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BVRLA: Ready to make some noise

Date: 08 August 2013

New BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney is looking to step up the noise levels as the association seeks more widespread acknowledgment of the sector's power and influence, as Paul Barker reports

"I want more visibility and prominence because we, as a big consumer of cars, vans and trucks, have a view and want it to be heard."

So declares the new British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association chief executive Gerry Keaney in one of his first interviews since taking over as head of the organisation in May from the prominent, influential and long-standing John Lewis, who stepped down after 13 years in the role.

Keaney himself is no stranger to the industry as a whole, or the sector, following 21 years with Volvo, including a six-year stint as UK boss until 2002 before moving to the firm's Swedish headquarters, and says he has "enjoyed making the transition" since arriving back in the country.

"I knew the sector very well. I've clearly been very involved in the UK in my previous roles, then globally with relationships with leasing and daily rental sectors, and I know some if not all of the personalities," he tells BusinessCar.

Having now been involved in a full round of meetings of the BVRLA's various committees, Keaney is beginning to get his feet under the desk and understand the issues important to members.

"It's good to see my perception from the outside has been borne out very well from working with the firms," he continues, pinpointing the sector's professionalism, customer focus, dialogue and creativity. "It's a very dynamic sector, lots going on.

What is clear is that it's a complicated environment, but that's not to say our members aren't rising to the challenge."