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globalmobility director of sales Woldemar Muehlenkamp stands in front of the iconic Deutsche Bank Tower in the financial district of downtown Frankfurt, Germany.
European operators typically run smaller fleets in a continent known for stricter emissions rules and higher gas prices than in the U.S. One German chauffeured transportation company, globalmobility, successfully adapts a fleet of nine standard and premium sedans and minivans to serve a clientele full of road show corporate warriors and charter aviation companies. From its headquarters in Frankfurt, the financial heart of the European Union and home of the European Central Bank, director of sales Woldemar Muehlenkamp works to maintain an affiliate network throughout Europe and the U.S. that duplicates the company’s high service levels. Muehlenkamp also is a steady presence at International LCT Shows, where he and colleagues from around the world network and grow their global reach.
What is unique about chauffeured services in Germany compared to the U.S.?
One distinction is that we have a small market with many local companies and a few nationwide operators. The quality varies because not all local companies have the same global standard. They do not have the international experience and network, whereas the U.S. market is very big with high quality operators with a nationwide network. High taxes, labor costs and fuel prices are making the service comparatively expensive.
What are key challenges of your service area/region?
Legality and costs. The law is handled differently than in the U.S. Companies are controlled only very rarely. The reason is that many companies are not working legally and without adequate insurance. Other challenges include the high costs of fuel and parts.
What qualities do you look for in a U.S. affiliate?
It is very important to be 24/7 and reliable. For every single service we need the driver details, name and mobile number 24 hours in advance. Trust and reliability is important so that our customers receive the same high [level of] service like at home.
What specific rules or procedures do U.S. operators need to be aware of when affiliating with operators in Germany?
Most important are professional rules and procedures. There must be confidence in the company and their vehicles. The reaction time and information must be immediate. No paper or Internet website can show you the true reality. To know your business partner in person is the best approach.