Hitachi outlines plans for direct rental in Europe

HCME said the model will offer “the smallest to the biggest” in its portfolio. HCME said the model will offer “the smallest to the biggest” in its portfolio.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe (HCME) is set to commence direct rentals to end-users under its own brand in parts of Europe, the company has announced

Speaking to IRN at the Intermat exhibition in Paris, Andre De Boer, general manager (Rental & Used Equipment), said the company is to open “retail rental” depots in the Netherlands, UK and France.

The as of yet unnamed rental operation in the Netherlands will be the first to open and will be treated as a pilot market before further depots are rolled out in the UK and France.

It will only offer short-term rentals (below six months), with existing dealerships still taking ownership of longer-term rentals under the Premium Rental initiative launched in Europe in 2018.

In terms of fleet, De Boer said the company will offer “the smallest to the biggest” in its portfolio and expects the fleet size in the Netherlands to reach 250 units in the next couple of years.

“We are now building the company and ordering the machines. We haven’t started in the Netherlands yet, everything has to fall in place,” De Boer said. “I think sometime in August or September we will be operational [in the Netherlands].”

The company plans to open a rental depot in the center of the Netherlands later this year, which will be backed up by “rental corners” in existing dealerships, one in the North and one in the South of the country.

In France, the company will have one main office and will operate an extra five depots, which will include workshops and provide servicing to customers.

At the time of writing, there are no plans to expand the model outside of Europe, although De Boer said it is “quite common in Japan” and could be introduced in other markets if other continents express interest in the approach.

Under the existing Premium Rental scheme, Hitachi excavators and wheel loaders are made available to rent direct from the company’s dealer network.

Hitachi buys the machines which are then rented to end users by its dealers, who maintain and repair the machines during rentals. Hitachi also offers rentals in the UK through Synergy Hire, a company that it acquired in 2019. 

The company also rents to some of the largest rental companies in Europe. De Boer said the reaction from some has been that the new model will act as “an extension to the market” and not as a “direct competitor.”

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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
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Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]