The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport has commended the rental and leasing industry for playing a crucial role in shaping the UK vehicle parc.
Appearing by video link, Andrew Jones told delegates at the 2015 BVRLA Industry Conference: “I recognise the importance of this sector to the economy. This includes the massive buying power of the sector. As buyers of 80% of UK manufactured vehicles sold here, you can together affect the use of technology massively.”
After discussing the ongoing emissions crisis, Jones commented: “The government is not anti-diesel. Diesel cars have played and continue to play a valuable role in reducing fuel usage and emissions of carbon dioxide. Tackling air quality is a priority for the government.”
He added: “There are at least 29,000 early deaths each year associated with poor air quality. This is unacceptable, and the government has recently consulted on its air quality plans. A major part of the approach is for local action on clean air zones. We will continue to work with DEFRA on common standards for clean air zones. This is designed to give long-term certainty to the leasing and rental sector.”
BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “It’s reassuring to hear the Minister reflect so many of the issues we’ve raised with him in recent months. It’s clear he has heard our message and recognised our sector. We look forward to working with him over the next year.”
More than 120 senior figures from the rental, leasing and fleet management sectors heard the Minister’s comments as they attended the BVRLA’s Industry Conference. The day’s agenda began with a welcome from BVRLA Chairman Simon Oliphant. Delegates then heard from Daniel Lee at the CBI about the economy, before BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney outlined the association’s achievements in 2015 and its plans for 2016.
To set the scene for the conference’s air quality and emissions session, energy entrepreneur and founder of SolarAid, Dr Jeremy Leggett put the climate change imperative into context for businesses. The showcase debate included presentations from Celine Cruzel at Element Energy, Dylan Setterfield at CAP HPI and Karl Anders from Nissan. Panel sessions later in the day discussed whole life costs, customer service in the digital age and future mobility trends.
Throughout the day, delegates had the opportunity to drive and examine the latest electric vehicles from Tesla and Nissan. The 2015 Industry Conference was supported by CAP and KeeResources.