MVS Zeppelin committed to full 'rental service' model

By Murray Pollok06 December 2011

MVS Zeppelin, the Cat Rental Store in Germany, said it remains committed to expanding its rental service business model and will increase the proportion of non-Cat ‘allied equipment' in its fleet in the coming years.

The company told IRN that it will continue to make "huge investments" in its fleet next year - adding around 1000 new machines - following similar levels of investment this year.

More than 70% of the 2012 spending will be for new Caterpillar machines - including earthmoving and road building units equipped with GPS control systems.

Klaus Kögel, the company's recently appointed marketing manager, said MVS Zeppelin remained committed to its programme of renting non-Cat, allied equipment and that the proportion of non-Cat equipment could rise from 40% to 50% of the total in the coming years. "We will increase this [allied equipment] business, and not reduce the Cat business", he said.

MVS Zeppelin remains optimistic about growth opportunities in the German market. "When it comes to current market conditions we see the actual situation is not so bad in Germany", said Mr Kögel, "2011 was the most successful year we ever had, and we are not fearful of a bad economic situation, even if the expectation for 2012 is a little bit cautious."

He said MVS saw double digit growth in revenues this year "and a very pleasing profit improvement."

MVS Zeppelin, which is part of the rental business unit of Caterpillar dealer Zeppelin, is optimistic because of public investments in infrastructure totalling €24 billion over the next three years. In addition, Mr Kögel said MVS Zeppelin was moving into the German energy market, where there is much investment planned.

He added that there were also signs of a more general structural shift towards rental, prompted by balance sheet issues and the difficulties in raising capital.

MVS Zeppelin's expansion owes a lot to the financial strength of its owner, Zeppelin, which is Caterpillar dealer in Germany, Austria, Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus.

Elswhere in Europe, some Cat dealers have retreated from running separately run pure rental service companies. Finning in the UK sold Hewden 18 months ago; Bergerat Monnoyeur in France has just sold its BM Location business; and Cat dealers Barloworld MERA in Spain and Pon Equipment in the Netherlands and Scandinavia have been forced by financial conditions to scale back their rental operations.

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