Europcar has appointed international vehicle rental professional Stephen Jones to the role of New Zealand General Manager, with the new boss foreshadowing that car rental needs to adapt to changing customer needs and make vehicles more accessible.
Appointed to the top job overseeing Europcar’s 21 New Zealand locations in July, Stephen’s core goals are to pursue innovation in the industry and grow Europcar’s revenue through strategic contracts.
Already he has introduced new airport desks at Rotorua and Marlborough airports, and ensured Europcar worked closely with the Tourism Industry Association and Rental Vehicle Association of New Zealand in creating the Rental Operators Code of Practice for Informing Overseas Drivers.
He said Europcar was continually growing in popularity in New Zealand, with the business experiencing a 19 per cent increase in overall revenue in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.
Its fleet of cars are the newest in the industry and are replaced a minimum of every six months, improving safety and reliability. Stephen said as Europcar’s rates are on par with competitors, it is in a positive position to continue to grow market share.
“Visitors love exploring everything New Zealand has to offer by car, which makes the industry incredibly strong and competitive here,” he said.
“I see a lot of potential in the negotiation of strategic contracts as well as the introduction of some market-first customer-centred initiatives that make car rental more accessible. This may include car sharing schemes or even door-to-door car rental in the future. There are so many possibilities.
“The rental vehicle industry is highly competitive and we are continuing to explore new ways to provide comprehensive mobility solutions to our customers to allow greater flexibility.”
Stephen has spent his entire professional career in the vehicle rental industry, rising through the ranks from his start as a front desk vehicle rental sales agent to general manager. He joins Europcar New Zealand armed with 14 years experience within Europcar’s UK business, where he held a number of positions including Operations Territory Manager.
In 2011, Stephen relocated to join Europcar Australia as NSW/ACT Operations Manager for more than four years, before moving to Auckland in October to accept a temporary position to manage Europcar’s 21 locations throughout New Zealand.
“Being able to lead such strong profit growth in the past six months in this temporary role has been immensely rewarding and I look forward to continuing to grow revenue now as general manager,” he said.
His formal appointment to the role of New Zealand general manager is recognition of the opportunity Europcar sees in the local market and reputation it has among customers.