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BMW to stop supplying police vehicles to UK forces

BMW are moving away from sales to the police and other authorities in favour of retail and corporate customers.

BMW will no longer be supplying police vehicles to UK forces.

The company’s International & Specialist Sales Division closed this week – it was the unit in charge of the sale of specialist vehicles such as those used by forces.

BMW told Car Dealer Magazine that it would be “prioritising sales to retail and corporate customers”.

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.”

An inquest in December into the death of Cumbria PC Nick Dumphreys, who was killed in a road accident, heard that the BMW N57 engine in the cars that Nick and many of his colleagues across the country were driving had a litany of faults - for a four-year period, the vehicles’ N57 engine was failing five to seven times a month in police cars, more than 200 occurrences.

His widow, Kathryn Dumphreys, said that in her view all police forces in the UK should stop their officers from using these vehicles to ensure that no other family endures the pain and suffering that she has gone through.

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