Coordination with Turin should mean global wins
HQ works with national sales companies to ensure deals spanning several markets have the greatest chance of success
Collaboration between FCA’s Turin head office and its national sales companies in each market across the world is helping the group provide more consistent levels of service and win new global fleet deals.
Frank Damoutte, FCA head of long-term rental (leasing) and corporate sales EMEA, says the Italy headquarters has a dedicated team in place to support the UK and other markets to help generate sales and build closer ties with international corporations.
Damoutte heads up a team of international key account managers, including seven corporate account managers responsible for different global regions and three responsible for long-term rental to coordinate with leasing companies like LeasePlan and Arval.
There is also a dedicated member of the team to collaborate with FCA’s Leasys division and a commercial vehicle specialist, too.
The benefit of having these close ties between the UK and Italy is that the HQ team in Turin can help to manage international tenders from big multi-nationals.
This means Fiat’s teams across the world can coordinate an offer for a company and there are fewer links in the chain of communication when discussing deals with a fleet manager or procurement director.
Damoutte says: “If we can jointly communicate and offer experience across markets we can deliver a consistent offer.
“By having a single point of contact for our big corporate clients it makes sure we understand the strategy of the client globally and there is no loss of information when we’re putting together a tender.”
The work of the FCA Turin team in collaboration with others across the world has resulted in more than 60 international framework agreements for fleet deals across multiple countries, representing around 11,000 vehicles.
Damoutte wants to build on this success to work with the 150 biggest corporations on multi-market international deals.
When a large corporation launches its tender process the FCA HQ team can coordinate on behalf of all markets to put a single offer together that is appropriate for that corporation’s fleet requirements in each market.
“We can work together to make sure they (FCA UK team members) have everything they need and they will help us make sure the deal we put together is relevant”
Frank Damoutte, FCA head of long-term rental (leasing) and corporate sales EMEA
The team in Turin uses its knowledge on strategy and combines that with the local knowledge from those on the ground at each local market sales division, like FCA UK.
Damoutte says: “The FCA UK team members are the experts on that local market and we rely a lot on our colleagues, but we can work together to make sure they have everything they need and they will help us make sure the deal we put together is relevant and correct for the differences in each market. For example, taxation can vary from market to market.”
Joining up across borders means FCA also isn’t targeting a super aggressive offer in one market for a company and then offering the same company something completely different elsewhere.
The benefit for large companies working with FCA on a global deal is that they might perhaps have a large footprint in the US, but, say, their UK office might not be so big. They will still benefit from the purchasing power and negotiation done on behalf of the whole corporation.
The global volume will be reflected in the offer and that weight will be factored into tender negotiations.
Damoutte says: “We might be talking to a corporation which has offices in the UK and we can then see if there’s a door that can be opened to talk to them about a fleet deal, too.
“We all support each other and work through Sales Force, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, so each global team can look at where we are in the customer journey to make sure all our thinking is on the same page.”
That close-knit team ethic also means if there are any issues with an offer, or any problems for customers each local market has a direct line to head office and FCA HQ can provide any support they need.
Best practice is shared each quarter and where there have been big successes, these ideas are communicated globally.
One example is road show events in Belgium for large corporate clients to road test the latest Fiats, Jeeps and Alfa Romeos. These are now being rolled out internationally.
A Privilege Programme that offered beneficial lease rates for large corporate client employees in Poland is also looking to roll out in other markets like the UK.
FCA is also working on a bridging offer for fleets that are looking to make the switch to electric vehicles.
New models like the Fiat 500e and Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid are coming in 2020 and for fleet drivers that need to make decisions about models now, FCA is working on an offer that will let customers switch out of their traditionally-powered Fiat or Jeep into the plug-in version without attracting early termination charges.
Damoutte says: “We’re still working on the final details with that one. Initiatives like this will give companies flexibility in the mid-term as new plug-in products become available.”