AT&T unit plans move to Towson

March 30, 1994|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Sun Staff Writer

AT&T Automotive Services, a unit of the giant telecommunications company, is consolidating its vehicle fleet management offices in Pittsburgh and Morristown, N.J., at a new headquarters in Towson.

In addition, it is holding talks with a Florida-based competitor that could lead to a merger or some other form of business relationship.

Patty Mullane, a spokeswoman for AT&T Capital, an equipment leasing and finance company controlled by AT&T Corp., said yesterday that the relocation of its automotive services group would bring about 80 employees to Towson. She said the company would hire between 10 and 15 other workers.

Ms. Mullane said the new office is scheduled to open in June. She said the company is in final negotiations for a lease at a Towson building, but she declined to identify the site.

AT&T Automotive Services is a part of AT&T Capital Corp. AT&T spun off 13 percent of AT&T Capital last summer in a public offering and retained 87 percent.

The new headquarters will be headed by Sterling H. "Skeet" Chadwick. Mr. Chadwick, president of Automotive Services, is no stranger to the Baltimore area. Before joining AT&T Capital several years ago, Mr. Chadwick was a senior vice president at Hunt Valley-based PHH Corp., where he worked in PHH's fleet operations.

Although AT&T is a direct competitor of PHH in the auto fleet management business, it is considerably smaller. It manages about 80,000 vehicles, which are leased to businesses and consumers, Ms. Mullane said. Slightly more than 14,000 of its vehicles are used by AT&T.

PHH had more than 454,000 vehicles under fleet management at the end of 1993. PHH is not engaged in consumer leasing.

AT&T Automotive could be getting larger.

Michael Nixon, president of World Omni Financial Corp., said the company is currently holding talks with AT&T that could lead to a consolidation or some other business relationship between the two vehicle fleet management companies.

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