European car rental giant swoops for Liverpool firm

Wayne Vickers (FCA Bank dealer wholesale director), left, and Paul Hanley
X The Business Desk

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Liverpool-based vehicle rental business ER Capital, trading as Easirent, has been acquired by European giant Leasys, for an undisclosed sum.

Easirent is one of the most dynamic companies in the short term rental and mobility sector in the UK, with the introduction of innovative products like CityCar247, which allows for a completely digitised customer journey and contact free rental.

Rome-based Leasys is a subsidiary of FCA Bank – a 50:50 joint venture between automotive giant Stellantis and Crédit Agricole – and was established in September 2001. Stellantis also owns the Vauxhall brand and earlier this month guaranteed the future of the Ellesmere Port manufacturing site in Cheshire, and its 1,100 staff, in a £100m investment.

With the acquisition and the upcoming rebranding of Easirent and its more than 20 stores, Leasys, one of the main mobility and rental operators in Europe, said it is confirming its major role as a 360-degree mobility player also in the UK.

Leasys said it aims to consolidate its presence in the UK – where it is already ranked in the top 20 of the prestigious FN50 ranking of the most important long term rental providers – and to expand its range of innovative products.

Giacomo Carelli, chief executive of FCA Bank SpA and chairman of Leasys SpA, said: “The signing of this agreement continues to strengthen our role as a 360-degree mobility leader in the UK and mainland Europe.

“Easirent delivers excellence in short term rental and will enable us, through Leasys, to play an even more important role as a global and integrated player in the new mobility arena – especially addressed to hybrid and electric vehicles, thanks to the impressive automotive range of Stellantis – expanding the fleet and the innovative service for our customer base.”

Paul Hanley, managing director of ER Capital, said: “The Easirent team and I are looking forward to our new relationship with Leasys.

“Being part of the Stellantis family gives us access to multiple brands, supplying fleet to our current and planned branches across the UK. This is an exciting chapter in our business, which we’re all thrilled to be part of.”

Active in the UK market since 2017, Leasys UK has benefited from a 20-year experience in long term rental gained through FCA Contract Managements, its predecessor company.

This debut was marked by five years of continuous growth in the FN50 ranking, moving to 17th last year, with the introduction of new solutions like Leasys Miles, the innovative long term rental solution based on a pay-as-you-go type arrangement.

Under the leadership of the managing director, Sebastiano Fedrigo, Leasys UK grew by a further 30% in the past two years.

Already active in 12 European countries in the long term rental and integrated mobility sector, Leasys also provides short and medium term car rental services in Italy, France, Spain and, as of now, UK through its own subsidiaries, as well as in the rest of Europe through Stellantis’s dealer network.

It intends to open new subsidiaries in Europe in 2021 and to reach a total fleet of 400,000 vehicles by the end of the same year, up from approximately 350,000 as of today.

The company will also open 400 new Leasys Mobility Stores by the end of 2021, growing from more than 600 as of today to 1,000 throughout Europe.

The Leasys Mobility Stores provide a full range of mobility services and an extensive network of EV (electric vehicle) charging stations to support the electrification of Stellantis’s new vehicles.

In this context, Leasys says it is committed to smart and sustainable mobility solutions to offer immediate advantages to customers.