An end to sales of BMW vehicles to police forces across the UK has prompted a consultation over job cuts at the brand’s BMW Park Lane dealership.
Around 20 staff are understood to be impacted by a restructure which will close the German premium carmaker’s International & Specialist Sales Division, based at the OEM-owned retail site in Mayfair.
BMW’s role as a national supplier of police cars to forces across the UK has ended following the identification of faults with its N57 diesel engine associated to the high mileage and long periods of engine idling followed by sharp acceleration which were confined to police vehicles.
In a statement issued to AM, a spokesperson for BMW UK said: “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.”
A prestige car showroom in one of the wealthiest parts of London, and also home to the German brand’s diplomatic vehicle sales operation in the UK, BMW Group Park Lane has consistently been unprofitable.
Employing more than 200 staff, its accounts at Companies House show the AM100 dealer group last recorded a pre-tax profit in 2010, when it made just £22,000 from £236 million revenues.
BMW’s police car engine faults culminated in the death of PC Nicholas Dumphreys, of Cumbria Police, who was killed in a collision when his BMW 330 failed on the M6 motorway on January 26, 2020.
An inquest into his death heard that BMW first investigated faults experienced by officers driving police vehicles – most likely to result in a fire – back in 2016.
Lancs Live reported last month that OEM had had instructed BMW UK to advise police forces to upgrade the type of oil used and to shorten oil change intervals to no longer than 10,000 miles.
Cumbria Police was not a member of the National Association of Police Fleet Managers which received the advice, however.