Canon, which specialises in photographic technology and photocopiers, has formalised the first stage of a pan-European agreement with leasing company GE for its 5,600-vehicle fleet.
The agreement, in which GE Capital will supply full service leasing, finance lease, fleet management, accident management and full driver contact for the fleet, replaces Canon's current arrangement involving a number of smaller suppliers and some internal fleet administration.
The first stage of the contract covers almost half of the company's total fleet in Europe - vehicles in the UK, Germany and Holland - over a three-year period. The next stage of the collaboration will address Canon's operations in other European countries.
The company will employ a central European fleet manager to oversee the whole project. Henk Scheffer, general manager for shared services at Canon Europa in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, said: 'Canon wants to manage the car fleet on total cost of ownership. In the long run we do not believe that this is achieved by obtaining the lowest quote for each individual car.
'Canon needs visibility and transparency of these costs in order to be able to manage programmes. We expect to outsource almost all operational activities relating to cars while keeping strong management control within the Canon organisation.'
Paul Walters, director of international corporate accounts at GE Capital Fleet Services, said: 'We propose to save Canon more than £1.2 million (€1.9 million) in all areas of its fleet operation as a result of lower acquisition costs, reduced financing costs, lower maintenance and administration costs and the promise of improved remarketing values on vehicles sold over the next three years.'
The transition to a wholly pan-European arrangement with GE Capital will be implemented by starting a process of sale and leaseback of vehicles. Following that, GE will provide fleet management for Canon's existing contracts and agreements.
The new programme is part of Canon's strategy to increase efficiency, improve cost control and realise cost savings. (December 2001)