The new name is deliberately European, preparing Cowie for overseas expansion, and is derived from 'to arrive', considered highly appropriate for a transport provider. It also captures the national zeitgeist for an integrated transport policy, uniting under a single brand new and used car dealership, a fleet management and funding operation, bus services, and a coach and bus distribution division. The change is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting on November 6.
The Arriva banner will allow the group to become known for its size - currently 20,000 employees and a turnover of £1 billion per year - according to Michael Gwilt, who will take over as managing director of Cowie Group in January. 'We have a bigger picture to think about, so all the operating businesses will lose their name, and start with something fresh. We are looking to revitalise the business and move it forward,' he said.