Scrappage: killed by greed
If you don’t want to know how BMW and their Dealers regard their corporate heritage, look away now…
BMW (UK) Limited
For the attention of Mr. Tim Abbott – Managing Director
This morning I was in conversation with a member of staff at Crossflags in Dumfries, when I spotted a Triumph Mayflower in the furthest corner of their premises. I made mention of this and was told that it was ‘a sad tale’. The car had been traded in for a new MINI under the Scrappage Scheme and, as disposal of scrappage cars is dealt with centrally by BMW UK, the Dealer has no control over its fate.
It had a look at the car – not a concours example, and the Mayflower was not remembered as a high point in Triumph’s distinguished oeuvre. However, there is something wrong when a very rare car which is roadworthy after 58 years is condemned to enforced destruction.
I know that this is down to its owner’s financially-based decision and is no fault of BMW or their Dealer. Nevertheless, being innocently complicit in what is possibly the oldest and rarest scrappage trade-in is scarcely a feather in the cap of the custodian of two of the greatest surviving names in British motoring history.
I also note that BMW own the Triumph name, a company founded by Siegfried Bettmann from Nuremberg in the 1880s, and the oldest and most successful previous example of an Anglo-German automotive enterprise.
There is surely still an opportunity to turn a rather sad story into a bit of “feel-good” publicity. There must be museums and enthusiasts clubs who would happily take care of this rare and rather charming car.
I eagerly await your response on this matter.
BMW’s first response:
BMW Customer Service
(01 344) 426565
(01 344) 480545
September 29, 2009
Dear Mr Leitch
Thank you for your letter dated September 19, 2009 addressed to Mr. Abbott.
Your letter has been passed to me as I am responsible for the investigation and response to all customer-related queries of this nature. I am currently investigating the issue you have raised and when I have completed my enquiries I will be in a position to offer you a further response.
In closing, l am sorry you have had cause to contact us under such circumstances and would like to thank you for bringing your concerns to our notice.
Customer Service Manager
I am put in mind of the response of Ayatollah Khalkhali, the hanging judge of the Iranian revolution in relation to the sentence served on Amir-Abbas Hoveida, former Prime Minister of Iran under the Shah:
‘Stories of his cruelty were legion. One of his first victims was Amir-Abbas Hoveida, the Shah’s Prime Minister for eight years. After sentence had been passed, pleas for clemency poured in from all over the world and it was said that Khalkhali was told by telephone to stay the execution. Khalkhali replied that he would go and see what was happening. He then went to Hoveida and either shot him himself or instructed a minion to do the deed. “I’m sorry,” he told the person at the other end of the telephone, “the sentence has already been carried out”.’