" Communications should not be built on the fake"
Digital expert in the automotive sector, Marie LALOY
is Vice-President and CMO of UCAR Mobility Group
, she is a fervent defender of carpooling that offers short and long term rental solutions for professionals and individuals. A EM Lyon graduate, she began her career in digital agencies (Nextedia, Netbooster, Directinet) then in AGL, a publisher of dating sites. She then joined the PSA group for ten years, occupying successive positions notably for the Citroën brand (Global CDO) and the PSA Retail network (CMO).
1 / Working in the mobility industry during this crisis period, what does a day of a #ConfinedComdirector look like?
So it's very simple, I juggle between video confrences , creating content for our customers, our network of franchisees and our employees… and the class of my daughter. I had to establish a schedule with alternating time slots. Fortunately, the ultra-trendy teacher send us a scheduel every morning by text or video whatsapp. At recess, we do yoga and we play ping pong on the kitchen table. So at night, we go to bed early... As for the morale, it changes over the weeks but having found a modus operandi allows to hang on.
2 / From the start of the crisis, you made promoted your slogan #PARTAGETABAGNOLE (#ShareYourCar). Can you explain it to us?
We quickly understood that our vehicle fleet would not be of use for a few weeks. So to participate, on our scale, in this enormous surge of solidarity, we put our cars for free at the service of nursing staff. That’s what we could do best and being an SME allowed us to act quickly. We announced it on our national facebook pages and our local pages while tagging the CHU and the local press. It has been widely shared and to date a hundred of vehicles are being used. This action, which was very spontaneous for us, is a reflection of our values: sharing and proximity. It gives meaning to the daily lives of our franchisees who are still mobilizing today to find solutions and more globally for the whole company. We have a good reason to get up in the morning!
3 / While Europcar is on the verge of bankruptcy, how is it going for you?
Mobility services have been defined as an essential service. Our agencies therefore remained open but by appointment only and in strict compliance with health rules.Market has fallen 90% since the crisis began and UCAR was not spared. However, we are lucky, our strategy of proximity makes us less dependent on traffic in tourist hubs, stations and airports. We hope to be able to rebound more quickly and benefit from the gradual recovery of
the economy with our utility vehicles. As for individuals, they will probably stay in France this summer and we hope to provide them with solutions in the context of this new local tourism that takes shape.
4 / What have been your emergencies in terms of communications?
We had to contact our customers to give them the list of open agencies and offer them to cancel their reservation at no cost. We then contacted our network of franchisees to help them organize and provide them with useful information to save their business. We launched a whole series of webinars for that. Also, the mobilisation of the community, which was previously very physical, has now been digitized which is undoubtedly an asset that we will keep. And then there is the internal, strategic communication. It was important that the 100 or so workers who were teleworking or part-time did not disconnect from the company. There too, we organized interactive and searchable replay webinars and opened an internal communication portal. Teleworking is good, but we shouldn't lose human capital and continue to connect employees with each other.
5 / You have been campaigning for almost 20 years for car rental or car sharing and its virtues. What is next?
I think that this crisis will generate a strong withdrawal for one part of the society but also, for the others, an impetus towards actions of solidarity and sharing of proximity. Tomorrow, we hope, will be better. But to contribute to this, we must seriously review our way of consuming. Car sharing and leasing are responses to both ecological and societal challenges of car access for all. At UCAR, we campaign for a reasoned and adapted use of the car. For example, instead of taking your car to get the bread, you'd better split it and collect some income from it.
6 / So how do you see post-confinement?
The crisis has allowed us to improve the customer journey and community mobilisation. In record time, we we digitalized our communication and even set up the delivery of the vehicle at home. The next step, from May 11, will be mainly a reinsurance communication in customer management around compliance with health advice. But we are also launching a project of engagement with partners, to support the mobility of the French this summer and develop local tourism. In the longer term, our communication will be more humanized than before. We will focus on highlighting the franchisees who were there during the crisis.
7 / On a personal or professional level, what will you take away from this extraordinary crisis?
I realized, all of a sudden, how much Man was a social animal. I spent 20 years digitizing customer journeys and today, even if we have never been so much in contact with teams, whatsapp, zoom and co, I miss human contact "in real life"! I also realized the pillar role of the school. My daughter's teacher is like a beacon during these days of confinement. I tell myself that it will absolutely be necessary to upgrade these professions, those of education and carers. Finally, on a professional level, this tsunami obliges us to clearly distinguish what is opportune from what is opportunistic. We do not build comm on fake, nor on the wind, but on concrete and committed actions.
Specialist in mobility, UCAR MOBILITY GROUP offers short and long-term car rental solutions for professionals and individuals, in its own brand but also on behalf of car manufacturers and distributors (Audi, VW, Hyundai, Yamaha, BMW). Through its founder and charismatic President Jean-Claude Puerto-Salavert
, UCAR is a fervent defender of car sharing in the broad sense, convinced, from the end of the 90s, that it responds to new modes of consumption and the emergence of stronger environmental awareness. The Group, which aims to make vehicle rental accessible to all, with low and transparent prices and original local offers, relies on 386 branches and brings together a fleet of 7,000 vehicles. It employs 100 people directly and 400 across all of its franchise networks. The UCAR group posted a turnover of 71ME in 2019. It has been listed on the stock market since July 2011 on Euronext Growth Paris (ALUCR).