A report from Arval PHH indicates strong growth in continental European leasing markets last year. Volume grew modelstly in the mature markets of France (by 4%) and Germany (5%), but Italy saw growth of 15% and Spain overtook France with 15% growth. Arval PHH's fleet now comprises 386,633 units, down 7.6% on the figure of a year ago, the loss being accounted for largely by the loss of UK fleet management customers Peugeot, DaimlerChrysler and First National.
Arval PHH says it's not unduly concerned by the loss of these contracts, noting that medium-long term fleet management contracts in the UK offer slender margins, especially when clients are vehicle manufacturers.
Arval bought 129,000 vehicles last year, up 3% on 2002, while its management fleet grew by 8% to 78,184 units, bringing Arval PHH closer to European market leader LeasePlan. It incorporates 16 businesses across Europe and in North Africa and 3,514 employees.