HITACHI Capital has announced a series of senior management changes aimed at growing its Vehicle Solutions business across the globe, with particular focus on Europe.
Simon Oliphant, CEO of the Vehicle Solutions group, has been appointed head of a new strategy office created by Hitachi Capital Corporation (Japan), which will look at delivering a global strategy.
Oliphant has worked for Hitachi Capital for 27 years, the last 15 running its UK vehicle leasing and fleet management business.
In 2014 he led the acquisition of Corpo Flota (Poland) and will be responsible for growing Hitachi Capital’s vehicle operations in Europe. This success and the group’s growth under his leadership will be used as the blueprint and platform for global expansion.
Oliphant will become chairman of the Vehicle Solutions UK business, handing over operational responsibility to Jon Lawes, who is currently divisional managing director of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions. He will remain a director of parent company Hitachi Capital (UK) plc.
Lawes is promoted to managing director of the Vehicle Solutions group which includes the commercial vehicle, car leasing and driving instructor businesses.
Lawes joined Hitachi Capital in 2001 and since 2006 has been responsible for the successful growth of the commercial vehicle business.
Robert Wastell will continue as divisional managing director of Hitachi Capital Car Solutions. Chris Tarry remains general manager of Hitachi Capital Driving Instructor Solutions.
Oliphant said: ‘I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, especially as it is being used as the benchmark for expansion into other countries and continents.
‘I would like to congratulate Jon on his new role. He knows our UK business and customers very well so he is in a great position to continue to drive the business forward, while maintaining continuity.’
Chris Shirai, chairman and chief executive of 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 initiative.’
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