Bob Burrowes, Century International's chairman and managing director, said: 'We have a strong customer base in the UK, where I see our optimum fleet size as 3,000 vehicles. We are keen to spread the risk particularly in view of concern over changes in the traditional relationship between UK manufacturers and the rental industry.' Century International's UK programme would entail a maximum acquisition of 5,000 vehicles a year.
The European fleet is not yet large enough to warrant centrally negotiated supply deals, but as it gets to its target of 8,000 vehicles this will come onto the agenda. Century International operates from 11 French locations, with three more planned, one branch in Dublin, and will open a centre in Brussels this year, before moving into Germany in early 1998.
Century has exported its package for business customers called 'Corporate Choice', which won accounts with major fleets including Michelin and British Coal in the UK.