Paul Barker's blog: 16 October 2012 - Year of consolidation closes with hint of another
16 October 2012
Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar
It's interesting to hear from Alphabet UK boss Richard Schooling that he predicts further consolidation among mid-sized players in the contract hire industry.
He predicts access to affordable funding will still be an issue in 2013, and that means further changes to the market, following on from the ING Car Lease and Lombard names both disappearing from the arena this year and the vehicles being taken over by Alphabet and ALD Automotive respectively in different forms.
And that came not long after Masterlease exited, with its cars rolling into Leasedrive.
I spoke to Hitachi recently, and it too was talking about acquisition, so it's far from beyond the realms of imagination that further consolidation can be expected as those firms with decent access to finance take advantage of the economic climate to snap up suitable businesses.
The positive news from the figures obtained by BusinessCar is that the numbers of vehicles on leasing companies' books seem to be on the up. We've found a 6.5% rise on this time last year, improving on the 0.7% growth found in 2011 that followed two years of falling numbers.
Although the economy is still far from in the clear, and the fears are very real of there being more pain to come, it's good to see some hint of positivity, which will hopefully continue into a more optimistic 2013 and beyond.
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