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The start point for the best source of fleet information


Date: 09 October 2013

The only chart of the 50 most influential people in the business car industry, returns for an eighth year. BusinessCar has used its knowledge, contacts and expertise to analyse the market and come up with our definitive 50 biggest hitters. And as Paul Barker explains, it's been a year of upheaval.

The 2013 BusinessCar Power List has more new names in it than any of our previous seven lists. There are 17 in total - four whose influence in their existing role has grown in the past 12 months, while the other 13 have moved in to lead organisations such as trade bodies or the corporate operations such as manufacturers or leasing firms.

It's been an otherwise steady and fairly unspectacular 12 months for a market gently growing and recovering from the past few years of difficulty, with the top 10 consisting entirely of new entries (five) or people holding onto the same spot they occupied in 2012.

The feedback to the Power List is always interesting, but it's our honest interpretation of not only where we feel people sit in terms of both hard numbers for manufacturers and leasing companies, but also of factors such as an individual's influence and impact in the marketplace as well as their standing. Feel free to let us know what you think.

50. Andreas Atkins, British Gas, head of electric vehicle services (New Entry)           

As the electric vehicle market continues to gently develop, British Gas is trying to push itself to the fore through manufacturer tie-ups (Volvo being the latest) and charge-point installation.

49. Mike Betts , Motability, chief executive (No Change)

The UK's single largest fleet is planning for a potential 93,000 reduction in numbers as a result of Government cuts to disability payments. That will still leave it with well over half a million vehicles on its books, and may not dent numbers as much as feared due to new customers entering the scheme, as only one-in-three eligible people take a vehicle at present.

48. Antonio Tajani, European Commission, vice-president (up 2)           

Tajani is leading the EU's push towards car and CV manufacturers improving their environmental credentials, including the Euro6 emissions legislation and longer-term CO2 targets that will carry financial penalties for non-compliance.

47. Jane Urquhart, Nottingham City Council, portfolio holder for transport and planning (up 9)           

The driving force behind Nottingham's workplace parking levy, which increased its charges this year so firms with 10 or more spaces are charged £335 per space. Other cities are watching closely, although Bristol has reportedly abolished plans to follow in the wake of Nottingham's implementation.

46. Kaye Ceille, Avis-Budget UK, managing director (No Change)

The rental firm's reach expanded this year when Avis-Budget acquired car-sharing leader Zipcar in a deal worth more than £300m, and the firm also offers specific vehicles with emissions under 110g/km through Avis Eco.

45. Michael Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, chief executive (New Entry)           

Hawes recently replaced Paul Everitt as boss of the SMMT, an organisation that recently revised its new car market predictions up to 2.2 million. He joins from Bentley, where he held "a number of" PR, corporate and public affairs roles.

44. Keith Allen, ARI, managing director (down 31)           

Allen moved last year from ALD Automotive to ARI, as the firm formerly known as Fleet Support Group is now branded following an acquisition by the US's number two fleet management firm. ARI's ambitions for the firm it acquired in late 2011 mean he stays within the top 50 in 2013.

43. Larry Nitz, General Motors, executive director, global electrification (New Entry)                       

Nitz leads GM's team that's responsible for batteries, propulsion systems, controls and integration of GM hybrid and electric vehicles, so is the driving force behind the Vauxhall Ampera that has picked up so many awards, including the European Car of the Year prize in 2012, and BusinessCar 2013 Green Car of the Year and the 2012 Techie award in the green category. The 27g/km range-extender is currently the most viable pioneer of the switch towards ultra-low emission motoring.

42. Tim Buchan, Zenith, managing director (down 2)           

It's been another year of strong development for Zenith's core areas of salary sacrifice and the Pulse platform that won the fleet management category of the BusinessCar Fleet Technology Awards for the second year in a row.

41. Martin Wilson, Hyundai, fleet director            (New Entry)                       

Hyundai broke strongly into the top 10 of business car registrations in 2012 and has continued to grow off the back of excellent product combined with ever-improving whole-life costs. The running costs are driven by enhanced residual values over the budget-brand reputation of old, combined with emissions levels that give appealing options at the main CO2 points. The firm is also at the forefront of long-term moves into hydrogen fuel-cell technology that will eventually offer genuine zero-emission motoring without range anxiety.