Growing waistbands impact size of company car fleets

The size of UK company car fleets is getting bigger; but not in terms of the number of cars.

Luxury car manufacturers, such as BMW Group, are looking at adjustments to their cars in order to accommodate the growing number of obese people in the UK.

While waistbands continue to grow, manufacturers are considering fitting cars with enhancements such as wider seats, parking distance control monitors and blind spot detectors.

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In its Innovation days connected drive 2011 report, published in October, BMW Group details how body size, along with other factors such as age, affects mobility while driving.

BMW Group tested volunteers to see how weight can affect things, such as getting in and out of cars and looking over their shoulder while reversing.

The study found that seat belt extenders or a reversing camera could be a necessary ergonomic requirement as obesity becomes a growing problem.

Peer-Oliver Wagner, head of ergonomics and convenience at BMW Group, said: “We design our cars for people from birth up to advanced age.

“We pay attention to children and child seats when designing cars, just as we do to the requirements of an aging society. And in the same way, we observe very closely the anthropometric data and changes in the entire world population.”

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