With growth in the automotive and farming industries lifting the economies of the Great Lakes Region and Nebraska, the PacLease network is adding seven new franchise locations.

Premier PacLease is opening the seven franchises, located in Escanaba, Gaylord, and Grand Rapids, Mich.; in Columbus, Kearney and York, Neb.; and in LaCrosse, Wis.

Jim Moeller, president of Premier PacLease, said Premier PacLease is growing its leasing business because more private fleets are turning to full-service leasing in order to acquire new trucks.

"A resurgence in the automotive industry has driven growth in the economies of the Great Lakes Region, particularly in Michigan, where the economy grew at 2.3% in 2011, a top-10 pace," he said. "As more cars are manufactured and sold, employment is growing and as more people go back to work they're buying more durable and non-durable goods. That means private fleets need more trucks to move those goods.

"Our customers see full-service leasing as a viable alternative to buying and replacing aging equipment," Moeller said.

Paccar Leasing President Neil Vonnahme said PacLease's growth in the Great Lakes Region, Nebraska and across the United States is also driven by the need for private fleets to meet maintenance requirements under CSA as well as dealing with new federal regulations involving hours of service.

With new federal regulations requiring engines with lower emissions, stricter hours of service for drivers, and new maintenance requirements for the trucks, fleets are concerned about adding all that new equipment, choosing the proper specifications and managing the maintenance.

"By having PacLease handle the maintenance, companies can be assured that all maintenance issues are addressed quickly and efficiently to meet CSA requirements," Vonnahme added.

More info: www.paclease.com.