Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions increases fleet 17% despite pandemic pressures

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Leasing giant Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions (HCVS) expanded its fleet and profits in the last financial year, during the lowest year of new car registrations since 1992.

Jon Lawes, MD at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions

Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc’s full annual report for FY20/21 reveals its leasing division increased its total fleet by 17%, adding over 14,000 vehicles and bringing its fleet to more than 95,000 assets worth £1.2bn.

That’s despite data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that UK annual new car registrations in 2020 dropped 29.4%, hitting a near 30-year low, while fleet registrations were down 31.1% last year.

HCVS also saw significant uptake of electric vehicles, increasing its EV fleet by 368% in the last financial year – compared to a 185.9% increase in overall UK EV registrations in 2020 according to the SMMT.

In the last financial year, HCVS funded £137m for EVs, supporting its decarbonisation strategy – the business has committed to electrifying 100% of its car and small van fleet, as well as 50% of its funded van fleet, by 2030.

The report also reveals that HCVS generated pre-tax profit of £19.7m for FY20. Meanwhile, its personal leasing offering, marketed both directly and through a network of brokers and dealers, has grown 22%, now comprising more than 38,000 vehicles.

The division’s success was underpinned by notable business wins in the past year, including DEFRA, which appointed HCVS to manage its fleet of 4,500 cars.

HCVS said it also provided a leading role in keeping mission-critical fleets on the road during the pandemic – including the NHS, online food and delivery retailers, utility sectors, power industries and transport operators.

Managing director Jon Lawes commented: “Over the past 12 months, we’ve expanded our fleet despite the headwinds of a declining vehicle leasing market, showing the success and breadth of our end-to-end proposition across all vehicle types.

“Our total asset solution and market-leading decarbonisation strategy has set us in pole position to support complex fleets on their journey to electrification and led to exceptional results in a challenging year for the industry.”

He added: “Looking ahead, there is a strong outlook for our Vehicle Solutions business. With expertise across every vehicle type, from small cars to complex HGVs, and a rapidly growing EV offering, we are ideally placed in the year ahead to sustain our reputation as one of the UK’s leading vehicle leasing companies.”

Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc’s full annual report for FY20/21 can be found here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.