Industry consolidation and fleet moves away from outright purchase of company cars to leasing has created firms whose fleets are already just above or close to 100,000 vehicles - LeasePlan/Dial, ACL autolease/Black Horse Vehicle Management, Lex Vehicle Leasing and GE Capital Fleet Services and the fight to find economies of scale will bring further consolidation and larger fleet sizes.
Although it is not an exact target for the firm, chief executive James Sturt-Scobie believes the size may be necessary to ensure its aim of a long-term place as one of the top three leasing companies in the UK. Sturt-Scobie made the announcement as the firm moved to its new headquarters in Bury, Lancs, which will form the springboard for major expansion.
This year the firm has added 19,000 vehicles to its fleet with the acquisition of Highway Vehicle Management, making a total fleet of 72,400, and further major purchases are not being ruled out by the Abbey National subsidiary.
Sturt-Scobie said: 'Within the next five years we want a 10% share of the contract hire market and we estimate that should be about 160,000 vehicles. We have already grown 10-fold in four years, so it is a realistic target.