DEFINING YOUR NICHE

Mexico 2019 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

The company has held its own in the face of growing competition from ride-sharing platforms by investing in regular training and meeting the needs of its employees and customers.

César Octavio Loera
BIOGRAPHY
César Octavio Loera specializes in marketing and operative administration. He restructured National Car Rental, redefining its business portfolio and internal operations. In 2004, the company registered consistent growth and was able to duplicate its EBIT in 2017 in comparison to the results of 2015. He also helped consolidate the communication and marketing department of KPMG México.

What was the company's most important achievement in 2018?

Our most important achievement was to consolidate our growth by completing the first integration cycle of National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent a Car, two brands we represent in the south and southeast of the country. In 2018 we grew by 15% YoY. Another important achievement was to substantially improve internal processes and our quality of service, which resulted in a significant increase in our clients' satisfaction. After a continuous improvement program that started two years ago, we saw the results of consistency in processes and our staff's focus on service culture. We have had sustainable growth in recent years, allowing us to invest in continuous training and improve the internal work environment. We are focused on meeting the needs of our employees and customers.

What factors influenced the results in 2018?

The commitment of our staff has contributed to increasing our portfolio of repeat customers, as well as obtaining new sales channels supported by an excellent level of attention. The flow of international reservations increased in 2017 thanks to joint efforts between our corporate entity in the US, the economic conditions of the region, and the interesting and competitive proposals we offered our clients.

What type of expansion plans do you have to consolidate your presence in the region?

We plan to continue to cover the cities where we are not present. We are maintaining our expansion plans even amidst economic uncertainty and insecurity issues. This demands us to employ greater planning and analysis.

How is the sharing economy's growth affecting your business?

These digital platforms are not yet significantly affecting the industry. Applications based on the sharing economy offer similar services, but are not substitutes—there is a defined niche market for us and these applications. Though limited markets could be affected, such as areas with high traffic or parking shortages, there are still cities where car rentals offer competitive advantages as compared to such platforms.

What are the main trends impacting the car rental market in Mexico?

The large online tourism marketing agencies (OTAs) have influenced the way of booking tourist services, including car rental. We are in permanent collaboration with them to make sure we can offer the public the best offers. Service quality is also a relevant issue among service providers and has a critical impact on customer preferences. A few years ago, we started a program of continuous improvement in service with the help of the corporate Enterprise Holding (EHI). We are 100% focused on customer satisfaction through the modification of processes in the back office and constant contact with the customer through the front desk. We receive continuous feedback from our clients through e-mails, calls, or surveys that we conduct every day. Technology impacts every industry, and our sector is no exception. We invest continuously in information technology in all areas of the company but with a strong focus on improving customer service. Speed and reliability are key to everything.

What potential does southeast Mexico offer to the car rental market?

Economic growth is not manifesting as expected, and greater support is needed from the federal and state governments to leverage southeast Mexico's economy. Indeed, the region requires oil, growth projects in maritime docks, and support for tourism promotion. In addition to these, safety and reliability will remain critical for travelers renting cars.