Milestones in the Vehicle Leasing Industry
The following chronicles the significant milestones and historical fleet growth of 11 vehicle lessors.
■ Automotive Resources International (ARI)
Supply chain management, licensing services, mobile and driver communications, fleet policy, garage management, maintenance & repairs, fuel management, compliance, driver management, remarketing, fuel efficiency & emissions reduction, strategic consulting, account management, data integration, telematics, safety training & driver behavior, and global fleet management. www.arifleet.com
Founded in 1948
Becomes charter member of AALA.
Acquired first franchise offered by Ford Authorized Leasing System.
First mainframe computer installed.
Acquired Interlease Corp., 7,000 vehicles.
Purchased Fleet Body Equipment (FBE) in Kansas City, Mo.
Acquired McLarty Leasing, 5,000 vehicles.
Acquired Lend Lease Cars, Inc. (U.S. and Canada).
Founded Global Fleet Services (GFS).
Formed joint venture in Mexico with Groupo Zapata to create ARIZA.
50th anniversary; 725 employees.
Introduced Web-based fleet management systems.
Introduced ARIAutoDirect.com for used-vehicle sales.
Opened Western Operations Center and third North America call
center in Grapevine, Texas.
- Expanded European operations with locations in Brussels and Zurich.
- Web-based driver tool introduced.
Merged FBE with Auto Truck Group, Inc. (ATG).
■ Donlen Corp.
Fleet leasing, accident management, administrative services, fuel management, remarketing, transportation services, upfitting services, vehicle acquisition, and vehicle maintenance. www.donlen.com
Founded in 1965
Company founded by Donald Rappeport & Leonard Vine.
Grew from 5,000 to 30,000 vehicles.
"Top 100 Global Outsourcing Leader" by International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (2006-2009).
National Association for Business Resources "101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago" (2007-2010).
CEO Gary Rappeport honored as 2009 Executive of the Year, Services, by American Business Association. Crain's Chicago Business "List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago" (2009-2010).
Stevie Awards Finalist as "Best Use of Technology in
Customer Service" and "Most Innovative Company."
■ Enterprise Holdings
Financial consulting, fleet management, licensing and taxes, risk management, and maintenance management.
Founded in 1957
Aquisitions/Ownership Changes or Milestones
|1957||Jack Taylor founds Executive Leasing in St. Louis.|
|1961||• Opened first branch office in South St. Louis.|
• Enters car-rental business.
|1966||National Car Rental first to bring computers into daily reservation operations.|
|1969||• Jack Taylor named the company Enterprise as a salute to WWII aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise.|
• Opened first out-of-town office in Atlanta.
|1970||Enterprise rental fleet reaches 500 vehicles.|
|1971||Jack Taylor acquires controlling interest in company.|
|1974||Alamo Rent A Car founded with four locations in Florida, pioneers concept of unlimited free mileage.|
|1980||• Acquired AirCar Rental in Southern Calif.|
• Enterprise fleet surpasses 6,000 vehicles.
|1983||Opened 100th Branch Office|
|1987||• Opened 250th branch office.|
• National introduces “Emerald Club,” first comprehensive frequent renter program.
|1990||Enterprise fleet surpasses 90,000 vehicles.|
|1991||Jack Taylor’s son, Andy Taylor named|
|1995||Alamo first in car rental industry with realtime|
Internet booking capabilities.
|2000||Enterprise fleet nears 500,000 vehicles.|
|2005||• Alamo launches industry’s first Online|
• Enterprise fleet surpasses 665,000 vehicles.
|2006||Enterprise celebrates 50 years in business,|
commits to plant 50 million trees over next
|2007||Acquires Alamo Rent A Car and|
National Car Rental
|2008||• Fleet surpasses 1.1 million vehicles (including|
Alamo, Enterprise, and National)
• President & COO Pam Nicholson named
one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful
Women In Business” (2007-2008)
|2009||Taylor family of companies adopts Enterprise|
Holdings name as parent brand.
|2010||Adds first all-electric vehicles to fleet.|
■ LeasePlan USA
Fleet management, leasing, and fleet services. www.leaseplan.com
Founded in 1983
Wholly owned subsidiary of LeasePlan Corporation, N.V.
LeasePlan's Truck Division established.
First document imaging system was installed, beginning LeasePlan's paperless operations.
Accident management team becomes I-CAR Gold certified
FleetDesk driver contact center introduced.
Online fleet management tool ePlan launched.
Acquired Consolidated Service Corporation, a Chicago-based fleet management company.
- Launched Network, an independent brand of vehicle management services.
- First fleet management company member of the Automotive Maintenance Repair Association's Motorist Assurance Program.
- reDrive, driver sale program, launched.
eRepair online maintenance and repair vendor authorization tool introduced.
- Client Activation Team selected as finalist in "Best Customer Service Team" category of the American Business Awards.
- GreenPlan program introduced.
- First FMC to offer services through Ford Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers.
- LeasePlan Cares community outreach program begins supporting the Atlanta Children's Shelter and Shelter, Inc. in Chicago.
- Auto Insurance product launched.
- Surpassed 10 million imaged documents in ePlan.
- ePlan for Drivers went live.
- Introduced PartnerPlan, a new lease type to the U.S.
- First LeasePlan account manager completes CAFM certification.
- SafePlan comprehensive risk management program introduced.
LeasePlan's Government Fleet Services launched.
■ Merchants Leasing
Total fleet solutions, including "No Risk" closed-end lease option. Additional services include: insurance and maintenance programs, fuel cards, roadside assistance, accident and risk management, telematics, local and nationwide delivery, and fleet management and administration. Merchants leases a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks and vans, law enforcement vehicles, handicap-equipped vehicles, and more.
Founded in 1962
Irving Singer opened Merchants Motors in Manchester, N.H. with 50 used cars and a philosophy based on customer service and philanthropy.
Merchants opened National Car Rental franchise.
Offering automotive sales, services, and rentals led Merchants to begin statewide fleet leasing.
Merchants Automotive Group created flagship location in Hooksett, N.H.
Merchants Rent-A-Car begins expansion in Salem, N.H.
Drops National Car Rental and becomes nation's largest non-affiliated rental company.
Gail Singer passed away. First annual blood drive held in her honor.
Merchants Nissan dealership opened in Concord, N.H.
Merchants Automotive Group purchased Patriot Motors in Keene, N.H.
Irving Singer passed away. Sons Stephen, Robert, Alan, Jeffrey, Gary, and son-in-law Michael Sydney toke over the business.
U.S. Secret Service used Merchants cars for presidential primary elections.
Merchants Automotive Group teamed with Salvation Army to
become the No. 1 bell ringer.
Singer Family Park opened.
Merchants Automotive Group opened first CARQUEST store.
- Salvation Army retired "Bell Award" after Merchants Automotive Groups' seven straight years of winning.
- Expanded from regional to national by bringing in seasoned and successful executive leaders and expanded sales force.
- Phil Ryan named CEO of Merchants Automotive Group.
- Dennis Cavagnaro appointed Merchants Leasing's director of marketing.
- Merchants Automotive Group sells rental division and created Merchants Van & Truck Rentals.
- Merchants Leasing acquired Myrick Leasing.
- Gary Scanlon appointed national sales manager.
- Merchantsauto.com stadium built in Manchester, N.H.
- Glen Villano appointed COO of Merchants Automotive Group.
- Acquired OneFleet Source in Kansas City, Kan.
- Merchants Van & Truck becomes Merchants Short-Term Solutions.
- Paul Barkworth appointed CFO of Merchants Automotive Group.
- Diana Holland named Merchants Leasing's director of fleet services.
- Merchants Leasing acquired ALD Automotive USA.
- Merchants Automotive Group's 15th year as No. 1 Salvation Army bell ringer, raising more than $26,000 in the 2010 holiday season.
■ GE Capital Fleet Services
Commercial car and truck financing and integrated fleet management services that help customers save time and money, while also reducing their fleets' impact on the environment. Tailored solutions address the total fleet lifecycle - from business planning and vehicle financing through remarketing - so customers get the maximum return on their fleet investment. www.gefleet.com
Founded in 1987
Acquired Kerr Leasing.
Acquired D&K Financial & GELCO Leasing, GE Fleet
Acquired Sherwood Industries.
Acquired The Leasing Emporium.
Acquired McCullough Leasing & Major Leasing.
Acquired LMV Leasing, American Auto Leasing Corp., Hansen Leasing Corp., and Ballas Leasing.
Acquired Main Auto Leasing.
Acquired Wells Fargo Leasing.
Acquired CitiCapital Fleet Leasing.
Acquired Walden Leasing.
■ Mike Albert Fleet Solutions
Fleet management (vehicle acquisition and remarketing), financing, truck leasing, and government fleet.
Founded in 1957
Opened first used car lot in Cincinnati.
Mike Albert Leasing established as Mike Albert Autos leases its first car.
Mike Albert Service department opened for business.
Mike Albert launched truck leasing department.
25,000 sq. ft. truck terminal converted to sales, leasing, and service facility.
Mike Albert Leasing opened first satellite office in Columbus, Ohio.
- Mike Albert relocated its corporate office to a 30,000 sq. ft. building in Cincinnati.
- Launched its full suite of fleet services.
Marty Betagole named president of Mike Albert Leasing.
Mike Albert celebrated 50th anniversary.
Patt Stull named chief operating officer.
Mike Albert repositions as Mike Albert Fleet Solutions.
Mike Albert Leasing acquires vehicle rental assets of D&L Leasing.
■ PHH Arval
Asset management, operating cost management, risk management, consulting services, and truck fleet management. www.phh.com
Founded in 1946
Peterson, Howell and Heather form partnership in Baltimore to found new industry: fleet management.
Peterson, Howell & Heather introduced the nation's first finance lease plan for corporate auto fleets.
Partnership develops into a Peterson, Howell & Heather, Inc. (PH&H).
Peterson, Howell & Heather Canada, Inc. is formed.
Peterson, Howell & Heather Limited (United Kingdom) is formed.
Founders sell 24 percent of their PH&H stock for initial public offering.
Common stock of PHH is listed on NYSE (PHH).
Renamed PHH Corporation.
Acquired by HFS, Inc. (now known as Cendant Corporation).
PHH Vehicle Management Services was acquired by Avis Group.
Rejoined the Cendant family of companies. The name of the company changed to PHH Arval as result of joint venture with Arval, a subsidiary of banking leader BNP Paribas in Europe. Now a strategic allowance.
Spun off by CendantCorp., with sister company Cendant Mortgage, to form PHH Corp., listed once again on the NYSE (PHH).
PHH Arval operates offices in the U.S. and Canada with strategic alliances that provide global fleet management capabilities in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.
■ Union Leasing
Fleet leasing, open-end lease, closed-end lease, used-car financing, government programs, remarketing, insurance, fuel management, license & title, maintenance, and taxes.
Founded in 1955
|1955||Established by Lawrence Faul — first orders place for two|
|1958||Established the name Union Company.|
|1963||Moved to a bigger location in the Chicago Loop.|
|1969||Changed name to Union Leasing.|
|1976||Began offering open-end lease options.|
|1984||Joined with ABC Leasing to better serve customers.|
|1989||Moved to Schaumburg, Ill.|
|1996||Began leasing to rental car companies.|
|1999||Began offering government services.|
|2005||Rebranded with launch of new logo and website.|
|2008||Expanded location in Schaumburg, Ill., to accommodate|
|2010||Launched myFleetLink and myDriverLink.|
■ Sutton Leasing
Car, trucks, equipment, and fleet management.
Founded in 1989
Acquisitions/Ownership Changes or Milestones
|1989||Sutton Leasing is incorporated with Clyde J. Sutton as President and Owner.|
|1993||Sutton Leasing grows to be licensed in every state.|
|1995||C. J. Sutton joins SLI as VP of sales.|
|1997||Sutton announces the opening of its West Coast Division in California.|
|2001||Sutton opens East Coast division in Massachusetts.|
|2002||• Amy Sutton Blair joins Sutton as CFO.|
• Sutton Establishes South East division in Florida.
|2003||Sutton acquires DALCO Auto Leasing in Dayton, Ohio.|
|2004||Sutton fleet increases significantly with several accounts over 1,000 units.|
|2010||Sutton establishes two additional South East offices in Florida.|
Comprehensive services include; leasing, acquisitions, remarketing, maintenance, safety & regulatory services, fuel, and collision management.
Founded in 1955
Zollie Frank founded Wheels, Inc.
Founding member of American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA)
Offered cost-plus leasing.
Began conducting business in Canada.
Developed courtesy delivery system.
Created industry's first leasing program for trucks.
Introduced computerized fleet vehicle ordering.
Began conducting business in Puerto Rico.
- Began issuingfuel credit cards.
- Introduced maintenance management for open-ended lease vehicles.
- Jim Frank named president and CEO.
- Began electronic transmission of vehicle orders to manufacturers.
Developed nationwide vendor network with maintenance and collision repair shops.
Created the fleet industry's first client electronic reporting tool.
Initiated commercial paper financing and achieved A-1 rating from S&P.
Introduced vehicle registration renewal service.
Entered global fleet consortium covering more than 30 countries.
Established first online accident management system.
- Began conducting business in Mexico.
- Launched DriverView online driver ordering system.
Released FleetView online fleet management tool.
Introduced industry's first online Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) system.
Invented fleet industry's first automated vehicle replacement decision tool.
- Developed online upfit equipment ordering tool.
- Created WheelsDirectonline driver and employee used-vehicle sale program.
Developed French-language driver ordering tool.
Invented online violations payment system.
Introduced Paperless Office, first truly virtual fleet office.
Introduced collection of guided analysis tools including expense comparison and budget projection capabilities.
- Introduced Application Coding.
- Formed strategic partnership with ALD Automotive.
Introduced EcoWheels green driver challenge.
Daniel Frank named President of Wheels Services.