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Toyota to acquire Inchcape Fleet Solutions

Toyota Fleet Mobility (TFM) is to acquire Inchcape’s fleet management and leasing subsidiary, Inchcape Fleet Solutions (IFS) for £100m as it looks to expand further in the UK’s full service leasing market.

In the year to December 2018, IFS contributed revenue of £60m and trading profit of £9m

The agreement, subject to regulatory approval, will enable Inchcape to focus on its core activities while providing TFM – a joint venture of Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Toyota Motor Europe – with a major foothold in the UK’s fleet management sector. Inchcape Fleet Solutions funds and manages more than 50,000 cars and light commercial vehicles, working on behalf of brands such as DEFRA, Whirlpool, Cadent Gas, SGN, Allianz and Connells Group. As well as the corporate sector, it also has in-depth knowledge of the SME, public, charity and not-for-profit markets. In the year to December 2018, IFS contributed revenue of £60m and trading profit of £9m.

TFM, which was established in 2018 to develop a European base for future mobility services by providing full service leasing products, said the deal continues its progress towards becoming a mobility services provider. It added that the agreement brings the potential to leverage the strength of Toyota and Lexus products and retail presence, together with IFS’ experience, customer base and multi-brand propositions.

Tom Fux, CEO Toyota Fleet Mobility Europe, said: “The acquisition of IFS is an important milestone for TFM in the European market. As Toyota transitions from being a car manufacturer to a mobility company, it will help us meet the increasing shift in customer preferences away from traditional vehicle ownership to new mobility opportunities.”

The acquisition provides clear evidence of the changing focus of traditional carmakers as the prospect of falling new car sales from the switch to new mobility options prompts them to look at other revenue streams. Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover was believed to be weighing up an offer on Addison Lee to expand its mobility offering.

For Inchcape, the deal marks part of its ongoing work to streamline the business and follows recent disposals of less productive dealerships in the UK, and retail-only disposals in Australia and China. Inchcape added that the scope of the IFS business meant there was limited synergy with Inchcape’s UK retail dealership business, which remains strategically important to the group and includes Toyota, which is Inchcape’s oldest OEM partner.

James Brearley, CEO Inchcape UK, commented: “IFS and Toyota Financial Services have enjoyed a strong working relationship for more than a decade. At the same time, Inchcape has continued to be one of the leading Toyota and Lexus retailers across the country. This agreement aligns with our strategy of focusing on our core business as an automotive retailer in the UK market.”

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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.