From just a handful of cars and no staff, the Alpe boys, now in their early 30s, have catapulted Jucy to the top of the second tier of vehicle rental brands in Australasia in just six years.
Tim and Dan Alpe now have more than 2100 cars and campervans in their fleet in New Zealand and Australia. They have grown rapidly in 2009, despite a recession and notwithstanding a general slow-down in the tourist industry.
``We want Jucy rentals to become the Virgin of the South Pacific and though we're coming out of a global recession we see this as a great time to substantially grow the Jucy brand in the next 12 months so we're well positioned when things really pick up,'' chief executive Tim Alpe says.
By Christmas, Jucy will have at least 1400 cars and 400 campervans in New Zealand, 320 campervans in Australia and a total of 87 staff.
And they have fun at Jucy. They are big into Dirty weekends! But it's not quite what it seems. They offer a discount on cars that have not been washed cleaned on the outside - as an environmental measure to save water. More than 500 people take up the Dirt Weekend deal each month.
Jucy has just come out the other end of a major winter of ski and snow sponsorship. They got behind the Winter Games as major sponsor and also backed the New Zealand ski team.
``At one point during the Winter Games someone said about every second vehicle on the road in Queenstown and Wanaka was a Jucy. They were just everywhere.''
Today Jucy are Australasia's fastest car and camper rental operator and they have announced further expansions for 2010.
This year they increased their Australian fleet by 33 percent had introduced their new generation four sleeper Choppa campervan to Australia, to suit families and groups of four.
The 100 new vehicles, 80 of which were the Choppa campervans, brought Jucy's investment in Australia to $7.5 million to date.
``We will grow our fleet, to make sure we can deliver to more customers when the economy picks up. No one else has ever introduced 300 campervans within their first 18 months of business.''
The Alpe brothers have come a long way since their carefree King's College days in Auckland. Not that long after they left school the boys decided they would start up their own rental vehicle company. They brought the funky Jucy brand into the travel world. We saw a report the other day the said Jucy was one of the 21st century success stories of the Kiwi tourism and travel market. We're just pleased Australians find us attractive in their market.
Tim and Dan Alpe's father Chris started Maui campervans in 1981 by purchasing five very old campervans off Newman's, the largest operator in New Zealand. He sold out to Tourism Holdings Limited (THL) in the early 1990s and was a board member of THL until we started Jucy in 2002. Chris retired in 2002 and today has a number of property interests as well as sitting on the Jucy and Cruize Milford boards.
Jucy branches are located in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.