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April 6, 2009

News in brief

BVRLA becomes latest member of Leaseurope...Hitachi Data Systems invests more in leasing division...Majority of firms investing in 'green' equipment...

By Verdict Staff

BVRLA becomes latest member of Leaseurope

The BVRLA has joined Brussels-based Leaseurope as a new member. The trade association for the vehicle rental and leasing industry in the UK said the new membership will help protect the interests of UK rental and leasing businesses at a European level.

BVRLA chief executive John Lewis said: “With an ever-increasing tide of EU legislation coming into force we decided that membership of Leaseurope was an investment we had to make in order to protect our members’ interests.”


Hitachi Data Systems invests more in leasing division

Recognising the difficulties faced by its partners in obtaining credit, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a storage vendor, has said that it will invest further in its financial services division.

“There will be more focus on our financial services, such as leasing and financing, to help resellers through these tough times,” Neil Evans, regional sales director for UK channels at HDS, told Computer Reseller News.

The vendor also plans on introducing a raft of new initiatives, such as deferred payment terms, while continuing to provide value-added resellers with additional funding for the HDS training and development programme.


Majority of firms investing in ‘green’ equipment

A new study of UK and other European companies has revealed that 71 percent of European firms have invested in energy-saving equipment, and 43 percent have acquired equipment with a reduced carbon footprint. Yet, two thirds of firms questioned cited the cost of green equipment as the chief obstacle to making further investments.

In order to overcome the affordability obstacle, Siemens Financial Services (SFS), which carried out the survey, suggests that asset financing techniques should play a more important role in making green equipment more affordable, especially in a time of scarce credit.


HP in £50m deal

HP Financial Services has signed a sale and leaseback contract with Korea’s Shinhan Bank worth some $50 million (€37 million), which will cover the bank’s IT assets. HP will partner with Shinhan to deploy new technology to support the bank’s business plan and to manage the disposal of old assets in an environmentally responsible manner. According to the lessor, the sale and leaseback was also designed to help the bank improve return on investment, enhance business efficiency and further expand its operations.


Lombard signs £2m coach deal

Lombard, the asset finance arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, has signed a deal with coach firm Swans Travel, worth £2 million (€2.2 million), to upgrade its fleet with environmentally-friendly vehicles. Swans Travel has bought 15 Mercedes-Benz Tourismo coaches to replace older models. The new vehicles are fitted with fuel efficient engines to reduce emissions. “It is essential we continually invest in our fleet,” said Swans Travel managing director Kieran Swindells. “Our strategy is to have the most modern vehicles while considering our impact on the environment.”


Bipper deal for Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper Motor Factors has taken delivery of a fleet of 30 Peugeot Bipper vans, which the car parts delivery firm said will reduce its fuel bills, thanks to the vans’ superior engine efficiency. The vans have been provided on contract hire by Lombard Vehicle Management, and supplied by local dealership Renwicks of Plymouth. The Bippers are expected to get around 50-55mpg, an improvement on Kevin Cooper’s previous van fleet of Ford vehicles, which managed 30-35mpg.


AirMed increasing fleet

Oxford-based air ambulance operator Air Medical Limited (AirMed) has added an aircraft to its fleet of seven, using a £678,000 asset finance package from Lombard. The aircraft, a Cheyenne turboprop model, is the fourth of its kind in AirMed’s fleet, and will offer the company increased capacity, speed and range. A NatWest banking customer, AirMed came to Lombard through NatWest relationship manager Justin Hayward, who in turn introduced RBS group colleague Nigel Tyson, of Lombard.


LPM in Triple Point win

LPM Outsourcing has won a lease portfolio management contract with Triple Point, a lessor specialising in public sector finance. The Pinner-based company will assist Triple Point in managing individual leasing agreements for its clients and in providing associated lease accounting services. It said it worked closely with Triple Point over the last six months to establish a framework for growing the portfolio.


Jaama scoops two cost-saving deals

Jaama, a fleet management software specialist, has won two deals with Key2 vehicle management. One was for the provision of a resource that highlights discrepancies relating to vehicle registration documents, road fund licences and MoT certificates, expected to save customers around £6,000 a year. The second deal is expected to slash the company’s fleet administration time by one day per week.


Sword Apak lands Swiss deal

Sword Apak, the Bristol-based software specialist, has been chosen by Mazda for its wholesale finance operations in Switzerland. Mazda is to finance its dealerships in Switzerland, while in the UK it is being provided by Santander Consumer Finance. Sword Apak said dealers will be able to use the software to maintain and manage their accounts online through views of their inventory, available credit, vehicle details and history.

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