BSM Dump Vauxhall

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BSM Dump Vauxhall

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:13 am

Britain's biggest driving school is dumping Vauxhall and turning instead to Italian manufacturer Fiat. Skip related content
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The British School of Motoring is calling time on a 16-year partnership by switching its basic learner car from the Vauxhall Corsa to the Fiat 500.
The Italian giant will supply 14,000 cars to BSM over four years from its factory in Poland.
The news is another blow to Vauxhall whose future lies in the balance over the sale of its owner General Motors Europe.
The troubled carmaker has supplied thousands of Corsas and Astras to BSM over the years.
While the Corsas are produced in Spain, the Astras are made at Vauxhalls plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, where hundreds of jobs are already at risk over the GM sale.
As the UK's most popular driving school, the deal with BSM means that Fiat now has prime marketing access to over 130,000 new drivers.
The loss to Vauxhaul will mean a huge dent in GM's market share in the UK.
According to the motoring school, over 70% of learners buy the same model of car in which they learnt.
While there has been some criticism of BSM for not supporting a British based industry, Jerry Blackett, chief executive of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce told Sky's Jeff Randall Live buying British is not always best.
"If it's a great product at a great price then buy locally, but don't flip that into some sort of protectionism response.
"The real message here is we're in a globally competitive business and our local businesses are much better thinking about how they design products and servrices that will sell anywhere in the world and they should then deserve a fair crack at supplying locally."
He warned businesses: "Don't kid yourself that you can survive, that the British economy can survive, just by selling to each other."
However, Richard Harlow, the managing director of, said continental countries are much better at supporting their own industries.
"We are not on a level playing field, we are not supported enough by our government in any way shape or form," he told Jeff Randall.
"We need to work together as the general public to support our own industies, otherwise our industry will not survive."
Abu Shafi, BSM's chief executive, said the Corsa no longer appealed to its core customers, who are mainly young, female and want to drive a fashionable car.
The decision to switch was triggered by Vauxhall, which said earlier this year that it could no longer afford to supply vehicles free of charge to BSM.
Meetings were held with 17 motor manufacturers before settling on the Italian carmaker.
Mr Shafi said the Fiat 500, voted car of the year in 2008, was marginally more expensive than the Corsa, but was better on fuel economy, safety and emissions.
As a sweetener to lure new drivers, Fiat has said it will offer 500 off the cost of a new car for anyone passing first time.

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