The exercise was designed to move safety further up fleet managers' agendas and introduce crash-worthiness to the vehicle decision-making process when cars are selected for choice lists. Blue Chip companies such as IBM, Carlsberg Tetley and Pearl Assurance - which between them buy hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year - were represented at the event.
Crash tests on seven superminis were conducted earlier this year with the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo coming out on top. They were followed by crash tests on 13 upper medium sector cars with the Volvo S40 achieving the best rating. Later this year the results of crash tests on lower medium sector cars will be released. The tests have caused continuing controversy among the manufacturers, many of whom - backed by the Society of Manufacturers and Traders - have consistently rubbished the results of the tests as unscientific and irrelevant.