Fleet News

The year in review

January:

Operational leasing company ING Car Lease expanded its European network by joining forces with BPN Rent in Portugal. The company said the alliance, called Fleet Partner (Aluguer Operacional) will offer a full operational lease product to the Portuguese market.

Technology company IBM renewed the contract for its 1,400 Belgium-based vehicles with Fleet Logistics Belgium (FLB).

February:

Citroen managing director Claude Satinet warned that new car prices could rise by as much as 50% in countries like Denmark if the European Commission is successful in its attempt to harmonise pre-tax prices.

The man at the helm of Citroen's international fleet division said the manufacturer had noted an increase in the number of companies seeking the possibility of implementing pan-European supply deals.

March:

The Fleet News Europe Congress 2002 took place at the Hotel Princesa Sofia Inter-Continental, Barcelona, providing an unprecedented forum for learning and idea sharing on the most important issues facing leasing, rental and fleet companies.

Gareth Wilsher was named as European Fleet Manager of the Year in the Fleet News Awards. He received his award at a ceremony attended by more than 1,200 automotive and fleet industry executives in London.

The director of Ford of Europe's telematics division claimed the in-car systems can offer fleets cost-savings of up to a fifth. Kathryn Lees said 'smart fleet operators' can expect to achieve savings of between 10% and 20% with financial rewards generated directly from vehicle tracking systems and potentially indirectly by cheaper insurance premiums.

April:

One of Europe's biggest fleets, DHL Worldwide Express, issued a series of guidelines it recommends companies follow to ensure the successful implementation of a multi-country fleet deal. They included having a clear mandate of support from senior management, with agreed objectives, a process for agreeing standardisation of specifications and resourcing for successful implementation.

BCA introduced its Direct e-commerce vehicle remarketing system into Denmark, with fleet leasing giant LeasePlan the first company to adopt the multi-channel disposal route for its end-of-contract vehicles. Under a programme called LeasePlan Direct, the leasing company will use a combination of physical auctions and online sales to remarket its end of contract vehicles.

ING Lease took over Dutch company TOP Lease for an undisclosed sum.

May:

Professional vehicle computers manufacturer Aplicom won an order to supply more than 530 computers for use in a fleet of vehicles operated by the Dutch Customs authority.

PSA Peugeot Citroen signed a co-operation agreement with Electricite de France (EDF) to work on the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.

June:

It was announced that the German city of Cologne is to test and evaluate a prototype navigation and telematics terminal produced by Ford's Research Centre in Aachen.

Fleets with cars travelling from one country to another stand to benefit from a new European Commission proposal to modernise European insurance law, it was announced. The proposed Fifth Motor Insurance Directive specifies that insurance cover should remain valid for the while term of the contract, irrespective of temporary stays of a vehicle in another European Union member state.

July:

The European head of Opel Carl-Peter Forster called on its continental dealers to focus on fleet business as the manufacturer seeks a major revision of its dealer network.

A European survey of manufacturing plants across Europe found that Renault boasted the biggest number of 'highly productive plants'.

August:

Full service leasing specialist Arval PHH announced it was focusing heavily on international business, after its figures released for 2001 showed that 20% of the contracts won by the company came through its International Business Office, which was established to develop its pan-European business.

Porsche opened a new factory to build its Cayenne sport utility vehicle at Leipzig, in eastern Germany. The €127 million plant was officially opened by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and will produce up to 25,000 vehicles a year.

September:

DaimlerChrysler international fleet sales division announced Thomas Kokemor as its new head. He succeeded Jens Israng who took on responsibility for market management, fleet and used car sales MCC smart Germany.

General Motors financial services arm GMAC increased its presence in the international fleet business by moving into the important Dutch leasing market. It signed a 'strategic alliance' agreement giving it a 60% equity interest in SNS Automotive, a subsidiary of SNS Reaal Invest.

The European telematics industry is developing at a slower pace than predicted, traffic information and vehicle tracking company Trafficmaster said.

October:

Express carrier and package delivery firm United Parcel Service introduced a new generation of its 'brown package car', the P80, to its delivery fleet in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The company said its new van was designed to improve productivity, driver comfort and safety.

International automotive data and residual value specialist EurotaxGlass's has acquired a Netherlands-based data company as part of its ambitious growth plans. The group took total ownership of Olyslager Organisation and EurotaxGlass's chief executive Kevin Gaskell said the acquisition was 'an important part of the company's pan-European expansion drive'.

A major German fleet praised the use of fuel cell vehicles and hailed them as the 'most viable concept for the future'. Hamburg-based delivery firm Hermes Versand Service is testing a Mercedes-Benz fuel cell Sprinter as part of an initiative it is undertaking with DaimlerChrysler.

November:

International full-service leasing network EFFAM changed its name to International Fleet services. The organisation said its new name fully represents its expanded services and increased area coverage.

Online corporate travel reservation company GetThere announced plans to expand its European presence as an increasing number of fleet and travel executives look to use 'efficient methods to book their travel requirements'.

It was revealed that German fleets face a massive hike in company car tax amid warnings it could damage domestic car sales. Under a new law, monthly taxes on corporate cars will rise from 1% to 1.5% of the list price. The law is likely to be introduced in March.

A new study found that the values of three-year-old end-of-contract cars across Europe are on the decline. EurotaxGlass's European Fleet index compares residual values for each Euro currency country and figures showed that residual values had fallen.

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