More young people will learn to drive in Vauxhall cars than ever before following the signing of a huge new order between driver training experts BSM and Vauxhall Motors for over 22,000 vehicles worth more than £200m at showroom prices.
The deal was signed on the Vauxhall stand at this year's British International Motor Show at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre on the ninth anniversary of the first deal between the two companies back in 1993.
BSM, the country's largest driver training organisation with more than 2,600 instructors operating from 107 high street centres across the UK, currently trains around 170,000 learners a year in Vauxhall Corsas.
However, the new contract will give BSM instructors and learners greater and wider choice of vehicles than ever before as it will include Astra and the new mini-MPV Meriva, due to be launched in the summer, for the first time.
The BSM order includes the Corsa 1.0 litre 12v Elegance three door, the Corsa 1.2 litre 16v Elegance five door, and the Corsa 1.4 litre 16v Elegance five door automatic. The inclusion of Astra centres on the 1.6 litre 8v LS five door model, while trim levels for Meriva, which was unveiled in the UK for the first time last week at the start of the Motor Show, have still to be announced.
The announcement of the huge new order comes at the same time as the launch of BSM's striking new orange livery mirroring that of its parent company, motoring organisation RAC.
BSM managing director Paul Atkinson said his company had opted to renew its contract with Vauxhall Motors rather than choose vehicles from another manufacturer because "we remain convinced that Vauxhall makes the best cars to meet our needs as market leaders in the learner driver field and because we are convinced that they are the best partner for BSM.
"Orange is a particularly suitable choice as BSM's new corporate colour, with its modern, more youthful 'feel'. And we believe that Vauxhall cars are modern, at the cutting edge of technology and have a real relevance to a younger market. As such, they make the ideal fit with us.
"We first became involved with Vauxhall in 1993 at the time of the launch of a super new car, the Vauxhall Corsa, when we had some 2,000 instructors. Nine years on, with 2,650 instructors, we are still with Corsa. We firmly believe that with the exciting extensions to the range that we have seen, this car still has a huge amount of life and appeal in it.
"Now, with the Astra coming on board - and with the new Astra to be launched in the summer of 2004 - as well as the Meriva, we are offering learner drivers and our instructors a greater and wider choice of new models than ever before."
Maurice Howkins, Vauxhall fleet sales director said that he was delighted that BSM had again chosen Vauxhall as its exclusive business partner.
"This new arrangement continues a nine year association between BSM and Vauxhall, and although that has been mainly centred around the Corsa, we are very pleased now to be adding the Astra and the new Meriva to the BSM contract.
"This will undoubtedly widen the choice for many thousands of potential new drivers and bring them into contact with a wider variety of Vauxhall cars, so they can experience the true driving experience, the sporty performance and the fun associated with the modern generation of Vauxhalls."Published 2 November 2002