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New 1-series designed with one eye on corporate buyers

Date: 10 August 2011

BMW's second-generation 1-series has been developed with corporate buyers in mind, according to UK product operations manager James Morrison.

With 64% of the model's UK sales in 2012 to the fleet sector, Morrison said: "The development of this car has been tied in with making sure it still appeals to the corporate market."

This means maximising RVs with standard kit such as Bluetooth and a 6.5in flatscreen monitor on the SE trim, the most popular in terms of fleet sales. "These features gives the car a feeling of quality," added Morrison.

He continued that the new car will attack the A3 Sportback and VW Golf as well as drivers of high-end Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and Toyota Auris models. "The car is now within these people's reach. They now want to drive a premium car in that class," Morrison said. He added that, for the fleet market, the challenge is to put across the rational argument for the car, taking into consideration CO2 and consumption.

Across the range, petrol models have increased by £800 while diesel iterations rise by £400. However, the 120d SE has come down in price from its predecessor by £290.

The most efficient 1-series, the 99g/km 116d ED, will arrive in March next year. "The 320d ED has taken the fleet market by storm. We are expecting the 116d ED to be equally popular for businesses when it arrives.

"We've fought really hard from a UK perspective to get the car to lower CO2. It's now the first in segment for 99g/km on a five-door car with 16in alloy wheels."

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