Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Limited has re-branded its independent leasing arm, International Fleet Management, and will now operate and trade as Europcar Fleet Services UK.

The move is to bring the UK business into line with the independent leasing business in the rest of Europe. Europcar Fleet Services (ECFS) operates directly in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal and via associates in many of the remaining countries across Europe, including France, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland, to provide comprehensive pan-European coverage.

The new operation went live in the UK from 1st September and will offer a full range of contract hire, leasing and service related products on all-makes of vehicle.

Volkswagen Financial Services operates in the UK as a number of brand-dedicated finance companies -- Audi Finance, SEAT Finance, Skoda Finance, Volkswagen Finance, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Finance and Bentley Financial Services.

Volkswagen Financial Services currently offers a range of fleet-related financial products and services on just under 60,000 vehicles, with around 17,000 of them being asset-based leases. Under the IFM brand in the UK, VWFS has developed considerable experience in the all-makes fleet services arena, having been successfully trading for five years.

Volkswagen says that the Europcar Fleet Services brand will allow VWFS to work closely with its sister company and rental partner, Europcar International Rental, to develop its portfolio of services in the way that it has elsewhere in Europe - providing a full range of short and long term mobility services operating on a 24 hour, seven day a week basis.

UK General Manager Graham Wheeler said: " We see this as a very exciting prospect and I am convinced that by taking advantage of the quality of the customer service developed under IFM, the strength and power of the VW organisation and the instantly recognisable quality branding of Europcar, we will be able to develop ourselves into a major player in the UK fleet services market. "The relationship between employer and employee is changing as a result of taxation and lifestyle - and that will mean our customers will be looking for more diverse and innovative ways to incentivise and retain their staff. Working closely with Europcar International Rental under the same brand will help us to develop solutions that can satisfy our customer's mobility needs," he said.