Fleet News

Hitachi Capital switches into acquisition mode

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is looking to increase the size of its fleet by acquisition.

The privately-owned company currently sits at 15 in the FN50 with a fleet of 29,000 funded vehicles.

It has a further 13,000 on fleet management.

Chief executive, Simon Oliphant, said Hitachi was looking at both car and commercial vehicle opportunities, as well as complementary service providers.

“We’re ready to move forward for two reasons,” he said.

“Until last August Hitachi was listed on the stock exchange, but it has now moved back into private ownership and the holding company has asked us for accelerated growth.

"Current market conditions mean organic growth is difficult.

"However, those very economic conditions provide us with a big opportunity.”

Smaller companies are likely targets.

“I think it’s important that fleet managers should be considering whether their leasing providers will still be there in the future.

"It’s not just a question of the cost of money, it’s a question of access to funds.

"It’s one of the key issues that go across the financial sector.

"Many smaller companies will be able to see this period through; but not all,” said Mr Oliphant.

Hitachi has a history of acquisitions.

The company was effectively formed in 1991 by the purchase of Fleetlease.

In 2001 Trowbridge, with its commercial vehicle fleet, was added to the portfolio.

In 2003 Hitachi bought G4 Security’s internal leasing company, while its most recent was in 2006 when it acquired the heavy commercial vehicle portfolio from GE-owned TLS.

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