Lombard is stepping up its campaign to attract more companies looking for credit to fund replacement vehicles to its doors.
If successful, it could push the fleet management and lease company, which is owned by RBS, into second place in the FN50 list of the top leasing companies in the country.
It currently sits at number three in the FN50 with over 90,000 vehicles on its books, some 30,000 vehicles behind the country’s number two, Leaseplan.
However, it says it now manages a fleet of more than 115,000 cars and light commercial vehicles, which puts it less than 7,000 vehicles behind Leaseplan.
Last year, Lombard severed a major route to market after terminating its broker agreements, instead using its sales team to target SME fleets.
However, the move did not have a negative impact on fleet sales. In a market that was down 30%, Lombard’s market share grew, its managing director Alex Baldock told Fleet News.
Now he says Lombard will spend 10X more on marketing to get more fleet business and intends to “increase new lending substantially – by a double-digit amount”.
“We have plenty of money to lend and we have lent substantially more this year than last” says Baldock. “We have focussed on upping the game with large corporates – the large multinationals. But we are also focussed on the SMEs and have a business dedicated to SMEs.”
A particular focus is winning over fleets that currently carry their own vehicle risk.
“Sale and leaseback can help companies release capital tied up in a business asset,” says Baldock.
“We can simply purchase the asset from the customer and lease it back at a reasonable rate, freeing the cash for re-investment.
“We must shout louder about these benefits. And then we must deliver. We must show we’re hungry for business, that we understand our customers’ needs, and know how to meet them.”