At LeasePlan, we’re celebrating our 60-year anniversary this February – so what better time to look back and see how far we’ve come? Read on for a glimpse into our story so far!

Leasing pioneers from day one
Our story started on the canals of Amsterdam in 1963. At the time, almost no one in the Netherlands knew what leasing was, but all that was about to change. Several Dutch banks decided to set up a joint venture to bring this American financing concept to life in the Netherlands – and so, LeasePlan was born.

Cars weren’t yet on the agenda, however: instead, in the 1960s, LeasePlan focused on leasing office furniture such as chairs and photocopiers. With business booming and the workforce growing, the company had to move to a bigger office in 1969 (the first of many moves over the coming six decades …).

Making strides in the 70s
The 1970s saw LeasePlan make the bold step into automotive leasing. We also introduced our revolutionary Open Calculation System (OCS), offering clients total transparency around their bills and meaning that LeasePlan would bear any extra costs if the car ended up being more expensive than anticipated. Unsurprisingly, the OCS was a big hit – its popularity made it hard for staff to keep up with all the paperwork in the pre-digital age – and it remains core to LeasePlan’s offering today.

This was also the decade when LeasePlan started looking to international horizons, starting in neighbouring Belgium in 1972 and adding Germany, France and the UK in quick succession. Thanks to the power of the OCS, these four new entities soon became major players in their local markets.

An international outlook
In the 1980s, we set up operations in six new countries (the USA, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Australia and Luxembourg), before an explosion of new entities in the 1990s as LeasePlan offices opened in Italy, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, New Zealand, Hungary, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and India. Seven more countries (Poland, Slovakia, Greece, the UAE, Romania, Turkey and Mexico) joined the family in the 2000s, with Russia and Canada added to the list in the 2010s.

Of course, LeasePlan wasn’t the only company with exciting international ambitions. To serve the needs of multinational fleet managers (a group that included many of LeasePlan’s biggest and best-known clients), we established LeasePlan International in 1992. This was a game changer: in the years since, LeasePlan International has provided a streamlined and efficient service – including valuable consultancy on fleet policies and market trends – to many hundreds of cross-border clients!

Spotlight on sustainability
LeasePlan’s core values, such as our innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and our client-focused approach to business, may have remained at the heart of our work over the decades, but one item that certainly wasn’t on the agenda 60 years ago is sustainability. Today, we’re known as an industry leader in sustainable mobility – a journey we can trace back to 2007 and the launch of our GreenPlan initiative. This was the first international eco-friendly programme in the fleet management sector, designed to help our customers monitor, reduce and compensate their emissions.

A decade later, in 2017, we stepped up our sustainability game, pushing green mobility from the margins to centre stage. At a time when sustainability was still an afterthought for many businesses, LeasePlan set the ambition to achieve net-zero emissions from its funded fleet by 2030 and became a founding member of the EV100, a global electric mobility initiative. And there was more to come: today, we’re awaiting validation of our science-based targets for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 and are determined to keep supporting all our clients in the transition to electric fleets.

Then and now
Back in 1963, our founders could never have imagined the impact of the wheels they had set in motion. From two employees in a tiny office in Amsterdam to more than 8,000 colleagues all over the world, LeasePlan has grown into a remarkable global business. But even as we look back on 60 years of success, we’re always thinking about What’s next – and we can’t wait to find out what the journey has in store!

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