Company Car Today

Sustainability is gathering pace as a fleet priority, with a “much greater level of engagement and sensitivity around car policies, vehicle usage, acquisition and disposal methods,” BMW corporate sales boss Rob East told Company Car Today. 

“With customers, there are now two key elements of discussion – electrification and sustainability,” East continued. “And the sustainability agenda is gathering pace rapidly.”

He said that the concept of sustainability has moved on from being a corporate social responsibility obligation to something driven at both board and employee levels. 

Coffee with - Rob East - General Manager - BMW Group Corporate Sales - image 2“It’s not just shareholder pressure, it’s employee pressure, it’s about doing the right thing,” said East. “I think it’s a genuine desire, appetite, passion for businesses now to be able to operate in a more sustainable way and we all as individuals, as consumers, as employees, we will have a part to play.”

The company recently revealed the  i Vision Circular concept car (pictured above), designed to achieve a rate of 100% recyclable or recyclable materials. BMW has said it will boost the amount of recycled and recyclable materials in its production cars from 30% to 50%. 

East revealed that BMW is also working on a project to change how its vehicles are delivered, cutting unnecessary mileage. 

“We’re investigating a platform whereby we have a localisation strategy, so the vehicle order is ultimately allocated to the retailer that’s closest to the driver,” he explained. “That begins at ensuring the vehicle comes into the right port in the UK, so vehicles going to Scotland don’t dock in Southampton, for example, and then looking at delivering the car to the driver via their local retailer. 

“The whole sustainability agenda is a critical strategic commercial focus, but what can we do here?” said East. “One thing I can do is try and mitigate and make our distribution model as efficient as it can possibly be.”

BMW is currently going through a consultation process with its retailers ahead of a trial scheme starting in the first quarter of next year. 

An added bonus will, said East, be an improved customer experience. “Rather than it be a third party delivery agent dropping the car off, it’s much stronger if it’s a BMW retailer where we can start to create a relationship with the driver,” he explained. “We can sign them up to Inside Edge, get them on the app and start having that relationship.”

“I don’t want company car drivers to be that forgotten group,” he concluded. “I think that in our industry is a reality sometimes, so we want to make a big difference.”
Paul Barker