Autonom – the story of a responsible Romanian brand
“Autonom Group is a Romanian family-owned company, founded in Piatra Neamt in 2006.
The beginning was modest, but we grew sustainably, optimistically, step by step. We made responsible decisions for the future and in time, we became the acquirer and manager of the largest fleet in Romania. We have created a unique mobility infrastructure where we take risks and offer our customers friendly, flexible services with an “extra mile” attitude to contribute to a state of peace of mind and comfort.
As our name says, we believe in autonomy. We have freedom with responsibility, we are committed body and soul to deliver a WOW experience. We believe in growth, daily evolution and genuine intrapreneurship, and kindness and smiles are our secrets.
At the same time, we are there for those who need us, through the Autonom Foundation. We want to make an impact through education, in the growth of the community and the next generation.
Autonom is the right framework in which to accelerate towards a better future! “
Autonom Services SA is part of the Autonom Group and is the largest Romanian-owned player by turnover in the main sectors of activity: operational leasing and car rental and has the largest and unique mobility network in Romania.
- National network of 46 of agencies in 33 cities in Romania, a business model differentiated from competitors; Agencies abroad: Budapest and Debrecen in Hungary;
- The company offers modern mobility and financing solutions such as: short- and medium-term rentals, operational leasing, chauffeur transfers, temporary fleet leasing, fleet management services, roadside assistance, car wash services and long-term equipment rent;
- Fleet of vehicles on 31 December 2022: 13,680;
- Number of employees on 31 December 2022: 474;
- Independent player with Romanian capital: Autonom International is the majority shareholder of Autonom Services S.A., with a 98% stake in the share capital. The shareholders of Autonom International are Marius Ștefan and Dan Ștefan, in equal proportions.
The registered trademarks for Autonom Services are Autonom and Business Elite:
From start-up to major national player in the sustainable mobility services market
- Autonom is a company with 100% Romanian capital, started in 2006 in Piatra Neamt;
- In 2018, Autonom acquired BTOL (BT Operational Leasing), a company founded in 2001, with the aim of consolidating its customer portfolio, with the merger by absorption to be completed on January 1st, 2021;
- In 2018, Autonom became the first Romanian company to be included in the EBRD Blue Ribbon Programme, which includes 30 companies in 20 countries where the EBRD is present;
- In 2019, the company changes its visual identity and makes its first bond issue, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, for a total amount of 20 million euro;
- In June 2020, Fitch Ratings, one of the world’s top three rating agencies, gave Autonom Services SA a “B+” Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR). The corporate bond issue, which trades under the symbol AUT24E, received a separate rating of “B-”;
- In 2021, Autonom announced the publication of the Sustainability Strategy and the issuance of the first Sustainability-Linked Bonds, a first on the Romanian capital market, worth €48,03 million, part of an MTN programme worth a total of €250 million. Sustainalytics considered the objectives set out in the Framework Document as “ambitious” and the key performance indicator chosen was classified as “very strong”, while also confirming alignment with the ICMA (International Capital Market Association) Principles;
- In 2022, the company voluntarily published its first Sustainability Report, which presents the results for 2021 from an environmental, social and governance perspective;
- In 2022, Autonom acquired Țiriac Operating Lease (Premium Leasing SRL), surpassing the threshold of 11,000 cars under operating lease and strengthening its market position;
- Also in 2022, Autonom has attracted €15 million in funding from the European Investment Bank, the first loan of its kind for a local entrepreneurial company, funds that will enable increased use of electric and low-carbon vehicles by Romanian companies;
- It starts to provide mobility services for the Royal House and Her Majesty Margaret, the Crown Custos, on the way to become Official Supplier to the Royal House in 2023;
- In 2022, Autonom joined the largest international sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact, confirming the commitment to the 10 Principles in the areas of human rights, working conditions, environment and business ethics. Each year, we will report on progress towards meeting the targets in the dedicated UN Global Compact platform.
During its 17 years of activity, the Autonom Group has developed its portfolio of services and now offers its customers, companies and individuals, a variety of mobility solutions tailored to their needs. The company operates in a business environment in which competition is present and active, but the sustainable and responsible evolution has determined our establishment as an authority leader on the Romanian market.
The operational leasing and rent-a-car markets are dominated by multinational leasing groups present in mature markets in Europe and the United States, regional and local banking groups, smaller domestic competitors and captive companies of car manufacturers.
Autonom Services activity is concentrated in 3 main divisions: Operational Leasing, Rent-a-car and Autorulate.
The services offered by the main business lines are complemented by other services such as chauffeur driven transfers, temporary fleet rental, fleet management services, roadside assistance, car wash services, equipment rental and services for the insurance market.
Electric car market context
In the European Union, the market for electric and hybrid cars is booming. According to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) Europeans will buy more than 1,1 million electric cars in 2022, a 28% increase compared to 2021. The figures show that around one in eight Europeans opted for an electric model, with these cars ticking off a 12.1% market share. In Romania the figures doubled compared to 2021, marking an increase in market share to 9.1% and more than 10,000 electric cars registered, according to the Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Importers (APIA). The best-selling car was Dacia Spring with 6,800 units, followed by Tesla with 1,020 units.