Jim O'Donnell, managing director of BMW GB, said a large proportion of its fleet customers were 'perk' drivers who pay benefit-in-kind tax at 35% of P11D price under the current regime, and who will be better off from next April: 'We do not have that many customers driving more than 18,000 business miles and those who do tend to drive the 318I, whose emissions are relatively low,' he said.
Indeed, he believes the growing tax awareness of drivers will fuel increased demand among employees for a greater say in the type of car they drive.
'It will put pressure on the mainstream brands, and the winners will be brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz,' said O'Donnell. BMW has identified a growing demand for diesel models, with about 18% of 3-series and 5-series now ordered with BIK tax-favourable diesels.
It also claims that on a like-for-like basis its petrol engines have lower CO2 emissions than its rivals such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
BMW Approved, meanwhile, will target employees who opt out of company cars and who want to use their cash allowance to access a prestige car at a lower price.