Jucy rental gets a leg up
Many trans-Tasman visitors rent vehicles, rather than risk buying a ‘lemon’ to tour around Australia or New Zealand. The pool of rental vehicles is about to get a boost.
A merger between two of Australasia’s largest rental vehicle firms is set to advance the trans-Tasman expansion plans of a third major operator, Jucy, by up to four years.
The takeover of Australian operator Apollo Tourism and Leisure (ATL) by Tourism Holdings (THL) has received Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval.
However, concern voiced by competition watchdogs on both sides of the Tasman saw ATL agree to sell $45 million of assets to Jucy.
Dan Alpe, CEO of Jucy, said that judgment plus recent investment from Jucy’s new majority shareholder, Next Capital, means the company can invest a total of $65 million to purchase 1300 new rental vehicles for the Australian and New Zealand markets – bringing the total fleet to 3000.
The move should create more than 30 new jobs and increase the number of Jucy rental offices around Australia to 11.
“Tourism infrastructure across both Australia and New Zealand has been significantly depleted as a result of Covid’s impact on global travel, “ said Dan Alpe.
“Large numbers of motorhomes and campervans were sold into the private market, where strong domestic demand provided an opportunity for some operators to meet their immediate cashflow needs.
“Two years on, the borders have reopened and we now are facing a peak summer season, which will be characterised by record demand from international and domestic tourists – that cannot be met, due to a significant shortfall of supply.
“With the acquisition of hundreds of motorhomes from ATL, Jucy will be in a position to expand significantly faster across both sides of the Tasman,” he said.
Alpe said in addition to acquiring 310 motorhomes across Australia and New Zealand, the company will also be able enter new locations – including Hobart, Darwin, Perth and Alice Springs.
“As well as purchasing hundreds of motorhomes, we are also securing the Star RV brand.
“This brand has high recognition among international tourism wholesalers and will provide an opportunity for us to cross-sell other RV products in the markets we operate in.
“Overnight this will open up access to the 35-60 target market – and helps to provide the scale we need to continue to expand throughout Australasia,” he said.
Alpe says while the merger has received ACCC approval, it is subject to final confirmation by Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).