The Leaseurope/Eurofinas conference in Edinburgh was a great
event with a strong programme holding much of interest to motor
lessors and financiers – so where was everybody? The turnover from
the UK car credit and leasing industry was “pretty pitiful”, said
one of the senior industry figures who did turn up. Will the warmer
climes of Madrid, where the 2008 conference is to be held, tempt
more of the UK industry away from their desks?
The gala dinner in the National Museum of Scotland (see picture),
sponsored by CHP Consulting, was a posh but fun affair, with an
excellent dinner rounded off by a spot of dancing before the
drummers and pipers drummed and piped us out of the magnificent
dining hall. It was a slight shame that dinner conversation was
only slightly muted for FLA chairman David Betteley’s and CCTA
chief executive Chris Oakes’ speeches; nothing must be allowed to
get in the way of networking, it seems.
The end of the second day saw delegates practicing their golf
swings – with the help of the Nintendo Wii games console. It was
one of those strange coincidences that the two sponsor companies
which brought Wiis to draw delegates in for a chat were assigned
stands next to each other, but there you go.
In all, it was a most productive and thought-provoking two days,
and Motor Spy takes its hat off to the staff of all the
associations involved in the organisation, who worked their fingers
to the bone up to and during the event to ensure that everything
ran as smoothly as a good glass of 13-year old single malt.
Free and open discussion?
Not too long ago Motor Spy took a look at www.pendragonforum.org
which was, as the name suggests, an independent forum for Pendragon
employees to share full and frank opinions on the retail chain –
with emphasis on the “frank”. We were highly entertained by several
of the discussions which took place, although legal prudence
prevents us from mentioning any of the topics here. So it was with
disappointment that we arrived at the site to be met with the
following message: “Sorry, the board is unavailable while we add
features and test operation. We will be back Soon [sic] …” The
operational testing is obviously a long process, as the message
hasn’t changed for some weeks now. What are the chances the site
will ever make it back online?