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OCTO Connected Interview: Luca Maggiore – CEO at StylishRent

A.Z. : Good Morning Luca, thanks for your time today, could you introduce yourself?

L.M. : Hello and thank you for your time. I am forty-six and married with two children. After my studies and work experience in London in a multinational company in the car rental sector, I joined Maggiore Rent, the family company, with roles of increasing responsibility and contributing to the development of the business until 2015, the year in which we sold the company. From that moment my second entrepreneurial life began which led me in 2018 to give life to StylishRent, a home-delivered premium car rental.

A.Z. : We know about your long experience in rental. How could you summarize the changes that have taken place over the years?

L.M. : Flexible mobility has been in my DNA for over 50 years now. With the family business, the Maggiore Group, we were pioneers in Italy, founding the first car rental company without  driver in 1947 and focusing on a strong brand personality based on the concept of Italianness understood as quality, innovation and originality. After the war from Sicily, where our roots lie, we then expanded throughout Italy. In those years, for the private individual, renting a car, exclusively for the short term, was an occasional service, that is, linked to contingent and often unforeseen needs, while business formulas preferred the leasing ones. Owning a car was a must for the average Italian. Since the 1990s, the early depreciation of new vehicles, the increase linked to the “cost of ownership” of cars, as well as the growth in traffic and the closure of historic centers, has led motorists to seek new mobility formulas. With the evolution of consumer preferences, also thanks to the advent of digital technology, today the culture of ownership has been “unhinged” and rental is a winning formula of mobility, even in the long term, thanks to undoubted benefits and advantages compared to ‘purchase. In recent years, many other companies have sprung up and car rental has rightfully entered the short list of collective mobility. Almost fifty years after the founding of Maggiore Rent, we also introduced commercial vehicles and soon became the absolute leader for the Italian market. Shortly, we have done enough road and experience! In 2015, with the Top Management, we decided to further grow the Group and give it an international flair, transferring the property to Avis, the world leader in the sector.

A.Z. : How was the idea of Stylishrent born?

L.M. : After the sale of the Group, I have undertaken other entrepreneurial initiatives, but I have never forgotten my “first love”. Looking at a market now overcrowded with players, with many car models available and with rental formulas in which the price war often wins, I wondered where to bring innovation: inspired by the planetary model of Amazon, I realized that the customer of today he wants to quickly satisfy his purchase intentions and wants to do it comfortably “at home”. So why not apply this model to the rental? Quality service and delivery logistics could be the keys to creating a new niche in a saturated market and being successful. In fact, the current customer wants to rent in a super flexible way following his often-impromptu needs, he wants to have the guarantee of the model he has booked (defect of many rental companies), he wants to stand out with his own personal style when he is on board a car for rent. But above all, he wants to collect and return where and when he wants, round the clock, seven days a week. In short, rental is no longer a simple service, but an experience to be lived with maximum comfort and relaxation. On these characteristics I founded StylishRent in 2018: a Premium rental company operating throughout Italy and built around the customer. Then I transferred the same innovative concept to commercial vehicles – giving life in 2020 (against the tide and in full pandemic) to the ItaliaVan brand, currently operating in Lazio and Lombardy.

A.Z. : In this difficult period, what are the services most requested by customers?

L.M. : The social and economic situation certainly did not benefit the rental sector and the entire Automotive sector in general. It is useless to deny it. However, it was the differentiating characteristics of StylishRent that kept our demand alive: safety on board, thanks to the ozone sanitization that we apply to each rental, delivery “where you want when you want” in white gloves operated by our expert drivers ( that help the customer to immediately become familiar with the vehicle), the possibility of booking a day, such as a weekend or several months, and obviously a large and top-of-the-range fleet with cars equipped with the best performance, comfort and options of the relative models on the market. Furthermore, the customer does not want to be disappointed when he goes to pick up the model that he has viewed and booked, he does not want any nasty surprises, as often happens to find a model of the same category but not the exact one he has chosen. We always give the absolute guarantee of the model booked.

To take stock, our “premium delivery rent a car” formula has amortized the decline and once again proved to be a winner; this makes us look to the future with even more confidence that we have taken the right path.

Style for us is elegance, class, practicality and discretion. In everyday life as well as on the road. In this concept I would like our customers to identify themselves when they choose StylishRent.

A.Z. : What are the brand development strategies for the near future?

L.M. : We are expanding the range of models in the fleet to add more premium brands to our offer. Ours is certainly an exclusive service, but it is an “affordable luxury”, for customers who want to experience a top business & leisure rental experience, yet with affordable rates compared to our competitors. We have concluded some important partnerships, including the already prestigious one with Trenitalia, to focus on a 360 ° rental experience, to save time and money for our customers, guaranteeing speed, savings and maximum comfort in all movements, even those within restricted traffic areas for example. A customer experience integrated with the unique style that distinguishes us. We are also finalizing a series of special agreements with medium to large companies to become the preferred flexible mobility provider for their customers and managers. Finally, we are investing in electric mobility, for that segment of customers who are particularly attentive to sustainability, especially in large cities. For now, we have started on Rome and Milan with the new EQs of Smart, stylish, practical and green.

The philosophy for the future remains the essence of our brand, which is to design a rental tailored to the customer and offer a premium tailored service that adapts to their needs.

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