Fleet News

Lex clinches £1bn leasing superdeal

A £1 BILLION deal between two of Britain's biggest rival leasing companies – Lex Vehicle Leasing and Business Partner – has sparked a new wave of consolidation in the industry that promises to re-draw the funding map for fleets.

Under the deal, Lex Vehicle Leasing has won a pioneering new outsourcing contract with Business Partner, the contract hire arm of Ford Financial.

Under the new contract, Lex will buy the Business Partner fleet and provide contract hire infrastructure services to the Ford family of brands (Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Volvo and Aston Martin).

All sales and marketing activities will continue to be owned by Ford Financial and marketed as Business Partner.

Fleets will still be customers of Business Partner, with all back office services provided by Lex.

Lex will fund and manage the existing fleet of about 20,000 vehicles, with revenues expected to reach more than £1bn over the life of the seven-year contract. Jon Walden, Lex Vehicle Leasing's managing director, said: 'This is the largest contract ever won by Lex Vehicle Leasing. It is a pioneering contract and recognises the mutual benefit that a company like ours and Ford Financial can generate when they work together in partnership.

'It is a fantastic accolade for the people who work for Lex as it recognises the investment we have made in great customer service and industry-leading IT systems. 'We will be seeking to build upon this model to attract other potential manufacturer partners in the future.'

The increase in fleet size means that Lex Vehicle Leasing is the fifth company to break through the 100,000 vehicle barrier, with 120,000 vehicles, joining Lloyds TSB autolease, LeasePlan, Interleasing and Lombard in a new leasing superleague.

Andy Harrison, chief executive of RAC plc, which shares ownership of LVL with HBOS, said: 'I am delighted that this contract with Ford Financial enables us to continue building our relationship with Ford, which already includes breakdown assistance, technical services and vehicle inspections. This contract is another example of our strength in managing large, complex vehicle fleets in high service environments.

It comes immediately after winning preferred bidder status for the 15-year, £500 million Ministry of Defence 'C' vehicle contract and the award of the 10-year, £230m British Airways Ground Fleet Services contract won earlier this year.'

Mark Christelow, director-European fleet and leasing of Ford Credit, said: 'Ford Financial remains committed to providing quality Business Partner products to its customers, dealers and manufacturers. We are confident that the new partnership with Lex will deliver a much-improved service and product offering for our customers and dealers.'

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