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Conditions are right for mobility solutions

Economic uncertainty and green issues have created a business environment in turkey that is ideal for mobility solutions, but companies do not yet appreciate the benefits of these alternative transport arrangements

Economic and environmental pressures in Turkey will pave the way for cheaper, greener mobility solutions, according to fleet experts in the country.
 
Turkey may not have the same tax incentives as western European countries to drive low carbon emission vehicles, but “decreasing fuel consumption and reducing the carbon footprint are becoming important priorities for companies,” said Tolga Özgül, General Coordinator at Tokkder, the Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association of Turkey.
 
These environmental considerations have to be squared with the role of the company car as a tool of staff recruitment and retention.
 
“Companies are trying to find the right balance in costs, driver satisfaction and environmental responsibility, and shape their policies accordingly,” added Tolga ÖZGÜL.
 
The growing use of vehicle tracking technology and telematics, a key focus for fleet operators in Turkey, is also generating the data that both employers and suppliers can use to identify future opportunities for mobility solutions.
 
Uncertainty in the Turkish economy, which has been damaged by political unrest and a devaluation in the currency, may actually accelerate demand for cost effective mobility solutions, said Ayça Albayrak Sezgin, Corporate Brand Management Supervisor  at Garanti Fleet.
 
“The economy is both the main obstacle and also the biggest opportunity to go for an integrated mobility strategy in Turkey,” she said. “The more that fleet companies can provide flexibility in car leasing, the faster the fleet market can grow. Customers, in the near future, may not be asking for fixed rentals for a certain period, but rather a flexible agreement with the fleet company for a certain number of cars, that they would use only when necessary, and be charged accordingly.”
 
In this scenario, leasing companies will have to act more like daily rental firms, providing an easy-to-use service, competitive prices and a rapid response time to their clients’ needs. But it will require a cultural shift to change the attitude of Turkish people towards sharing vehicles, said Onur Kurşungöz, Key Account Management - Corporate Accounts Passenger Cars,  at Mercedes-Benz.
 
“Turkish people remain reluctant to share their vehicle with someone we don’t know and therefore prefer individual mobility,” he said.
 
In the corporate sector, this mobility has traditionally centred around company cars provided to a sales or field force as well as perk cars for more senior management. However, Mercedes-Benz does anticipate mobility concepts developing to include public transport and very short term rental.
 
“Opportunities will arise quickly as Turkish entrepreneurs are very inventive in the services industry,” said Onur Kurşungöz. “Today, the early steps of these opportunities (very short term rental) exist and succeed in Istanbul.”
 
The challenge, however, lies in the lack of public transport infrastructure, especially in city suburbs where its use is limited.
 
Otokoç Otomotiv has already made a move into the mobility sector with the launch of Zipcar in Istanbul. The specialist carpooling and car sharing service gives customers the option to rent a car from one hour to 47 months, said Inan Ekici, Deputy General Manager, at Otokoç, who added that more needs to be done to inform and educate customers of the benefits of this type of mobility solution.
 
“It creates additional value for companies’ car pools, improves vehicle productivity, and creates flexibility for clients,” he added. “Companies still need to understand the advantages of seeing mobility as an integrated business. That business will boom when the market has more connected cars and is managed by more data.”
 
30/11/2016  |  Jonathan Manning

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