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Awards 2010 - Service Supplier of the Year: Lex Autolease

Date: 26 January 2010

This headline award is one of the most hotly contested of them all because it brings together some of the biggest companies in the industry to compete on behalf of their sectors; so leasing, rental, insurance, remarketing, risk management, telematics and all the other non-manufacturer areas of the fleet car market compete for top honours.

But it's the biggest name in the business, and a name that got bigger in every sense of the word in 2009, that takes the top prize.

Lex Autolease was both the number one and number two vehicle leasing company this time last year, before the merger of banking giants Lloyds TSB and HBOS.

The result has left a major headache for Nigel Stead, the former Autolease boss now tasked with the role of managing director of the newly merged company. Late last year Stead talked BusinessCar through his merger plan, which will take around

18 months to complete. He said the firm's fleet size will fall slightly as some of Lex's less-profitable 'heritage' business is cast aside, but he is looking for the company to pick up new business opportunities and grow accordingly; the target areas are the traditional corporate customers, as well as regional, smaller, SME businesses.

Stead doesn't believe the firm's status as the new giant of the leasing world, with almost as many cars as the rest of the top five put together, will affect customers' views of the company: "Our scale doesn't matter to customers - delivering our service to customers whether they are large or small is what we're concentrating on".

This award appears to be vindication for that, because no matter how many customers a company has, they won't be voting if they're not happy, and Lex Autolease grabbed the gong despite some hard-fought competition.

So congratulations to Lex Autolease, and we all look forward to what is sure to be an interesting year for the company, and the whole industry, in 2010.