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BusinessCar Power List 2014

Date: 20 October 2014   |   Author:

It's that time of year again where BusinessCar publishes the industry's only rundown of the 50 people with the biggest influence over the management and operation of business cars and their drivers. Paul Barker takes you through the 2014 BusinessCar Power List, which has been created using our knowledge of a diverse and fluid industry

This year's BusinessCar Power List - the ninth published by this magazine - illustrates a less tumultuous and a little more stable year than the previous couple have been, aping the industry itself as we move away from the tough recession years.

As per usual, it will be tin hats at the ready as this list gets its airing, but it is an objective interpretation of the industry as we see it, and courting a little controversy along the way isn't something we'd worry too much about. Hopefully, it's an interesting assessment of where we see the biggest decisions being made that are impacting on the short- and long-term operation of business car fleets. Feel free to let us know what you think, while keeping it polite, of course!

50 Mike Betts, Motability, Chief executive (Down one)

Betts is celebrating a decade at the head of what is effectively the UK's largest leasing company. With more than 630,000 customers, Motability also provides 55,000 hire cars and 1000 taxi journeys for disabled drivers and their families every year.

49 Rob Morton Centrica/British Gas, Managing director, supply chain and procurement (New entry)

British Gas has recently committed to taking on 100 electric Nissan e-NV200s for its home service engineers, making Morton's decision to do so a pioneering one that the rest of the industry will view with interest.

48 Mark Servodidio Avis-Budget UK, Managing director (New entry)

Having been with Avis-Budget since 2001, Servodidio stepped up to head the UK arm when predecessor Kaye Ceille moved within the organisation to become worldwide president of car-sharing brand Zipcar.

47 Jane Urquhart Nottingham City Council, Portfolio holder for transport and planning (No change)

Urquhart is the face of Nottingham's controversial Workplace Parking Levy, which charges businesses with more than 10 parking spaces £362 per space per year - predicted to rise to £379 next April - to help pay for public transport improvements. She can be seen as a pioneer - even if no one else is yet following.

46 Lance Bradley Mitsubishi Motors UK, Managing director (New entry)

Until Mitsubishi got involved this year, applications for the Government's £5000 ultra low-CO2 Plug-in Car Grant had been behind where many hoped they would be; last year, just 981 grants were handed out. This year, Bradley reckons his firm will shift 10,000 plug-in hybrid Outlanders, making it the no-contest leader in terms of plug-in volume. Around half of those will be in fleet, helped by 44g/km emissions and a price that, post-grant, matches a diesel Outlander.

45  Keith Allen ARI Fleet, Managing director (Down one)

Former ALD Automotive boss Allen heads up the UK arm of the world's largest fleet vehicle management services company. The firm has big plans for growth over the next couple of years, and is looking for an increase on the one million vehicles worldwide it currently manages.

44  Connie Hedegaard European Commission, Commissioner for climate action (New entry)

The Danish Hedegaard is the EU's first-ever climate action commissioner, and part of her role is ensuring manufacturers move towards agreed CO2 targets across cars, vans, buses and trucks.

43  Michael Hawes Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Chief executive (Up two)

Heading up the SMMT means campaigning on behalf of and representing the industry across a broad range of topics, including green, safety and legislative issues.

42  Dave Bowen BT Fleet managing director (Down eight)

A small drop in fleet size meant a fall down this year's list. At the last count, BT Fleet had more than 28,000 vehicles, most of them vans, and sat just outside the top 10 chart of biggest leasing companies.

41  Michiel van Ratingen Euro NCAP, Secretary general (Down three)

The head of Europe's crash-test organisation is leading a push towards even more stringent regulations and an increased focus on crash-avoidance safety systems in an attempt to push manufacturers into fitting these as standard on more cars.

40  Neil Broad Toyota and Lexus, General manager, fleet services (New entry)

Toyota and Lexus's focus on hybrids rather than diesel engine tech could leave it in the box seat if the spotlight on local air pollutants - high for diesels but lower for petrol engines, and even more so with hybrids - continues to the point where there are tax implications. Currently, only CO2 is subject to tax, but with growing concern over air quality in major cities, there is a shift towards at least looking at how to encourage use of cars with lower NOx, hybrodcarbons and particulates.