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BusinessCar Power List 2008

Date: 30 September 2008

Their decisions, actions and words shape the way the business car market behaves. Here, we reveal the 50 most powerful people in the fleet industry

It's back! The BusinessCar Power List is the only ranking of the most influential movers and shakers in the fleet sector and it returns for a third year.

It's more controversial than ever. Some have fallen by the wayside while others have seen their influence over the market inflate on the back of a good 12 months since we last looked at which individuals have made the most impact on the market.

We've taken into account the amount of power individuals hold and the ways in which they are able to wield it in relation to the everyday task of running a fleet of vehicles.

As in previous years, some will disagree with our verdict, but in a way that's the point of the BusinessCar Power List. It's our take on a lively, fast-paced and occasionally volatile industry, it's opinion rather than statistic and any debate or outright disagreement is positively encouraged.

Feel free to let us know where you think we've got it right, or wrong.

50. Graham Avent, Honda, corporate operations manager

Honda's new fleet boss Avent has overseen the Japanese brand's rise well into the top 10 corporate brands.

49. Prof Julia King, Low carbon car report, author

Professor King's 2007 report will continue to influence Government's green thinking and policy decisions.

48. Allison Chapman, Deloitte, partner

Amid the confusion of capital allowance changes and other tax complications, Chapman's understanding and ability to clearly explain the detail is invaluable.

47. Dr Susan Sharland, TRL, chief executive

TRL's safety work should be lauded, although green worries are of more immediate concern these days.

46. Peter Roberts, Thatcham, chief executive

Thatcham's fleet importance has waned a little as green issues rise above safety in terms of significance. Still has a big say over insurance and repair costs though.

45. Terry Bartlett, Inchcape Fleet Solutions, MD

Manages a top 15 lease firm, although it needs to make a big volume jump to go any higher.

44. Abdalla El-Badri, Opec, secretary general

Oil group boss El-Badri makes a reappearance in the 2008 chart after the oil price rises of early 2008 caused such industry consternation.

43. Keith Hawes, Renault, director fleet and CV operations

Hawes' drop down the ratings reflects Renault's 16.6% sales fall in the first half of 2008, dropping behind BMW and Audi in a difficult year.

42. David Cameron, Conservative, party leader

As Labour's position in power weakens, Cameron's opinions on all things transport will become increasingly relevant to business car managers. Still no sign of a general election though.

41. Michael Swan, HM Treasury, head of business impact branch

The man tasked with clearing up the confusion over new capital allowance rates for 2009. Has so far failed to do so, to the disappointment of ACFO.

40. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia, President

Russian activities, particularly in relation to Georgia, could have a massive impact on oil prices. Russia's car market is also growing more rapidly than anywhere else in Europe, becoming increasingly important to car manufacturers.

39. Michiel van Ratingen, EuroNCAP, secretary general

Van Ratingen, the new boss of EuroNCAP, comes in as the safety organisation announces a revamp of its scoring to make five-stars more difficult to achieve.

38. George Bush, USA, President

With less than three months to go before he's replaced as his country's President by either Barack Obama or John McCain, George W Bush slips down the chart this year because so his power is somewhat diminished.

37. Chris Brownridge, BMW, corporate sales director

Efficient Dynamics low-CO2 tech is cutting drivers' and companies' bills. Audi shifted more cars to fleet last year, although both now out-do volume brand Renault.

36. Iain Carmichael, Audi, fleet sales director

Audi was 2007's biggest-selling prestige fleet brand, beating arch-rival BMW for the first time.

35. Boris Johnson, London, mayor

Defeating Labour candidate Ken Livingstone in the May London mayoral election has given Johnson the enviable position of being the Tory with the most power in fleet due to his position in charge of Transport for London. He's already pleased drivers by scrapping the planned price increases in the London congestion charge and announcing a consultation on the existing Western extension. BoJo is also using London as a test-bed for other Conservative policies.

34. Phil Robson, Peugeot, director of fleet & leasing

Robson was recently appointed to the Peugeot fleet role which has had a leaderless few months . He's also responsible for Peugeot Contract Hire.

33. Mark Sinclair, Alphabet, director

Sinclair has taken over from Richard Schooling both as boss of leasing company Alphabet and also as one of BusinessCar's weekly online bloggers.

32. Klaus Draeger, BMW, board director for development

Draeger is the man in charge of BMW's CO2-cutting Efficient Dynamics programme. In the business car world the technology has reinforced the German brand's position as not only the desirable producer of 'ultimate driving machines', but also the maker of ultimate tax-beating vehicles. One day, all cars will have this type of technology. But until that day, intelligent business car people are buying BMWs.

31. Hugh Wallace, Arnold Clark, MD

Clark is in charge of the number 13 company in the UK leasing chart. It has just over 41,000 cars.

30. Simon Oliphant, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, chief executive

Just 5500 cars cover ninth to 14th in the top 20 leasing firms and Simon Oliphant's Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions sits in the middle of that group with 42,400 cars.

29. Janet Entwistle, BT Fleet, MD

One place higher than Oliphant in this list and the chart for the country's top leasing firms is Entwistle, who heads up the 44,500-car BT fleet operation.

28. Edmund King, The AA, president

King moved to the AA from the RAC Foundation in the past year and continues his media savvy approach to pressuring the Government on motoring issues on motorists' behalf.

27. Sue Hanson, IDS Topcalc, data manager

Leading expert at the RV outfit.