In the end, it seemed that LeasePlan was just too big, too influential and too profitable to sell.
After months of speculation regarding its future, LeasePlan's owner ABN Amro has decided to take Europe's biggest automotive leasing company off the market.
Now LeasePlan has a new strategic goal to grow in Germany, eastern Europe, Italy - and to attack Europe's private buyers with leasing products.
'Takeover or not, we are still the leading company in the market with double-digit margins year-on-year,' said Hugo Levecke, managing director of ABN Amro Lease Holding, in an exclusive interview with Fleet News Europe.
'Even though the company has achieved a strong performance in markets like the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA, we have enormous growth potential in other areas,' said Levecke.
'Today ABN Amro is more convinced than ever of the enormous value of the leasing operation.'
But one of the key aims will be to sell leasing products to private buyers. Next year ABN Amro's leasing operations will launch private initiatives in France.
'We will try to follow the example of the United States, where 22% of the leasing market are private buyers,' said Levecke. 'We'd like to reach the same level in Europe in the future.' (December 2001)