Two fleet industry stalwarts professor Peter Cooke and John Leigh have passed away this month.

Fleet expert and motor industry thinker Cooke, who worked for Ford for 20 years before entering the management education sector, was a well-known commentator on automotive issues for more than 20 years. Cooke was an advocate for disability; appearing regularly as a speaker, broadcaster and writer in the press, on radio and television.

Cooke was held in high regard by all that came into contact with him. He was a consultant for the automotive industry, appearing as an expert witness in high profile cases on more than one occasion. Cooke was also one of the masterminds behind the highly respected BCA Used Car Report. He was also the author of a dozen books and many journal articles and automotive reports.

Most recently, Cooke was emeritus professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham Business School, where he was previously professor and head of the Centre for Automotive Management from 2007-2013.

“Peter will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues at the University for his positive outlook on life, his desire to make a difference and not least his endearing sense of humour,” said the University’s Kim Pittwood.

For those wanting to send a message of condolence to his family, the university is compiling a condolence book. A message can be added using the form available on the link:

Leigh was chairman of the BVRLA from 2005 to 2007 and was a long-standing and active committee member. He spent more than 40 years in the vehicle rental and leasing industry, starting at Godfrey Davis in the 1960s.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Leigh worked for Swan National Rentals, overseeing the rebrand to EuroDollar, the management buyout that took the company out of TSB ownership and the listing of the company on the London Stock Exchange.

Following the sale of EuroDollar to Republic Industries, Leigh led the integration of EuroDollar and Alamo in UK and the rebranding to National Car Rental. By 2000 he was appointed senior vice president pan-Europe of National, and by the end of the decade (after another period of acquisition) he was chairman of Europcar.