BMW is expected to name former Mercedes-Benz head of fleet Rob East (pictured) as its new corporate sales boss, Fleet News understands.
Sources close to the German manufacturer say East will replace Steve Oliver, who left BMW earlier this year. BMW would only say it was in the process of finding a successor and an announcement would be made in due course.
Oliver had joined BMW at the end of 2016, replacing Matt Bristow, having previously served as UK country manager for Infiniti.
East had worked for Mercedes-Benz – which was named best fleet manufacturer in the 2018 Fleet News Awards - since 2009 in a number of areas, including Smart and the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy before moving into fleet.
Immediately before taking over as head of fleet in July 2016, he worked as national fleet manager where he led a team of strategic account managers and achieved record-breaking fleet sales in 2015.
News of his departure was broken by Fleet News, last week. No announcement has yet been made regarding his successor.
Sales for BMW fell by 4.1% in 2017, with 175,101 units registered compared to 182,593 in 2016. However, the decline in registrations for the German carmaker was less than that seen for the overall market, which fell by 5.7%.
True fleet for BMW (combined leasing/contract hire and fleet other registration figures from the SMMT) was also down, with 76,007 units registered in 2017, compared to 86,202 cars in 2016 – an 11.8% decline. It also reduced volume to rental by 8%.
Mini fared much better, reporting a 1.2% fall in overall sales, registering 68,166 units in 2017, compared to 68,984 the previous year.
However, true fleet performance was also down, with Mini registering 21,560 cars in 2017 - 8.4% fewer vehicles than the 23,539 registered in 2016.