OVL Group is celebrating 25 years in business with the launch of an ambitious growth plan for the next decade – it wants to triple its managed fleet in the next 10 years.
The company specialises in business and personal leasing, and contract hire for cars and vans. Its customer portfolio includes blue chip companies, schools, colleges and universities, as well as a number of NHS Primary Care Trusts.
Based in Brightwell Baldwin, Oxfordshire, the company has grown organically since Martin Wedge opened a small office in Oxford city centre in January 1989.
OVL Group now employs 15 staff, manages more than 3,000 vehicles and expects to increase its client fleet by another 1,000 in the next 12 months, but this is just the start of their ambitious expansion plan.
Based on five business sectors - minibuses, commercial vehicles, large fleets, SMEs (small medium enterprises) and personal contract hire - each sector will have a champion – or business niche specialist - tasked with quickly becoming the first call contact point for leasing and contract hire within their target sector.
These specialist areas match OVL’s major skill sets and allows each champion to take an in-depth interest in those markets and accelerate the company’s continued growth.
“There has been a lot of change over the last 25 years as well as increased regulation in the market, which is all to the good because it plays to our strengths as a business that likes to go the extra mile for its customers,” said Wedge.
He said that more stringent controls over consumer credit licensing mean that businesses have to be more transparent and open, having the right processes and procedures in place to demonstrate their market trustworthiness.
“Regulations from the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could result in some major casualties in the market place,” he added.
“We could be looking at a dramatic reduction in the number of licenses out there. This may mean fewer small operators, which would be better for the industry.
“At OVL we believe that a car is not a price commodity but more of an emotional purchase, like a house.
“It is one of the most expensive items you can buy and we are here to help clients get the right vehicle. We do this by understanding our customer, and what he or she wants. You can only do that by listening.”
Wedge continued: “Our champion approach is to take a more in-depth look at the markets where we are strong and then continue to build long-lasting relationships.
“By supporting these sectors and looking after our customers and their vehicle’s whole life cycle costs, we can help them manage and reduce their fleet running cost from the outset.
“This personal approach is a mark of where we started 25 years ago and where we will continue to specialise in the future, no matter how big the business becomes.”