Fleet News

Acquisition or partnership route for LHS European expansion

October 2001: German-based leasing company LHS plans to grow its network across Europe by acquiring or forming partnerships with other leasing companies.

The company, that claims it is able to offer tailor-made solutions to its customers, has a portfolio of 65,000 cars.

Explaining the company's growth plans, its director of European business development, Ralph Schmidt-Mixner said: 'We will grow our network either through acquisition or partnering other leasing companies. It doesn't matter whether those partners are large or small businesses - as long as they share our own philosophy.

'We are very proud of the fact that we are the largest non-captive and financially independent car leasing company in Germany. Our growth will be steady rather than aggressive. We can't be everywhere all of the time but we can build up partnerships that will allow us to expand.'

The company recently left the Global Fleet Services (GFS) network but said companies within the network had approached LHS to say they still wanted to work with them, but not under the GLS umbrella.

More than 50% of LHS's vehicles are run under operational lease — and this is a trend Schmidt-Mixner sees continuing.

Explaining the offering, he said operational leasing included:

  • Maintenance and repair, with payment settled via a service card.
  • Substitute cars.
  • Fuel management — with fuel cards provider by several fuel suppliers.
  • A round-the-clock hotline for international vehicle servicing.

    It also includes areas such as tyre replacement, insurance, tax and radio licence fee where appropriate.

    The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SG Holding, a company described as 'a holding company for a unique German trading and service company'.

    It adds: 'Concerning the theme of mobility, we offer an interesting range of automobiles offering everything the mobile customer is looking for: financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance sales, parking space management, automobile service and repair'.

    In Germany, the LHS group comprises seven corporations at nine locations with more than 230 employees.

    It also has interests in other countries including Austria, with PSK-LHS Leasing und Fuhrparkmanagement, in Switzerland, with LHS Leasing und Flottenmanagement (based in Zurich), in the Czech Republic, with PSK-LHS leasing a management vozoveho parku s.r.o (in Prague), and Hungary, with PSK-LHS Autopark Kezelesi Kft, based in Budapest.

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