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BMW confirms London Olympics car plans

Date: 12 September 2011   |   Author:

Official London 2012 Olympics car provider BMW has established its plans for sourcing the 4000 cars it will be supplying the event next summer.

The firm has pledged to absorb the numbers through extending contracts, particularly among its captive fleet, rather than have that number of extra BMWs flood on to the used market 12 months from now.

"The cars will be on schedule to come through. It's not incremental volume - there won't be 4000 extra cars to dispose of after the Olympics," BMW fleet boss Stephen Chater told BusinessCar. "We can extend cycles and absorb the volume quite easily."

Chater said there had been some concerns about an additional surge of nearly new BMWs into the market after the event, but by absorbing the cars as part of standard operations, those fears have been quelled. "Rental and lease companies are happy, that was their worry, but we're not going to shoot ourselves in the foot," he said, also joking that he won't be expecting a new company car next summer.

The Olympic fleet will be responsible for transporting athletes, games officials and other key personnel, and Chater said there will be "a lot" of 1-series models, as well as 3-series and the new 119g/km 520d ED model. Other manufacturers will be involved to cover elements BMW can't cater for, such as commercial vehicles and people carriers, although these are still to be confirmed. BMW?will also operate 200 electric vehicles, 40?Mini-e and 160 1-series Active-e vehicles, and the overall fleet average will be under 120g/km.

Chater said partnering the London Olympics, as well as BMW's UK manufacturing bases, proves useful when dealing with large UK fleets. "We're investing in production and we're investing in the Olympics, both positives for the UK economy," he said. "Lots of big corporates are interested in that, they want to know what our approach is in the UK."

Meanwhile, the consultation on the Olympic Route Network, which includes closing roads and lanes and suspending turns, loading bays, bus lanes and pedestrian crossings, has been criticised by London Assembly Conservative Group transport spokesman Richard Tracey. "I have spent the last three years making the point that the Olympic Route Network will cause major disruption to London, but I don't believe that message has got through," he said. "If this consultation was a genuine effort to ascertain the public's views, and there was a will to revise plans accordingly, then I would very much welcome it, but I fear that to believe anything will change would be to exercise hope over expectation."

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