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New Masterlease division shadows GM sales revamp

Date: 11 July 2007   |   Author: Tristan Young

GM-owned car leasing firm Masterlease is setting up a new division for its parent company in the UK.

GM UK Leasing will shadow the changes taking place at GM's Luton HQ, where the fleet sales departments of Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet and Cadillac have been combined.

The new Masterlease division will start trading as soon as it is granted a consumer credit licence, which is expected within the next few months.

It will be headed by managing director Julian Humphreys, who already looks after Vauxhall Leasing, Saab Contract Hire and Chevrolet Lease, the three strands that will be combined.

"We will still have the distinct brands for the showrooms, so for example Vauxhall Leasing will be offered through Vauxhall showrooms," said Humphreys. "But where we operate direct to market through GM UK Fleet we will offer GM UK Leasing.

"There are 10 weeks to go, maximum, to get our consumer credit licence and we can't trade until we get that."

When pushed on the addition of Cadillac to the list of brands offered by GM UK Leasing, Humphreys added: "We will mirror the direct-to-market GM UK Fleet activities."

However, according to BusinessCar sources, a deal between current Cadillac distributor and retailer Pendragon and GM UK Fleet is imminent.

Masterlease currently operates a fleet of about 20,000 vehicles, which would fall under the new branding.

Humphreys will also be joined by sales director Darren Payne who has just moved from GM UK Fleet, headed by Maurice Howkins. In his new role, Payne will be responsible for growing sales across the GM UK Leasing portfolio.

As national fleet sales manager at GM UK Fleet, Payne oversaw sales growth in the fleet market with the Saab, Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands. His previous roles with the company included UK leasing manager, while as a brand manager for Vauxhall he was responsible for new product launches such as the Movano and Dualfuel.