Fleet News

Top Dutch fleet job for Clevers

Dutch car-leasing association VNA has appointed Ferdinand Clevers as its new chairman.

Clevers, formerly active in several management positions in civil service, is keen to have a regular dialogue with Dutch politicians. He wants to hold discussions with policymakers which will be both beneficial to the public and leasing companies.

'I've never worked for a leasing company, but travelling 40,000 miles annually, I'm a heavy user of the Dutch infrastructure,' Clevers said. VNA has deliberately chosen an outsider to be its new chairman, particularly looking for an intelligent leader and spokesman.

'For many years I've worked as a manager in several public services and I am very much aware of the importance of frequent consultation,' Clevers added. He is focused about his aims for the VNA.

Having an influence on political decision-makers is top of his agenda.

He added: 'In Holland there has been a lot of discussion on the subject of imposing a levy on driven miles. Our position has been one of co-operation and not one of simple rejection.

'Our philosophy is that VNA jointly bears responsibility for attaining optimum mobility, and if this is the way to get there, we support the minister.'

The VNA says its position differs from other organisations active in the mobility sector and adds that being co-operative is far more effective than protesting.

'Whereas others opposed the idea of electronic road pricing, the VNA was quite willing to co-operate with an experiment should it prove to help,' it added.

The business community benefits from a reduction of traffic jams and it's very much in the interest of VNA-members that their customers can make time-effective use of their cars, the organisation said.

The VNA says its commitment to lobbying the government is further demonstrated by the appointment of a new secretary-general, Timo Corporaal.

Like Clevers, Corporaal has his roots in working for the Government. Having studied law in Leiden, Corporaal started working at the Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment.

  • Dauger takes helm at Renault Portugal

    Philippe Dauger is the new president of Renault Portugal, taking over from Christian Pouillaude, who is now in charge of strategy and planning in the commercial department, based at the French manufacturer's headquarters in Paris.

    Dauger joined Renault in 1984 and was responsible for the logistical organisation of replacement parts and he held that position until 1988.

    From 1999, he was director of service and quality at Renault France and led a team of 250 employees.

    His new move finds him with a company with sales of almost €500 million and pre-tax profits of €20 million. There are 48 dealers in the country, five of which are commercial branch houses belonging to Renault Portugal.

    After hitting number one spot in the national market several times during the 1990s, Renault Portugal lost its dominance and is now going through a less prosperous period.

    However, Renault expects an improved performance across Europe thanks to the revamped Clio and the new Laguna.

  • Batey to head GM fleet division

    Former Opel Nederland managing director Alan Batey has become executive director fleet and commercial vehicles for General Motors Europe.

    Batey's appointment comes as the manufacturer undergoes a radical top to bottom study of all its business sections as the company aims to return to profitability.

    As reported in the last issue of Fleet News Europe, in an exclusive interview with Nick Reilly, new GM Europe vice-president sales, marketing and aftersales, the manufacturer has launched what it calls Project Olympia which will see the adoption of best practice across the various European markets.

    The project is geared towards bringing Opel and GM Europe back to consistent and sustainable profitability levels as of 2003.

    In order to reach those levels, the company said it will need to achieve revenue and cost improvements in excess of €2 billion over the next two years.

    'We identified a host of impactful initiatives aimed at reviving the Opel brand through more innovative products and through a new and integrated marketing and communications approach,' said Opel chairman Carl-Peter Forster.

    'Coupled with a plan to restructure the distribution network, and with measures to improve capacity utilisation and productivity, we believe we are moving fast to put Opel and GM Europe back on the road to success,' he added.

  • New chief exec for EuroTax Glass's

    International automotive data and residual value specialist EurotaxGlass's has appointed Kevin Gaskell as its global chief executive.

    Gaskell was formerly managing director of BMW (GB), and left the manufacturer to join the internet car retailer CarsDirect.com as chief executive officer of its European operation. He subsequently led a management buyout of the business, forming the software company epyx.

    EurotaxGlass's is owned by private equity company Hicks Muse and operates in 25 countries.

  • Ian Tilbrook has left leasing company LeasePlan International to join ING Car Lease as managing director. Tilbrook was business development director covering Northern Europe with responsibility for countries including Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

  • BCA Autoauktionen in Germany has appointed Peer Günther to the new position of general manager, manufacturer sales. Günther is responsible for co-ordinating and developing BCA's sale programmes in Germany on behalf of manufacturers, importers, dealer associations, the financial services sector and car rental companies. He will also oversee the development of new products and services for these customers.

  • Ian Milburn, deputy managing director of Nissan Technology Centre Europe, based in Cranfield in the UK, has decided to take early retirement. Since joining in 1990, Milburn has spearheaded Nissan Cogent, an initiative that the company says successfully improved the development of Nissan's supply base.

  • Former Lancia styling chief Mike Robinson is the new head of Fiat Centro Stile in Turin. He is replaced at Lancia Centro Stile by Wolfgang Egger, who returns from SEAT. All Fiat Auto's styling executives, including Andreas Zapatinas at Alfa Romeo, remain under the direction of Humberto Rodriguez, director of Fiat Auto SpA's styling centres.

  • Ford-owned TH!NK Nordic has announced Ingemar Bjorholt of Volvo Car Corporation as its new president to replace Per A Lilleng who has left the company. 'After years of hard work, this young company is now entering a new phase in development and this is the right time for a change in management,' said Lilleng. TH!NK Nordic in Norway has global business responsibilities for TH!NK city, a two-seat electric car, and European responsibility for sales and marketing of other TH!NK products.

  • Vehicle remarketing specialist GRS in the UK has appointed Lee Mabbutt as national accounts manager responsible for managing the company's portfolio of motor retail customers. He joins the company from Fiat Auto where he was responsible for handling disposals. He replaces Mike Casey who has left the company.

  • Nissan Motor (GB) has appointed David Murfitt as its new fleet sales director. Murfitt replaces Kevin McNally who has left the company to join fleet management and leasing specialist LeasePlan as commercial director.

  • Haydock Finance in the UK has recruited Roddy Graham to head its new contract hire and vehicle management division, Ignition Vehicle Management. Graham, who was previously general manager at Budget Rent-a-Car, will be based at Ignition's Bristol office and will assume direct responsibility for the company's new business function and oversee its business strategy.

  • Ryder has appointed Peter Backhouse as vice-president and managing director of Ryder Europe, reporting to Bobby Griffin, executive vice-president of Ryder Systems. Backhouse will be responsible for overseeing sales operations and the support functions of Ryder's business throughout Europe and the UK. He was previously group director. He replaces Jos Hessels, who is leaving the company.

    QEK Global Solutions, the supplier of engineering sales and marketing support services, has appointed Robert Shapton as a new chief financial officer to its global management team.
    He joins the company from Unisys, where he was chief operating officer of the company's European telecommunications business, responsible for more than 500 staff in 17 countries.
    His new role means he is responsible for the financial activities of QEK across its worldwide businesses. Shapton replaces Art Hall who remains within the group working for QEK's parent company ABN AMRO on specialist projects.

  • Inchcape Fleet Solutions in the UK has announced new appointments. Mike Jones joins as operations director, Sue Vasiliou-Benham as senior corporate account manager.

    (September 2001)

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