The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Milestones in the Vehicle Leasing Industry

The following chronicles the significant milestones and historical fleet growth of 11 vehicle lessors.

April 2011, by Staff

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 

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones

1948

Company founded.

1955

Becomes charter member of AALA.

1958

Acquired first franchise offered by Ford Authorized Leasing System.

1968

First mainframe computer installed.

1980

Acquired Interlease Corp., 7,000 vehicles.

1982

Purchased Fleet Body Equipment (FBE) in Kansas City, Mo.

1983

Acquired McLarty Leasing, 5,000 vehicles.

1989

Acquired Lend Lease Cars, Inc. (U.S. and Canada).

1994

Founded Global Fleet Services (GFS).

1995

Formed joint venture in Mexico with Groupo Zapata to create ARIZA.

1998

50th anniversary; 725 employees.

1999

Introduced Web-based fleet management systems.

2005

Introduced ARIAutoDirect.com for used-vehicle sales.

2007

ARITruckDirect.com launched.

2008

Opened Western Operations Center and third North America call

center in Grapevine, Texas.

2009

  • Expanded European operations with locations in Brussels and Zurich.
  • Web-based driver tool introduced.

2010

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

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones

1965

Company founded by Donald Rappeport & Leonard Vine.

1970-1987

Grew from 5,000 to 30,000 vehicles.

2006

"Top 100 Global Outsourcing Leader" by International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (2006-2009).

2007

National Association for Business Resources "101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago" (2007-2010).

2009

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).

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.
www.efleets.com/fleets/

Founded in 1957

Year


Aquisitions/Ownership Changes or Milestones

1957Jack Taylor founds Executive Leasing in St. Louis.
1961• Opened first branch office in South St. Louis.
• Enters car-rental business.
1966National 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.
1970Enterprise rental fleet reaches 500 vehicles.
1971Jack Taylor acquires controlling interest in company.
1974Alamo 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.
1983Opened 100th Branch Office
1987• Opened 250th branch office.
• National introduces “Emerald Club,” first comprehensive frequent renter program.
1990Enterprise fleet surpasses 90,000 vehicles.
1991Jack Taylor’s son, Andy Taylor named
Enterprise CEO.
1995Alamo first in car rental industry with realtime
Internet booking capabilities.
2000Enterprise fleet nears 500,000 vehicles.
2005• Alamo launches industry’s first Online
Check-In System
• Enterprise fleet surpasses 665,000 vehicles.
2006Enterprise celebrates 50 years in business,
commits to plant 50 million trees over next
50 years.
2007Acquires 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)
2009Taylor family of companies adopts Enterprise
Holdings name as parent brand.
2010Adds first all-electric vehicles to fleet.

LeasePlan USA

Fleet management, leasing, and fleet services. www.leaseplan.com

Founded in 1983

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones

1983

Wholly owned subsidiary of LeasePlan Corporation, N.V.

1990

LeasePlan's Truck Division established.

1994

First document imaging system was installed, beginning LeasePlan's paperless operations.

1995

Accident management team becomes I-CAR Gold certified

1997

FleetDesk driver contact center introduced.

1999

Online fleet management tool ePlan launched.

2000

Acquired Consolidated Service Corporation, a Chicago-based fleet management company.

2003

 

  • 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.

2005

eRepair online maintenance and repair vendor authorization tool introduced.

2006

  • Client Activation Team selected as finalist in "Best Customer Service Team" category of the American Business Awards.
  • GreenPlan program introduced.

2007

  • 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.

2008

  • Auto Insurance product launched.
  • Surpassed 10 million imaged documents in ePlan.
  • ePlan for Drivers went live.

2009

  • Introduced PartnerPlan, a new lease type to the U.S.
  • First LeasePlan account manager completes CAFM certification.
  • SafePlan comprehensive risk management program introduced.

2010

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.

www.merchantsleasing.com

Founded in 1962

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones

 

1962

Irving Singer opened Merchants Motors in Manchester, N.H. with 50 used cars and a philosophy based on customer service and philanthropy.

1964

Merchants opened National Car Rental franchise.

1967

Offering automotive sales, services, and rentals led Merchants to begin statewide fleet leasing.

1974

Merchants Automotive Group created flagship location in Hooksett, N.H.

1977

Merchants Rent-A-Car begins expansion in Salem, N.H.

1983

Drops National Car Rental and becomes nation's largest non-affiliated rental company.

1984

Gail Singer passed away. First annual blood drive held in her honor.

1985

Merchants Nissan dealership opened in Concord, N.H.

1988

Merchants Automotive Group purchased Patriot Motors in Keene, N.H.

1991

Irving Singer passed away. Sons Stephen, Robert, Alan, Jeffrey, Gary, and son-in-law Michael Sydney toke over the business.

1992

U.S. Secret Service used Merchants cars for presidential primary elections.

1995

Merchants Automotive Group teamed with Salvation Army to

become the No. 1 bell ringer.

1999

Singer Family Park opened.

2000

Merchants Automotive Group opened first CARQUEST store.

2003

  • 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.

2004

  • Merchants Automotive Group sells rental division and created Merchants Van & Truck Rentals.
  • Merchants Leasing acquired Myrick Leasing.

2005

  • Gary Scanlon appointed national sales manager.

2006

  • Merchantsauto.com stadium built in Manchester, N.H.

2008

  • Glen Villano appointed COO of Merchants Automotive Group.
  • Acquired OneFleet Source in Kansas City, Kan.
  • Merchants Van & Truck becomes Merchants Short-Term Solutions.

2009

  • Paul Barkworth appointed CFO of Merchants Automotive Group.
  • Diana Holland named Merchants Leasing's director of fleet services.

2010

  • 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

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones 

1984

Acquired Kerr Leasing.

1987

Acquired D&K Financial & GELCO Leasing, GE Fleet

Services established.

1988 

Acquired Sherwood Industries.

1989

Acquired The Leasing Emporium.

1990

Acquired McCullough Leasing & Major Leasing.

1991

Acquired LMV Leasing, American Auto Leasing Corp., Hansen Leasing Corp., and Ballas Leasing.

1993

Acquired Main Auto Leasing.

2002

Acquired Wells Fargo Leasing.

2003

Acquired CitiCapital Fleet Leasing.

2005

Acquired Walden Leasing.

Mike Albert Fleet Solutions

Fleet management (vehicle acquisition and remarketing), financing, truck leasing, and government fleet.

www.mikealbert.com 

Founded in 1957

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones 

1928

Opened first used car lot in Cincinnati.

1957

Mike Albert Leasing established as Mike Albert Autos leases its first car.

1960s

Mike Albert Service department opened for business.

1971

Mike Albert launched truck leasing department.

1972

25,000 sq. ft. truck terminal converted to sales, leasing, and service facility.

1977

Mike Albert Leasing opened first satellite office in Columbus, Ohio.

1984

  • Mike Albert relocated its corporate office to a 30,000 sq. ft. building in Cincinnati.
  • Launched its full suite of fleet services.

2000

Marty Betagole named president of Mike Albert Leasing.

2007

Mike Albert celebrated 50th anniversary.

2008

Patt Stull named chief operating officer.

2011

Mike Albert repositions as Mike Albert Fleet Solutions.

2013

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

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones 

1946

Peterson, Howell and Heather form partnership in Baltimore to found new industry: fleet management.

1951

Peterson, Howell & Heather introduced the nation's first finance lease plan for corporate auto fleets.

1954

Partnership develops into a Peterson, Howell & Heather, Inc. (PH&H).

1955

Peterson, Howell & Heather Canada, Inc. is formed.

1957

Peterson, Howell & Heather Limited (United Kingdom) is formed.

1958

Founders sell 24 percent of their PH&H stock for initial public offering.

1978

Common stock of PHH is listed on NYSE (PHH).

1992

Renamed PHH Corporation.

1997

Acquired by HFS, Inc. (now known as Cendant Corporation).

1999

PHH Vehicle Management Services was acquired by Avis Group.

2000

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.

2005

Spun off by CendantCorp., with sister company Cendant Mortgage, to form PHH Corp., listed once again on the NYSE (PHH).

2010

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.
www.unionleasing.com

Founded in 1955

Year

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones

1955Established by Lawrence Faul — first orders place for two
two-axle trucks.
1958Established the name Union Company.
1963Moved to a bigger location in the Chicago Loop.
1969Changed name to Union Leasing.
1976Began offering open-end lease options.
1984Joined with ABC Leasing to better serve customers.
1989Moved to Schaumburg, Ill.
1996Began leasing to rental car companies.
1999Began offering government services.
2005Rebranded with launch of new logo and website.
2008Expanded location in Schaumburg, Ill., to accommodate
growth.
2010Launched myFleetLink and myDriverLink.

■ Sutton Leasing
Car, trucks, equipment, and fleet management.
www.suttonleasing.com

Founded in 1989

Year

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones
1989Sutton Leasing is incorporated with Clyde J. Sutton as President and Owner.
1993Sutton Leasing grows to be licensed in every state.
1995C. J. Sutton joins SLI as VP of sales.
1997Sutton announces the opening of its West Coast Division in California.
2001Sutton opens East Coast division in Massachusetts.
2002• Amy Sutton Blair joins Sutton as CFO.
• Sutton Establishes South East division in Florida.
2003Sutton acquires DALCO Auto Leasing in Dayton, Ohio.
2004Sutton fleet increases significantly with several accounts over 1,000 units.
2010Sutton establishes two additional South East offices in Florida.

Wheels

Comprehensive services include; leasing, acquisitions, remarketing, maintenance, safety & regulatory services, fuel, and collision management.

www.wheels.com

Founded in 1955

Year

 

Acquisitions/Ownership Changes

or Milestones 

1939

Zollie Frank founded Wheels, Inc.

1953

Founding member of American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA)

1954

Offered cost-plus leasing.

1956

Began conducting business in Canada.

1957

Developed courtesy delivery system.

1959

Created industry's first leasing program for trucks.

1960

Introduced computerized fleet vehicle ordering.

1965

Began conducting business in Puerto Rico.

1972

  • Began issuingfuel credit cards.
  • Introduced maintenance management for open-ended lease vehicles.

1974

  • Jim Frank named president and CEO.
  • Began electronic transmission of vehicle orders to manufacturers.

1975

Developed nationwide vendor network with maintenance and collision repair shops.

1979

Created the fleet industry's first client electronic reporting tool.

1982

Initiated commercial paper financing and achieved A-1 rating from S&P.

1985

Introduced vehicle registration renewal service.

1995

Entered global fleet consortium covering more than 30 countries.

1996

Established first online accident management system.

1998

  • Began conducting business in Mexico.
  • Launched DriverView online driver ordering system.

1999

Released FleetView online fleet management tool.

2000

Introduced industry's first online Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) system.

2003

Invented fleet industry's first automated vehicle replacement decision tool.

2004

  • Developed online upfit equipment ordering tool.
  • Created WheelsDirectonline driver and employee used-vehicle sale program.

2006

Developed French-language driver ordering tool.

2006

Invented online violations payment system.

2007

Introduced Paperless Office, first truly virtual fleet office.

2008

Introduced collection of guided analysis tools including expense comparison and budget projection capabilities.

2009

  • Introduced Application Coding.
  • Formed strategic partnership with ALD Automotive.

2010

Introduced EcoWheels green driver challenge.

2010

Daniel Frank named President of Wheels Services.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Sponsored by

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is a federal cabinet department of the U.S. government.

Read more

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher