BMW scored a double triumph at the ACFO Awards as fleet decision-makers recognised the strides that the German marque has made in helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint.
The BMW 320d (CO2 emissions of 109 g/km) was named Green Vehicle of the Year, and the raft of low emission technology which features in the model - branded EfficientDynamics - won the Best Environmental Initiative Award.
EfficientDynamics technology is gradually being rolled out across the BMW range and is a combination of systems involving a mixture of Auto Start/Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, Active Aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tyres, Electric Power Steering, on-demand ancillary systems and optimum gearshift indicator features.
The Volkswagen Golf achieved a notable triumph this year when members of the UK’s premier organisation for fleet operators voted the model their Car of the Year for the fourth time in succession.
The Ford Transit Connect Van and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter also retained their awards - the former being voted Small Van of the Year for the eighth time in succession and the Sprinter being named Large Van of the Year for the second time.
All suppliers strive to deliver customer satisfaction through a high quality fleet service and Marshall Leasing was named Fleet Services Company of the Year with ACFO members declaring that the organisation offered the best overall combination of quality products, service and integrity and fully understood the requirements of fleet decision-makers.
Finally, the Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year was won by Bosch for its electronic stability control (ESP) with load-adaption control, which is a feature on an increasing number of light commercial vehicles and was viewed by ACFO members as having the most positive effect on fleet safety.
The Awards were presented at a gala dinner attended by almost 250 ACFO members and their guests, which was hosted by ACFO at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel.
This is the 27th year of the highly-prized ACFO Awards. These prestigious awards are voted for exclusively by the ACFO membership, so that their operational experience and expertise is fully involved in the process.
However, it is the first time that the Awards have expanded outside of fleet operators naming their car and vans of the year.
ACFO chairman Julie Jenner said: " The Awards may have been given a new-look in 2010 but they continue to represent the true face of fleet operations. More than 130 nominations were received across the seven categories underlining the breadth of competition there is in today’s fleet market.
“Fleet decision-makers are reliant on motor manufacturers to deliver vehicles that are cost effective to operate, safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly and supplier companies to provide a first class service.
“Operating successfully in partnership it means that through the availability of top quality vehicles and first rate suppliers, vehicle downtime can be kept to an absolute minimum and fleet managers can focus on the efficient and effective operation of their vehicles to support their businesses.”
Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year
Winner - Bosch ESP with load adaption
Runner-up - LeasePlan’s SafePlan programme
Fleet Services Company of the Year
Winner - Marshall Leasing
Runner-up - Volkswagen Fleet Team
Environmental Initiative of the Year
Winner - BMW EfficientDynamics
Runner-up - LeasePlan, GreenPlan programme
Small Van of the Year
Winner - Ford Transit Connect
Runner-up - Volkswagen Caddy
Large Van of the Year
Winner - Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Runner-up - Ford Transit
Green Car of the Year
Winner - BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
Runner-up - Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion
Fleet Car of the Year
Winner - Volkswagen Golf
Runner-up - BMW 3 Series