GET UP & GO

Mexico 2018 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Francisco Javier García Ramírez, Director General of Mex Rent-a-Car, on the challenges to developing the brand, client portfolio, and goals for the future.

 Francisco Javier García Ramírez

What were the challenges of developing the Mex Rent-a-Car brand?

We knew it was hard to compete with the large companies, because they were merging and becoming more powerful. We created our own brand to control our own future by being in charge of our own technology and costs. We created our own system and hired engineers to develop this idea. Right now in 2017 we have 20 locations in Mexico and two in the US. We were the first Mexican car rental company to open at the CBX San Diego crossing. Since 95% of our customers are Mexican, we thought they would be more comfortable renting from a Mexican company when traveling to the US. We have also an alliance with Fox Rent a Car, called MexAlliance. Our customers make reservations via Fox's system and we accept those reservations for both Mexico and the US.

What is your client profile?

Our client profile has been focused on Mexican business travelers and tourists, though it is not just limited to these. As a result of the internet, we see more interest from clients from the US and Canada. We have travelers from all around the world that choose Mex Rent-a-Car when coming to Mexico. Around 92% of our clients are individuals for business and leisure. Around 8% of our revenue comes from corporations, mainly Mexican. We have also corporate clients that are multinational and hire our services for several months in a row for their representatives who come to Mexico for business. There is great potential in corporate clients; however, we are more focused on leisure and have seen an explosive growth of Mexicans traveling within Mexico. In January 2016, Kayak saw an increase of 170% of locals seeking to travel within Mexico, while international destinations saw a 67% increase

How do you target your customers in terms of trends in the tourism sector?

We have a plan for the next three to five years. We are focused on growing with our alliance. We plan to launch two new brands in Mexico, one of which is MTT, focused on the on-demand rental product. We are focused on technology and want to launch this brand this year, which will enable users to reserve and pay through a mobile app. Also we will launch another brand called MGT or Mex Ground Transportation. There are special segments of the market that do not want to drive in Mexico, so this brand targets this segment. We plan to achieve a 95% growth in units and 120% in revenue by 2020

What distinguishes Mex Rent-a-Car from your competitors?

Technology is our forte. With our app, it is easier for customers to reserve cars and make payments. We offer an all-inclusive product. We recognize that in the market it is difficult for customers to understand what it is included in rental fees; others add insurance and other fees on prices. Our fares are all-inclusive, so customers do not need to worry about other fees. Our service includes cars, gasoline, and insurance, so when a customer comes they are ready to go.

What your goals over the next few years?

We have set a goal of 7,000 units and income of MXN1.5 billion by 2020. We want to penetrate the US market under the Mex brand. In terms of the development of the Mex brand through our affiliations, we will probably cover about 30-40 countries. Now we have eight countries that use the Mex technology and brand and have exposure on major websites like Expedia and rentalcar.com. They use our brand in Central America and the Caribbean as well as in Romania, our first country in Europe. We plan to grow in more countries, especially in Europe and the rest of the Americas. We seek to offer entire new experiences and mobility and are considering mixed solutions for cities like Mexico City with limited parking spaces, combining it with rentals by the hour or other means of transportation. The keys to our success are the expertise in administration of our founders, Francisco and Martha García, as well as our partnership with Dalton in 2012, who have invested a great deal of money and believe in the technology we are developing, and our employees, who are our main key to future success.