We want to lead the way to CO2 neutrality
Niklas Zetterlund has been Country Managing Director of ALD Automotive | LeasePlan in Switzerland for around 100 days - previously as Managing Director of LeasePlan (Switzerland) Ltd. In an interview with aboutFLEET, he talks about his start and the goals he has set himself.
aboutFleet: You have been in office as Country Managing Director Switzerland of ALD Automotive | LeasePlan for around 100 days (previously Managing Director LeasePlan). How did your start go? NZ: My first working day as the new Country Managing Director started with a big bang. For day 1 after the acquisition, we brought all employees in Switzerland together for a joint town hall. All of a sudden we were almost twice as big. The closing of the deal had been long awaited, so it was all the more rewarding to stand in front of all those excited and engaged people. Since then, I've focused on getting to know the team, better understanding how the two organizations work, and familiarizing myself with our customers.
aboutFleet: What have been the biggest challenges so far? NZ: So far, it has been understanding the differences in corporate cultures and becoming familiar with the specific terminology and abbreviations. LeasePlan and ALD Automotive are both in the leasing business, but we speak "different languages." In addition, time management is somewhat of a challenge as I am effectively running two companies at the moment. It requires good organization and prioritization to work effectively in both contexts.
aboutFleet: Have there already been some highlights? NZ: Our first joint team get-together was a great highlight for me. We had the entire team come together for a day to get to know each other better. This opportunity allowed me to see the entire team, talk to each individual and feel the positive energy in the room. It was an important moment to foster and strengthen the collaboration of all employees.
aboutFleet:Your appointment coincides with the merger of ALD Automotive | LeasePlan. What advantages / opportunities does the merger offer? NZ: The merger brings together two successful companies that are both very customer-centric. Our aim is therefore to drive forward development in the fleet and mobility sector in order to offer our customers the best possible solutions. The new size and the combined knowledge of both companies will give us better competitiveness, allowing us to expand our market position as well as to help shape the market.
aboutFleet: What is the goal of the merger? NZ: By combining our resources, expertise and market presence, we aim to become the first choice for sustainable mobility solutions and create a stronger and more competitive company. In addition, we will drive digitalization to become a fully digitalized company and offer our customers a digitalized customer experience.
aboutFleet: Do you also see risks? NZ: I see the biggest challenge in uniting the two corporate cultures and building a new culture. However, we are working intensively on this and have dedicated teams who are dealing with the issue. But culture has to be lived and experienced by everyone, and this takes time.
aboutFleet: Both companies still exist in parallel. When will this change? NZ: There will be a new brand, and with this new brand identity we aim to complete the integration of the two companies and unite under one common brand.
aboutFleet: What will change for customers in the future? NZ: Our customers can continue to rely on the usual first-class services and should not perceive any negative changes in the coming months. Going forward, our focus will remain on our customers. The new size of our company will enable us to leverage greater economies of scale, which in turn will have a positive impact on our customers. In addition, we plan to make targeted investments in digitalization. This clear focus on digitalization will be mutually beneficial: state-of-the-art solutions and increased cost efficiency to meet our customers' requirements.
aboutFleet: Speaking of customers - as a Swede, what peculiarities do you notice among corporate customers here in Switzerland? NZ: The special features for corporate customers in Switzerland compared to Sweden are mainly to be found in the fleet structures. As in Switzerland, operating leasing and fleet management are not as widespread in Sweden. However, finance leasing is much more common in Sweden, whereas here in Switzerland the majority of fleet customers own their own fleets.
aboutFleet: Do you see leading companies like ALD | LeasePlan as having a particular obligation to set an example in the area of sustainability? What is your strategy in this regard? NZ: Yes, definitely! As one of the world's leading fleet operators, we are aware of our social and environmental responsibility. Our strategy therefore aims to promote the shift to sustainable mobility and lead the way toward CO2 neutrality. I am convinced that it is essential to act as a role model and, for example, to experience electric vehicles intensively in order to be able to advise our customers at the highest level and in an authentic way. We will continue to develop tailored charging solutions for our customers, provide them with comprehensive information and advice, and support them holistically in the transition to a more sustainable fleet.