New head as Sofico expands French operation

Tanhge peter

Sofico, the fleet and leasing software solutions provider, has completed the restructuring of its new French division, Sofico Services France, following the acquisition of French IT solutions company, Car Systems, nearly one year ago.

The company has now appointed Peter Tanghe (pictured) as director general of the new division with full responsibility for its future development and growth, and has begun implementing its global fleet solution, Miles, with French automotive customers.

The first implementation project involves French automotive company, Billiar, based at Sarrebourg in north eastern France. It operates a series of Renault dealerships as well as providing both short and long term rental solutions to private and corporate customers.

Belgium-based Sofico, whose systems now manage more than one million vehicles worldwide, first acquired Car Systems, which provides fleet software solutions for short and long term car, van and truck rental operators, last July.

Based in Avignon, its business activities cover mainly France and southern Europe with a staff of around 20 employees.

Previous director, John Lutkin, oversaw the initial transition period following the acquisition, handling relations with existing customers and providing reassurance that existing contracts would be honoured.

Sofico has now appointed a new divisional head to oversee the future growth of the business and to take it to the next stage in its development.

The new head, Peter Tanghe, has a long track record with the company, having worked with Sofico for 15 years until taking up another challenge in 2012. At that time, he was head of the consultancy division.

Prior to Sofico, he worked for a non-automotive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions provider for nearly three years before rejoining as director general of Sofico Services France.

“John Lutkin did a great job initiating and finalizing the takeover,” said Tanghe. “But now Sofico wants to look to the future development of and leverage the added value of Car Systems. We have a stable basis with a sound financial footing and want to look forward to the future,” he said.

The acquisition of Car Systems fitted with Sofico’s growth strategy and broadened its market coverage and knowledge of short term car, van and truck rental, said Tanghe.

“And being based in Avignon in southern France gives us a strong advantage in the French market with French customers,” he added.

“Using the expertise of our ex-Car Systems staff, we are now able to enhance and develop the Miles proposition to include short-term rental and truck rental, and to enrich the core product for all our customers, wherever they may be based.”

“The Billiar implementation is the first Miles implementation we have undertaken as Sofico Services France, but we fully expect it to be the first of many. We have a number of implementations that we will be looking to start in the second half of 2015,” he said.

Last year, Sofico changed its organizational structure in order to support future growth. Sofico created seven autonomous regional units, backed by a series of process-specific support units. Sofico Services France has now been integrated into this structure as an eighth unit with its focus on France and southern Europe.

Gémar Hompes, managing director at Sofico, said: “The strategic acquisition of Car Systems was a perfect addition to our current operations and increases our coverage in France and throughout Southern Europe.

“Our challenge now is to take that business forward to the next stage of its development and to provide our customers in the region with the ideal software solutions to manage their vehicle fleets more effectively. This new appointment takes us nearer to that objective.”