MD of BMW Ireland: 'I will buy a hybrid, just not yet'
Paulo Alves, the managing director of BMW Ireland, is a happy man. But it isn't just the boom in sales that is making the Portuguese native smile. He got married this year, has a new dog and travels on a motorbike to see the dealers whenever he can. His enthusiasm for biking is infectious.
On the business side it has been a busy and profitable year. Between the BMW and Mini marques, his company has launched seven new cars and given a facelift to 10. There has been great progress on customer satisfaction too.
The company is moving fast in the plug-in hybrid sector, but Paulo can't see diesel going entirely, as he believes it can be cleaned up with the right technology and will still be needed for big mileage operators. The company is also investigating hydrogen and fuel cell power.
Pressed on what he would buy for himself now, Paulo says that while petrol is coming back in a strong way, he would still buy diesel for the massive power surge and "brilliant performance". However, in five year's time he would be buying a plug-in hybrid with a petrol engine.
BMW and Mini are very big players in the personal contract plan market and Paulo points out that the very high residuals of the marques make them good value -despite the premium price you are paying for the cars. Campbell Spray