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BusinessCar Awards 2016: Manufacturer of the Year - BMW

Date: 26 January 2016

Fleet operators have voted BMW Manufacturer of the Year for the sixth time in a row - and when you consider that the brand offers cost-effective fleet favourites including the 1-series hatchback, the evergreen 3-series range, and the 5-series saloon, Gran Turismo and estate to name just a few, it's hardly surprising.

Where the German company differs from its rivals is in how it offers not only economical petrol, diesel and now several plug-in hybrid models, but also has a dedicated electric car in the shape of the i3, which manages to be highly desirable in its own right while boasting green credentials and low running costs.

However, BMW hasn't rested on its laurels over the past year: it has updated the 1-series with more efficient engines and sleeker styling; it has facelifted the best-selling 3-series and introduced frugal 320d ED models that sneak below the 100g/km mark in automatic form to ensure benefit-in-kind rates as low as 17%;  and it has introduced the new X1, now available in fleet-friendly 18d sDrive form, with economy of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km.

Another addition is the seven-seater 2-series Gran Tourer. It joins the five-seat Active Tourer in being a more family-friendly BMW offering. The manufacturer has launched a new, more efficient 7-series luxury saloon too, which boasts economy as high as 60.1mpg - an impressive feat for a car of this size (there's also a plug-in hybrid that emits 49g/km).

All this in addition to making satnav standard across the range in 2015. BMW has also kept tabs on customer satisfaction with its Five Star programme that seeks feedback from customers after every dealer interaction. It asks users to rate their experience out of five, logging the resulting ratings on retailers' websites. With the BMW Group chalking up record sales in 2015, the next 12 months look set to be equally productive.