Japan’s Sumitomo Group acquires auto leasing unit of Carzonrent

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co Ltd and Sumitomo Corporation through their joint venture firm SMAS Auto Leasing India Pvt Ltd have acquired the auto leasing business of New Delhi-based Carzonrent Pvt Ltd, one of the country's leading automotive-related service companies, for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition is a part of SMAS overseas expansion plan in the Asia-Oceania region. It is already present in Thailand and Australia in the region.

Carzonrent India, which started as a corporate leasing and cab rental service provider in 2000 by Rajiv Vij, is now focusing heavily on the consumer side of the business. It also owns Easy Cabs cab service and MYLES, self-drive venture. Its car lease division has a fleet of about 2,000 cars and about 135 marquee corporate clients.

India’s auto leasing market consists of about 40,000 vehicles at the moment, but the market is expected to more than double to 100,000 vehicles within a few years, driven in part by higher demand from corporate clients.

SMAS is seeking to establish an early foothold in the Indian market, which is anticipated to see dramatic economic growth, and further expand its auto leasing business, it said.

SMAS is a joint venture between Sumitomo Mitsui and Sumitomo Corporation in which the two companies hold 60 per cent and 40 per cent stake, respectively.

Established in Feb 1981, Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co is engaged in lease and instalment sale of various automobiles and vehicles.

For the year ended March 31, 2014, it reported a revenue of ¥205 billion. Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co operates as the subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation.

Another Japanese firm active in Indian car leasing market is ORIX. ORIX Auto Infrastructure Services Ltd (OAIS), incorporated in 1995 and previously a JV with IL&FS is now wholly owned by ORIX Corporation. ORIX is one of the largest diversified financial services companies in Japan with global operations across 27 countries and listed on New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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