. We look forward to what’s yet to come!