By replacing the Belgian based unit with a dedicated office in the Netherlands, Dutch customers will benefit from Sofico’s closer proximity. Sofico itself will be able to keep abreast of the latest developments in the national automotive market more easily.
Sofico’s current portfolio of six Dutch customers manages a total of around 140,000 leasing contracts and 145,000 retail finance contracts. These include Volkswagen Pon Financial Services NL, Sofico’s first retail customer in the Netherlands. VWPFS will shortly be joined by BMW Financial Services which has just begun their implementation of Miles, Sofico’s hybrid contract management system for fleet, retail and wholesale customers.
Business unit leader, René Vermeij, said. “There was a clear need to open a new local office focused solely on the Dutch automotive market which has huge potential for us, especially on the retail side.
“Currently, we have six staff based at Houten, but we are in the middle of a recruitment drive with the intention of getting that up to around 10 by the end of the year and to a full complement of 25 as quickly as possible.”
Vermeij said the Dutch automotive market offered Sofico considerable opportunities, perhaps less so on the more traditional and mature fleet and leasing side of the market but increasingly in the retail finance sector and within personal leasing.
Personal leasing has grown by around 37% in the first half of 2016, and currently stands at about 50,000 contracts. However, estimates suggest that this will pass the 100,000 contract mark by the end of this year.
“Personal leasing is growing at a tremendous rate in the Netherlands and Miles is the perfect system to help our automotive customers capitalize on this rapidly expanding sector of the market.
“We are currently talking to a number of customers who are interested in Miles and who want to provide a customer service across all channels to market, including fleet, retail, mobility and personal leasing,” said René Vermeij,
In line with the needs of a rapidly evolving European automotive market, the scope of the Miles system has broadened from a solely leasing and fleet management focus to include retail, mobility management and personal leasing.
This make Miles the first true hybrid fleet/retail contract management system capable of meeting the needs of captive finance and independent leasing companies, in a European market where the traditional boundaries between retail and fleet are increasingly blurring.
Gémar Hompes, Sofico Managing Director, said: “We believe the opening of a new office in the Netherlands is a natural progression for our business and we see considerable growth for Miles in the Dutch market, especially in the retail and personal leasing channels.
“Today, we believe Miles to be the perfect hybrid fleet and retail management system to meet the changing needs of our clients as they develop their offerings in line with customer demand in both the fleet and retail sectors of the automotive market.”