EUROPCAR has formed a partnership with a small car rental business based in Esperance in an attempt to increase its share of Western Australia’s mine-specific vehicle rental market.
The company is expanding its regional business with new branches planned for Geraldton, Busselton, Bunbury, Albany and Collie – all of which will stock commercial vehicles for local mining projects.
The expansion comes after Europcar approached Esperance man Rod Zakostelsky with a bid for his mine-specific rental business and expertise in securing contracts with mining companies. A 50-50 joint venture has now been agreed to, which involves Mr Zakostelsky heading the Melbourne-based company’s WA expansion.
Mr Zakostelsky’s Jetz Rental car-hire has been operating for three years. It initially stocked sedans and family wagons, but turned to offering mine-specific vehicles in 2010.
“I realised I couldn’t compete with the likes of Avis and Budget because they had the corporate contracts all sewn up,” Mr Zakostelsky said.
He secured his first contracts for mine-specific vehicles with BHP Billiton, and further deals after making direct approaches to mines in the Esperance area. The size of Mr Zakostelsky’s fleet has grown to more than 70 vehicles.
Europcar Australia and New Zealand operations director Matt Baker said the company was delighted to be partnering with Mr Zakostelsky.
“With his many years’ experience and local knowledge from working in mining, construction and equipment rental, Rod is the ideal choice to spearhead Euopcar’s expansion into regional WA,” he said.
Europcar already has regional branches in Broome, Exmouth, Karratha, Newman, and Port Hedland, but does not have a significant share of the mining industry market
“There are projects being set up all over WA and all of these have people wanting to source vehicles; Onslow for example, I think the project there is worth $32 billion,” Mr Zakostelsky said.
“I think if we are there locally, and we have the product then it’s looking pretty good for us.”
The Europcar expansion will put it in direct competition with Avis and Budget, which already offer mine-specific vehicles in those regions.
Europcar will open its Geraldton branch this month, which will include a fleet of up to 25 mine-specific vehicles. Mr Zakostalskey said he hoped the remaining branches would be opened by the end of the financial year.