LeasePlan has delivered another strong performance in its core business and continued to strengthen its position despite several challenges in the year.
The 'Power of One LeasePlan' programme for operational excellence, which it launched in late 2016, is now largely embedded, and LeasePlan has begun accelerating its digital transformation as it prepares for its next phase of development.
These ingredients are central to its long-term strategy to lead the megatrend from ownership to usership and subscription in its markets, and to actively support the industry’s transition to zero emissions mobility.
LeasePlan today is operating more efficiently as a global organisation than ever before. It is leveraging its scale, sharing best practices, reinvesting its savings and most importantly, delivering tangible benefits to customers.
In our CarNext.com business, we expanded our marketplace from 10 to 22 countries in Europe and now have 32 delivery stores in operation. Demand for its Used Car-as-a-Service proposition also grew rapidly and it is well on track to deliver on its mission to become the most trusted pan-European marketplace for high quality used cars.
The decision not to proceed with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) due to unfavourable market conditions in October was entirely understandable. Of course it was disappointing at the time, as many people had worked extremely hard to make it happen, but the reality is that our preparations for the listing have helped us to create a far more effective business. For example, we have shortened our financial reporting cycle in line with stock-market listed companies and have adopted a number of the principles and best practices of Dutch Corporate Governance Code.
Looking ahead, our vision is clear: to deliver ‘any car, anytime, anywhere’. The key here will be the delivery of our Digital LeasePlan programme, which is the second part of our strategic journey and will see us develop best-in-class digital services by leveraging the latest digital intelligence technologies.
We will also continue to spearhead the transition to zero emission mobility in our industry, and it has been gratifying for the Supervisory Board to see the progress we have made and our vocal support for electric vehicle (EV) adoption. In early 2019, for example, we were present again at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Our CEO was there to help educate the leaders of over 1,800 organisations about the importance of switching to sustainable fleets.
While we are proud of the role we are taking to promote sustainable mobility, we know that we will not be able to deliver the future of mobility by ourselves. Whether it’s EVs, autonomous cars or car-sharing platforms, all stakeholders, especially the public sector, have important roles to play. For example, when it comes to EVs, zero emission mobility will only become a viable option for many when the right infrastructure and incentives are there to support it. That is why we continue to advocate for a wider availability of charging stations, greener electricity grids and supportive long-term government policies.
We are satisfied that our people and leadership are preparing the foundations for our long-term growth and success. They are also responding admirably to the inevitable bumps in the road along the way. That is why I would like to thank LeasePlan’s dedicated people who have once again demonstrated the resilience, flexibility and customer focus that are the hallmarks of our unique culture. I would also like to thank our customers and shareholders for continuing to place their trust in us. LeasePlan has a bright future and every reason to be confident about achieving its long-term objectives.