Serial entrepreneur Luc Azilinon has been working in the field of automotive repairs and digital solutions for selling and distributing spare parts for over two decades. Opening Luxembourg’s first MIDAS multi-brand car maintenance and repair centre is the most recent phase of his entrepreneurial adventure.
“We position ourselves as a top-level service provider with the slogan ‘we take care of everything’. We want our clients to feel comfortable,” says Mr Azilinon, as he proudly walks through the company’s brand new facilities in the Cloche d’Or area of the capital. His ambition is to open another three bigger service centres across Luxembourg as well as some smaller antennas in order to be based close to the customer base.
Soft mobility innovation centre
A sustainability approach is deeply ingrained into Mr Azilinon’s business activities. “A well maintained car is safer and pollutes less,” he points out. However, his business goes further in its role as the MIDAS group’s innovation centre for soft mobility.
A first focus is on facilitating the transformation of the car repair and maintenance profession to suit a car fleet that is a mix of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as thermic ones.
A well maintained car is safer and pollutes less.
Secondly, the centre has a section fully dedicated to the sales and repairs of soft mobility vehicles such as push scooters, electric scooters and electric bikes. “When clients come here with their cars, they can easily bring along their other vehicles and have them serviced at the same time. We hope that this will also encourage them to think ‘greener’ when they organise how they move about.”
Luxembourg: a natural choice
The choice of placing this soft mobility innovation centre in Luxembourg is not a coincidence. “The right framework conditions are needed: a fleet including both thermic and electric cars, a wide soft mobility offer and supportive government policies are important,” says Mr Azilinon. “The right scale is also necessary: it is much easier to use a country of Luxembourg’s size as a test lab than a huge one. It is the only country in the world where all public transport is free, and there is a number of multimodal transport hubs with a range of soft mobility options. As soon as we realised that Luxembourg had all these assets, we suggested hosting the innovation centre here.”
As soon as we realised that Luxembourg had all these assets, we suggested hosting the innovation centre here.
However, Mr Azilinon’s ambitions do not stop here. With another start-up, he is developing a digital platform for second-hand spare parts for cars, aimed at making their use accessible to as many people as possible. “Repairing a car that has already been used with brand new spare parts is an aberration!” he says emphatically. In the future, he hopes to open a repair centre with a true circular economy approach that would either distribute used spare parts to other garages or install them on their behalf.
“Digitalisation and the circular economy are indeed two pillars of the government’s policies,” comments Anthony Auert, the manager of the Luxembourg AutoMobility Cluster. “By combining both in an intelligent way, new, innovative services with high added value can see the light of day in the mobility sector.”
A partner for innovation
National innovation agency Luxinnovation is a key partner in his entrepreneurial endeavours. “A smaller company often lacks resources to implement its innovative ideas and needs partners to move forward. Mr Auert has provided us with a lot of valuable contacts in Luxembourg. He also has a network that can be very useful for our ambition to expand in the Greater Region.”
By exchanging regularly with Luxinnovation, I know that I will get help.
Mr Azilinon has previously benefitted from Luxinnovation’s help when preparing the request for governmental R&D and innovation support. “In terms of timing and funding obtained, everything was perfect, and the support was concrete and clear,” he says. “This is why I keep in touch. By exchanging regularly with Luxinnovation, I know that I will get help.”
Photo credit: MIDAS Luxembourg