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October 25, 2013updated 12 Apr 2017 11:37am

Fleet Friday: Repaid, upgrade, appointments made

A round-up of the week’s fleet news including Zenith’s refinancing, Daimler Fleet Management, the rise of Kia, auctions for Lex, Hitachi and BT, and appointments at Arval, Volkswagen and Suzuki.

By Verdict Staff

By Grant Collinson, Mike Cobb, Richard Irvine-Brown and Jonathan Minter

A round-up of the week’s fleet news including Zenith’s refinancing, Daimler Fleet Management, the rise of Kia, auctions for Lex, Hitachi and BT, and appointments at Arval, Volkswagen and Suzuki.

Zenith refinances credit facilities

Fleet management and vehicle outsourcing provider Zenith has completed its refinancing process following a de-leveraging of the business over the past three years.

The transaction brings Lloyds and ICG onto the company’s panel of lending partners, alongside RBS and HSBC. Zenith continues to be majority owned by Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity.

Zenith chief financial officer Mark Phillips said the company deal would improve the efficiency of the company’s capital structure.

Maxxia acquires CLM

Recent addition to the UK asset finance market, Maxxia, has expanded into the fleet management sector with the acquisition of CLM Fleet Management.

Part of the Australian group McMillan Shakespeare, Maxxia entered the UK market in February through a joint venture with Visper Asset Finance offering equipment and fleet leasing.

Maxxia will now run CLM’s 12,000 vehicles under management and its existing fleet customers will gain access to CLM’s management services.

Roger Skinner, chief executive of Maxxia, said the benefits of combining CLM’s fleet management expertise with Maxxia’s broader financing capability were clear. He added clients of both firms will not experience any change in service and CLM’s senior management team will remain in place to support the integration.

Daimler upgrades fleet service

Daimler has upgraded Daimler Fleet Management in the UK to cover new and existing Mercedes-Benz fleet customers.

The service will be supported by Leasedrive and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Customers of Daimler Fleet Management will be able to manage their fleet of Mercedes and smart vehicles as well as choose vehicles from other brands to be covered.

Kia leads fleet vehicle growth

Korea’s Kia Motors has shown the strongest brand growth in the UK in a top 10 league table put together by fleet management company Fleet Alliance.

The table of best-selling fleet vehicles was topped by the Audi A3 but for the first time Kia had two models in the table, the Cee’d and the Sportage.

The Cee’d rose 51 places to seventh and the Sportage two places to eighth on the table.

Four of the top ten places were taken by Volkswagen Group models.

Manheim’s busy week of auctions

Within the space of a week Manheim Remarketing has auctioned £7.1m (€8.3m) of Lex Autolease vehicles, 26 end-of-contract trucks on behalf of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicles and 100% of vehicles in a sale for BT Fleet.

85% of 1,000 ex-fleet, finance and commercial vehicles were sold, making an average 99.5% against the CAP clean rate, on behalf of Lex at Manheim’s Colchester centre.

The Hitachi trucks sold for more than £250,000, including £52,120 for a pair of 2006 Mercedes Axor tractor crane units.

The BT Fleet auction saw 29 vehicles go in a 126-vehicle sales event totalling in excess of £500,000 in sales.

Arval appoints new sales manager

Arval, the fleet leasing arm of BNP Paribas has appointed Liam Cresswell as sales manager.

Cresswell will cover the commercial vehicle enhancement sector in the LCV segment.

He joins Arval having previously worked for Bott and Bri-Stor.

VW expands group fleet team

Volkswagen (VW) Fleet Services has recruited three people to its UK group fleet team, to help develop the brand’s presence in target markets.

James Scott has become area fleet manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland and Daniel Rushton area fleet manager for Central East of England while Mark Johnson has been appointed fleet sales manager.

Rushton has been with VW for six years, Scott has joined from Avis and Johnson has spent the previous ten years with Toyota.

Ward joins Suzuki GB corporate team

Helen Ward has joined Suzuki GB as corporate sales and leasing manager.

Ward will be responsible for developing fleet sales via leasing companies Suzuki Contract Hire and Affinity Partner business.

Ward joins from Honda UK, where she was leasing manager. Her previous experience includes operational roles at Vauxhall and Toyota.

LeasePlan Go signs for Leeds United

LeasePlan Go, the SME fleet management service operated by global fleet lessor LeasePlan, has entered the English Football Championship as the official car supplier of Leeds United Football Club.

In a two-year deal, LeasePlan Go will provide vehicles to the three-time top-league champions and 1972 FA Cup winners and have its branding visible at the club’s Elland Road ground and across its media activity.

Simon Carr, brand director at LeasePlan Go, said: "It’s a fantastic deal with a football club, which enjoys a great history and fantastic support. This is a deal that highlights the ambition of both Leeds United and LeasePlan Go to work with the best organisations, no matter what the industry."

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