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Daily news round upBack

Jaguar Land Rover signs up JudgeService to help dealers target lost sales


Jaguar Land Rover has appointed car dealer review website JudgeService as one of four preferred suppliers to provide lost sales follow-ups to 220 UK dealerships.

As part of the lost sales management programme, dealers will run a programme to identify where sales may have been lost and to create new opportunities for the sales team.

JudgeService’s ProAct survey will be offered to dealers looking for independent customer feedback on their dealership visit.

ProAct uses targeted surveys to give dealers information about lost sales and what changes they can make to ensure future opportunities and prospects are maximised.

It also aims to enhance customer service by enabling dealers to evaluate how a customer feels about their buying experience, what they think of a dealership and if they have identified any issues in the process.


Guest opinion: failure to answer calls costing dealers a fortune in lost business

Three years ago a friend of mine wrote off her car in an accident, so unexpectedly found herself in the market for a new one.

She trawled the showrooms finally settling on a shiny new family four door.

The buying experience itself was reported as reasonably painless, and at that point she was on board, excited about her new wheels and happy with the dealer experience.

So, will she go back to that dealership when she’s looking for her next car in the future?

No, they’ve lost her – and for two simple reasons.

Firstly, on each occasion she’s called back since buying the car the staff have repeatedly asked if she has been in touch with them before (when a good CRM system would know this and with a full call history would make the caller feel important). Secondly, she’s been plagued with delays in getting call backs, and worse at times, no call back at all.

Yet, it’s a well-known fact that one of the best and easiest ways to increase sales and profitability is to upsell to your existing customers.

You’ve already opened the door to them and they are virtually inviting you in for a cup of tea.



EV charge point procurement guide launched for fleets

The UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (UK EVSE) Association has launched its first electric vehicle charge point procurement guide.

The document, a general procurement guide for private and public sector organisations wishing to purchase EV charging equipment, has been written by Cenex, the UK EVSE Secretariat.

Editorial and advisory input has been provided by UK EVSE members, who include charge point manufacturers, charge point network operators, charge point testing service and equipment suppliers, and maintenance providers.


Van Monster launches branch in Cardiff

Used commercial vehicle retailer, Van Monster, has joined sister company Northgate by launching a new branch in Cardiff next to Northgate’s current location.

The new branch is situated just off the A48 (M), which links Cardiff to Newport. In close proximity to the M4, the branch provides important transport access around the catchment area and is predicted to sell between 300 and 400 vans a year.

Shelley Emery, south area manager at Van Monster, said: “The Cardiff branch is Van Monster’s third joint branch with Northgate. We’ve seen huge success from this hybrid approach in previous cases in Watford and Wimbledon, and are looking forward to expanding our offering across the South West.”

Heading up the new Cardiff branch, Dene Jones, added: “There is a real demand for quality used commercial vehicles from local businesses, so naturally we are keen to plug this gap.”


Suzuki cuts prices of OE parts by 15%

The parts categories include crash related items including headlamp and mirror assemblies, passenger airbag modules and rear bumpers.

Suzuki genuine parts are available for all cars dating back to the 1990s.

Wayne Dye, general manager of the parts and accessories division at Suzuki (GB) said: “The latest reduction further quashes the common perception by insurers that using independently sourced parts are cheaper than those which are genuine when assessing vehicles for repair.

“It is important that manufacturer-approved components are turned to as a priority when estimating repairs.

“This could make all the difference between keeping a car on the road, and writing it off,” he said.

Keith Ruggles, director of the Oxford Automotive Group (OAG), which manages Suzuki’s bodyshop programme, said: “This is a very positive move to reduce the average repair cost for insurers and subsequently the cost of ownership for Suzuki customers.

It will also help to reduce the number of Suzuki cars that become subject to a total loss, allowing them to be repaired using Suzuki genuine parts.”


Mitsubishi appoints Horizon-Magna in Salisbury

The group already represents the brand in Poole, Dorset.

Dealer principal Tony Roberts said: “We’re really pleased with the new showroom and workshop. We think it has turned out incredibly well.

“Salisbury is a new territory for Mitsubishi but I believe the Mitsubishi range is extremely well suited to the rural area that we are in.

“The experience that we’ve gained at Poole with colleagues who’ve many years of Mitsubishi experience will, I know, offer customers the highest levels of service and expertise.”

The site of the dealership has been a garage since the 1920s and was taken over by Horizon-Magna Motor Group in 2002.

Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: ‘We are delighted that Poole Mitsubishi has proved so successful that Tony and his team are now opening a new dealership in Salisbury. A lot of work has gone into the new site and it looks fantastic. We wish them every success for the future.”

Mitsubishi has been growing in the UK on the back of new product like the Outlander PHEV, which has sold more than 10,000 units since launch.

Last year Mitsubish car sales rose 75% to 15,805 units and commercial vehicles 17.2% to 6,946.


Latest Euro NCAP results revealed

The new Audi TT has been awarded a four-star safety rating, and both the Renault Traffic and Vauxhall Vivaro have been awarded three stars in the latest Euro NCAP tests.

The third generation TT went on sale in 2014 without a safety rating for the European market, which the testing body said caused controversy in the UK.

“Audi has to be invited by Euro NCAP to have the car tested and we couldn’t just present it them,” an Audi spokesman told BusinessCar.

It missed out on the maximum five stars due to it not having safety systems such as an autonomous braking system. The TT was also the first car to be tested under the body’s 2015 procedures.

Euro NCAP has developed a new full-width barrier frontal test to compliment the frontal offset deformation test. The test specifies that for the first time a small female driver and rear-seat passenger have to be seated in the vehicle during the test.

The two vans were tested under Euro NCAP’s current heavy vehicles process. Euro NCAP said that from 2016 onwards van testing would be aligned to car testing as they will share identical test procedures.



Fiat bets on new 500X for fleet

Fiat is hoping to bolster its fleet sales and break into the top 15 fleet manufacturers in the UK this year with the arrival of the new small SUV 500X this week.

Fiat increased its fleet car sales by 16% to 24,195 units last year, which put it in 17th position just behind Honda.

The Italian firm has built its brand in the UK around its 500 supermini, which represented more than half (55.5%) of its corporate sales last year. Fiat is hoping to trade on the style and goodwill built up by the 500 to attract 7000 conquest customers with the 500X.

The 500 is the brand’s only model to make it into the top 50 best-selling fleet cars last year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with an increase of 23.5% to 13,437 units.
Kate McLaren, Fiat‘s new head of brand in the UK, said the company would also be looking to actively convert up to 3000 customers that have bought a 500 supermini in the past to the 500X.

She said: “We need to replicate the success we’ve had with the 500 with the 500X.

“We need to play a part in all channels with the 500X, not just retail. Motability and user chooser business will be big for us and we have expanded our corporate sales team to from 16 to 30 people in order to grow our fleet volumes.”

Fiat already has the larger 500L MPV but McLaren wants the 500X to sit beneath it in the range and compete in the rapidly expanding segment that includes the Mini Countryman, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. McLaren believes there is room for the 500X to steal sales as the segment has grown from 55,000 units in the total UK market in 2012 to a predicted 180,000 units market this year.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 22/04/2015