Leasing for companies is too often forgotten in the overall strategy of SMEs. Westlease has been a specialist in short and long term leasing since 1977. We met Jan Deknuydt, Commercial Director of Westlease.
Can you tell us the story of Westlease?
In 1977, Westlease was born in Kortrijk, Belgium. From its inception, Westlease has been a specialist in long-term vehicle rental services. After solid development on the Belgian market, Westlease was acquired in 2018 by the Dutch group Van Mossel Automotive. For Westlease and its clients, it was the opportunity to take advantage of a multi-brand network present in the Benelux with an ambitious vision. The Van Mossel Automotive group also offers complementary professions ranging from automobile insurance to bodywork. With this alliance, Westlease has all the business lines within the Van Mossel group to support its customers in managing their fleet.
The satisfaction of our customers, the quality of their fleets and the expertise of our advice are our only priorities. Our leitmotif is “an SME for SMEs”. This means that we understand and know the life of SMEs, because we are one of them. Understanding our clients’ issues involves proximity. We have physical offices in Belgium, Luxembourg and we are present in France. Proximity is also our ability to create leasing products that will adapt to all entrepreneurial profiles. Whether you are an SME with a fleet of 100 vehicles or a craftsman looking for a lease for a utility, you will be welcome and treated with equal consideration. To offer leasing solutions to all our customers, it is essential that our advisers are experts in the automotive market, but also in automotive taxation for SMEs, not to mention the local market. The constant training of our team is also a commitment of Westlease to its customers.
Today, Westlease manages more than 6,000 leasing contracts, mainly in Belgium and Luxembourg, but also in France.
What services do you offer?
We offer a whole range of services dedicated to leasing. Our goal is to adapt to all needs. Our Operational Leasing solution allows you to benefit from a turnkey contract for the complete management of a fleet of vehicles. Renting only takes into account the rental part while allowing customers to choose additional à la carte options such as insurance, maintenance, tires, etc. The demand for ecological solutions is growing. We have thus created leasing solutions for more ecological means of transport such as electric, hybrid, or even bicycle. We are also working on flexibility with short term rentals from 1 to 12 months with Shortlease & Rent. At Westlease, leasing is not just about new vehicles. We also offer recent used vehicles with our offer Quick2Lease. Westlease creates tailor-made solutions and its presence as close as possible to its customers allows it to innovate and anticipate market trends, as with our bicycle leasing offer, Cyclolease.
What are the advantages of leasing with Westlease?
In Belgium, we are the only specialist in leasing for professionals who have an office in Flanders and Wallonia. It demonstrates our commitment: being close to our customers means being where they live. Our advice, whether technical or fiscal, must adapt to our client and his ecosystem. It’s Westlease’s DNA. We are a specialist in short and medium term vehicle rental, but also a proactive advisor. Our experts are just as capable of advising on a type of vehicle as of offering an optimized solution for taxation while taking into account the specificities of an SME. We therefore offer advice that will lead to a solution de leasing turnkey, from the choice of the vehicle to the best tax solution for the company. Being multi-brand is a real advantage for our customers. We are able to offer all brands whether for commercial vehicles or utility. Our job is not to sign a contract, but to establish a winning strategy that will make the fleet of an SME a tool for its future success.
So Westlease is tailor-made leasing for SMEs?
It would be easy to offer paper quotes to the chain, but our commitment is to meet our customers to understand their needs and support them throughout the decision-making process. At Westlease, the estimate is not the prerequisite for a meeting, but rather the culmination of dialogue and strategic thinking.
We can have a request for a utility from a craftsman or a florist and offer two vehicles and two different leases. For Westlease, each customer is unique and therefore each offer must be tailor-made. It is a real added value that we offer our customers. The client has his advisor who knows his file inside out and who will be able to offer him the best solution for him and his company, even if it means expanding the range of possibilities. For Westlease, a fleet is not a cost, but an investment. Indeed, we know that a vehicle fleet can be a powerful lever for the image of the company, a source of pride and satisfaction for employees and bring real productivity gains. We have the know-how and the solidity of a major European group to offer solutions that our customers thought impossible. So yes, Westlease is a leasing specialist, but above all it is a specialist in leasing advice.
What are your plans for 2021?
In 2021, Europe and the world finally hope to emerge from the pandemic. Many entrepreneurs will launch, or relaunch, projects, but it is always difficult to plan after such a crisis. To help and support them, we have developed a unique service in leasing, the Start2Lease. We offer a leasing service to business creators which allows them to sign a leasing contract with the possibility of terminating it at any time with limited costs. It is an innovative solution which adapts to the economic situation as well as to the lack of visibility and which supports the creators of SMEs. We are also going to launch the Smart Stop which was born from feedback. Our customers are often afraid, when returning vehicles, that damage will be noticed and that the bill will be increased. Smart Stop is an option that allows the car to be returned without the risk of having additional costs. In 2021, we are taking the turn of digitalization and we hope to be able to offer our customers a Westlease application that will allow us to be in direct contact with the driver to support him in the use of the vehicle that is made available to him.
Source: public press release