Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

As a result of seven continuous years of decline, the 2013 Spanish passenger car market volume was less than half of the pre-crisis level of more 1.9 million new cars. In 2010, the total number of cars registered was 1.11 million units; in 2011, it was 928,589 units. In 2013, it was just 699,589 registrations.

And, the leasing industry has not been immune to the sting of the long-lasting recession.

“Since 2008, the leasing industry has suffered a continued decrease of 16 percent,” said Jesús Jimeno de Sanjuan, commercial director, ALD Automotive Spain. “However, ALD business lines have held up well overall, despite the difficult economic environment.”

In 2008, fleet leasing companies were managing 572,000 units in Spain. By the end of 2013, that number had fallen to 433,300 cars.

“The typical fleet customer uses the fleet vehicle as a functional instrument for its sales force, as a business tool or among its employees´ benefits,” de Sanjuan observed. “The largest fleets belongs to international companies within the pharmaceutical sector, electric utility companies, or urban and services infrastructure companies. We have several customers with a total fleet exceeding 1,000 vehicles. The fleet average of our top 20 customers is 550 units.”

Fleet leasing companies in Spain are increasingly focusing on international accounts. “The leasing companies have to manage the pressure on price and service from the customer side,” de Sanjuan said. “Fleet decision making is becoming more and more international. The solution is to look for closer relationship with the clients.”

Not surprisingly, fleet clients are putting pressure on fleet leasing companies to identify cost-saving areas. In addition, value-added services such as telematics, accident management, and fleet management are increasing.

Data Box

● Capital: Madrid
● Population: 47.4 million
● GDP: $1.409 trillion
● Total Vehicles (incl. private fleet): 31.1 million