Christian Blank has been named head of European fleet operations at Mazda Motor Europe effective May 2, 2011, replacing James Hopkins, who is leaving the company. Formerly a senior manager in charge of the company’s relationships with European independent distributor partners, Blank has been valuable in forming Mazda's long term strategy in Europe.
Blank will be based in Leverkusen, Germany, and he will be reporting to Martin Benders, who is the vice president for sales operations.
According to Benders, the overall strategy of the Mazda Fleet has not changed with the appointment of Blank. However, the company will be increasing its focus on total cost of ownership as well as residual value management to support the successful launch of its next-generation products.
Before working in Mazda, Blank worked as a private business consultant in Japan as well as a vehicle analyst for Roland Berger strategy consultants.
Blank, as European fleet operations head, is responsible for the development of the company’s residual value management strengths as well as the growth of the business with leading business fleet operations and major leasing companies.
Mr. Benders stated that with Christian Blank coming in, there are no alterations to the entire Mazda Fleet strategy. Nonetheless, he also mentioned that there will be more attention paid to residual value management and total cost of ownership in order to facilitate a prosperous debut for succeeding products.
He also asserted that at present, Mazda has “the most fuel-efficient, best-equipped and appealing” line-up. Additionally, Mr. Benders said that the introduction of the Mazda CX-5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the rest of their 6th generation products will further positively contribute to their European fleet’s strong presence.
The Mazda CX-5 is a C-segment SUV that incorporates all of the latest SKYACTIV technologies, such as the new-generation engines, transmissions, chassis and body. It is designed to be especially suited to the needs of business consumers. The European Fleet team is not just paying attention to Mazda’s residual value management development, but also to ongoing support operations throughout the major European markets. Their strategy is to build upon existing relationships with Europe’s most prominent blue chip fleets and leasing companies.