BMW to simplify choice lists for fleets
Matt Bristow, head of corporate sales, said the range currently includes over 500 variants including the new Business lines, xDrive and Navigation models – the latter designed to make it easier to set residual values.
There are no targets for how much this will shrink by, and it was too early to say how it will be done, but Bristow said simplifying the range without reducing choice will be priority number one for 2014 and that the company is working with residual value setters during the process.
Meanwhile, BMW is continuing to expand its new 2 Series and 4 Series model lines. The latter will gain the coupe-like X4 late this year, following the 4 Series Gran Coupe which is set to be a key corporate car for the brand. It features four frameless doors and a hatchback rear, and is the first 4 Series to use the 18d diesel engine, offering CO2 emissions of 121g/km with the automatic or manual gearbox. BMW expects around 60% will go to fleets.
The 2 Series Active Tourer joins the range from May – BMW’s first MPV and, based on a modified MINI platform, the brand’s first ever front-wheel drive car. Sharing the MINI’s three and four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, the 218d Active Tourer will offer 109g/km CO2 emissions from launch, later to be followed by the three-cylinder 216d which is likely to emit just under sub-100g/km.
Alex Morgan, product manager for small cars, said sharing the platform and engines with MINI created strong economies of scale which would allow the car to be priced just under the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and to attract the targeted 75% conquest sales. Using front wheel drive creates extra space, and the platform can also be stretched to accommodate seven seats.
‘The chassis is unique to every car on the platform, so it will drive like a BMW,’ he added. ‘We have ten years of experience with MINI, and we know how to build a good-driving front-wheel drive car. It opens us up to customers we’ve never had before.’