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Leasing industry specialists boost consultancy team with new appointment

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Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and expertise around forecasting methodologies, data management systems and leasing quotation platforms, MASUK-Automotive, a supplier to many of the UK’s leading contract hire and leasing companies, has appointed Steve Smith as its lead consultant.

Smith (pictured above on the right), who has more than 14 years’ experience in the specialist sector most recently as pricing research manager at Britain’s largest contract hire company Lex Autolease, now heads the MASUK-Automotive consultancy team providing advice and expertise to the vehicle leasing industry.

Based in Southampton, MASUK-Automotive was launched by Matt Sandom in September last year.

Prior to launching the consultancy Sandom (pictured above on the left),  was for almost 10 years a director of Autofutura, the specialist provider of global data management software solutions and value added consultancy to the automotive leasing industry, motor manufacturers, fleet operators and rental companies.

Sandom said: “Since the recession in 2008, the finance industry has become far more aware of the need to have a quantifiable and transparent risk portfolio and with the introduction of Basel II and the subsequent Basel III, finance and leasing companies are subject to more stringent regulatory standards.”

MASUK-Automotive provides an independent approach to the methodologies and solutions required to adopt the most risk adverse position possible, for example in relation to vehicle residual values as well as service, maintenance and repair budgets, whilst remaining competitive in the market.

Sandom continued: “We are helping clients convert what is essentially a black art into a far more scientific approach so that vehicle leasing providers can explain to their stakeholders the methodology used to calculate their numbers.”

Highlighting issues around residual values, MASUK Automotive says that for many months leasing companies and outright purchase fleets have been enjoying windfalls worth hundreds and perhaps thousands of pounds per vehicle as a consequence of prices being significantly above forecast values when the cars and vans were first put on the road.

However, said Sandom: “Those windfalls will eventually come to an end so it is ever more vital that leasing companies and major outright purchase fleets are in possession of the most accurate and transparent methodology available to ensure they take the correct view when forecasting residual values at defleet time.

“A few pounds can be the difference between profit and loss so there is a demand for greater forecasting accuracy and that comes from understanding past performance, economic considerations and taking that information to accurately predict the future.”

Most recently, MASUK-Automotive has been working with automotive industry data providers Glass’s Information Services, publishers of used car valuation guide Glass’s, on its new forecasting product.

Glass’s sales director Ed Hummel said: “MASUK-Automotive has significantly contributed to the development of our new forecast data product. The insights Matt and his team have given during the project have helped us take a customer-focused approach to the development and launch of this transformational new product.”

Smith, who spent seven years at HSBC Vehicle Finance prior to joining Lex Autolease, said: “It is critical for vehicle leasing companies to have a deep understanding of their forecasting methodologies, I have spent many years at the forefront of the industry developing these solutions for vehicle residual values and maintenance budgets driven by having significant responsibility over a combined risk portfolio of around £3 billion.

“In addition, I have also accumulated extensive knowledge of the many calculations involved in creating vehicle leasing quotations which brings more diverse expertise to the business.

“I very much look forward to working with the MASUK-Automotive team to continue to provide vehicle leasing companies and other organisations with the robust solutions they require.”

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