Fleet News

European leasing market experiences sharp downturn in 2009

Leaseurope, the trade association representing the European leasing and automotive rental industries, has released preliminary figures on the European leasing market in 2009.

Leaseurope’s estimates show that total new leasing volumes granted in Europei are expected to have reached about €216 billion in 2009, while the portfolio of leased assets in Europe will be worth in the region of €683 billion.

The preliminary data ii indicate that new leasing volumes were 28,4% iii lower than in 2008, representing the most significant downturn since Leaseurope began collecting data in 1994. However, the second half of 2009 did see some positive signs, with new volumes growing by 5,0% compared to the first half of the year.

In terms of asset types, new equipment leasing volumes experienced the sharpest drop, decreasing by 35,3%, while new leasing production for vehicles fell by 24,4%. Real estate leasing followed a similar pattern, with a slightly lower decline of 23,4%.

While the performance of the European leasing market worsened across the board, the picture in the CEE regioniv and Mediterranean countriesv was somewhat cloudier than in the rest of Europe, with new leasing volumes falling by 44,2% and 43,7%, in these markets respectively.

Piero Biagi (BCC Lease, Italy), Chair of Leaseurope’s Statistics & Marketing Committee, comments that “leasing, like many other European businesses, has been severely affected by the crisis. In terms of new production, we have returned to the level of business that was granted in Europe 7 or 8 years ago.”

Leaseurope Chairman, Prof. Rüdiger von Fölkersamb (Deutsche Leasing, Germany), explains that “the lack of investment by European businesses in 2009 has led to a significant downturn in the leasing market. Looking forward, investment levels are expected to be somewhat less negative in 2010; however, it could be 2011 before we see some real improvement in business investment and, consequently, the European leasing market. Stimulating demand from businesses to increase capital expenditure is vital if the European economy is to experience more than a tentative recovery in 2010 and will be necessary if leasing is to continue to fulfill its investment enabling role”.

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