The British School of Motoring (BSM) has ended its 16-year relationship with Vauxhall by swapping it’s basic learner driver vehicle from the Vauxhall Corsa to the Fiat 500.
The move is seen as a major blow to Vauxhall, as BSM claims that around 70 per cent of new licence holders buy the same model in which they leant to drive.
Additionally, BSM is offering a £500 discount on all Fiat cars to drivers who pass their tests with it.
Around 130,000 learner drivers per year will be learning in one of BSM’s 14,000 Fiat 500s. More than 70 per cent of these can be expected to buy the same model in which they learnt to drive in.
Fiat managing director Andrew Humberstone said: “This new partnership with BSM marks a significant return for us into the fleet sector and continues our strategy of commercial growth, the driving influence of which is sound economics, not purely volume.
“Our strategy is not just about selling cars as we have been carefully developing a more strategic approach so as to encourage partnership agreements. As a simple rule of thumb, if we are not making money at a local level, we would not be interested in competing for the business. Our plan is to take the brand up to a higher level. That’s why it’s important to respect our customers by protecting residual values.”
Humberstone maintained that the relationship between Fiat and BSM will be highly beneficial for both brands and that it “will not affect residual values in any negative sense”.