27 Nov 2017 | 09.46 am
Interview: Bobby Doyle, Avis Fleet Solutions
The going is good for Ireland’s most experienced vehicle leasing company
27 Nov 2017 | 09.46 am
Former Dublin footballer Bobby Doyle (pictured), who was part of the legendary Dublin football team of the 1970s, swapped fleet-footedness for fleet management 35 years ago and is now Managing Director of AVIS Fleet Solutions (also known as Denis Mahony Contract Rentals), Ireland’s most experienced vehicle leasing company. In this interview, Bobby shares some of his insights into the fleet car sector and business management in general.
How did your career in the motor industry begin?
In 1981, while working as a Sales Manager with Murphy’s Brewery, I was approached by the late Denis ‘Danno’ Mahony and was offered a role as Leasing Manager with Denis Mahony Contract Rentals. The company was a pioneer of the leasing industry in Ireland and I was delighted to be asked to be a part of it.
What long-standing skills have you kept from your sporting and business careers?
Three core principles that I have taken are discipline, a strong work ethic and team work. Moving from sport into business, you are still part of a team irrespective of your position within the company. Having a strong ethic is very important when running a business, as it sets an example to those around you.
How has the leasing industry evolved since you started in it?
Technology has completely changed the leasing landscape. With information so readily available, customers are more informed and educated and this has adapted the way we approach selling our products.
The internet has also provided leasing companies with additional avenues to reach and engage with prospective customers that weren’t available to us when I began in the industry.
What challenges is the leasing industry in Ireland facing?
Without doubt the biggest challenge is Brexit. The weakness in sterling has caused the number of vehicle imports from the UK to increase, while the Irish second-hand car market is swelling. This is having negative implications for leasing companies’ residual values. We may need to rethink how we set our residual value estimations for our vehicles moving forward.
What will be the biggest future trends in the leasing industry?
I believe hybrid and electric vehicles will have a big future in the Irish market. We are starting to see a shift away from diesel engines in particular, with customers requesting the more economical vehicles. We have also seen an increase in demand for vehicle telematics, with customers seeking greater control of their vehicle running costs and full performance transparency of their fleet.
How does AVIS Fleet Solutions compete as a challenger brand?
We have an industry-leading fleet management system that provides our customers with a greater cost control and management of their fleet. Setting high standards for customer service is a key part of the company’s DNA, and the customer portal has provided us with a platform to continue in this way.
What advice would you have for someone running their own business?
Always maintain full control of your costs and ensure that you have the right team around you. Having the right people in place, whether in sport or business, is what drives performance. The team must have the company at heart.
AVIS Fleet Solutions
Howth Junction, Kilbarrack Road, Dublin 5
Phone: (01) 866 0520