Fleet News

Government fleet to buy German-built cars

BRITISH cabinet ministers who have traditionally travelled in UK-built vehicles will for the first time be climbing into German-built cars as a high-profile Government fleet is forced to look to the Continent. The Government Car and Despatch Agency, which operates a 223-strong fleet for ministers, including Prime Minister Tony Blair, senior officials and VIPs, has always used British-built cars to transport cabinet ministers.

But because the Rover Sterling is now on production run-out, and the new Rover 75, formerly known by its codename R40, will not be available until next year, the department fleet's chief executive Nick Matheson, says he has no option but to look elsewhere. And the vehicle which will replace the Rover, for at least the next six months, is the Vauxhall Omega, built at General Motors' Russelsheim factory in Germany.

Matheson said: 'Hopefully this is just an impasse. The Rover Sterling is soon to be no longer available, and it is not clear when the new Rover 75 will be in production. It is estimated to be late spring. For the time being we will be using the Omega as the fleet car for cabinet ministers.'

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