All articles by Jo Tacon

Jo Tacon

Liverpool council takes part in Hitachi-backed hybrid LCV trial

Liverpool City Council is taking part in a trial of hybrid-powered LCVs, with the vehicles – Ashwoods Hybrid Transit vans – supplied by Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions on a contract hire basis. The vans have been fitted with hybrid converters provided by low-emission technology company Ashwoods, which use a system similar to a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), as seen in Formula 1, to recover the energy normally wasted through braking and deceleration to charge the battery, Hitachi Capital said.

FSA: More consultation on PPI needed

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to increase the consultation period for its review of the payment protection insurance (PPI) market by a further six weeks. CP responseThe move comes in response to feedback to a previous FSA consultation paper on proposals for regulating PPI sales, which attracted a very critical response from the industry, although the responses from consumer groups were very supportive, the FSA said.

Speaking the right language

Jo Tacon talks to fleet management and leasing company Arval fourth-largest in the UK and part of BNP Paribas group about its use of cutting-edge technology and methods for delivering customer service.

Editor’s letter: Label obsession

A press release from the Commission into the Future of Civil Society, set up by the Carnegie UK Trust, calls for “labelling and comprehensibility tests” for financial products. It wants to introduce a Fairtrade-style kitemark system which will ensure that said financial products meet a 50% comprehensibility test in other words, that one in two of an “independent panel of ordinary consumers” will clear the products as easy to understand before they are allowed to be sold.

Government incentive for low-carbon cars

The governments announcement of a subsidy of up to £5,000 for buyers of low-carbon cars was welcomed cautiously by the leasing and motor finance industry. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the grants would cover up to 25% of the cost of “eligible electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars” to a maximum of £5,000. The DfT added: “The grant will be available at the point of purchase directly from the dealership or manufacturer, so consumers will not be out of pocket or have to go through a separate application process.

New trade association for remarketing industry

A new trade association has been established in order to represent the remarketing industry, which turns over £9 billion each year. The Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) is a not for profit association, set up by senior members of the remarketing industry, both inventory owners and service providers Its inaugural chairman is John Davies, currently a non-executive director of Autologic, who spent seven years as MD of Lloyds TSB Asset Finance.

Santander Consumer wins Volvo partnership

Santander Consumer UK and Volvo Cars UK have announced a new partnership, with the motor finance lender to provide wholesale and retail finance to Volvo dealers and their customers

Management changes at Leasedrive Velo

Roger Partridge, CEO since 2003, is to move away from day-to-day executive involvement with the fleet management and leasing company, while David Bird, formerly Leasedrive Velo’s chief operating officer, will become managing director

BIS extends CCD compliance deadline

The deadline for finance companies to get their systems and processes fully compliant with the incoming Consumer Credit Directive (CCD) has been extended to January 31 2011 – which will come as a relief to the motor finance industry.