Fleet News

Leasing companies battle for pan-European business

THE new year has brought a rash of pan-European fleet deals as Britain's leading leasing companies look for continental partners to forge new business contacts in the emerging European market.

Dial Contracts announced one of the largest-ever pan-European deals (see below), Autolease and Swan National both established new alliances with continental companies and Lease Plan announced further expansion into Europe.

Swan National's new alliance is with Netherlands-based TOP Lease - currently covering the UK, Holland, France, Germany and Belgium - but set to expand with the arrival of new partners from Denmark, Portugal and Austria in the near future.

Autolease has formed a similar alliance. EUROPLAN was founded last week in Rotterdam, by companies together operating in excess of 100,000 vehicles in the UK (Autolease), France (Autoplan), Germany (Deutsche Auto Leasing), Holland (Britax Autolease) and Belgium (Locabel-Auto). Its goal is to provide 'a comprehensive pan-European solution for businesses requiring an integrated approach to company car fleet funding and control.' They are looking to expand the alliance into other countries.

Lease Plan sales director Ian Tilbrook has been appointed sales director of Lease Plan International in response to increasing demand for Pan-European vehicle funding and management services. The Windsor-based leasing company is expanding its international division using the European resources of Dutch parent company ABN AMRO Lease Holding.

AN alliance of leading European leasing companies including Dial Contracts has won one of the largest-ever pan-European fleet deals.

Auto-Leasing Europa has secured a dual supply contract to lease more than 5,500 vehicles in Germany, France and UK to manufacturing and distribution giant Haniel. The contract covers 3,500 vehicles in Germany, 1,000 in France and 750 cars plus 500 vans in the UK, all of which Haniel previously purchased outright. Established by Barclays-owned Dial in 1995, Auto-Leasing Europa has companies in 11 European states plus links with firms operating in the US, Australasia, Japan and South Africa.

The partners in the Haniel deal, who will supply maintenance, fleet and accident management, are Dial in the UK, Sixt Leasing in Germany and Dial France for the French vehicles. All three believe they can make significant savings and hope to extend the arrangements to the rest of Haniel's European operations later this year.

The alliance's standard European contract takes account of operational differences between countries so each partner develops products specific to its own markets, while benefiting from the wider purchasing power of the collective.

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