A weekly roundup of fleet news from the UK and
Europe

Statement of intent for 2012 from
Arval

Arval, the fleet arm of French bank BNP
Paribas, recorded 3% growth year-on-year in size of fleet for 2011
to 687,000 vehicles and promises 2012 will see a focus on the
quality of service and added value to customers.

The size of Arval lease fleets rose by 44% in
Germany following the purchase of Commerz Real Autoleasing GmbH, by
36% in Brazil and India, and 50% in Turkey.

Arval opened a subsidiary in Denmark at the
start of 2012 and plans to open another in Finland within the
coming months.

Arval CEO Philippe Bismut said: “In 2012, we
want first of all to consolidate our bases, focus on our customers,
and continue to bring them more service quality.”

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By GlobalData

 

Infiniti aims for 10% market share by
2016

Luxury Japanese brand Infiniti has made a
series of appointments across Europe as part of the marque’s sales
strategy on the continent.

That strategy is, in turn, part of the brand’s
aim to secure 10% of the global luxury car market by 2016, and the
company’s focus on, and expansion into, low emission fleets.

Simon Lewis has joined from Audi as UK fleet
sales manager while other roles created include fleet manager for
Central Europe, supporting regional director Michael Speh, regional
director for West Europe, area manager and corporate sales manager
for North Europe, and a remarketing manager based at the Infiniti
headquarters in Switzerland.

 

Autorama tired of wear and
tear

UK commercial vehicle leasing broker Autorama
has begun a programme of educating drivers to maintain their cars
and thus cut down the maintenance bills faced by the company’s
leasing partners.

Autorama customers have 1,200 leasing
contracts coming to an end this year and currently face an average
bill of £256 to repair a vehicle to a standard whereby it may be
sold on or leased again.

For Andy Alderson, managing director of
Autorama, avoiding such costs is essential to the “aim to keep our
customers for longer, while further improving their view of the
leasing industry as a whole”.

 

New VW programme

Volkswagen has launched an advertising
campaign aimed at the fleet industry.

The campaign, “We’re with you all the way”,
focuses on the increasing complexity of the fleet manager and the
inter-reliance of their work with HR, asset management and
operation departments.

Volkswagen hope the humour of the campaign
will appeal to fleet managers while emphasising the reliability of
the brand.

 

Acfo survey shows low salary sacrifice
uptake

Of the 27,000 company cars and 250,000
employees represented by responses to an online survey by Acfo, the
UK’s association of car fleet operators, only 1,464 were operated
on salary sacrifice.

Of all respondents, 20.3% already had a salary
sacrifice scheme in place; 32.7% were evaluating such a scheme;
26.4% were considering such an evaluation; and 20.4% had no
interest in salary sacrifice schemes.

The survey also demonstrated an increased use
of such schemes by larger companies: 10.2% of companies with fleets
of over 1,500 used salary sacrifice; 6.1% of companies with a fleet
of 251-500 cars used such a scheme; and 4% of companies running a
51-250-car fleet used one.

 

Landmark for UK and Ireland van
accreditation

Van Excellence, the national accreditation
scheme for van operators in the UK, has passed recorded both the
100th fleet and 100,000th vehicle under the scheme since launch in
2010.

Of all operators signed up to the scheme 24
have been accredited, 33 are under audit, and 43 are preparing for
assessment against the industry code of good practice.

Mark Cartwright, head of van and LCVs at the
Freight Transport Association (FTA), said the aim now was to sign
up more, smaller fleets.

Meanwhile, the FTA in Ireland has awarded
membership accreditation to its first five companies: BOC Gases,
Brake Brothers, Bus Eireann, REMY Distribution and Keelings
Logistics.

 

New website and sales manager for
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz UK has relaunched its national
fleet website and appointed Sally Dennis as national fleet sales
manager.

The new online presence for the brand will
showcase cars, tax, cost and pricing calculators in a one-stop tool
for fleet operators.

Dennis, who joins following time with Seat,
Audi and VW, will manage strategic accounts for the marque
including fleets with over 300 vehicles for what Mercedes-Benz
classes “key blue chip brands”.

grant.collinson@vrlfinancialnews.com

richard.brown@vrlfinancialnews.com