Fleet News

BMW’s clean sweep

BMW’s fleet boss believes the revisions to the 1 and 5 Series range gives the firm its strongest ever line-up of cars, for both fleet managers and company car drivers, with reduced fuel, tax and servicing costs while also offering more performance and higher residual values.

Speaking as the firm launched new green powertrains throughout both ranges, Chris Brownridge, corporate operations manager, claimed the changes were ‘staggering’ and would see the firm steal a march on its premium sector rivals.

He said: ‘Our new EfficientDynamics package will really appeal to user-choosers because of the big savings in benefit-in-kind tax, while also increasing power in many engines.

‘And because of the improved fuel consumption, fleet managers should see lower fuel bills.’

The 1 Series has attracted criticism for its packaging and looks, with industry pundits claiming that sales have been disappointing. The 1 Series sold nearly 10,000 in fleet last year, while the Audi A3 managed nearly 15,500 and the Volkswagen Golf 36,000.

But Mr Brownridge said the firm was selling its entire allocation of the car, and that it had ‘opened up lots of doors to us in fleets that previously we could not access.

Even with the new three-door model, we have no aspirations to increase volume.’

The changes to the powertrain include stop-start systems and brake regeneration which have cut the emissions of most models across the 1 and 5 Series range.

Mr Brownridge added: ‘The 118d is now more powerful at 143bhp and does 0-62mph in about nine seconds, but at the same time achieves 60mpg and has CO2 emissions of 123g/km, a staggering combination of performance and efficiency.

‘Such are the improvements in emissions, a 40% taxpayer in a 120d would have an annual BIK tax saving of £147.’

He added that fleet managers and drivers should take a look at petrol power again, because EfficientDynamics has brought them back into contention with diesels on running costs. The 118i hits 47.9mpg and the 120i 44.1mpg.

The 5 Series range also benefits from EfficientDynamics tech-nology, and it will be rolled out across all other ranges in the next 18 months.

  • For first drives of both the 1 and 5 Series, Roadtests on Thursday.
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