Automotive Fleet

OCT 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SUCCESSFUL FLEET MANAGEMENT INNOVATION With an aim to continually grow and improve, LeasePlan recently celebrated its golden anniversary. BY STEVEN SCHOEFS, EDITOR, FLEET EUROPE MAGAZINE Looking ahead Vahid Daemi, CEO of LeasePlan Corporation, is convinced that the long-term focus will be on the individual and not solely on the vehicle anymore. "There is a fundamental change ahead," he said. O n Feb. 23, 1963, LeasePlan began operations as an asset fnancier in Amsterdam, Te Netherlands. Now, 50 years later, LeasePlan is the biggest car leasing and feet management company in Europe with almost 1 million vehicles under management, and more than 1.3 million vehicles worldwide. "Te original idea at the outset was to offer asset fnance, as we were part of a bank. We were not originally in feet leasing or 56 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I OCTOBER 2013 management," said Vahid Daemi, CEO of LeasePlan Corporation. According to Daemi, the frst milestone was, afer a few years, when the board of Shell wanted its cars fnanced. Te next milestone was the introduction of a new product called "open calculation." "Te story here is that one of the company founders used to go to customers and they would ask him, 'How do we know we are getting the best price from you?' " Daemi said. "It was decided to open up the calculation to them, and show them how we arrived at our contract prices. We then decided to share with the customers any benefts made — so, if we get it wrong, it's our cost, and if there's a beneft we share it with the customer." Te third milestone was when the company decided to become international and go outside Te Netherlands. So, Belgium came next. "It wasn't easy at frst to know whether this was the right move, but it worked and so we decided to continue down this route," Daemi said. LeasePlan USA is also excited about the 50th anniversary. "Being a part of LeasePlan's 50th anniversary is very special to LeasePlan USA, but not just because of the number of years," said Jon Toups, chief sales and marketing ofcer for LeasePlan USA. "It's about being part of a truly international organization that is able to leverage its global experience and expertise to bring local solutions to feets across the globe. It's about an organization that genuinely cares about its employees, its clients and its communities whether they are in Chicago, Atlanta, or Amsterdam. And, it's about celebrating this milestone with 6,000 of our colleagues that all share the common goal of 'making it easier to LeasePlan.' " Today, LeasePlan is present in 31 countries, recently launching activities in Russia. Excerpts from an interview between Fleet Europe magazine and Daemi as well as Jose Luis Criado, managing director for LeasePlan International, follow: Fleet Europe (FE): How does being one of the biggest leasing company affect how you operate? DAEMI: Te biggest risk companies can have is thinking they're the best. Ten there is only one way to go — down. We

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