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Low-cost wheels: what's the new low-cost car rental business from one of the Flybondi owners



"One day a friend told me he was going to Bariloche, on vacation, by car, from Buenos Aires, to be there for a week, it's crazy," he says. Julian Cook, a Swiss entrepreneur who until December was the president of Flybondi, the first company low cost the country he remains a shareholder and vice president.

"Flybondi has reached the size of over 500 employees, I set up the project from scratch and worked full-time for three years. My strength is more involvement in launching than in everyday surgery. From August of last year, we talked with the management and agreed to leave. And I went to do other things – he says Infobae.

The first thing you are going to do is call Wow Rent a Car, what he defines as "Rental and new generation car rental services" which will start operating this year, with 1,000 rental units in the main tourist points of the country with which according to the employer's estimates, he will issue an invoice in the first year, approximately USD 5 million.

It means cheap cars for rent at tourist points. "We will do the same as for airplanes, but with this market"promises Cook.

The idea was born a year and a half ago, after traveling with Flybondi the main cities of the country. "The Argentine aviation market was underdeveloped and many, before Flybondi and the market low cost. but car rental is much worseToday, there are only 15,000 vehicles, compared with 30,000 in Chile and 700,000 in Brazil. Argentina would have to have four or five times more"respect.

The idea of ​​Wow is to reach the main tourist points of Argentina with services. "In all cars: Salta, Mendoza, Bariloche, Jujuy and Cordoba, maybe not so much in Iguazu, and because the offer is so bad or non-existent, many people go from far away to get there," says Cook. Substantially Wow will have contracts for packages with Flybondi, but it does not exclude the addition of other airlines and companies in the tourism sector.

– How will the system work?

– Generally, globally, Car rental experience has not changed in the last 20 yearsOne arrives, has to stand in line, wait more than half an hour. Many procedures are carried out using a passport or document, someone gives you the key … Thanks to the technology that exists today and the experience of companies with car sharingit is clear that everything can be done better, more efficiently and more efficiently friendlyadditionally at lower costs. Wow, you'll be driving an application that tells you where the car is, open it from the phone and leave. Everything more efficient. We will have rooms at the airports and in the center of the main cities. We aim at the tourist market and we will not compete with car sharing.

– How much will the rent cost?

– Currently the average local rental price is USD 50 per day. There is half in Chile and one third in Spain. There are margins that reduce costs and provide good service. We will be 50% lower.

– How many cars do you have?

– About 5,000 cars in 5 years. It's a logical step after low cost: You arrive cheaply and continue your journey with your own rented means of transport at a reasonable price. With Flybondi We promised to triple the aviation market in 10 years and we do it. Why use so much? You take one low cost and rent a car.

– Are you going to buy all the vehicles?

– Yes, we are talking to car manufacturers who are very bad now, and their sale is 50% compared to last year. We choose our strategic partner in May. It will be around 1,000 units for the first 12 months. Behind startAround 800

– Which car brands are you negotiating with?

– With everything. In the world, when you rent, you never know what car they will give you. They tell you such a model or "similar" and it is always "similar". We will launch the service with only one model of the brand, but we have not defined it yet. It will be a compact car, which accounts for 80% of the rental market. Maybe basic SUV.

– Do you ask for a lot of discounts in these negotiations?

– Yes, it's part of the key to this business. We are talking about something great and we are looking for a price. It will also be a great presentation of this model.

– Who are the project's investors?

– We close the first round of investment. Some shareholders have already confirmed, but I can not tell them yet. I have a partner who is also in the field of travel, but for now the visible part of the project is me. Everything that is currently related to loans is very complicated and rates are rising fast. Maybe we'll take equity capital buy the first cars, depend on the loan, The same applies to financing: there will be less than $ 5 million to run, without counting cars. This is a local project for the first two years, and then we plan to expand to the region and maybe also contract with other car brands. We do not want to have a car company as a partner because it would limit growth and other possible contracts.


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