"Making space for the future" : VINCI Park becomes Indigo
5 November 2015 - Events - France
As of 5 November, VINCI Park changed its name to Indigo, thus continuing a transformation process begun in 2014 with the opening up of its capital.
The new name makes reference to the seventh colour of the rainbow, a very deep violet-blue that Leonardo da Vinci defined as being the colour of things faraway, of the infinite and of the future. The syllables IN and GO evoke mobility, while the reference to "individuals going" is at the heart of Indigo's promise to offer mobility services that are personalised and adapted to each person's lifestyle. The brand has adopted a new slogan that projects its business – providing a parking space – into the future: "Making space for the future". This change of name embodies the desire to offer more than just a space to park one's car: the idea is to enable individual people to extract maximum value from their journey by connecting them to their environment in an ever more intelligent and personalised way. Imagine, for example, entering a car park without having to take a ticket, being guided to a reserved parking space by your mobile phone, picking up an electric scooter to continue your journey, coming back to pick up the car, to which your shopping has already been delivered, and then paying by automatic bank debt as you leave. Indigo aims to offer a technological, sustainable and modular car park, a true hub providing mobility towards each destination, while continuing to develop the fundamentals that ensured the success of VINCI Park: cleanliness, security and a warm welcome. This change of name conveys the company's strong ambition: to become the world reference for parking and individual mobility. To achieve this, Indigo will be activating four levers: its pioneering spirit that has enabled it to revolutionise the image of car parks over the last 50 years; expanding its world network; consolidating its roots in the different regions and fielding a new investment capacity of around €150 million a year. Indigo plans to achieve turnover of €1 billion in 2020. VINCI is supporting Indigo in this strategy, alongside Prédica (Crédit Agricole Assurances?) and Ardian.
From VINCI Park to Indigo
Creation of VINCI Park.
For VINCI, the parking adventure started at the beginning of the 1960s with construction under a concession contract of the first underground car park, Place des Invalides in Paris. The works were awarded to GTM. Note de traductrice: "il est dévolu à GTM". J'ai compris que les travaux ont été exécuté par GTM, mais on parle peut-être de la propriété de ce parking, dans lequel cas il faudrait remplacer la phrase en rouge par: "The car park (ou the contract) was subsequently acquired by GTM". At the same time, SGE built the underground carpark in the Place de la Concorde.
Since then, French cities have developed their networks of car parks, often using the concession model that allows rapid release of substantial investments, the cost of which is borne by the concession company rather than the local authority, financed by the private rather than the public sector, and paid for by the user rather than the taxpayer. Even better, concessions allow municipalities to earn a comfortable revenue from the royalties paid by the concession company. A number of major brands have therefore developed to respond to these needs. Most of them originated in the big construction groups: GTM, SGE, but also SOGEA and SPIE Batignolles.
The two largest car park concession companies - Sogeparc and Parcs GTM – joined VINCI in 1998 and 2000 respectively, the first after a takeover bid launched by SGE and the second in the framework of the VINCI/GTM merger.
In 2001, they merged to create VINCI Park. In parallel, the "French" car park concession model was exported to other countries in Europe (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Slovakia and Switzerland). VINCI Park became leader in concession-operated parking on the continent and rolled out its strategy to change the face of car parks. Based on four pillars – welcome, cleanliness, security and services – the company, a pioneer in its sector, built an offering that brought about an in-depth transformation of car parks themselves and the way they were perceived:
- Welcome: by making attentiveness to the customer its priority, by training its teams to advise customers, by offering 24/7 assistance and by creating Radio VINCI Park.
- Cleanliness: by making car parks well-lit, pleasant, clean and nice-smelling places.
- Security: by creating well-lit and well-designed spaces, with clear signage from the point of entry into the car park, VINCI Park enhances the feeling of security for users.
- Service: by lending bicycles, shopping bags and umbrellas and developing mobility hubs, a VINCI Park application, payment by smartphone or ETC badge and electric vehicle charging points.
Diversification and internationalisation.
In the second half of the Noughties, VINCI Park sought new sources of growth. Most of the big urban centres were already equipped with car parks and the concession model of underground car parks was no longer enough on its own to guarantee the continuing development of VINCI Park. The operator decided to diversify and moved into operation of a growing number of on-street car parks. But, even more important, VINCI Park tackled the export market, notably in North America through the acquisition of LAZ Parking, with a radical shake-up of its model: the concessionaire became also a service provider. Cities had built the car parks they needed and were seeking high-quality operators. VINCI Park, which had been operating car parks under concession contracts for over 40 years, was a credible candidate.
During this period, VINCI Park became the second Canadian operator and the fourth-largest US operator in the field of car park services. These service contracts generate lower margins than concession contracts, since they tie up much less capital.
Turning point in the second decade of this century and opening up of the capital.
The major owners of public and private car parks sought increasingly to extract value from their assets so as to reinvest it in their core business. Many of them were keen to put their car parks under concession. The phenomenon gathered pace in the United States, with cities, hospitals, shopping centres and universities transferring responsibility for their car parks under brownfield concession contracts. Once again, this meant that VINCI Park's continuing development required high levels of investment.
During the same period, VINCI made the strategic choice to develop its concessions in two priority business lines – motorways and airports – and devote the lion's share of its investment capacities to these businesses.
VINCI therefore decided to open VINCI Park's capital to two new partners: Ardian and Crédit Agricole Assurances. On 4 June 2014, the three partners finalised creation of a joint venture holding 100% of the capital of VINCI Park. Today, this company is held 37% by Ardian and 37% by Crédit Agricole Assurances. Management and employees were also offered the opportunity to acquire part of the capital of this new company, in which VINCI has a stake of a little under 25% today.
This opening of the capital allows VINCI Park to pursue its development, notably in North America, Latin America and Asia, while reaffirming its position as leader in France and Europe.
In 15 years, VINCI has thus consolidated the parking sector in France and created the world leader in concession car parks and on-street parking. It has also helped the business switch from its original BtoB model to a BtoC service contract model, which it established and rolled out over a wider base around the brand and the original signage used when the VINCI brand was launched.
It is now the responsibility of VINCI Park teams and their new shareholders to ensure that the company now being renamed Indigo continues to thrive, by capitalising on these strengths and inventing a new brand contract that includes more digital, more services and a more international presence.
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In 2018, there should be 420 million connected cars.