Fleet News

Used market hits profits

PROFITS at both Lex Vehicle Leasing and AutoMotive Strategy were adversely affected by the weakness of the used car markets during the last quarter of 1999. An end of year statement from Lex revealed the tough trading conditions, which compounded a difficult 12 months for the UK's largest contract hire company.

Lex Vehicle Leasing raised its prices last August to take account of the changed market conditions, and will review them again in the near future. A profits warning from dealership group William Jacks, which owns AutoMotive Strategy, said development of the contract hire business had been 'slower than anticipated', caused by both poor residual values and the effect of the Government's new car pricing investigation encouraging customers to 'hold off' in the hope of cheaper monthly rentals as new car prices fall.

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