“A strong voice”

24 April 2008

Gerard Deprez, Loxam managing director and ERA’s first president.

Gerard Deprez, Loxam managing director and ERA’s first president.

European contractors should prepare themselves for a higher profile rental industry in Europe following the creation earlier this year of the first ever European Rental Association (ERA). The organisation aims to promote rental to contractors and other potential customers, and also help create a genuinely pan-European rental market.

ERA, which is the brainchild of Gerard Deprez, managing director of French-based rental company Loxam, held its first convention in Brussels last June and now has almost 100 fully paid-up members, including over 25 of the region’s largest rental companies.

Mr Deprez, also ERA’s first president, told delegates that Europe’s equipment rental industry already had revenues of € 15 billion, employed 100000 people and had more than 12000 companies; “ERA will have to facilitate continued growth by creating a European market, at a much larger scale than any national market...our task is to eliminate the national regulations between EU member states that prohibit the development of our businesses. We will have to check that EU directives replace, and not add to, national regulations. Then the rental operators will benefit from lower costs, will play in the same legal environment and will enjoy a much larger market.”

ERA was supported at the convention by Ulrich Paetzold, director general of the European Contractors’ Federation (FIEC), which represents many of the rental industry’s largest customers. He congratulated ERA on its formation; “We are happy that you are here... the more work our members have to do, the more equipment we have to rent from you.”

ERA, which has outsourced the management of its Brussels head office to a specialist association management company, Kellen Europe, has now embarked on a work programme covering the promotion of rental, the collection of rental statistics, the creation of general conditions of contract, and work on EU standards/norms.

The organisation can be contacted on: Tel: +32 2 774 9401, E-mail: era@erarental.org (www.erarental.org)

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