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BMW questions contract extensions

Date: 22 April 2009   |   Author:

BMW's new fleet boss Steve Chater believes the brand's biggest task as the country moves through the recession is to provide information that will help firms struggling to decide what to do with their fleets.

"More and more companies are reviewing their fleet policies and asking if there's an opportunity to save money," said Chater after accepting five BusinessCar awards on behalf of BMW.

With that in mind Chater, who has been with BMW since 1986 and took over as corporate operations manager from the promoted Chris Brownridge at the beginning of this year, said he's educating fleets that contract extensions are not always the correct option:?"As people get some stability back I do believe that to keep extending contracts is not an advantage in every case.

"With new technologies on offer it could work in someone's favour to take a new car. We have to make sure people aren't holding off just because they think it's the right thing to do."

The capital allowance changes are also seen as an opportunity for BMW.

"We've been strong in the premium sector with Efficient Dynamics and with the changes in legislation we have opportunities even where the volume players are operating," said Chater. "We have 120 different models at sub-160g/km. We think 160g/km is as important as 120g/km for business car users and it puts us in a very strong position."

The changes also give the brand another opportunity to open dialogue with customers.

"We need to make sure we build the right relationship with customers and help their business. And I don't mean just turn up and visit - it's about really adding value," Chater concluded.