In this web-exclusive Q&A with Dan Mekler, managing director of Redspot Car Rentals of Australia, he discusses the company’s new marketing partnership with Germany’s Sixt and how Redspot’s ‘Business Club’ loyalty product has been its largest growing program in the company since the club was started in 2005.
What's your fleet size?
We’re forecasting a peak fleet size of 3,000 for 2012-13 financial year.
How many locations do you have and in what types of areas?
We have 38 Australian rental locations in total. Most are corporate (some licensed) and located in airport terminals (20), city metropolitan locations (7) and regional locations (11).
How did the business start?
We started in 1989 as a courtesy-car side business to an inner Sydney gas station. The first stand-alone rental location opened in 1995 and our first airport concession for Sydney Airport opened in 1999.
What are your primary sources of rental customers?
Our largest business source is direct customers who book via website, call center or walk-up. Online agents (or web partners) make up our next biggest source followed by traditional wholesale and travel agent markets.
Adelaide Airport with both Redspot and Sixt logos.
What are the details on your new relationship with Sixt?
I’m pleased to advise that an agreement for a marketing partnership between Redspot Car Rentals of Australia and Sixt rent a car of Germany has just been signed. It will see Redspot servicing Sixt’s loyalty and corporate customers and also represent all Sixt booking channels into Australia.
Through our marketing partnership with Sixt we’re launching Redspot Sixt rent a car as our trademark within Australia. Redspot is privately owned and independently operated, and this will not change as a result of the partnership.
Cairns Car Park
Are you pursuing new sources of business/customers?
In addition to our new partnership with Sixt, Redspot continues to promote and expand its business markets through its highly regarded Business Club and Club Red loyalty products. The success of Redspot and Business Club can largely be credited to all-inclusive rates, which offer zero damage liability and include all mandatory fees and charges.
First launched in 2005, Business Club is Redspot’s fastest growing market. We’re on a good thing so we stick to it!
Describe your marketing efforts and what the payback has been so far.
Redspot recently appointed BCM, an acclaimed Brisbane-based advertising agency after a thorough tendering process. A comprehensive brand and brand positioning strategy has since been developed that’s currently being launched across various marketing channels.
How do you buy cars?
A combination of leasing and outright purchase.
How do you sell your cars? (sell back to dealers, used car lot, auction?)
All of these and, we also sell highly sought-after models to the public as a licensed motor dealer.
How long do you keep cars in fleet?
Depending on the sale method, our cars are sold upon reaching predetermined mileages. This generally occurs between 12 and 24 months from new.
What are your biggest challenges with fleet?
Fleet distribution; or in other words, planning the logistics of getting fleet to the regions to meet demand. This requires comprehensive planning and monitoring, and involves buying, selling, one-way rental specials and at times, trucking.