Downturn ‘accelerates' Italian rental market

By Patrick Hill21 October 2008

Mendes Migotto, managing director of Gruppo Venpa 3.

Mendes Migotto, managing director of Gruppo Venpa 3.

Italian rental companies are reporting continued growth in the country's rental market despite the economic situation, with particular opportunities in the south of the country.

"Overall, our business growth rate is 20%," said Mendes Migotto, managing director of Gruppo Venpa 3, Italy's largest rental company. "Our growth is accelerating. Despite the crisis, the rental market is doing well.

"In the south of Italy there are a lot of opportunities to develop the rental market. That is where there is the most opportunity," said Mr Migotto, speaking to IRN at the SAIE exhibition in Bologna, Italy.

Enrico Gelli, director of rental for dealer Takeuchi Italia, based in Rimini, agreed with Mr Migotto; "It's true, in the last six months the mentality has changed in the South". He added; "The rental market is changing; it is enlarging. Italian people are thinking that rental is good for their business. The reason is they have fiscal advantages. They also have the possibility to [get] the machine they want."

Mr Gelli said that in addition to an expansion of its own rental business it had seen greater demand from other rental companies for Takeuchi products; "Our rental company customers bought 100 additional machines in last six months, mostly mini excavators and tracked loaders." Takeuchi Italia rents and sells Takeuchi excavators and loaders from 100 locations in the country.

Venpa's Mr Migotto was very positive about current rental conditions in Italy. "We started our construction business [renting JCB earthmoving equipment] three years ago, and it has doubled in the past year. Our access business is growing now at 15% and the earth-moving at 35-40%."

He said the company had not cut back on its planned investments of aerial platforms or earthmoving equipment; "We are going on to develop our construction equipment and aerial businesses. We are buying excavators and access equipment. We are investing the same amounts we planned, we are opening branches," said Mr Migotto. Venpa, based in Volo, near Venice, operates its 5200-unit fleet out of 36 depots across Italy and 10 locations across central and eastern Europe.

The company's growth is not just from established renters that are increasingly using rental to offset purchasing. "We have new customers every day," said Mr Migotto. "New companies are now facing the rental market for the first time."

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