Belgian-based international vehicle leasing and fleet management association Interleasing has announced a raft of new members and a name change.
The association is now called Fleet Synergy International (FSI) and it has signed up new members for the Baltic States, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In the UK, it selected Lloyds TSB autolease, which last month became the largest leasing firm in the UK after acquiring First National Vehicle Holdings.
Commenting on its new name, FSI international sales manager Hans Damen said: 'We are far more than an international leasing company. Whilst leasing is an important element of the total service offered by our members, we focus above all on cost control and providing our customers with innovative fleet solutions at both a global and local level.
'In this context, the synergy in our name is all about the enhanced benefits of our members and customers working together on an international basis – benefits that are greater than if we were working separately.'
Damen added that although mergers and take-overs accounted for a few of its partners withdrawing over the last year, the 'organisation's fundamental structure and flexibility enabled it to deal effectively with these changes and emerge even stronger than we were before'.
Fleet News Europe reported in October last year that changes to its membership followed the decision of Societe General to withdraw its new car leasing and fleet management subsidiaries from the Interleasing partnership, leaving it without representation in six European countries.
The move followed Societe General's acquisition of the ALD Group of leasing companies from Deutsche Bank.
FSI's new members, said the association, 'include companies which are major forces in the fleet management and leasing market in their own countries, with additional strength and stability attributable to their respective parent companies'.
Its international network now comprises:
Australia: Commonwealth Fleet Lease, the third largest lessor in Australia with more than 25,000 vehicles. It is a subsidiary of the Australian Commonwealth Bank.
Austria: Interleasing Austria, a subsidiary of Germany's Interleasing Hausler, has more than 1,100 leased units and is ranked within the top five of Austrian leasing companies.
Baltic States: Financial services group Nordea has been represented in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since the mid-1990s. All offices offer both financial and operational leasing.
Belgium: Interleasing Belgium has more than 18,800 vehicles under lease in Belgium and Luxembourg, making it the third largest fleet management company in Belgium, says FSI. It is the sister-company of Interleasing Netherlands and both are part of the Athlon Group.
Canada: Wheels Canada, part of US-based wheels, offers a 'fully integrated package of basic fleet services'.
Finland: Nordea Finance Finland Limited was formed by a merger between the Konsallis Bank and the Union Bank of Finland. It finances more than 97,000 passenger cars and vans, 15,200 of which are company vehicles.
France: Autop France became a subsidiary of the Athlon Group in 1998. Autop's fleet numbers 14,000 vehicles, most of which are under closed-end lease contracts with service.
Germany: Autop Deutschland is one of Germany's leading suppliers of company car leasing and fleet management. FSI says the company offers its customers an internet application to 'effect all transactions relating to their car fleet completely online'. It manages about 14,000 vehicles nationwide.
Germany: Interleasing Hausler Munchen is part of the Hausler group. It currently has more than 5,300 vehicles under lease and management.
Italy: Rome-based Maggiore Fleet SPA manages more than 8,500 vehicles. Finance lease remains the most popular leasing arrangement.
Japan: Mitsui Auto Leasing is part of Mitsui Group, one of Japan's largest trading companies.
The Netherlands: With more than 50 years' experience, Interleasing Nederland has more than 31,000 vehicles under contract. It is a subsidiary of the Athlon Group. It offers an online system, allowing customers to use the internet to manage their fleets.
Norway: Nordea Finance Norway, a subsidiary of Nordea, has more than 5,000 vehicles under management. It is one of the leading finance companies in Norway, offering a range of financial products to both corporations and consumers.
Poland: Nordea Finance Polska, formerly BK Leasing SA, 'has a goal to provide services of the same superior quality as the rest of the Nordea Finance Group', FSI says.
Portugal: BBVA Finanziamento is a subsidiary of leading BBVA banking group. It has in excess of 4,000 vehicles under management, some 10% of the operating leases in the country. It provides clients with flexible vehicle management solutions, from finance leases to full service leases.
South America: Total Fleet has more than 27,000 vehicles under management and is ranked as the largest fleet management company in South America.
Spain: BBVA Finanzia AutoRenting belongs to the BBVA banking group and has more than 13,000 vehicles under management, ranking it third among the top providers of operating leases in Spain.
Sweden: Nordea Finance Sweden is a subsidiary of Nordea, one of Scandinavia's leading banking groups. It has more than 14,000 vehicles under lease and management. It is ranked as the fourth biggest leasing companies in Sweden.
Switzerland: Auto-Interleasing, founded in 1949, is described as Switzerland's second largest car leasing company with more than 7,000 vehicles with more than 7,000 vehicles.
USA: With more than 195,000 vehicles under lease and another 55,000 under management, Wheels is among the top five in the industry, says FSI.
United Kingdom: Lloyds TSB autolease is the leader in the UK vehicle leasing market with nearly 150,000 vehicles under management, say FSI. 'It has the financial resources to provide customers with high levels of technical support and interactive communications,' it added.
For more information on the association, visit www.fleetsynergy.com