Look outside Europe for growth says Déprez

20 May 2013

Gérard Déprez speaking at the ERA's Paris convention.

Gérard Déprez speaking at the ERA's Paris convention.

European rental companies should consider moving into fast growth rental markets in other parts of the world in response to economic stagnation in Europe, said Gérard Déprez in his final speech as president of the European Rental Association (ERA).

The Loxam chief executive, speaking at the ERA’s recent annual convention in Paris - his last as ERA president – said markets outside Europe represented a “genuine opportunity” to find the growth that isn’t available in home markets.

“Obviously the European rental industry has assets to value in countries with a high potential”, he said, “Because of its market structure, the European industry is used to being the most internationalised. By adapting in Europe, coping with its variety of languages, legislations and cultures, many renters already have an agile organisation that enables them to manage their company and find growth where it is.”

Mr Déprez said many European rental companies already had a track record of involvement in markets outside Europe; “Growing out of Europe can be a good substitute to regenerate the European rental industry. By showcasing drive and innovation, the European rental industry will increase its know-how and remain a leading industry.”

He also called for Europe’s rental sector to be prepared for any economic eventuality; “In 2012, we were caught off-guard by the downwards revision of forecasts for the European construction industry, and its consequences on the economic activity of our sector…”

“2012 will have taught us to watch forecasts and to be cautious on any signs of economic recovery. We need to learn how to be surprised and how to react appropriately.”

Mr Déprez’ presidency ended at the convention when a new board was voted in. The board meets in Brussels on 26 June when it is anticipated that Vesa Koivula, CEO of Cramo, will be chosen as president.

A fuller version of Mr Déprez conference speech will be published in the June issue of IRN.

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