Alan Waldie, BMW's corporate operations manager, insisted there was no secret strategy behind the huge rise. It's not down to any particular tactical activity, but it is accepted that in these difficult times BMW does provide a safe haven for fleets who are asking on whom they can rely to protect residual values,' he said. 'What you see is the continuation of well-established trend.'
Elsewhere - in a market up 10.3% at 167,125 units (March 1999: 151,478) - Ford remained the number one fleet manufacturer with sales up 6.9% year-on-year, followed by Vauxhall up 10.5% and Peugeot up 8.4%, while Citroen saw fleet business increase 43.2%. Renault saw fleet business drop 8.4%, Volkswagen 7.4% and Fiat 11.9% while Rover dropped out of the top 10 fleet manufacturers' table.
Top 10 fleet manufacturers in March were: Ford 34,053, Vauxhall 28,692, Peugeot 15,314, Renault 14,653, BMW 8,673, Volkswagen 8,351, Nissan 8,173, Toyota 6,619, Fiat 6,245, Citroen 6,063. Top 10 fleet models in March were: Ford Focus 10,609, Vauxhall Vectra 9,119, Vauxhall Astra 8,794, Ford Mondeo 8,436, Ford Fiesta 6,541, Renault Megane 6,354, Vauxhall Corsa 6,284, BMW 3-series 6,043, Peugeot 406 5,100, Peugeot 306 4,754.