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Daily News Round upBack

Motorcycle registrations continue to grow


The motorcycle market continues to grow with dealers reporting a 10.7% increase in registrations in May, according to Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.

Registrations in May closely resemble the average market increase of 11.3% through the first quarter of 2015.

“The 50cc scooter/moped market continued its downward trend with registrations down -14.4% last month. However on a more positive note the 51-125cc market showed a healthy 20% growth – and 13.7% overall increase this year, totalling 16,500 small bikes on the road. A rise in sales of these models suggests that employment figures are improving, as these bikes are generally purchased for commuting purposes,” said Latham.

“The 651-1000cc sector also showed a 14.2% increase in May – 2769 bikes were registered. The year-to-date growth for this sector is 23%, showing over 11,000 bikes have been put on the road so far this year. These particular models are used mainly for leisure and sport purposes.

“Honda and Yamaha were market leaders in May. In third place was Triumph with 915 motorcycles registered in the month. Triumph also led the market in the over 500cc sector – which is where a high proportion of the market growth is.

“Value motorcycle brand Lexmoto is now selling higher volumes and recorded sixth position with 604 bikes registered, – indicating strong demand for simple budget machines for new and ex-bikers re-entering the market.

“The overall outlook for bike registrations looks positive and is steadily improving compared to previous years. The NMDA are hopeful that the summer months will bring more good news for the motorcycle market”.



The NFDA is to launch a recruitment portal to encourage young people into the auto retail sector and improve the quality of entry-level staff in sales and managerial roles.

Similar in concept to graduate programmes offered in other sectors, the initiative will be a one-stop-shop for young people considering a career in the auto retail industry and will be backed by an NFDA working group made up of HR directors from large franchised dealer groups.



Citroen had the greatest decline in score, down 1.8 to 4.8. It was followed by Jaguar declining 1.5 points and Land Rover declining 1.0 points. Land Rover’s decline is quite significant as its score of 6.8 is the first time it has been beneath a score of 7.0 for a number of surveys. It would also suggest that although profit return is seen as good and investment levels give little cause for concern, dealer standards for Land Rover are becoming more of an issue.

Relationships between franchised dealers and car manufacturers have fallen even further since summer 2014, according to the latest NFDA


DVLA reminds car buyers not to buy a vehicle without a V5C logbook

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is reminding car buyers not to buy a vehicle that doesn’t come with a V5C log book.

Buying a car without a log book comes with a greater risk of it being stolen, and you may be unable to tax it, resulting in a V62 application which can take up to six weeks and costs £25.

Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Sue Robinson said: “The DVLA has confirmed that the V5C is an important document that is necessary in order to tax a vehicle. It is also a good indication that the vehicle was not stolen, as the V5C records the registered keeper of the vehicle.

“The NFDA has always maintained that a reputable dealer will ensure that the V5C is present, whether buying or selling a car. It’s encouraging to see that the DVLA wants to raise awareness of this issue. This will help protect consumers from untrustworthy individuals who give responsible car dealers an undeserved bad name.”


Car salesman warned he could face jail after jury finds him guilty of fraud

A car salesman has been warned he could face jail after a jury convicted him of fraud.

Company director James Rodriguez-Lay (38) had denied attempting a £30,000 “fiddle” on a top of the range Ford Focus which he sold and never delivered.

But a jury at Cardiff Crown Court returned a unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for little more than an hour on Friday, reports Wales Online.

During a week-long trial they had heard from prosecutor Ieuan Morris how the dealer ran Redline Vehicle Solutions Ltd in Barry with a silent partner who was away at sea in the Merchant Navy.

He advertised the Focus on and was paid £30,700 by Toomey Motors in Basildon, Essex.

After giving Redline’s bank details for payment, he contacted the company again within minutes to say there had been a mistake and telling them his personal bank account number instead.

Morris said: “He was overdrawn – he was a person without means – and he decided to commit a fiddle.

“He was blatantly dishonest.”

His Redline backer and silent partner Derek Knox, who had hoped to play a role in the business when he retired as a naval chief engineer, said the first he know about the car was when bailiffs knocked on his door.

He directed them to his business partner, not knowing the cash had gone into a personal account until Rodriguez-Lay called him days later saying “Derek, I’ve —-ed up”.

Rodriguez-Lay admitted during the trial that he lied to Toomeys and to others as the net closed in.

But he said he wasn’t being dishonest but was just “buying time” after the deal “went sour” at the Barry end.

He blamed the third party he said he was acting for in the sale, for not answering the phone when he tried to get the vehicle from them.

Morris said: “They had asked him to sell it for £35,000 and were keeping possession of it meanwhile.”

The prosecutor accused Rodriguez-Lay of living beyond his means by paying £1,350-a-month to rent a house in Cog Road, Sully for his family.

He will be sentenced next month and is now on bail.

But the judge, Recorder Phillip Hartley-Davies warned him: “That doesn’t mean that at the end of the day you will not receive a custodial sentence. All options are open.”


Salary sacrifice ‘boosts’ tax revenues for Treasury

The Government could benefit from salary sacrifice for cars, just as much as employers and employees, a report suggests.

It’s long been established that a salary sacrifice car scheme can help boost an employee’s disposable income and mitigate an employer’s exposure through tax and national insurance (NIC) savings, as well as provide added benefits to staff, some of which might switch out of grey fleet.

However, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), seen exclusively by Fleet News, argues that car schemes provide a net financial benefit to HM Treasury, and deliver a range of benefits to the wider society.

That’s vitally important when the Government’s tax take has come under the spotlight, as it attempts to cut the deficit, and should cement its status as an employee benefit in the eyes of HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

“It is quite clear: an individual salary sacrifice scheme is tax-positive in itself,” said Mark Sinclair, chief operations officer at leasing salary sacrifice provider Tusker, which commissioned the PwC report.

“There is such a misconception in the market place around the net effect of salary sacrifice. There is concern from employers as to whether schemes are sustainable for the long term and, in the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on tax planning. We wanted to demonstrate that, from a tax perspective, salary sacrifice car schemes benefit the UK as a whole.”


Motor industry ‘can now move forward with confidence on GAP’, says The Warranty Group

The motor industry is now in a position to “move forward with confidence” on GAP following this week’s FCA competition remedies announcement, says The Warranty Group.

The company says that while some aspects of the FCA’s findings are disappointing, GAP remains a valuable product to both consumers and dealers, and it is still an essential part of the dealer products portfolio.

Ciaron Whelan, divisional director at The Warranty Group, said: “Today, the main point is that the FCA’s final announcements mean that we all now know exactly where we stand and our view is that GAP remains a very worthwhile product for almost all dealers and a valuable purchase for many, many car buyers.

“We are already in the process of talking to dealers and our partners about how to manage the changes.

“It is important to underline that, in our experience, the vast majority of dealers were already selling GAP in a responsible fashion, so they have little to make in the way of changes.

“The key adjustment is that dealers will need to ensure that they have a consumer focused solution. This means changing their GAP sales structure in order to meet the FCA’s desire to provide customers with a period of time during which they can consider the merits of purchasing the product.

“Really, the main impact will be that dealers will need to be able to provide clear retrospective evidence that they are adhering to the rules.”



Janet Wilkinson honoured for a career at the SMMT

SMMT’s communications manager, Janet Wilkinson, has been awarded an MBE for services to the Motor Industry and Charity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2015. Janet, who has spent virtually all her career at the SMMT, has been responsible for many of the activities and events the organisation runs to help promote the industry to media and other stakeholders. She has also mentored dozens of young people who have gone on to enjoy successful careers in the industry.


Euro 6 truck drivers urged to pay attention to DPFs

DPF Clean Team say truck breakdowns at the height of a nationwide skills shortage could be detrimental

The advice comes from national automotive parts reconditioning specialist, DPF Clean Team, who say drivers should have their DPF filter cleaned rather than replaced when clogged, returning vehicles to the road quickly, and at a lower cost than a full replacement.

DPF Clean Team Director, Cameron Bryce said: “At a time when logistics companies are updating their fleets with the latest Euro-6 trucks in order to benefit from reduced emissions, sustainability, and lower fuel costs, they need to make sure that they are making the most of this investment.

“The cost benefits and efficiencies that these trucks deliver can be wasted if operators need to take vehicles off the road for days to purchase and fit a replacement DPF, in the event of them becoming blocked.

“With an industry-wide driver shortage, every day a driver is not in a cab means lost capacity, unhappy customers, and lost business.”

Should drivers be alerted to the DPF warning light, the advice from DPF Clean Team is to have a filter cleaned rather than replaced.

A DPF clean can be completed and a vehicle returned to the road in a matter of days, which is considerably faster than the time associated with sourcing a new DPF, ordering and receiving the part, and then having it fitted.


Video: dashcam footage captures technician’s pricing conversation

Owner secretly films from his car’s dashcam and decides to never return again

This dashcam footage, which has been viewed more than 3,000 times on YouTube, was filmed while work on the wheel bearing was being carried out, unbeknown to the technicians working on the vehicle.

Two technicians can be heard discussing cost, margins and quotes in an unprofessional manner that could easily cause issue to the watching public.

In the YouTube comments the owner said that he had no particular issue with the conversation, only with the way in which his car was “mistreated by unnecessarily revving the engine.”

The owner also complains in the edited video that the technicians deliberately moved his car to make it difficult for him to move before claiming that he “will not be going back there again.”


Fuel efficiency standards benefit economy and environment

Ambitious new vehicle emissions targets could save European drivers €350 per year, and pay back the cost of the technology within three years.

Campaigners have warned that the European Union is on track to miss its CO2 emissions reduction targets, unless new EU efficiency standards for all road vehicles are introduced by 2025.

Transport is Europe’s second most carbon intensive sector after energy. It produces almost a quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More than 70% of these emissions are produced by road vehicles.

William Todts, transport policy manager at Transport & Environment (T&E) said, “Our research shows one simple fact; without fuel efficiency standards for cars, vans and lorries, EU countries will struggle to meet their 2030 climate obligations.”

As part of its contribution to the UN climate change negotiations, the EU has committed to cutting its overall domestic GHG emissions to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.


Is this the start of a diesel tax? Islington Council charges drivers extra £96 annual parking permit fee from today
Labour-run council targets diesel drivers with added permit fee

More than 9k drivers hit by the move which net the council £1m a year

Experts fear this could see other councils also punishing diesel drivers

Moves comes as there is pressure on government to bring in diesel charge

Source: (the Daily Mail’s online financial website)

Öhlins recall extends to more Ducati models

Suspension recall now effects 2014 Ducati bikes

Suspension manufacturer Öhlins has announced a recall on certain 2014 model year Ducati 1199 Panigale S, Ducati Panigale R, and Ducati Superleggera motorcycles for faulty rear shocks.

The news comes following the manufacturer previously ordering a recall of certain Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati bikes after it was found the shock absorbers may be faulty.

It has now been reported from Öhlins that 2014 Ducati 1199 Panigale, S, R and Superleggera models in North America may have faulty rear shocks.

A statement released by Öhlins stated the nut on the damper rod for these shock absorbers may loosen, resulting in a loss of damping and the possible disassembling of the shock. This obviously becomes a huge safety concern for Ducati owners.

Owners affected will be notified in due course and Ducati dealers will replace the rear shock assembly or send it away to be repaired free of charge.


As yet, there is no news that Ducati owners in the UK and Europe are affected but notification will be released should this change.


Thieves targeting keyless Range Rovers

TOP-END Range Rovers with keyless ignition systems are being targeted by thieves.

It is believed gangs can unlock the cars using a hand-held device, and are stealing the high-end cars to order.

According to the Metropolitan police, more than 300 RangeRovers have been stolen in London since January. That compares to 63 BMW X5s and Series 3 models.

In Brighton, 10 Range Rovers have been stolen recently.

Some insurers are so worried by the spate of thefts they are making off-road parking a provision when they agree to cover these vehicles.

The Times is reporting that an owner of a £100,000 Range Rover was refused insurance cover unless he had underground parking.

This is likely to make secure parking even more attractive to wealthy homeowners in central London, says The Times. Two underground lock-ups were recently on the market for £400,000.

In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover said vehicle theft through the re-programming of remote-entry keys was an on-going problem which affected the whole industry.


European carmakers urge change of tack on CO2 rules

European carmakers warned on Friday that further tightening of carbon emission rules for new vehicles risked damaging their global competitiveness, as EU officials begin work on a new wave of CO2 targets.

Industry leaders meeting in Paris urged the European Union to balance tighter rules for new vehicles with other measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from those already on the road.

“This includes the carbon content of fuels, driver behavior, infrastructure and the potential of intelligenttransport systems,” Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, who was speaking to reporters in his role as current chairman of European automakers association ACEA.

The Commission has set an average CO2 limit of 95 gram per kilometer for new cars in 2021, compared with a European average of 123.4g/km last year. Compliance will add as much as 2,000 euros to production costs per vehicle, ACEA said.

EU officials are due to begin consultations next week on the target and timetable for a subsequent round of emissions cuts.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 15/06/2015