Fleet News

Lex in move to be world-class player

THE battle for business in the leasing industry has entered a new phase after Lex Vehicle Leasing revealed plans to burst through the 100,000-vehicle barrier as part of a bid to become a 'world class' company by 2005. The drive will see the firm's fleet size rocket to 150,000 units in five years from about 90,000, and pre-tax profits more than double to between £40 million and £50 million.

A key factor in the battle would be introducing standards of service and training at the company, according to managing director Jon Walden. His comments throw down the gauntlet to rivals such as First National Vehicle Holdings, which revealed last year it could double its size to more than 160,000 units in the battle for economies of scale and a 10% share of the market. LeasePlan, with 120,000 vehicles, took the number one spot as the largest leasing company in the UK from Lex Vehicle Leasing in last year's FN50, the guide to the state of the leasing industry, is also in Lex's sights.

Walden said: 'I am committed to building this company into a world-class organisation.' The plan will halt a slide in the company's fleet size over the past couple of years, but success will be dependent on the skill of the workforce, he told the firm's annual conference in Birmingham. The campaign was wholeheartedly backed by Lex Service chairman Sir Trevor Chinn, who said: 'All this is possible as a world-class company. The last couple of years have been very difficult, with a problematic new car market and a disastrous used car market, new IT systems and all the pressures that go with a weak profit picture.'

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