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Daily news round upBack

Guest opinion: car dealers need to be aware of new Google search changes


Author: Simon Ryan, managing director of Social Advisors, a digital marketing agency.

Today is the day that time finally ran out for old websites.

Starting from today, Google has announced a small, but important change to the way it displays website URLs in mobile searches.

Mobile search results will now display a website’s actual name instead of its URL, along with what Google calls a “breadcrumb-like format” for the URL structure.

The changes are rolling out to mobile search gradually starting in the US today and site breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide.

Google is making the changes because smartphone use is now at the centre of internet use for so many more people. Their objective is to get people to use search on mobile phones and to make it a much better experience.


Six millionth Land Rover rolls off the line at Solihull plant

Land Rover is celebrating the production of its landmark six millionth vehicle by giving it a unique design feature.

The completion of a Yulong White Range Rover LWB Vogue SE on April 2 saw Land Rover hit the milestone and, to celebrate, has been fitted with a bespoke puddle lamp graphic to signify its unique status.

The luxury SUV is being showcased at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, this week, showcasing its one-off motif, which replaces the standard Range Rover silhouette projected by the vehicle’s puddle lamps. The image is created by an inscribed lens within the door mirror-mounted downlight and displaying the Land Rover logo and landmark figure.

Director of group sales operations at Jaguar Land Rover, Andy Goss, said: “For 67 years Land Rover has been building the world’s most capable all-purpose vehicles. Over this period, a range of ground-breaking innovations and technologies have blended great design, refinement and unmatched all-terrain capability.

“It’s fitting that the six millionth Land Rover to be produced is a Range Rover, since this year marks the 45thanniversary of the original Range Rover’s launch and even today, the vehicle remains peerless. With the growth of sales in China since the latest version of the Range Rover was introduced in 2012, it is entirely appropriate that this landmark vehicle is destined for a Chinese customer.”

The six millionth vehicle was built at Land Rover’s Solihull facility, where the company has been producing its world-famous SUVs since 1948 – this month marks the 67th anniversary of the brand. The factory has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, almost trebling production and doubling its workforce.


Volkswagen Transporter T6 unveiled

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has unveiled the sixth-generation of its Transporter model.

The current model sold some two million units around the world during its 11 years in production.

Since the launch of Transporter in 1950, around 12 million vehicles have been produced. Although the Transporter went on sale in Germany and the rest of Europe 65 years ago, right-hand drive versions were only available to special order until 1954 when they became standard production line models. Since then, more than 300,000 Transporters have been sold in the UK.

A completely new generation of TDI engines are being launched for the EU6 markets.

The sixth-generation Transporter will arrive in the UK later this year. Specification and pricing will be confirmed in the near future.


PSR invests in new fleet of Vauxhall Vivaro vans

Platform Service and Repair (PSR) has taken delivery of 23 Vauxhall Vivaros for its technicians, who provide nationwide support to plant hire companies with access platform fleets.

The vans are all long wheelbase Vivaro Sportive CDTi 120 bi-turbo models with LED running lights, colour coded bumpers and wing mirrors and reversing sensors. Specified for driver comfort, they have cruise control, sports seats, Bluetooth and air conditioning. The vans are fully racked out to the engineers’ specifications and the centre front seat folds flat to act like a desk, providing a mobile office space.

Kevin Shadbolt, operations director of IAPS Group, which owns PSR, said: “Our mobile service engineers spend a considerable part of their working lives in their vans so it was important to us to make them comfortable.

“The Sportive drives like a car and the cab has all the modern creature comforts that our drivers wanted. The fuel consumption is also markedly better, which is important when your fleet does well over half a million miles a year. Also this higher specification model has a higher residual value, which benefits us on leasing costs.”



Motability names top dealers in awards scheme

Motability has announced the winners in its Dealer Awards 2014.

The event is designed to reward best practice and to help ensure all Motability customers receive outstanding customer service across the network.

Dealers are judged on how they deliver the Motability Scheme to customers, based on customer feedback and reviews of their performance over the last year.

This year Vertu Motors was voted the National Dealer Group of the Year while Lookers subsidiary Charles Hurst Group in Northern Ireland won the Regional Dealer Group of the Year.

Essex Autogroup won the top website award and Roy Pearman of Peoples Ford Bootle was the Motability specialist of the year.

Pearman said: “I’ve been a Motability specialist for over 23 years.

His main advice to customers is to make sure they have a test drive.

“Ensure the car is comfortable to sit in and is easy to get in and out of. It’s important for customers to think what sort of car should suit their needs for the next three years.

Simon Foulkes, dealer development manager at Motability said: “We constantly receive exceptional feedback about Roy.

“There are no gimmicks, he just makes sure that customers get the vehicle they require, and that they are kept informed throughout the whole application.”

Other award winning Dealers of the Year were:

David Hayton – Morecambe, Lancaster (0 to 40 handovers

Pertwee & Back Ltd – Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (40-80 handovers)

GK Ford Retford – Retford, Nottinghamshire (80 to 200 handovers)

Bristol Street Vauxhall Newcastle – Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (over 200 handovers)


Motorpoint targets young buyers for sales

Motorpoint has teamed up with specialist insurer Marmalade to help sell more cars to young drivers aged between 17 and 24 who typically face high insurance charges.

The supermarket is targeting young buyers on its website, marketing cars that are cheap to insure and branding them “Young Driver Ready”

The cars are also being sold on PCPs through Motorpoint’s own brand product Boomerang.

Marmalade is an insurance company that specialises in offering learner and new driver insurance for young people. It fits a black box to each car to ensure it is being driven safely.

Mark Carpenter, managing director of Motorpoint, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Marmalade to offer this new online service to young drivers – the first of its type for a car supermarket in the UK.

“Not only will young drivers benefit from huge savings off list price on a wide range of new and nearly new low mileage cars from the UK’s leading car supermarket but they will be able to arrange fully comprehensive cover at the click of a button at the same time through Marmalade using our innovative Quick Quote facility.

“This new service from Motorpoint and Marmalade is great news for budget conscious young people looking to drive away in the best possible car at the best possible price.”

Crispin Moger, chief executive officer of Marmalade, said: ״Our exciting new partnership with Motorpoint is great news for young drivers wanting to get savings on newer cars.

“As champions of young drivers, Marmalade understands the importance of getting on the road in the safest possible way but also at the most affordable price.

“Working with Motorpoint we will be able to help many new drivers fulfil that wish and enjoy the independence of driving.״


RAC to provide fleet services to DFC fleet

The RAC has partnered with Belfast-based vehicle management company DFC to provide breakdown recovery, accident management and telematics on all contract hire vehicles.

The RAC telematics software allows vehicles to be tracked remotely. The service also contains mileage records which can be used to assist with mileage expenses claims.

DFC claimed the partnership would drive down costs and provide an insight into how its fleet fleets is functioning.

Recently, the RAC appointed David Wallace as its new business services director as part of the organisation’s plans to develop its B2B arm.

He joined the RAC from Epyx where he spent three years as its sales and business development director. Prior to that, he was at the AA for 12 years, where he led the business services sales team.

“What attracted me to this role is the great energy, creativity and product innovation that I see at the RAC, and the opportunity to make my own contribution to the already excellent service provided to its customers,” said Wallace. “The RAC is in a good position right now, on a clear journey, with a clear direction, and feels like an exciting place to be.


ULEV vehicle registrations hit record levels in Q1, says Go Ultra Low

Registrations of ultra low emission vehicles were at an all-time high in the first quarter according to research by Go Ultra Low.

The registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that more than 41% of all alternatively-fuelled cars registered during Q1 qualified for the plug-in car grant.

That compared to 13% during the same period last year. According to Go Ultra Low, 8573 cars with CO2 emissions lower than 75g/km were registered, up 386% on the same period last year. The most popular vehicle was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV followed by Nissan’s Leaf and the BMW i3.

Car buyers in the south are most likely to buy a ULEV vehicle, followed by Londoners and those in the east of the country, while car buyers in east Yorkshire are least likely to buy a ULEV vehicle.

“The latest plug-in vehicle uptake figures prove that ultra-low emission cars and vans make sense for both private and business users, especially with the potential for fuel costs as low as 2p a mile and reduced whole life running costs,” said Hetal Shah, head of Go Ultra Low.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 20/04/2015