He also expressed his belief that Fiat was coming the end of a 10-year transformation of the public's opinion of Fiat cars. 'In terms of fleet business we should see us operating 4,000 vehicles within Fiat Auto Contracts at the end of a year which is impressive considering we started off with none at all. This figure is more than we projected when we started and the way the business is going we expect the number to comfortably double in size again next year,' Bowles said. 'Within three years we want to see a Fiat contract hire company in every one of the markets we are operating in.'
Fiat initially set up its contract leasing arm in France and the UK, but already it's expanded into Spain and Holland and next month plans to begin operating in Germany. Backed by in-house companies such as Fiat Auto Contracts and Fiat Auto Financial Services, Fiat Auto Contracts is a joint venture with Lease Plan, a subsidiary of ABN. Fiat has the majority stake with Lease Plan providing its expertise and backline support.