Investment in rental car supply

Investment in rental car supply

A multi-million dollar investment in New Zealand’s international tourism infrastructure is expected to ease a critical shortage of rental vehicles.

Jucy, one of the country’s largest vehicle rental operators, will invest $40 million dollars to expand its fleet of campervans and cars.

The investment is expected to support the growth of Jucy’s New Zealand and Australian operations – providing around 1,000 new vehicles and opening new locations in Australia.

A significant proportion of New Zealand’s rental fleet was depleted as a result of the pandemic, with thousands of vehicles sold by operators to cover overhead expenses. With borders now reopened and an influx of international tourists set to arrive for the coming summer, global vehicle shortages and shipping delays have impacted the industry’s ability to rapidly rebuild vehicle stocks.

Dan Alpe, CEO of Jucy, says the latest funding has been sourced through Jucy’s local bank partner and Australian private equity firm Next Capital, which will take a majority position in Jucy.

‘The first of the new vehicles we have earmarked for this market will be on New Zealand roads within the next three-four months, in time for the summer season but well short of what will be needed to meet demand,’ he says.

Alpe says 80% of the new campervans will be self-contained, with the balance designed to meet the needs of travellers staying in caravan parks and DOC sites.

Recovery ‘faster than expected,’ says Jucy

Jucy’s forward bookings indicate that the New Zealand tourism market is responding much faster than expected, says Dan Alpe, the company’s CEO.

‘We are now looking at accelerating our growth strategy to meet the growing demand in the self-drive visitor segment.

‘Across the winter season we would normally be seeing fleet utilisation of 30% however we are already running at around 80% capacity,’ adds Alpe. ‘Our data shows the upcoming summer peak of inbound international tourists will start earlier than normal – with November expected to be significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

‘This rebound in tourism numbers is being driven by thousands of visitors from the European market and we expect to be completely sold out across summer – which means the New Zealand market will likely face a supply shortfall in excess of what we have seen previously.’

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