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Everything Counts As Subscription Novelty Becomes Reality

Everything Counts As Subscription Novelty Becomes Reality

While not a new concept overseas, vehicle subscription is a relatively new phenomenon here in Australia, with more and more motorists shunning potentially expensive traditional vehicle ownership for the flexibility and adaptability offered by this alternative model.

Described by some as the Netflix of vehicle ownership, subscription allows you to select your vehicle and pay a monthly fee. You can pull the pin on the deal at any time and, understandably for some, this makes perfect sense.

Queensland-based Everything Fleet is an early adopter of the subscription approach, and more recently they’ve teamed-up with Isuzu Trucks to offer a subscription-based approach to commercial truck fleets and road transport businesses in and around the Sunshine Coast.

The Journey To Here

The Everything Fleet staff
The Everything Fleet staff

With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, Managing Director Keith Alexander is no stranger to the transactional vehicle rental space.

“I moved to the Gold Coast in my early twenties and started in the business as a detailer in a Thrifty franchise,” Keith recalled.

“That evolved and eventually I had the opportunity to take an ownership stake in the business. I was a franchisee of Thrifty for 17 years here on the Gold Coast.”

While Keith loved his time with the brand, the relationship ended when Thrifty’s parent company, Hertz, went into administration last year. An agreement was established to surrender the master license, which was the beginning of the end of Thrifty's Australian franchise model. A rebrand is currently underway in Australia with Thrifty now to be known as Sixt Rental Australia.

“The break-up of that relationship triggered the decision to move out on our own,” Keith said. "We parted ways with the national franchisor, which created some freedom for us to look more closely at the subscription model.”

Investing in change is not without risk but after three decades observing the industry, Keith suggested the perfunctory nature of car and truck rental has seen its time.

Winds Of Change

“I want to say that there’s been a lot of change with the rental industry over my time, but I really can’t.

“Vehicle rental is straightforward as a concept. It’s transactional in nature and that extends to the interaction or relationship with the customer.

“As our business has evolved over the years, we’ve moved further way from the tourist market to focus more heavily on commercial and corporate customers, which has given us a really strong base to work from in switching to subscription.”

From a truck perspective, the key selling point of subscription is its flexibility.

Be it a retail owner-driver or a small business with a transport function, subscription is pitched as a hybrid between leasing and rental and an alternative to new truck purchasing.

There are no financial commitments, there’s also no long-term agreements in place if business situations shift or change.

As Keith suggests, these are all attractive traits, especially to retail and small business customers looking for an efficient way to deliver on their transport needs.

“It provides flexibility at the end of the day. They can opt out at any stage and re-engage if their circumstances change again. It’s highly adaptable to a number of scenarios.

“We’ve had great take-up already and we’re confident we’ll have a positive response in the light truck side of things as well. We’ve been really happy with the model so far,” said Keith. ​ ​ ​

Why Isuzu?

With the pitch of flexibility and adaptability at its core, Everything Fleet looked to the renowned reliability and breadth of range in Isuzu Trucks - for its growing commercial truck offering.

With more than 160 models across the Isuzu line-up, Keith discovered that not only did they have what the business needed on paper, the truck market leaders could deliver as well.

“For us, it was Isuzu’s range, the quality of the product and the re-sale that were the key factors we liked about Isuzu.

“We looked at other competitors and they just didn’t have the range of vehicles we were after. Isuzu seemed to have nailed it on that front.

“We believe the Isuzu product represents really great value too. And when you add to that the re-sale value, it really adds to the life-cost of the vehicle which is an obvious advantage.”

A critical driver of that ‘whole of life cost’ is aftersales support and service – another vital area in which Isuzu couldn’t be matched, according to Keith.

“The support we get through Isuzu’s national fleet team is really solid and we’re talking regularly. Locally, we get all our Isuzu product via Gold Coast Isuzu and their service is just exceptional,” he added. ​ ​ ​

Built To Work

Headlining the Isuzu presence in the Everything Fleet truck lineup are a range of mostly N Series light trucks, including the popular NQR 87-190. The Southport-based fleet also includes a range of medium-duty Isuzu models, including the 14,000 kg Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) FSR 140-260.

Predominantly aimed at general freight and last mile delivery tasks, the Isuzu products are all bodied by the team at Gold Coast Isuzu, with a wrapped van body and tail-lift applied to the NQR models.

Reliably powered by Isuzu’s 4HK1-TCN engine (140 kW @ 2,600 rpm), and with a GVM of 8,7000 kg, the NQR finds itself perfectly positioned for several end-uses called upon by many of Keith’s clients.

Common to the N Series range in this weight segment is the availability of Isuzu’s clever 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT), which, when mated with the N Series’ Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) makes for an incredibly safe and drivable package, regardless of the task at hand. ​ ​

“The Isuzu product is extremely drivable, and especially for those that are used to driving a car. We hear that they prefer to drive the Isuzu product as opposed to other brands,” Keith mentioned.

“Even our staff moving vehicles around for delivery or pick-up…we get the same feedback about the comfort and drivability of the Isuzu product. Personally, I’d have to admit that I prefer driving them too.”

Boom Times

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According to international market research, the automotive subscriptions market is booming, having grown 71 per cent from 2018 to 2022. Such growth can only be described dramatic, a point not lost on Keith.

“We see subscription as being a significant piece of our future business, especially in the corporate and commercial markets.

“We’re getting a lot of interest on the truck side of the business and customers are very inquisitive about how it all works.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about establishing and building relationships. We want to tailor our offer to the needs of individual clients - that’s where it’s very different to rental.”

With a full-service, relationship-based mentality second nature for Keith, and now backed by market leading brands like Isuzu Trucks, the Everything Fleet trajectory looks firmly set.

Everything Fleet.docx 29 KB
Sam Gangemi Marketing and Advertising Manager, Isuzu Australia Limited
Arkajon Communications Public Relations Agency

 

 

About Isuzu Trucks

Isuzu Truck's promise to deliver a premium product to the Australian market has been proudly and consistently upheld. The measure of our commitment is reflected in the number of trucks on the road that bear our marque, and the number of successful companies relying on Isuzu trucks every day. When we talk about reliability, we're not just talking about trucks, but also about people and indeed our entire philosophy. In addition to our in-house Customer Care Centre, customers also have access to an extensive range of service and support programs designed to ensure that Isuzu truck ownership is a positive and rewarding experience for all concerned.

Isuzu Trucks
66 Foundation Road
Truganina VIC 3029
PO Box 328, Altona North VIC 3025