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BusinessCar Power List 2010

Date: 21 September 2010

It's the time of year again where BusinessCar reveals the 50 individuals whose thoughts, words and deeds influence the industry. Paul Barker introduces the fifth annual run-down of the most important people in fleet

Welcome to the fifth incarnation of the most talked-about and controversial feature BusinessCar publishes. Every year, the Power List of fleet's most influential figures creates talking points, as we rank the most important and powerful people in the business car market.

It's been another tough year for the entire industry, and there have been plenty of changes in Government that influence the sharp end of our list. Only three of the 50 people stay in the position they occupied last year, and there are a dozen new entries as well as one re-entry.

As always, your feedback is welcome, either at or by emailing

50 Geoffrey Podger, Health & Safety Executive, Chief executive ?21

The curse of the corporate manslaughter prosecution is yet to hit the business car industry, but one big case and Geoffrey Podger could see himself rocket up this chart as the topic would return to the centre of the debating table.

49 Edmund King, AA, President ?27

The media-friendly and vocal driver's champion hasn't been campaigning for much that would help corporate drivers this year.

48 Anthony Ainsworth, Avis, UK sales director (New Entry)

The UK's third-largest rental firm has been pushing its Avis Eco low-CO2 range in 2010, as well as launching a new iPhone app this year.

47 Darren Payne, Renault, Fleet & commercial director (New Entry)

Renault has returned from the doldrums years, although there's still a question mark over the methods the French manufacturer is using to achieve the large sales increases. Darren Payne, new to this list, will also preside over the fleet sales for a company at the forefront of electric vehicles.

46 David Cameron, Government, Prime Minister ?10

The new Prime Minister has plenty of national and international business to attend to, so issues that impact upon UK fleet behaviour are generally being left to colleagues higher up this list, namely Chancellor George Osborne, Transport secretary Phillip Hammond and Dr Vince Cable, the Business, Innovation and Skills secretary.

45 Mike Betts, Motability, CEO ?15

It may technically be the UK's biggest single fleet with more than 555,000 vehicles, but improved business behaviour by manufacturers has seen Motability, which serves those that get a Government disability allowance, become as less of a residual value-impacting dumping ground for vehicles.

44 Paul Everitt, SMMT, Chief executive ?12

The past 12 months has seen the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders' top man focused heavily on the retail sector with the scrappage scheme, which had no impact on fleet business, being Everitt's most spoken-about topic.

43 Mike Williams, HM Treasury, Director of tax admin (New Entry)

In his job as director of tax admin, Williams is responsible for ensuring taxation changes are implemented as smoothly as possible.

42 Koei Saga, Toyota/Lexus, Managing officer, hybrid powertrain ?7

Toyota has continued to lead the low-CO2 race through use of hybrid technology, and Saga is the man tasked with leading the hybrid development. The latest effort from his team is the 89g/km Toyota Auris, which joins such green and tax-efficient models as the Toyota Prius and 2009 BusinessCar Techie-winning Lexus RX450h.

41 Michiel van Ratingen, EuroNCAP, Secretary general (No Change)

Van Ratingen continues to drive the European road safety organisation's progress, with more ratings for accident prevention next on the agenda.

40 Andrew Cope, Zenith Provecta CEO (New Entry)

It's been a spectacular 2010 for Andrew Cope and Zenith Provecta. Cope has been instrumental in a number of developments that will leave Zenith in great shape going forward, including pushing the firm to the forefront of salary sacrifice (leaving it perfectly placed should the schemes really take off), forging a deal with financial giant Santander to supply the leasing requirements for the bank's business customers and, most recently, being involved with the deal that saw another financial powerhouse, Morgan Stanley, take a 60% stake in Zenith Provecta, providing the company with the kind of capital injection that can only lead to expansion.

39 Terry Bartlett, Inchcape Fleet Solutions, MD (No Change)

Under Bartlett, Inchcape scooped the 2010 BusinessCar Techie Award for its fleet management system.

38 Don Moore, Enterprise, VP of sales, UK & Ireland ?1

Moore's Enterprise retained the BusinessCar Daily Rental Award this year, and has also developed in a number of new directions, including the launch of a new long-term rental package and stepping up its eco reporting to help fleets lower emissions.

37 James Douglas, Nissan, Fleet sales director (New Entry)

Douglas's job is about to become more interesting, with Nissan's fleet boss looking set to play an integral role in the early acceptance of full electric cars into UK fleet. Nissan's Leaf will be the first decent-sized EV on sale when it arrives early next year, and its movement into the corporate sector is key to the technology's long-term future. Douglas has also presided over a period of good growth for Nissan in the fleet sector, with the Qashqai still rapidly climbing up the fleet sales chart, something he'll be looking to replicate with the imminent launch of that model's baby brother, the Juke.

36 Thomas Broberg, Volvo Car Corporation, Senior technical advisor safety (New Entry)

Cars that can automatically avoid the kind of common low-speed bumps that cost fleets so much time and money in vehicle repairs and downtime sound like an impossible dream, but Broberg takes the credit for heading up the teams that developed the City Safe and Pedestrian Detection systems that have each won BusinessCar Techie awards. City Safe detects when a low-speed impact is imminent, the kind of accident where a car brakes sharply ahead and the driver doesn't react quickly enough. At up to 9mph it will prevent the accident completely, and mitigate the impact below 18mph, while Pedestrian Protection spots people walking out into the road and will avoid collisions at under 22mph.

35 Iain Carmichael, Audi, Audi Head of fleet sales ?6

Carmichael's Audi fleet department continues to grow its share of the business car market, and was fourth in the sales chart for the first half of 2010.

34 Steve Chater, BMW, Corporate sales director ?6

BMW is a top six fleet player and the additional Mini sales, which should leap up again with the launch of the new Countryman, take Chater above his arch-rival in the Audi camp.

33 Simon Oliphant, Hitachi Capital, Vehicle Solutions, MD ?5

Oliphant completed a decade in charge of Hitachi, which has enjoyed measured growth in the middle of the leasing pack while others slipped back.

32 Hugh Wallace, Arnold Clark, Vehicle Finance, MD ?2

Wallace heads up the largest dealer group-owned leasing brand, although his fleet had slipped below the 40,000 mark at the last count.

31 Janet Entwistle, BT Fleet, MD ?2

The only female MD on this list, Entwistle stays just ahead of her opposite numbers at Arnold Clark and Oliphant in a batch of three lease firms covered by less than 2000 units.

30 Chris Jolly, IDS Topcalc, Forecasting editor ?5

Jolly maintains a place in the top 30 thanks to being a leading expert in future values and whole-life costs.

29 Graham Wheeler, VW Group Leasing, MD (New Entry)

With Alistair Shields, Wheeler has responsibility for the VW Group's leasing arm.

28 Boris Johnson, TfL, Chairman ?3

Boris is about to make sweeping changes to the way the London congestion charge operates, if his public consultation is anything to go by. On the table are changes to the fleet discount scheme, a pre-pay system, the removal of the western extension and making all cars under 100g/km are charge-free.

27 Su McLean-Tooke, HM Revenue & Customs, Policy advisor ?6

McLean-Tooke is responsible for analysing how HMRC policies will impact upon sectors including the business car marketplace.

26 Jane Urquhart, Nottingham City Council, Councillor in charge of transport ?20

Workplace parking has returned to the spotlight after it emerged many councils are considering the schemes as a way to recover revenues lost in public sector Budget cuts. That means Nottingham's scheme, led by Urquhart and the first in the country to come into force in April 2012, will be watched closely by all concerned.

25 Mark Sinclair, Alphabet, Commercial Director ?2

BusinessCar blogger Sinclair's no-nonsense approach serves the BMW-owned leasing firm well. Salary sacrifice could be a key growth area.

24 Peter Tatlock, Masterlease, MD ?4

2009 saw a large drop in Masterlease's fleet size, in part due to Vauxhall switching its leasing operation to ALD and the firm declaring an ambition to focus on larger fleet business.

23 Keith Allen, ALD Automotive, MD ?6

A BusinessCar Techies win for its telematics system and increasing short-term rentals were two highlights of ALD's year under Allen.

22 Bob Contreras, Northgate, Chief executive (New Entry)

The new boss of the UK's biggest LCV rental firm has only been in the job since June, having stepped up from finance director after the departure of Phil Moorhouse.

21 Ian Tilbrook, ING Car Lease, MD ?1

It's been a quiet year for Ian Tilbrook, who continues to lead Reading-based ING Car Lease.

20 John Jenkins, GE Capital, Head of GE Capital ?2

John Jenkins has now presided over GE's leasing business for 18 months since replacing previous incumbent Rich Green. One of the changes Jenkins has overseen is implementing a voluntary phone ban for employees when behind the wheel.

19 Michael McInerney, Europcar, Fleet director (New Entry)

McInerney runs the fleet operations for the UK's largest car rental fleet, which totals more than 50,000 vehicles between Europcar and its National Car Rental and Alamo subsidiaries.

18 Roddy Graham, ICFM, Chairman ?1

The ICFM chairman expressed his delight at a good annual conference attendance, as he continues to push for recognition of the need for dedicated training for fleet professionals. Leasedrive Velo's commercial director is also looking for blue-chip growth with the lease firm.

17 Steve Durrant, Mercedes-Benz, Financial Services, Director ?6

Steve Durrant should be able to settle down to a more straightforward future after a difficult couple of years with name and portfolio changes as a result of the split with Chrysler and its Dodge and Jeep brands.

16 Phil Robson, Peugeot, Director of fleet and leasing ?10

Phil Robson heads up both the Peugeot's fleet operation and its leasing arm in a time when the French manufacturer is making significant product improvements, including the forthcoming launch of its electric vehicle Ion.

15 Vince Kinner, Volkswagen, Head of fleet services ?13

Volkswagen continues to sit in a comfortable third place in the fleet sales chart, with a more-than-healthy mix of 'true fleet' company car business. Vince Kinner's reign has this year overseen the fleet launch of the new VW Polo, while next year's big test will be the new Passat.

14 Phillip Hammond, Government, Transport Secretary (New Entry)

Although the Budget review is affecting all Government departments, it's Hammond's office that will be watched with particular interest. Which projects and schemes survive, and which suffer the inevitable fall of the axe, across roads and public transport, will have a massive impact on how businesses move their people and conduct their operations.

13 Mark Jowsey, Kwik Carcost, Commercial director ?3

Jowsey's slight drop down the table is solely as a result of the increasing importance of key Government personalities above him, as Kwik Carcost is actually growing in influence. Increasing numbers of manufacturers are utilising the firm's whole-life cost data, which BusinessCar also relies on for its test drives.

12 Jeff Patterson, Glass's, Senior car editor ?3

The other big names in the residual value arena, Patterson and Glass's, have taken a different approach to Cap (see number 10 below) with regards to the treatment of electric vehicle residuals, which has provoked a healthy dose of comment and discussion, something Glass's does well.

11 John Lewis, BVRLA, Chief executive ?1

John Lewis has been his normal vocal self this year, campaigning on behalf of the leasing and rental industry on a range of issues including VAT rebates, lease accounting proposals, tax disc reform and anything else that has an impact.

10 Martin Ward, Cap, Manufacturer relations manager ?2

The most vocal of the RV fraternity continues to influence car makers' thinking when it comes to setting up a vehicle in the UK market. Manufacturers listen to his advice on how to specify products prior to launch, often giving him access months or even years ahead of time.

9 Dr Vince Cable, Government, Business, Innovation & Skills secretary (New Entry)

Another member of the new coalition, one of Cable's responsibilities is having a "particular focus on business and banking issues". That means potential reforms that could have an impact on the bank-owned leasing firms' access to finance and their ability to compete in the leasing sector.

8 Maurice Howkins, Vauxhall, Fleet sales director ?2

It's been a year of departures for Howkins' team, with first Chevrolet, followed closely by Saab, exiting GM UK Fleet, which has now been rebranded Vauxhall Fleet. The two departing brands were only worth 10,500 fleet registrations in 2009 compared with Vauxhall's 140,000, but after much fanfare in previous years of the fact that the brand could offer budget, volume and premium brands from the same stable, it's a return to its volume roots for Vauxhall. There's also been uncertainty over how the new lifetime first-owner warranty will be passed on, and whether that may have any impact on residual values.

7 Jean-Marc Torre, Arval, CEO ?4

Torre oversees not only a UK top four leasing firm, but also the biggest fuel card firm in the country. Having been in place since May 2006, he is well-versed in the needs of the UK corporate market, while the fuel card business is taking on greater importance at a time where cost control of fuel spending is more crucial than ever.

6 Kevin Griffin, Ford, Director fleet operations ?1

It's been a tough year for Griffin, with Ford prices rising as a result of the strong Euro and rival manufacturers not following to anywhere near the same extent. Yet the brand remains at the top of the fleet sales chart, has been near the front of the pack with CO2 reduction and is getting a boost with the refreshed Mondeo going on sale next month. It'll be a big 2011 for Griffin, too, with the all-new Focus launching at the beginning of the year.

5 Stuart Houlston, Lombard Vehicle Management, MD ?2

It's been a fairly low-key first full year in charge for Lombard Vehicle Management boss Stuart Houlston, who stepped up to become managing director in February last year following previous incumbent Rob Bailey's promotion within LVM parent Royal Bank of Scotland. But Houlston, who has been with LVM for seven years, still controls the UK's third-largest leasing company, which had more than 90,000 vehicles on its books at the last count.

4 Julie Jenner, ACFO, Chairman (No Change)

ACFO has continued its great work for the business car sector this year, led decisively by chairman Julie Jenner, notably with the introduction of its Best Practice Guide to Employee Driver Document Checking. The document, produced in association with BusinessCar, was issued to all Government departments after an investigation by BusinessCar found that most were falling well short of the required levels. ACFO has also continued to develop its status as a vital organisation for consultation with Government departments such as the Treasury and HMRC, while this year's ACFO annual conference enjoyed record attendance levels.

3 David Brennan, Leaseplan, MD ?1

David Brennan has been in charge of what's now the UK's second-biggest leasing firm since January 2006. Leaseplan has been the most vocal of the leasing giants in 2010 in its support for salary sacrifice schemes. The company called its Salary Plan programme "the most exciting product launch" in years, and Brennan will be hoping that the schemes become widespread, with his company well-placed to take advantage.

2 Nigel Stead, Lex Autolease, MD (Re-Entry)

Having plumped for Stead's boss David Oldfield, MD of parent firm Lloyds Banking Group, last year, we've reverted back to the MD of Lex Autolease, who is overseeing the amalgamation of leasing giants Lex and Lloyds TSB Autolease into a new dominant industry force. The two-year project began early in 2009, and doesn't appear to have impacted too badly on service levels, if a 2010 BusinessCar Service Supplier of the Year Award is anything to go by.

1 George Osborne, Chancellor, Government (New Entry)

Although George Osborne has only been in a position of power for a matter of months since the tumultuous series of events that eventually brought the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to Government, it's already clear that the new chancellor's impact is going to be widespread.

While the emergency Budget didn't have any immediate direct impact on the business car sector, there will most likely plenty of indirect fall-out from the public sector's spending review due just a few weeks from now on 20 October.

From cancelled road building that would have relieved congestion to a raft of revenue-raising schemes and departmental cutbacks across Government, the long-term impact will be widespread, and it's Osborne's name that will be attached to its success or failure. Much to the relief of the business car community, he chose to leave company car taxation alone during June's emergency Budget, rather than make changes to the previous Labour Government's benefit-in-kind progressive falls that have been set out for until the end of 2012.

The state of the nation's finances mean a wide range of areas are set for a painful time. How Osborne and his Treasury department choose to share that pain will have long-standing ramifications for the fleet industry.