Vehicle leasing is growing and executives at Paccar Leasing (PacLease) see even more expansion in the years ahead, fueled by the challenges fleets face to continually improve productivity and reduce operating costs.

“We expect our leasing fleet to double by 2010, and our PacLease locations to expand from 280 to 400,” Olen Hunter, director of sales for the company told FleetOwner.

“Our customers are constantly challenged to increase productivity and reduce operating costs, and leasing helps them to do that,” Hunter said. “With just-in-time operations, for example, a hiccup anywhere in the system can create huge expenses, such as having to air-freight critical parts. We have one customer who formed their own private fleet just to deal with such emergencies.

“In fact, as freight capacity got tight over the past several months, we saw a huge growth in private fleets in general as companies tried to offset the risks associated with that freight capacity shortage,” he continued. “Leasing lowers the entry requirements to start a fleet.”

According to PacLease, the company’s leasing business is growing among vocational fleets. “We are focusing on the vocational segment, where Paccar truck nameplates are very strong,” Hunter says. “Because of our flexibility, we can offer the a la carte menu of services to those fleets that they require.”

Among other trends PacLease sees are an increasing demand for auxiliary power units (APUs), particularly installed as original equipment, and a need for telematics among small as well as large fleets. The company has its own telematics offering called PacTrac, a driver performance-monitoring tool powered by PeopleNet.