A round up of the week’s European and UK fleet news including LeasePlan in Russia, German fleet data, promotions at Opel, Alphabet cost-saving statistics, Burnt Tree contract hire growth and auction prices for UK fleet vehicles.

LeasePlan opens in Russia

LeasePlan has opened a Russian subsidiary taking the global coverage of the fleet and vehicle management firm to 31 countries.

Vahid Daemi, LeasePlan chief executive, said the company had seen “continued interest” from multinational customers to do business in Russia and added the company was now able to serve customer’s leasing needs across the country from its base in Moscow.

Sergey Dianin takes the reins as managing director at the firm, moving from Arval’s Russian business where he was general manager.

German fleet: Car rental continues rise

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Registrations of car rental fleets in Germany continued to grow while all other segments of the market declined year-on-year in June.

According to German automotive information provider Dataforce, Car rental registrations for the month rose by 9.9% year-on-year to 31,904, while construction vehicles dropped 12.1% to 19,895 and commercial vehicles dropped by 11.6% to 57,260 registrations.

General fleet registrations were down by 7.3% to 59,524.

Schomburg and Rachow promoted at Opel

Opel has promoted Marc Schomburg from European leasing and residual operations manager to European leasing and TCO manager, adding responsibility for establishing and maintaining relationships with the main European leasing companies to the role he was already performing.

Schomburg became European leasing and residual operations manager at Opel in 2011, having held the same title at General Motors since 2008.

Dennis Rachow has been promoted from European fleet marketing manager to European corporate account manager, having held several managerial positions at Opel since he joined in 2007.

Cost-saving still key for fleets

Three-quarters of fleet operators have reviewed their car provision with a view to cost saving in the last 12 months, according data from the Alphabet Fleet Management Report.

The report from the BMW-owned multi-marque lessor found the proportion of employers benchmarking fleet costs against the average for the industry to have risen from 42% in its 2011 survey to 60% in 2012.

Alphabet also noted a drop in the number of fleets being run by internal fleet managers, down from 66% in 2011 to 37% this year.

Burnt Tree: 1m hours, 100 vans and two appointments

Launched earlier this year, the dedicated contract hire team at UK vehicle rental firm Burnt Tree has announced a 100-vehicle deal and made its first two personnel appointments.

The team is to supply 100 vehicles, in addition to the 60 it has already supplied, on full contract hire, with full maintenance and on terms of between three and five years, to Evolve Facilities Services, part of the Riverside social housing organisation in the North West of England.

Reporting to Mark Howell, director of the contract hire team, Tracey Cox and Mark Pattinson have both joined as contract hire business development managers.

The company also announced this week it has passed one million man hours without any reportable accidents or incidents, either at its Shrewsbury head office or its 18 branches throughout the UK.

UK LCV and van values down slightly on May

The average value of a light commercial vehicle (LCV) at auction in the UK was £4,766 in June, a decline of 2.14% compared to May but up by 14.27% year-on-year, according to British Car Auctions (BCA).

Compared to June 2012, the average age of an LCV at auction was down slightly at 57.95 months, while average mileage was up by 5.29% to 80,714. Sale performance against CAP rose from 97.73% to 100.34%.

However, figures from remarketing group Manheim put the average selling price of vans at auction down by only £3 compared to May at £4,335, 3.36% above the figure for June 2012.

Further data and analysis regarding the UK fleet market will be published in the July issue of Motor Finance magazine.