The insurance giant Mutua Madrileña is studying its entry into the operating lease business in the Spanish market with a partner that would be one of the large leasing companies currently operating in the country.
This was confirmed by the executive chairman of the Mutua Madrileña Group, Ignacio Garralda, during the XIV KPMG Expansión Financial Meeting held in Madrid, in which he said that «there is a clear trend in the market now, which is renting [operating lease] for individuals», according to the words of the CEO of the Mutua Group.
«We are trying to negotiate some kind of agreement with a leasing company, because we don’t need to do everything one hundred percent owned,» explained the president of Grupo Mutua Madrileña, who pointed out that the company already has full control of the car sharing company Voltio, which has a fleet of a thousand vehicles, and of the Alicante-based car rental company Centauro, in which it controls 93% of it´s capital.
«The renting company will probably be something that does not imply having one hundred percent ownership because it has a financial burden of buying cars that would fill our balance sheet with iron, and in principle this gives us a certain amount of prevention,» said Ignacio Garralda.
It should be remembered that this would not be Mutua Madrileña’s first attempt to enter the leasing business, as a few years ago it was in talks not to participate, but to acquire one of the main leasing companies in Spain, as Fleet People has been able to confirm through reliable industry sources.
Regarding the specific moves made by Mutua Madrileña to gain access to the renting business, Garralda pointed out that «we are in negotiations with some, there are not many either, they are large companies, some of them multinationals, they are complicated because they have a Spanish and a foreign leg».
In this respect, the insurance group’s chief executive said that «I can’t explain more because we are in the negotiation phase, but we would like to do something with a leasing company to close the circle, to reach four years [the average leasing contract]. We are missing the leasing piece, we will come up with something,» said Ignacio Garralda.
Mutua Madrileña’s position in Voltio and Centauro
At the end of last year, Mutua Madrileña launched its own carsharing formula in the Spanish market, a car-sharing project in which it now manages a fleet of around a thousand vehicles, largely made up of cars from the Stellantis group.
The launch of this firm has responded to the company’s need to «satisfy people’s need for mobility, as this will never cease to exist», explained Garralda in relation to the growing reduction in the appetite for buying cars of the new generations of Spanish consumers.
«It is a trend that is not going to happen very quickly but, in the main, car ownership will fall,» said the Spanish executive, who pointed out that his forthcoming entry into the car rental business is due to the fact that, with Voltio, Mutua Madrileña already meets the requirement to offer vehicles by the minute or hour, while the car rental company Centauro is in charge of providing car rentals by the day for the group.
«All mobility, whether by time slot or temporary, will quickly be associated with Mutua satisfying that need,» the executive explained.
In addition, and in relation to Voltio and Centauro, Ignacio Garralda said that the company he heads plans to increase the former’s fleet of vehicles, as well as expand its geographical footprint to more Spanish capitals.
In the case of Centauro, Mutua Madrileña currently controls 93% of the capital and «surely», according to Garralda, will acquire the remaining 7% during the next financial year.