Fleet News

User-choosers bring fleet and retail leasing closer

COMPETITION will intensify dramatically in the leasing market as new entrants arrive from outside the industry. Oil companies and demutualising building societies are expected to join the battle for fleet and private customers, according to Peter Cooke, director of the Centre for Automotive Management Research at Henley Management College.

A top UK leasing company is already talking with a demutualising building society about a joint venture. Cooke also forecast major new markets for personal leasing as yet underexploited or untapped. These include the Motability fleet with the potential to double in the next three years, given the numbers eligible for Motability grants, and fixed cost motoring packages for those on fixed income who need to know the absolute cost of running a car.

Customer databases of high street banks and building societies are suited to targeting this market, while oil companies' corporate client bases give them direct access to key fleet decision makers. In this tripartite competition, car manufacturers make up the third block, with a sales and marketing advantage via dealer networks.

'The UK automotive leasing company is in a period of revolution, and I feel a lot of people are ignoring the changes and pressures lapping around the industry in the last few years of the decade,' said Cooke.

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