With MHC Mobility CEE's new managing director Roelof Hansman, we talk about the company's plans and priorities, as well as market trends and the direction of the CFM industry in the CEE region.
- Congratulations on becoming Managing Director of MHC Mobility. What are your main goals and priorities?
It is difficult to define goals after only two months. Before I define them, I want to have a good understanding of our clients' needs and the dynamics of the CEE markets in which we operate. Today, I can say that at MHC Mobility, we see our clients' expectations of further digitization of their service processes. Lease signing, car ordering, fleet reports, the status of each driver's car and contract, compensation claims, and many other procedures can be done in a more digital way. I am delighted that we will soon be launching the MHC GO app for drivers and fleet managers in Poland. This solution will provide our customers with convenience and greater internal efficiency and reduce costs. Electromobility is another important area where MHC Mobility wants to stimulate the market. There are still relatively few electric vehicles in our region. We know that this is partly due to the charging infrastructure, which is still far too weak to address concerns about the range of electric vehicles, and we are taking this issue into account.
For our part, we want to work with customers and partners, such as OEMs and retailers, to build awareness of the lower total cost of ownership of electric vehicles on the one hand, and also to look for opportunities to improve the infrastructure and boldly set real targets. We recognize how many companies are accelerating with the electromobility transformation, and we have set an internal target for the number of new customers with whom we want to transform the fleet towards electromobility.
- Are the challenges of mobility management similar in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, or does anything differ between these markets?
Of course, each market has its own specificities, often resulting from, among other things, legal and tax regulations concerning operating leases, for example. In one of my previous posts, I visited several different countries every week. During such visits, each market told me: we are different and unique, but the differences and uniqueness mentioned were often similar. This is, of course, due to very similar customer needs in different markets - but with a unique, local character.
- From a global perspective, what key trends and factors do you see as shaping the automotive market worldwide and how is this relevant to MHC Mobility?
There are many trends shaping the automotive market. A few that I think will more or less affect our customers, which include our services, are: urbanization, decarbonization, digitalization, and the move away from asset ownership towards rental/leasing and flexible 'pay-per-use' services. The move by OEMs towards an agency model and the associated greater transparency in car pricing will also have an impact.
On a geopolitical level, factors such as wars, pandemics, financial uncertainty, etc., will, of course, have a strong impact on OEM capacity, availability, and car prices, and this certainly needs to be taken into account too.
- How important is digitalisation in a field such as fleet management?
Today, in every walk of life and in all branches of business, digitization is also extremely important in the CFM industry. It affects both customer service and internal company processes. I think all players involved in automotive services have already made good strides in this direction. However, I believe that we have not yet realized the full potential of digital opportunities in customer service and the associated cost reduction in the industry. I am convinced that this is a key priority, and the introduction of the MHC GO app will be an important step in realizing it.
- Electromobility in Poland is still in its early stages. Despite incentives and subsidies, sales of electric vehicles remain relatively low. What measures do you think are necessary for our country to catch up with the changes taking place in this area in Europe?
To be honest, I have not yet fully understood the real reason for the relatively low penetration of electric vehicles in the Polish market. The fact is that in markets such as Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden, for example, the fact that governments have supported the purchase of electric vehicles and the expansion of infrastructure has translated into an increase in their sales.
Of course, as an industry, we also need to support this transition. For example, by educating the market, by being transparent about costs, but above all by setting ourselves the goal of increasing the share of electric vehicles in customer fleets. This is the mission we are pursuing at MHC Mobility, and we see more and more companies in the market setting similar goals.
- What message would you like to convey to the MHC Mobility team and the company's clients in the CEE Region in light of your new position?
First of all, I would like to thank our customers for their loyalty. We are proud that more and more companies are tying up with MHC Mobility for the long term and want to expand their fleets with us. I would like to ask you to keep our vigilance by challenging us in customer service and innovative solutions and to drive the electromobility transformation in mobility together with us.
To the MHC Mobility team, on the other hand, I say: "let us continue to listen carefully to our customers and provide better service and innovative solutions day after day."
- Managing such a large business simultaneously in several markets is a huge strain on the body. What do you do to relax and catch your balance?
On weekends, I love to spend time with my family and friends, cooking delicious meals, reading books, and playing sports. I enjoy cross-country skiing and mountain biking. An occasional trip around the city is also nice.