Simon Oliphant assumes chair at UK British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association


Simon Oliphant (pictured above on right with BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney) has been appointed the new chairman of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

He takes over from Marshall Leasing’s Peter Cakebread, who has stepped down after completing his two-year term.

Having worked for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions for 25 years, Simon Oliphant has been involved with the BVRLA since joining the Leasing and Fleet Management Committee in 2001. He became chairman of the same committee after a decade, and joined the BVRLA’s Committee of Management in 2011.

Commenting on his appointment, Oliphant said: “I am delighted with my new position at the BVRLA, which gives me the opportunity to put something back into the industry I have been associated with for more than 30 years. As chairman, my first priority is to ensure we continue the excellent work that has been overseen by Peter, Gerry and the BVRLA’s other committee members.”

“My career at Hitachi has given me the opportunity to work with small, medium and large companies in different roles. This makes me ideally placed to work with all BVRLA members and fully represent its diverse membership, which continues to grow across each sector.”

He has already identified some priorities in his new position. “I’d like to develop stronger relationships with the newly-formed government around key issues such as taxation, safety, the environment and technology, enhancing the BVRLA’s authoritative voice. I am also passionate about training and development, and would like to see the BVRLA play a bigger role in this.”

Oliphant’s new role officially came into effect following the BVRLA’s AGM, which took place on May 20. As BVRLA Chairman, Simon is responsible for leading the BVRLA Committee of Management – in effect its board of directors – which saw two members gain additional responsibilities today:

• David Hosking, chief executive at Tuskerdirect, is now chairman of the BVRLA’s Leasing and Fleet Management Committee; and

• Brian Swallow, vice president of Rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is chairman of the Rental Committee;

Making way for this pair are Robert Shaw of Europcar and Keith Allen of ARI fleet UK. Both will remain a part of their respective committees as vice chair. 

Elsewhere in the BVRLA, Mike Potter of Fleet Drive has replaced PHVC’s Paul Huxford as chairman of the association’s Leasing Broker Committee.

“It is great to welcome these new faces to the association, because we certainly have some challenges for them to focus on,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney. “We are also grateful to outgoing committee members whose efforts have helped steer the BVRLA in recent years.”

Oliphant was appointed as chief executive of Hitachi Capital Fleet Solutions in 2000 but this April he left his UK-based role to head up a newly created Strategy Office to spearhead future growth plans, with a major focus on Europe and further tasked with growing its Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions business across the globe.

At the time Chris Shirai, chairman and chief executive for Hitachi Capital Corporation America and Europe said: “The launch of the Strategy Office is a clear indication of our group’s appetite to extend the successful Vehicle Solutions formula into other markets. Simon’s great track record in this sector makes him the perfect leader of this exciting new initiative.”

In 2014 Oliphant he led the acquisition of Corpo Flota (Poland). The company says this success and the group’s growth under his leadership will be used as the blueprint and platform for global expansion.

Oliphant remains chairman of the Vehicle Solutions UK business, and will also remain a director of parent company Hitachi Capital (UK).