BMW has put the brakes on the supply of Police Cars to police forces in the UK. BMW’s International & Specialist Sales Division, situated in Park Lane, Mayfair, closed this week, having previously been in charge of the sale of specialist vehicles, such as those used by police forces in the UK.
BMW told Car Dealer Magazine that it would ‘prioritising’ sales to retail and corporate customers and move away from sales to the police and other authorities.
The halt in sales to the police comes in the wake of many UK forces restricting the use of BMW police cars which use the N57 diesel engine.
Some forces stopped them from being used for high-speed duties, instead operating them for ‘less stressful’ operations. The N57 diesel engine features in a number of BMW police vehicles, including the 330d, 530d, and X5.
BMW said the problem with the N57 engine was down to the ‘particular way’ police use the vehicles and that there was ‘no need for action on any civilian vehicles’.
In a statement, BMW told Car Dealer: “With high demand for our cars continuing to outstrip supply, we will be prioritising sales to our retail and corporate customers in the future and moving away from some areas of our authorities and specialist business.
“BMW Park Lane has historically been responsible for specialist vehicle sales and so now is being restructured.
“It is proposed that some responsibilities will move into the BMW UK National Sales Company (NSC) in Farnborough. BMW Park Lane is now entering into a consultation period with a small number of impacted staff.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said it could not comment on the commercial decision to end the sale of BMWs to the police, but did issue a statement on the problems forces had experienced with BMW models.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on police driving, Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, said: ‘A national position has already been adopted regarding the end of life of the effected BMWs.
‘Vehicles that have been assessed as at risk and unsuitable for police use have been removed from service and their engine made unusable prior to disposal. Any remaining usable BMWs with the engine type identified are subject to rigorous monitoring.
‘Our priority is to ensure the safety and the long-term integrity of the equipment our officers use.’