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£4 billion vehicle deal makes fleet history

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GENERAL Motors and daily rental group Avis have made fleet history by agreeing the biggest-ever supply deal, worth £4 billion.

The five-year pan-European deal will see General Motors supply Avis with 350,000 vehicles from its Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and Daewoo brands, with the two groups expected to introduce new fleet initiatives and combine brand marketing.

As part of the new initiatives, Avis plans to make efficiencies across the operation by cutting transportation costs and reducing the amount of time vehicles spend in transit.

Chris Wermann, director of corporate affairs at Avis Europe, said: 'Once a manufacturer has completed the building of the vehicle, it goes to a holding park.

'We want to cut out the car park, speed up the process of getting the car and improve turn-around times. With 350,000 vehicles, if we knock off one day from the process, it totals 350,000 days. This provides efficiencies for both companies.'

Additional cost savings are expected through the introduction of new operating systems. The two groups are also joining forces over future marketing material. All Avis's marketing and advertising material will now feature vehicles from the General Motors range.

Jonathan Browning, vice- president of sales, marketing and aftersales at General Motors Europe, said: 'This agreement leverages Avis's strong footprint and fleet management expertise and provides us with a tremendous opportunity to get a broad spectrum of potential customers into vehicles from each of our brands.'

The agreement will cover Western and Central European markets, with the option to extend into the Middle East and Africa.

Dieter Woitscheck, chief operating director at Avis Europe, added: 'This is the biggest and most far-reaching fleet deal in Europe, with the new agreement on fleet buying and selling and the efficiency review of processing more than 350,000 vehicles, providing real cost benefits for both parties. Any advances in General Motors' technology to further reduce the impact on the environment will be rapidly brought on to Avis's fleet.'

The second-biggest deal in the fleet industry was also secured by Vauxhall at the beginning of this year, when it signed a £1 billion, three-year fleet supply agreement with ANC Rental Corporation.

Despite ANC agreeing to sell Alamo and National Car Rental (Fleet NewsNet, October 30) the deal still stands.

Vauxhall agreed to provide National Car Rental and Alamo with 22,000 vehicles a year from the manufacturer's passenger car range, representing 40% of ANC's total fleet of more than 30,000 UK vehicles.

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