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LeasePlan increases direct sales to consumers through CarNext.com

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Global leasing giant LeasePlan has reported an increase in the proportion of revenues generated from direct sales to consumers through its CarNext.com pan-European used car marketplace.

Around one-fifth of LeasePlan’s used car sales last year were direct to the public, with B2C penetration reaching 21% in the final quarter, compared to 15% for the same period in 2017.

LeasePlan sold around 50,000 cars through its B2C channel last year and during Q4 volumes grew 55% to 13,775 vehicles.

It expanded its CarNext.com digital used car marketplace from 10 to 22 countries during the year and reported a rise in the number of customers buying vehicles entirely online for delivery to their homes.

At the same time, its network of delivery stores increased from 18 to 32 last year.

Its used car leasing and subscription contracts more than doubled last year, reaching 8,000.

LeasePlan has also developed an app for the 125,000 professional buyers of its used car stock, which has been launched and rolled out to 36 countries to enable online bidding on cars as they reach the end of their fleet life.

During the year, LeasePlan grew its core serviced fleet to just over 1.8 million, a rise of 4.4%, generating growth in revenues of 1.7% to €9.52 billion, including lease and additional services income growth of 0.5% to €6.53 billion.

Underlying net profits for 2018 were €576.2 million, an increase of 8.4%.

However, impairments taken on its German fleet, relating to loss-making contracts, and on its operations in Turkey, to reflect the impact of economic and political disruption on used car prices and exchange rates, led to final net profits falling 9.2% to €423.6 million.

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Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, said: “These results underscore the strength of our strategy to lead the megatrend from ownership to subscription models for both new and high-quality used cars.

“Over the year, we significantly grew our disruptive CarNext.com marketplace for high-quality used cars.

“Looking ahead, our businesses will be enhanced by our commitment to offering what’s next in sustainable mobility services and our Digital LeasePlan program, which we began to implement across the company in 2018. Digital LeasePlan will enable us to provide a best-in-class digital service to our customers at lower cost levels, and ultimately enable us to deliver ‘any car, anytime, anywhere’.”

During the year, the company also continued towards its ambition of achieving net zero emissions from its total fleet by 2030.

Key actions included setting up strategic partnerships with SAIC, to bring the first large electric light commercial vehicles to Europe, the Land Life Company, to offer customers carbon neutral contracts, and Lightyear, to deliver the world’s first electric solar car to LeasePlan customers.

LeasePlan also concluded an operational lease partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automotive, making LeasePlan the preferred partner to FCA’s European dealer network. Unlike traditional white label agreements, the operational lease will be directly managed by LeasePlan.

This is the first partnership of its kind for LeasePlan with a major European OEM.