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Mobility market to pick up pace in 2020

2020 will bring further introductions of new mobility and connected car services from OEMs, fleet and leasing operators, aided by software sector developments.

Sofico managing director Gémar Hompes

So says global automotive finance, leasing, fleet and mobility management software provider Sofico as it reports global success for 2019, including market expansion and an increase in employees to record levels worldwide.

According to Sofico, the current trend for providing a wider choice of mobility options through a managed mobility budget will gather pace throughout key EU markets in 2020.

As a result, the Belgian-based software house believes that businesses in major urban areas especially are increasingly looking at mobility options to complement or replace the traditional perk car.

“This doesn’t mean the company car is dead,” said managing director Gémar Hompes. “Far from it, with cars becoming ever more sophisticated and low emission with each new generation.

“But there is a growth in multi-modal means of corporate transport that are more about getting the employee from A to B in the most cost-effective way, rather than providing them with a car as a matter of course.

“Mobility has been a hot-and-often-talked-about topic for several years but now we see more players launching an offering. Although the uptake is still quite low, we expect that to increase in 2020,” he said.

At the same time, Sofico believes that the increasing complexity of the UK and European automotive lease and finance markets, where boundaries between fleet and retail are blurring, requires sophisticated, future-ready hybrid systems to manage.

Sofico says vehicle ownership is shifting towards vehicle ‘usership’, with more drivers using shared vehicles for shorter periods. As a result, OEMs, fleet and leasing operators need to be able to manage usage intervals from minutes to years.

This supports the introduction of new mobility and connected car services, such as peer-to-peer car and ride sharing, ultra-short term rental and digital concierge services.

“Today, software systems like Miles need hybrid capabilities: a core ERP system combined with a cloud-native micro-services architecture and decision support framework to cover the full spectrum of contracted vehicle usage: financing, leasing, renting as well as sharing.

“This enables our customers to embrace the future and explore new opportunities by providing an end-to-end online customer journey that links contracted vehicle usage with driver-centric, value-added mobility and connected car services with a strong focus on integration, customer self-serve and straight through processes,” he added.

Sofico has also reported significant geographic expansion and employee growth over the last year, including the launch of projects and implementations in new markets. As part of the expansion, 70 new employees were recruited in locations around the world, taking the total headcount to around 340. Its Sofico Services Germany and Sofico Services UK operations are also looking to increase their headcount further.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.