European Truck Dealers Gear-Up for a Sustainable Road Transport


European Truck Dealers Gear-Up for a Sustainable Road Transport

On the 20th of September 2017, a group of around 20 truck dealers from 7 different nationalities have been in Utrecht to visit and learn more about the successful business model put in place by the Dutch IVECO Schouten-Rolande group.
With a view to support the European truck dealer network in their constant search for more sustainable transport solutions, CECRA (the European Council of Vehicle Dealers and Repairers) – under the impulse of its Chairman Gianandrea Ferrajoli (Italian IVECO dealer) - has organised a visit to the company who is reported to be the European best in class for the LNG-fuelled vehicles.
LNG-fuelled trucks offer:

  • - 15/20 % of CO2 emissions
  • - 80/90 % of nox
  • Close to 0 % sox and particulate

These elements alone make this new technology extremely appealing to those truck dealers who want to fulfil the ever-increasing green expectations of road transport operators.

Back in 2010, the Dutch IVECO dealer group Schouten - largely in advance compared to its local and European competitors - had recognised in the Liquified Natural Gas a valid solution for those fleet operators willing to reduce their carbon footprint.

At that time though, in the Netherlands, the main obstacle to the diffusion of this innovative product was the lack of filling stations. Fleet operators did not want to buy vehicles that they would have not been able to fuel. At the same time, fuel suppliers were not willing to invest in the construction of expensive filling infrastructures if the existing fleet of vehicles was not sufficiently large to ensure the right return on investment. 

Fred Schouten – CEO of the IVECO Schouten-Rolande group): “it was the classic Chicken and Egg situation …”

Taking the necessary leap of faith, and in spite of this very uncomfortable circumstances, IVECO Schouten took the bold decision of acquiring the fuel distribution company Rolande and investing in the development of an own network of filling stations. They started with 3 stations and they are currently running 8 stations out of a total network of around 20 stations in the whole Dutch territory.
Fred Schouten: “… by acquiring Rolande, we broke the chicken & egg situation! …

Gianandrea Ferrajoli – Chairman of CECRA’s truck division, CEO of an Italian IVECO large dealer group: IVECO Schouten’s business model moved away from the typical truck dealer that sells the product and tries to sell the related maintenance services; the Schouten model goes beyond that, it offers a brand-new value proposition to the client including the vehicle, the related maintenance and even the fuel supply. This integrated approach allows him to stick with his customer along the whole vehicle operational lifecycle. What’s even more remarkable, it does it in a green and far more sustainable way! …”

Bernard Lycke – Director General of CECRA: “… CECRA, along with ACEA and other European stakeholders, has recently presented the results of a study (by Transport Mobility Leuven) showing how significant results in terms of lower emissions can be obtained through the combined action of all the stakeholders along the European road transport value chain. Alternative fuels are surely one of the key factors in this proposed integrated approach. Today, with the example of Schouten, and such a large participation by our members, we have showed that European dealers have a major role to play in shifting Europe towards a more sustainable road transport ...”
Aad Verkade – Director of the Truck Division at BOVAG (Dutch Vehicle Dealer Association):  “… today we see in the Netherlands a very good climate for Truck dealers to innovate and, in this context, at BOVAG we try to support entrepreneurs in their innovation path, by providing them with best-in class examples, but also by supporting them with the training of well-educated and highly skilled workforce. CECRA’s Truck Dealership Field Visits are exactly in the same wake of what we try to do in our country, therefore we are glad to have supported the 2nd edition of this successful event, and we look forward to participate and bring Dutch truck dealers to the future editions to be announced soon! …”