New figures from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association reveal that BMW is the fastest growing premium brand manufacturer in terms of long term leasing vehicle acquisitions by contract hire companies.
According to the newly published 2002 BVRLA Industry Review, BMW's share of the leasing market has reached an all-time high of 8.8% - 2.7 percentage points up on the previous study results.
BMW's share of the UK contract hire market has increased from 5.7% in 1999 due to a combination of company car driver demand and the increasing popularity of leasing as a fleet funding mechanism at the expense of outright purchase among businesses, according to BVRLA leasing company members.
Bernard Bradley, BMW General Manager - Corporate Sales, said: "Excellent residual values and competitive whole life costs have been the hallmarks of BMW for many years and have contributed to our record share of the leasing market.
"However, BMW has also benefited from April's introduction of a company car tax system based on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions. Not only are our vehicles CO2 efficient, but the new tax regime has made company car drivers more aware than ever of their benefit-in-kind tax bills.
"With many fleets offering employees a wider choice of company car, drivers are looking to obtain as much car as they can for their money and that is playing to BMW's strengths."
BMW now accounts for almost 10% of contract hire and leasing company VELO's 14,000-strong fleet and it is anticipated that this figure will grow over the coming years, both as a result of organic growth and incremental business.
Mike McRae, VELO's Operations Director, said: "Traditionally, BMW has maintained a strong presence amongst VELO's long-standing City-based clients. VELO is finding a new market... [continues]
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