Hitachi Capital is looking to grow through both new customers and acquisition as it takes advantage of what it claims is a stronger position than some rival lease firms.

Speaking to BusinessCar as the firm reported £3.2m pre-tax profits for the year ending March 2009, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions boss Simon Oliphant predicted a period of growth. Olpihant said the company’s position is helped by its “parentage”, as part of manufacturing giant Hitachi Group rather than being bank-owned like the majority of its rivals.

“We are in a strong position. We haven’t had funding constraints and shouldn’t underestimate how much of an issue that is for some people in terms of cost and ability to access finance,” he told BusinessCar.

“The market has still got some massive challenges, and depending on the funding situation and on how exposed you were to the downturn in RVs will dictate a company’s position – strong or weak. I believe we are in a very strong position and there will be opportunities out there.

“We’ve got to be selective, people are for sale for different reasons,” he continued. “We need to not just be interested because something’s cheap.”

Oliphant pointed to the RV fall of up to 25% late last year as a key factor.

“Leasing companies are not these days working on a large margin with RVs, so to have that swing in the marketplace has a definite effect. Everybody has been impacted but its the level that’s key,” he said.

Oliphant added that he is looking to move the number of vehicles on the company’s books significantly up from the current 46,000 units in the next couple of years, although he wouldn’t be drawn on setting “a certain target”.