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Daily News Round upBack



The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) has published its monthly market report for May 2015.

The report shows that the average sale price in May increased by £172 on the April 2015 figure from £5,228 to £5,400. However, it was marginally down from £5,420 in May 2014 to £5400 in May 2015.

Sales volumes for May 2015 were down by -10.2% in comparison to the April 2015 figures. In terms of a year-on-year comparison, vehicle auction sales were up by 3% from 103,666 in May 2014 to 106,752 in May 2015.

The percentage of vehicles sold first time during May 2015 was down to 73% in May 2015 from 77% in April 2015, but remained static on the May 2014 figure of 73%.

The price premium for vehicles sold first time decreased to £275 and the average days on site increased to 8.4 days.

Average sale price by age profile for May 2015 increased along all age profiles compared to May 2014. The older profile vehicles have seen the greatest increase in price in percentage terms at 9.7%.

Paul Hill, NAMA chairman, commented, ‘At the wholesale level, conversion rates dipped at the end of May and into June, with average prices falling. When we look at the specifics it is clear that the volume of older ‘budget vehicles’ over 10 years old, reduced but maintained a status quo in price terms. It is only the reduction in volume that has stabilised the price in this sector – this is unlikely to continue as values in other sectors have already begun to decline.

‘There are clear indications that there has been an excess of available stock, and some vendors have been holding out for price and not following the market. My advice is that anyone selling a vehicle needs to react to this market adjustment and follow the advice of their remarketing partners.

‘Holding out for the money is a strategy that invariably costs money, with the vehicles eventually being sold for a value less than was originally bid.

‘It is good to see an increase in buyers in the auction halls again and there is also good quality overage dealer stock attracting interest from buyers. Whilst stock and buyers are there, additional realignment in pricing will be necessary during June, reflecting supply and demand, but the overall market remains positive and well balanced.’


Lookers raises £15,000 for Prince’s Trust charity

Lookers Plc has raised more than £15,000 for the Prince’s Trust charity at an exclusive driving event.

The event, which took place 26-27 May at the Croft Circuit in Yorkshire, gave Lookers clients the chance to get behind the wheel of some of the world’s most iconic vehicles including Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin.

There was also track and off-road vehicles and guests could try their hand at stunts with world record holder and seven-time British Motorsport Champion, Paul Swift.

The event was in memory of John Walls – a leading businessman in the North East and member of the Prince’s Trust Committee. Speaking about his legacy, Lookers Managing Director Nigel McMinn said John was a great influencer who never took no for an answer.

“The Lookers PLC Supercar event was a chance for us to remember Walls and the amazing work he undertook for the Prince’s Trust to give young people a better start in life. We are thrilled to have raised funds in his memory and hope this will ensure continuation of the work he did with the Prince’s Trust.”

Following the driving experiences, guest speakers included former Top Gear “Stig” and James Bond stunt double Ben Collins and Johnny Mowlem a professional British racing driver who is considered to be among the world’s elite sports car drivers.


Kar Auction Services announces expansion into UK

Kar Auction Services has announced that its subsidiary Adesa (UK) Limited has acquired HBC Vehicle Services, headquartered in Canvey Island, England.

HBC Vehicle Services provides salvage collection and disposal services for UK insurance, fleet and accident management companies.

Kar chief executive and chairman Jim Hallett said: “This acquisition is the start of our expansion into new global markets, and we look forward to bringing our remarketing capabilities to the United Kingdom and beyond.

“Kar is unique in that we are able to offer our customers an unmatched range of automotive remarketing services: from online and physical whole car and salvage auctions to floorplan financing and a wide range of used vehicle technology solutions such as Autoniq, TradeRev and DataScan.

“HBC’s reputation for exceptional service makes them a natural fit with our organisation, and we are very pleased to have them join the Kar group of companies.”

Managing director of HBC Vehicle Services Steve Hankins said: “We are and will remain dedicated to our customers. With Kar’s expertise and support, we are excited to accelerate our growth plans and continue to deliver competitive services to the salvage auction industry across the United Kingdom.”

Adesa (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kar Auction Services and is focused on bringing new products and services to the UK automotive marketplace with special emphasis on upstream remarketing services that emphasise efficiency and technology to support franchise and independent retailers.


Former Autotrade­mail team opens trade­-only automotive dealer service Motortrademe

Motortrademe, a new dealer-to-dealer trading platform from the former Autotrademail team, is open for registrations.

It’s designed to offer a “safe trading experience” through rigorous member vetting.

And member of the leadership team Jason Van Wyke said: “We offer members a friendly, and customer orientated service where they can take a far more active part in development. If members want features or enhancements then we will build it.”

In addition, Motortrademe offers perpetually free seller accounts.

“If all you need is to sell stock, Motortrademe offers an easy and free option to do that with no strings attached.”

Motortrademe also offers a deal rating system to further assist with combating poor quality deals.

Built specifically for online trade sales, Motortrademe deal ratings enables members to rate each deal done through the system and ensures that ratings are only available for verified deals done.

Members will have a transparent view on any transactions done through the system, and can rely on this information as a view of satisfaction levels.

“We have seen a great initial uptake over the last two weeks, and so far member feedback has been very encouraging. We have seen hundreds of new member applications and vehicles online, and we feel confident that the market is finally ready for a change”

It has already received a testimonial: “As a car dealer who buys most cars online, I completely understand the importance of getting a real

time ‘dealer to dealer’ platform run by professional people for professional dealers only.

Motortrademe will see the demise of mis­describing stock and see the start of something very special in the trade – trust” ­ Jim Reid, Jim Reid Vehicle Sales.

Vehicles will be free to advertise. There is a single fee of £50 per month (ex VAT) for dealers wanting to purchase stock (site pricing).

The company’s leadership team are Jason Van Wyk and Rachael Morrison (both formerly from Autotrademail), and Fred Freemantle who collectively have more than 35 years of vehicle remarketing and new technology experience and expertise.

The company is offering a free 30 day trial via registration


EU road safety targets at risk as deaths increase in France, Germany and UK

Progress on reducing road deaths in the EU slowed to just -0.6% last year, the worst annual reduction since the first common EU target was set in 2001, according to new analysis published today by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

EU member states now need to cut deaths by almost 8% each year until 2020 to meet the target set in 2010 to halve deaths within a decade.

France, Ireland, Germany and the UK were among the 12 EU member states that saw an increase in the number of road deaths last year compared to 2013.

On a positive note Croatia, Slovenia, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg and Malta all recorded reductions of around 10% or more.

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “It’s very disappointing to see the UK, a road safety champion, dropping its guard in recent years: we are now seeing the fallout with progress slowing and even going into reverse.”

Today’s new figures show that in 2014, more than 200,000 people were seriously injured in road collisions, a rise of 3% in one year.

The numbers of people suffering life-changing injuries have fallen more slowly than deaths for several years and even increased last year.

ETSC is deeply concerned that a planned EU strategic target to reduce serious injuries appears to have been dropped despite being repeatedly promised by the current European Commission.

It is calling for the EU to commit to making key safety technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking (AEB), overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), intelligent seat belt reminders for passenger seats and an interface for alcohol interlock devices to be made standard on all new vehicles.

A proposal for revised vehicle safety standards is expected later this year.


Corsa fill-up breaks £50 barrier

Fuel prices have been steadily increasing over the past three months, with diesel rising by 3.2% to 121.3p a litre and petrol up 5.6% to 116.3p a litre in that period. This equates to a 3.8p a litre rise for diesel and 6.2p a litre increase for petrol between March and May.

Fleets have been tracking the low prices this year and some have been putting in place plans to deal with
the rise.

Chevin Fleet Solutions MD Ashley Sowerby said: “Among the fleets with which we work, we see a wide range of different results when it comes to fuel management. This is a cost area where some fleets have strong and definite policies, while others have a much more laissez-faire attitude and believe the issue cannot really be successfully managed.

“Our experience is that the latter is wrong. Diesel and petrol spending is something that very much responds to determined managerial action.”

The outcome of the election has helped to buffer part of the recent increases. Currency markets reacted well to the majority result, adding five cents to the value of the pound against the dollar. Fuel is traded in American dollars.

The rise means the cost to brim a 60-litre tank from empty in a 2.0-litre diesel Ford Mondeo is now firmly above £70 at £72.80, up from £70.50 in early March. A 1.0-litre petrol Vauxhall Corsa with a 45-litre tank now costs £52.32, up from £49.53.


IAM calls for eco driving test

The Institute of Advanced Motorists is calling on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to introduce an eco driving refresher within the first year of a new driver passing their test.

The comments come as the driving test in the UK reached its 80th birthday on 1 June.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, wants the UK to adopt a similar system to the one in place in Austria, which operates a two-part practical test. It involves an initial assessment followed by a probationary period with a zero tolerance to driving offences and blood alcohol levels.

The second part is made up of five mandatory courses, which include two 50-minute improvement lessons within two to four months of the first practical test, a day’s further training with a “drive psychologist”, and a further two 50-minute, advanced improvement driving courses, which must be done six to 12 months after passing the first test.

Greig said: “A second or apprentice driving test phase is something we believe should be considered alongside graduated driver licensing.

“We would certainly see a place for green driving techniques in a new reformed system so that driving instructors are compelled to teach them.”

Greig told BusinessCar the first step to introducing a two-stage test was to create a green paper consultation document and submit it to the Government for review.


Volvo ‘taken aback’ by plug-in XC90 orders

Volvo has been surprised by the strength of demand for the plug-in version of its new XC90, with the T8 Twin Drive model accounting for up to 20% of advanced orders.

Volvo recently confirmed the T8 would come with a 49g/km emissions figure, rather than the 59g/km provisionally announced, giving the car a four-band company car BIK boost for the next few years, and the company expects further growth in the hybrid as a result.

“We’ve got 1500 sold orders in the UK and we’ve been quite taken aback by the strength of our orders of the T8 plug-in hybrid,” said Volvo UK managing director Nick Connor. “We thought it would be 3-5%, but we’re now at 20%, and that was before we announced it would be sub-50g/km, so we would expect that 20% to rise further because it’s such a strong story for business owners.”

The firm is also considering a front-wheel drive version of the new XC90, to bring the diesel version below 130g/km.


Mercedes dominates fastest selling used cars

Mercedes-Benz dominated the fastest moving used cars sold by dealers in May with five models in the top 10, according to new data published by Auto Trader.

The fasted seller was the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class, which took just 16 days to sell, followed by the 2011 Mazda MX-5 (19 days) and 2013 Mercedes SLK (20 days).

Meanwhile in the regions the 2013 Fiat 500L was the fastest seller, averaging just 14 days in Scotland.

“In the three months since Auto Trader started publishing these figures, models in the top ten have consistently aligned closely to their optimal retail price position,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda Auto Trader’s trade solutions director.

“That should resonate with every dealer because the same principle applies to each car on a forecourt. If you want to sell quickly, price to the retail market – that’s the market as it is now, not as some might suggest it could, should or might be.”

National – Top ten by make and model Days to sell
1 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class Saloon Diesel Manual 16
2 2011 Mazda MX-5 Coupe Petrol Manual 19
3 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK Convertible Diesel Automatic 20
4 2012 Mercedes-Benz B Class Hatchback Diesel Manual 21
5 2010 Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback Petrol Manual 21
6 2009 Nissan Note Hatchback Petrol Automatic 24
7 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLS Saloon Diesel Automatic 24
8 2012 Toyota Prius Hatchback Electric Hybrid Automatic 25
9 2012 Volkswagen Touran MPV Diesel Automatic 25
10 2012 Mercedes-Benz B Class Hatchback Diesel Automatic 25

Source: Auto Trader

Region Regional – best seller by make and model Days to sell
Scotland 2013 Fiat 500L Hatchback Diesel Manual 14
North East 2012 Nissan Qashqai Hatchback Diesel Manual 20
Yorkshire 2013 Citroen C1 Hatchback Petrol Manual 24
East Midlands 2013 Citroen C1 Hatchback Petrol Manual 34
London 2012 Nissan Qashqai Hatchback Petrol Manual 22
South East 2012 Toyota Prius Hatchback Electric Hybrid Automatic 24
South 2013 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Diesel Manual 23
South West 2007 Ford Fiesta Hatchback Petrol Manual 28
Wales 2014 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Diesel Manual 23
West Midlands 2012 Nissan Qashqai Hatchback Diesel Manual 22
North West 2008 BMW 1 Series Hatchback Diesel Manual 18
N.Ireland 2013 Fiat 500 Hatchback Petrol Manual 35


Jet recruits 12 sites to network

Jet has announced that a further 12 sites have joined its network. The latest wins are Ormlie Filling Station in Thurso, Brierley Service Station in Gloucestershire, an MRH site in Grimsby and nine sites in the north east owned by KSC Worldwide.

Jet has secured a multi-million litre volume deal with KSC Worldwide, which is ranked 35 in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies, for its nine Teesside and County Durham sites.

Chirayu Patel, finance director at KSC, commented: “We’d been with our previous fuel supplier for five years and felt it was time to enhance and refresh our sites. Although we spoke to three major brands, Jet offered us a competitive deal and is a well-known, trusted local brand with around 25% market share in our area.

“This, combined with the refinery down the coast offering a secure and flexible supply gave us confidence that Jet is the right choice for us. Our sites have been quickly and expertly rebranded and we’re predicting a very successful future with Jet.”

Carl Smaller, Jet’s territory manager Immingham North & East, added: “Securing KSC’s nine sites in the north east further demonstrates our commitment to the region. The sites are a great mixture of smaller community-based and larger high volume traffic sites on main routes. We’re very much looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with KSC and to further expanding our brand in this key region.”

Jet has also secured its most northerly Scottish site, Ormlie Filling Station in Thurso. This site is owned by Simpson Oils, one of the largest fuel distributors in the far north of Scotland and a longstanding wholesale customer of Phillips 66.


Huge fuel laundering plant raided in Gloucestershire

One hundred thousand litres of laundered fuel has been discovered after a raid by officers from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Gloucestershire police.

The raid took place on Monday night at industrial premises at Coleford in Gloucestershire, and a 49-year-old man from the Forest of Dean was arrested on suspicion of duty evasion.

An HMRC spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that around 100,000 litres of illicit fuel have been seized from a warehouse unit in Coleford, Gloucestershire this week. Our investigators and road fuel officers, supported by Gloucestershire Police and experienced fuel removers, have dismantled suspected fuel laundering equipment, fuel pumps and storage tanks and also removed a quantity of waste material from the site. We thank local businesses for their cooperation during the operation. Our enquiries are still ongoing and we will provide further details at a later stage.”

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said the search was carried out after “many months” of information gathering by its Force Intelligence Bureau.


Pay at pump hydrogen sites to open in autumn

The UK’s first pay at pump hydrogen refuelling facilities are scheduled to open in London in the autumn.

In an update for investors, ITM Power, said HyFIVE, an EU funded project (with partners BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota), is to deploy three hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) in London.

Two sites have been identified and received planning permission. The first is at the National Physical Laboratory’s National Measurement Institute, in Teddington close to the A316 and A308. Civil engineering on the site is due to start this month with the site opening to the public in autumn this year.

The second site is at Imperial West, Imperial College London’s new campus in White City, a regeneration area close to the A40. The ground works are planned for August, enabling commissioning over the coming months, with the site also opening to the public in the autumn. Siting activities continue for the third HyFIVE site to complement the other two sites.

In its update ITM said: “All three sites will provide pay at pump hydrogen refuelling for the first time in the UK.”

H2ME, another EU project, will deploy a further two HRS in London and ITM Power said it has a global fuel retailer partner to provide these two sites. Public opening is planned for summer 2016.

The company said it would welcome approaches from land owners for a further four stations in London.

ITM Power said it was involved with the British Compressed Gases Association, the Energy Institute and the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration in the development of regulations and standards to facilitate hydrogen fuelling being co-located with petrol dispensing on forecourts.

Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power plc, commented: “ITM Power is building a valuable portfolio of refuelling stations in the UK centred on London, which will provide strong commercial experience in the manufacture, deployment and operation of hydrogen refuelling stations.”



Almost three in five (59%) British parents with children aged 17-25 contribute financially to their child’s motoring costs, according to research revealed today by Kwik Fit.

The average contribution towards these motoring costs is £381 per year, resulting in a total annual cost to the nation’s parents of £2bn.

One in five parents (20%) say they will buy a car for their child or contribute towards their first car purchase, 16% help cover the cost of car maintenance including servicing and MOTs, 15% help with insurance costs, and 11% help fund any repairs after an accident.

When asking their parents for help with their motoring budget, young drivers would be wise to approach mum first. Mothers appear to be more generous, saying that on average they spend £396 on their child’s motoring, compared to £367 for dads. Many parents spend a lot more than this – 9% say they spend more than £1,000 a year on their child’s motoring.

This financial support seems to continue long after a driver’s first years on the road. 43% of parents with 26-30 year old offspring say they still contribute to their child’s motoring budget, and over a third of parents (36%) with children aged 31-35 are still dipping into their own pockets.

When asked why they were willing to offer such generous contributions, over a third (35%) of parents said it was to ensure their child was driving a vehicle that they knew was safe. Almost half (48%) said that they helped fund their child’s motoring expenses because they were unable to afford it themselves.



Fix Auto UK has announced that Forward Motors Ltd of Malvern has joined its network and will now operate as Fix Auto Malvern.

The 16,000sqft, Kitemark-accredited bodyshop is situated on Spring Lane North, in the shadows of the imposing Malvern Hills, and is owned and managed by Andrew Ridley and his wife Pamela.

A team of 12 productives, assisted by two customer service personnel, ensure more than 120 vehicles a month are repaired by the bodyshop, which holds no fewer than 11 vehicle manufacturer approvals including VW Group, Honda, Volvo, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota and Lexus.

Commenting on his decision to join the Fix Auto Network, Andrew Ridley said, ‘The prospect of being part of a large network of bodyshops, each independently owned, really appeals to me. I firmly believe in learning from other businesses and, from what I can see, Fix Auto UK provides us with an opportunity to do just that.’



Those in the automotive industry are least likely to receive training while automotive workers, above most other sectors, believe training is essential to their jobs

In time for Adult Learners’ Week 2015, a new survey has revealed how professionals working in the automotive sector are one of the least likely to receive training at work, despite believing constant development is essential to stay ahead of advancements in the industry.

CV-Library, the UK’s leading job site, conducted the survey to establish how the country’s professionals feel about training and development opportunities available to them at work.
Over 2,300 people responded across all sectors, revealing those working in automotive feel very dissatisfied. Key findings revealed:

. 95.2% of automotive workers believe basic training is essential to stay ahead of advancements in the sector, one of the highest in the nation
. Despite this, over half (54.3%) of automotive professionals revealed they have no access to training, which is significantly more than the national average of 29.6%
. When training is provided, 95.2% of automotive employees feel more valued at work and would be more inclined to stay with the business

In addition to this, 76.2% of automotive professionals felt undervalued by their employer due to the lack of training, showing a strong correlation between career development and job satisfaction. The results send a clear message to businesses, suggesting that the implementation of a comprehensive training and development programme would not only increase staff morale and job satisfaction, but also staff loyalty and retention.

In an industry where staff turnover can be high, it’s also interesting to know that 90.5% of UK workers would be less likely to leave their current employer if they were offered training; this figure increases to 95.2% for automotive professionals.

The news comes in time for Adult Learners’ Week 2015, which is a national celebration of lifelong learning and aims to inspire individuals and businesses alike to ‘have a go’.

To find out more about Adult Learners’ Week, see

To find out more about CV-Library and the training courses it offers, see


EU urged to set ‘challenging’ 2025 car emissions goal

Four EU nations and European politicians from across the political divide called on the European Commission to publish next year a challenging 2025 emissions standard for new cars.

Limits on how much CO2 cars can emit has had a major impact on cutting fuel consumption and improving air quality in the European Union.

The latest limit of 95 grams per km by 2021 was only agreed after lengthy argument and extra concessions to satisfy Germany, home to luxury car manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, which mostly sell larger, more powerful cars with high emissions.

The Commission has committed itself to assessing the range of 68g/km to 78 g/km for 2025. A group of Green, center-right and liberal members of the European Parliament called on the Commission in a letter dated June 17 to confirm it would publish 2025 targets next year.

Separately, the environment or transport ministers from Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden lent their support to publication in 2016 of “challenging new targets for 2025.” They did not specify a level.

A Commission official said a review of post-2020 car and light commercial vehicle standards had already been announced for 2016-2017 and there would be extensive consultation involving all those affected.

In a speech in Brussels on Thursday, Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said road transport, responsible for roughly 20 percent of EU carbon emissions, needed to play its part in achieving an EU pledge to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.

Post-2020 standards would be “ambitious but achievable,” he said.

Erik Jonnaert, secretary general of the European carmakers lobby group, ACEA, said any future targets had to take into account a global perspective “to safeguard the competitiveness of the industry.” He said the industry would only be in a realistic position to make any new commitments beyond 2020 once it had assessed the uptake of technologies such as electric and hybrid cars.


Chris Evans promises more motorbikes for Top Gear revival

Enthusiastic Clarkson replacement set to transform BBC’s flagship show


Top Gear’s new host Chris Evans is keen to give the show more va-va-voom with more bikes set to be featured on the show, it has emerged.


The BBC Radio 2 breakfast show presenter made the comment on Twitter yesterday morning in a bid to bring his own unique style to the car-focused show.


Evans wrote: “There will be more motorbikes on the new Top Gear. Do you think we should go to The TT?’


The promise comes as Jeremy Clarkson revealed he turned down the offer of a return just last week.


Evans has been known to give airtime on his Radio 2 show to bikes and his annual charitable event, Car Fest, has been a huge hit since launch.


Speculation surrounding who will join Evans as co-presenters sees Jodie Kidd topping bookie’s predictions with odds of 1/3, as well as Guy Martin following in a close second.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 19/06/2015