Appointments, deals and technological innovation made the news this week in the world of fleets, Jonathan Minter and Isabella Grotto report.
VW commercial vehicles appoints head of fleet
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has appointed Chris Black as its new head of fleet.
Having previously held the position of UK head of corporate coverage at Lombard’s Corporate Asset Finance division, Black will enter the newly created role as of 9 June.
He will report to head of sales operations Andrew Waite and oversee the brand’s fleet sales operation.
The appointment follows Volkswagen CV’s announcement of a 19% increase in commercial vehicle registrations to 10,575 units in the first quarter.
BT Fleet renews supply deal with EDF Energy
BT Fleet has extended its supply partnership with EDF Energy for another five years.
Following the latest tender, BT will manage EDF Energy’s vehicle fleet until December 2018, continuing a partnership that has been active since October 2010.
BT Fleet manages 1,000 LCV and 400 cars for EDF Energy, and will provide the energy giant with a portfolio of services including fleet and accident management, fuel provision and cards, and service, maintenance and repair.
Dave Bowen, managing director of BT Fleet, said: "The extension of the agreement between BT Fleet and EDF Energy is a further endorsement of the work that we undertake on a daily basis for businesses like EDF Energy who operate specialist, business-critical fleets of vehicles."
Active Fleet Solutions to double in size
Burton on Trent based Active Fleet Solutions is to recruit 50 new employees as part of its expansion plans, nearly doubling its existing headcount of 52.
The fleet management company is expanding on the back of a number of contract wins from companies including Europcar, united rental, Waitrose and John Lewis.
The company, which was formed in 2008, predicted it will grow to up to 130 people in the next 12 months, and wants to grow its turnover from its current £7.5m to £17m within the next two years.
HSBC’s Derbyshire Commercial team provided a £250,000 finance facility to support the recruitment drive, and the bank said the money came for its new £400m SME fund for East Midland companies.
LeasePlan UK appoints MD
Fleet management company LeasePlan UK has appointed Matt Dyer as managing director.
Dyer has been at LeasePlan for 18 years. He was managing director of LeasePlan International until 2009 when he was named commercial director of LeasePlan UK, a role he held until the current promotion.
He has taken over from former managing director David Brennan effective immediately.
Fleet managers to up investment in online services – Chevin
Spending in increasingly sophisticated online tools is set to rise as fleet management companies look to stand out, according to fleet solutions provider Chevin.
Providing more advanced systems with their fleets could prove a cost-effective way for fleet managers to distinguish themselves within the market as customer expectations grow.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director of Chevin, said: "Many of the products and services provided by fleet management companies are essentially commodities that are often bought on a price-driven basis.
"Therefore, many of the more forward thinking companies work to differentiate themselves by providing a wider range of higher quality service – and having more sophisticated online tools fits into this mindset."