Avis Fleet Services: Initiating the green revolution in fleet services

The Leasing and Fleet Management space is a highly competitive one in South Africa, with the recent economic downturn putting extra emphasis on a company’s ability to “go the extra mile” for its customers.

At Avis Fleet Services, over 30 years of experience had taught the company that each customer has a unique set of requirements to satisfy.

avis-fleet-servicesThere is little wonder then that the business is considered the leading brand in Leasing and Fleet Management Solutions in Southern Africa. The company, wholly owned by Barloworld Limited was established over 30 years ago on the entrepreneurial belief that success requires courage, the vision to think big and patience to start small.

The company provides insight into its successful philosophy through its corporate website: “Avis Fleet Services is today acknowledged as the leader in vehicle leasing and fleet management solutions in Southern Africa. We are a pro-active organisation intent on continuous improvement in all aspects of our organisation.

“Our continued success depends on our competency to deliver service excellence through the understanding that it is our people who truly make the difference. The experience gained with running some of the larger fleets within Corporate and Government Sectors has equipped Avis Fleet Services with the ability to customise solutions that satisfy the requirements needed to run various fleets. We understand that each of our Customers has a different requirement and no one solution will match all these requirements.”

Over the years, Avis Fleet Services has expanded its range of products and today offers customers a much wider choice of services;

“At Avis Fleet Services we believe in providing an integrated fleet solution, tailor-made to each customer’s individual fleet requirements. With Avis Fleet Services you can be assured to find the products, value added services, professionalism and flexibility to meet your requirements,” the company says.

Those services include full maintenance leasing, managed maintenance, fleet accident management, driver training, fuel cards, fines and AARTO, license renewals, service and maintenance plans and ad hoc rentals. Each service is designed to make life easier for the customer, saving time and cost.

Avis is also well-renowned for its ‘Avis Rent a Car’ business, one of the country’s first car rental companies. The service has become both the market leader and a household name, having earned a reputation for quality service, reliability and competitive pricing.

The fleet comprises of a wide range of late model, low-mileage cars to meet every customer’s unique needs and budget. This includes Avis Chauffeur Drive – a professional Chauffeur driven service to any destination of choice in comfort and style either for a short trip or for an extended period of time.

avis-reception-deskAvis Van Rental boasts 32 branches countrywide running a substantial fleet of vehicles ranging from half to 8-ton capacities for commercial use, as well as single and double cab 4×4’s for business and leisure use. These self-drive vehicles can be rented to carry any kind of equipment or supplies from one venue to the next.

With customers and businesses becoming more environmentally aware, Avis Fleet Services is doing its own bit to reduce carbon emissions and its was recently reported that the company had taken delivery of the first fleet of totally electrically-powered vehicles.

The vehicles, 10 Nissan LEAF models, will be among the first production electric vehicles to be launched in South Africa and, simultaneously, the first to be supplied by a fleet management company in the industry. This follows an agreement between Nissan SA and Avis Fleet Services, which the manufacturer has designated as their fleet management partner of choice in South Africa, says Clive Else, Chief Executive of Avis Fleet Services (AFS).

“Unlike other environmentally-friendly vehicles in South Africa, which are hybrids and rely on a combination of battery power and petrol to deliver fuel savings, the Nissan LEAF is the first 100% electrically powered vehicle to land on South Africa’s shores. The delivery of the first 10 units to AFS is taking place less than two years after the vehicle’s launch in the Japanese, American and selected European markets where more than 60 000 units have already been sold,” Else confirmed.

“The Nissan LEAF is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery that offers a range of up to 160km’s on a single charge and delivers a top speed of up to 145km/h. It is totally environment friendly producing zero emissions, something we believe will make the vehicle attractive to fleet owners, particularly local subsidiaries of international companies that report on carbon emissions. It is also a viable alternative for companies looking for vehicles to operate in a congested urban environment with high stop-start operating and idling costs and where range is not a factor,” says Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan South Africa.

“The involvement of Avis Fleet Services, South Africa’s largest fleet management services company, early in the introduction cycle of this exciting vehicle will help establish AFS as a local leader in the practical application of this technology for our customers. The design and integration of customer reporting mechanisms purely for this market, will contribute further to differentiating us from other companies operating in the sector,” says Else.

avis-car-services“It is AFS’s stated objective to be clearly positioned by this time as the greenest-thinking fleet management company in Southern Africa and pioneers in creating an understanding on sustainable fleet management practices as well as electric vehicle fleet solutions within the South African fleet environment to both public and private institutions.

“Many organisations are ‘talking green’, but we are taking early, positive actions to marry the concepts of fleet management with the practicalities of operating a fleet of electric vehicles. AFS already has well-established reporting methodologies that measure customer fleets and their current fleet emissions by vehicle segment,” Else added.