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Daily News Round UpBack

Average used car values up 1.9%, says BCA

UsedCars

Average used car values rose by 1.9% or £154 month-on-month in July, according to the latest figures from BCA.

Year-on-year, values continue to increase with the average value of a car sold by BCA in July 2015 up by £206 (2.6%), compared to July 2014.

Average values for dealer part-exchange cars fell slightly by £10, but at £4,268 were the fourth highest ever recorded by BCA. Average nearly-new values improved by nearly £900.

Average values for dealer part-exchange cars fell slightly by just £10, but at £4,268 were the fourth highest ever recorded by BCA. Year-on-year values remain ahead by £203 (4.9%), with CAP Clean performance ahead by nearly two points compared to a year ago.

Nearly-new values improved to £21,250, the highest average monthly value since January this year. Model mix has a significant effect in this very low volume sector. CAP Clean performance imporved slightly to 99.57%.

Simon Henstock, BCA’s UK operations director, said: “Supply and demand remain well balanced, with conversion rates improving in July, despite the typical summer slowdown the market experiences once the summer holiday period begins.

“Sales have been well attended throughout the auction network in July and online bidding has been strong, but it is noticeable that buyers are being more selective.

“Condition, preparation and presentation is important and it is worth considering SMART repairs for those cars that have suffered low level cosmetic damage in the shape of car park dents, stone chips and damage to alloy wheels.”

Henstock said sellers have generally been receptive to market sentiment in July, setting sensible reserves that have seen sale conversion rates at “healthy levels”.

He said: “There is little to be gained by over valuing cars, particularly when there is increasing competition for the buyer’s wallet.”

BCA average used car values year-on-year

Fleet and lease cars averaged £9,662 in July, remaining at near record levels for BCA, as they have done for most of 2015, despite falling by £65 (0.6%) compared to June.

The past six months have recorded the six highest average monthly values on record for the fleet and lease sector. Retained value against original MRP (manufacturers retail price) fell marginally to 41.69% over the month, with age and mileage broadly static.

Average values were up by £251 (2.6%) compared to July 2014, with performance against CAP Clean up by a point and retained value marginally down on 2014.

Source: am-online.com

Jailed car dealer’s phone plays Great Escape theme in the dock

Moments after a second hand car dealer was sentenced to five months at Birmingham Crown Court his phone started to play the theme to the Great Escape.

The tune played from the dock before 48-year-old Neil Gaffney was lead from the dock, reports the Birmingham Mail.

The court had heard that Gaffney, from Kings Norton, had conned a family into buying a Nissan Terrano for £1,400 from him which he claimed drove as almost new.

In fact it turned out to be a badly corroded vehicle which was potentially dangerous to drive.

The victims, who had five children, had to then take out a loan to buy another vehicle.

Source: am-online.com

JCT600 starts £2m Lincoln Audi redevelopment

JCT600 has started a £2 million redevelopment of its Lincoln Audi dealership on Doddington Road, Lincoln to bring it in line with the German brand’s latest showroom design.

Work at the two acre site is expected to be completed by spring next year.

The redevelopment will include an extension, doubling the size of the existing showroom and customer areas which will incorporate a dedicated first floor service lounge as well as two vehicle handover rooms. The completed site will have room for over 80 new and used cars.

Mark Taylor, group property director at family-owned JCT600, said: “One of the most unusual features will be a ‘customer private lounge’ concept which incorporates a relaxed interactive touch screen experience, enabling the customer to design their own new car.”

All departments at Lincoln Audi will be open as usual during the redevelopment, housed in neighbouring offices and in temporary on site accommodation.

Audi Lincoln has operated for over 20 years and employs 100 staff. JCT600 is a £1 billion turnover business with 50 dealerships throughout Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East and represents Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW/Mini, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

Bradford-based retailer JCT600 reported record revenues of £1.025 billion in the year to December 31, 2014, an increase of 13% from the previous year’s total sales of £906 million.

Operating profit before goodwill and exceptionals rose by 14% to £23.2m in 2014, thanks largely to the firm’s continued expansion, with gross margins almost static at 11.7% (11.8% in 2013).

Source: am-online.com

PCP deals are tempting customers out of the 10 year old car market, says Glass’s

Car owners that have kept their vehicle for over 10 years are coming back to the new car market due to strong PCP deals, according to Glass’s.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass’s, said there has been a 50% increase on the number of cars over 10.5 years old being sold at auction in the UK.

He said: “We believe this is because large numbers of buyers are selling their bangers and signing up to low-cost new and used car PCP deals to get behind the wheel of a newer model.

“However, instead of this flood of bangers entering the market leading to a collapse in values, they have actually increased quite substantially.”

The average auction price for a 10.5 year-plus car in January 2013 was £725 but in June of this year, it was £875, according to figures obtained by Glass’s.

Pontin said enough new buyers are entering the market to soak up the extra volume and the market for older vehicles is actually in “excellent health”.

He said: “Partially this is as a result of improving economic conditions – more people are feeling confident about buying and running a car at the entry level – but also the quality of older cars on sale is improving all the time.

“We see many bangers going through auction in excellent condition at very reasonable prices and, for many people, they make extremely sensible purchases.

“It is very much a case of ‘The banger is dead. Long live the banger.”

Pontin said that the question for the medium term was how many more people would opt for a PCP deal on a newer car and whether banger values would continue to increase over time.

He said: “The number of people switching into PCPs does not really show any sign of slowing down and this means that the volume of older vehicles on the market will continue to grow. At some point, this will lead to oversupply and falling values but it is quite difficult to predict exactly when.”

Source: am-online.com

European new car market up 9.5% in July

New car registrations across Western European markets increased by 9.5% in July to 1.1 million units, according to the latest IHS Automotive forecast.

The performance in July pushed the year-to-date increase for the first seven months of the year from 8.1% in June to 8.4% year-on-year in July to 8 million units.

As reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the UK’s growth in July was more moderate in comparison to other European markets with a 3.2% rise to 178,420 units.

Tim Urquhart, IHS automotive principal analyst, said: “All the major markets in Western Europe recorded positive increases, although France and the UK showed signs of slowing growth.

“The UK is beginning to suffer from a higher base comparison and the fact that private-sector sales are slowing down.”

The market was led by Germany as its new car market continues to increase with registrations increasing by 9.5% year-on-year to 290,196 units.

Spain’s scrappage scheme (which ended in July) helped the market post double digit growth in July with a boost of 23.5% to 109,922 units.

French new car registrations rose at the slowest rate of any of the large European markets, with a rise of 2.3% year-on-year to 147,132 units.

Italy recorded growth of 14.5% year-on-year to 131,489 units.

For the full year, IHS Automotive is predicting a registrations increase of 3.6% year-on-year to 3.13 million units, including a slowdown in the last five months of the year.

Source: am-online.com

New finance offers for Citroen Ready to Run conversions

Citroen has launched new finance offers for its Ready to Run range of van conversions.

James Birch, head of Citroën Contract Motoring said: “With finance lease deals starting from just £249 + VAT per month, these new CCM finance packages are amongst the very best available. Indeed, our research shows that, like-for-like, no other manufacturer’s ready-bodied special vehicle programme is available at such competitive rates.”

The expanded Relay Ready to Run range now includes finance lease deals for all models, with a dropside conversion starting from £249, and luton conversions from £309 a month.

In addition, CCM is also offering a competitive contract hire deal on both Relay Ready to Run Luton models, with monthly lease payments from £339.

All Relay Ready to Run models are based on a new, high specification Relay Enterprise chassis cab, which offers the benefits of enhanced specification, with the addition of Smartnav & Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking telematics package, air conditioning, cruise control with variable speed limiter, alarm, touch screen/DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, audio streaming & SMS and CD player.

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Fair Fuel UK calls for fuel price clarity

Campaign group Fair Fuel UK is calling for complicated UK petrol and diesel prices to be clearly explained to drivers, or officially investigated.

Pricing analysis over the last six months shows that oil has fallen by over 16% yet the price of unleaded petrol has risen by over 9%. In the same period some petrol retailer profit margins have climbed to nearly 15% on unleaded and over 21% on diesel.

Quentin Willson, campaigner for Fair Fuel UK, said “Fuel pricing in the UK would confuse even Stephen Hawking. How can oil prices fall yet petrol prices go up? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Why won’t the fuel industry clearly explain these confusing discrepancies? 40 million drivers have a right to know.”

Recent falls in diesel at the pumps are due to increased supply and lower refining prices from Saudi Arabia that’s has caused the wholesale cost to fall by nearly 5%, yet some retailers have actually increased their diesel pump prices.

Howard Cox, founder of Fair Fuel UK, continued: “Figures from the last six months show that forecourts just aren’t reflecting oil price falls and now it looks like they’re keeping the price of unleaded artificially high to increase margins. 99% of Fair Fuel UK’s 1.1 million supporters want an enquiry into the dark and secret world of fuel prices. We’ve repeatedly asked the industry for an explanation but are still waiting.”

While currency fluctuations, a strong American dollar, refining and distribution costs can influence forecourt pricing the group is adamant that the lower price of oil caused by historic levels of global oversupply isn’t being transparently passed on to UK consumers.

Over 80 MPs have also joined Fair Fuel UK’s calls for pricing transparency and an official government enquiry.

Willson added: “The longer the fuel industry keeps this information a mystery – the worse it looks for them. No wonder consumers are getting so angry and frustrated.”

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Potential RV boost for vans as dealers urged to increase their stocks

Vans could get a residual value boost after NextGear Capital urged dealers to stock up on used LCVs.

Encouraging economic news is feeding through to the LCV market with the SMMT forecasting a new record of 355,000 new sales in 2015. The last record was set back in 2007 at 337,000.

This year’s new LCV sales will not join the wholesale auction market for the next three to five years. In the meantime, stock shortages reported by NextGear Capital’s partners look set to continue and this means that even older LCV stock has real retailing potential.

James Davis, director of commercial vehicles at Manheim Auctions, said: “Older vans represent a good value proposition with younger vans set to continue to be in scarce supply.”

To put the situation in context, in May, more than 40% of all LCVs sold by Manheim were more than 60 months in age. More than half of the 3.8 million vans on UK roads are more than seven years of age.

Commenting on the opportunity, NextGear Capital’s sales director Nigel Warrington said: “We can see that many LCVs do not stay on our stocking plan for long for our dealer customers. LCVs are a definite opportunity for dealers right now.”

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Fleet Industry Manifesto success as new policy unit for driverless cars to mirror OLEV

The creation of a cross-departmental approach to intelligent mobility, called for in the Fleet Industry Manifesto, has been adopted by the Government.

The new joint policy unit has been established by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Called the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV), it will co-ordinate Government policy on driverless cars and connected technology.

C-CAV is currently working on a range of new technological developments, including plans to test new roadside communication technology to improve traffic flow and safety through ‘connected corridors’. This would pilot technology that will provide drivers with useful journey and safety information.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “The UK is in the best position when it comes to testing driverless cars and embracing the motoring of the future. We now look forward to working with industry to make this a reality.”

The Fleet Industry Manifesto was launched at the House of Lords by Fleet News, fleet representative body ACFO and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) to MPs representing the three main political parties prior to the general election (fleetnews.co.uk, December 24, 2014).

The report, the culmination of an eight-month project, called on the Government to tackle a number of important issues facing the fleet and leasing sector, including tax, red tape, safety and road infrastructure.

Policy measures, such as a more consistent approach for road funding allowing long-term infrastructure planning post-election, have already been met, as has greater support for car clubs and mobility services.

However, this latest announcement on creating a joint policy unit, which aims to mirror the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), marks yet another success for the Fleet Industry Manifesto, which called on the Government to follow the blueprint of OLEV in creating a similar structure to pursue the benefits of intelligent mobility and its response proves it has listened to the fleet industry.

“The decision to set up a dedicated Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles is vindication of the BVRLA’s pleas for more joined-up thinking in Government,” said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA.

“Our Fleet Industry Manifesto called for the creation of a cross-departmental team to work on Intelligent Mobility. We sent the Manifesto to the policy teams of all three major political parties, and met with departmental advisors within BIS and the DfT to give them hard copies.

“By giving evidence to the Transport Select Committee’s Motoring of the Future report, and sitting on the Automotive Council’s Intelligent Mobility Working Group, we have promoted the fleet industry’s vital role in this area.

“Our members are early adopters of connected vehicles and new automotive technology, so we look forward to our meeting with the C-CAV later this year.”

The announcement of a new joint policy unit came with the news that the Government has launched a £20 million competitive fund for collaborative research and development into driverless vehicles.

The measures, announced by Jones and business secretary Sajid Javid, aim to put the UK at the forefront of the intelligent mobility market, expected to be worth £900 billion by 2025.

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

FUEL CELL VEHICLE BREAKS RECORD

Two hydrogen pioneers have taken real-world zero-emission motoring to a new level by driving a Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 2,383 kilometres in 24 hours. Arnt-Gøran Hartvig and Marius Bornstein travelled around the clock on public roads in Germany, emitting nothing but water vapour from the ground-breaking fuel cell electric vehicle.

To achieve this impressive distance, the two Norwegians covered the +300-kilometre route between Vatenfall’s hydrogen station in HafenCity, Hamburg and a Shell hydrogen station in Sachsendamm, Berlin as many times as possible in 24 hours. Refuelling the car takes as little as three minutes, enabling the drivers to maximise the distance covered.

Their route included city driving as well as high-speed roads, demonstrating the suitability of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell for everyday use in all situations. ‘We wanted to see what the combination of a state of art fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen refuelling station are capable of today. The result is stunning,’ the pair said, after accomplishing their journey.

This accomplishment by the two eco-pioneers is the latest in a series of epic challenges to showcase the potential of fuel cell technology. In June last year the duo chose the ix35 Fuel Cell to travel a record 700 kilometres on one tank of hydrogen. They have also driven from Oslo to Monaco, refuelling only at the hydrogen stations already installed along the 2,260-kilometre route.

Thomas A. Schmid, chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, ‘This endurance drive highlights both the practicality of our fuel cell electric vehicle’s long driving range and the environmental credentials of our technology. Our Fuel Cell programme has already delivered many world firsts, so it is fitting that the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell has once again delivered a new benchmark.’

Source: bodyshopmag.com

DASHCAMS SHOULD MEAN CHEAPER INSURANCE

Almost two thirds of motorists believe their insurance premiums should be cheaper if they have a dash cam fitted according to a new poll by Motorpoint.

The online survey by the UK’s leading car supermarket found 68 per cent of those quizzed felt they should get a discount from insurance companies for having a camera installed. Some 1,085 people took part in the snap poll on the Motorpoint website.

The number of dash cams being installed in the UK has risen steeply in recent years, with about three per cent of all drivers currently using one. Prices for dash cams range from £50 to £300. The small forward-facing cameras that film a driver’s view of the road are being used to guard against scams such as ‘crash for cash’ with insurers now accepting footage from a dash cam as evidence during the claims process.

Mark Carpenter, managing director of Motorpoint said, ‘The results of the Motorpoint online poll have highlighted the need for insurers to review their policies in the light of the sheer number of dash cams being installed by drivers at their own expense to protect their premiums against the so-called ‘crash for cash’ scammers.’

Source: bodyshopmag.com

PARENTS URGED TO ‘BIN THE BOOSTER’

Child safety brand Britax has launched its 2015 ‘Bin the Booster’ awareness campaign. This nationwide campaign, supported with powerful crash test footage, urges parents to get rid of any booster cushion seats they might have and opt for highback boosters with head and side impact protection to ensure children are safe and secure on their travels this summer – and beyond.

While the current law requires children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old whichever comes first, Britax believes there is still a lack of understanding around safety in Group 2-3, which protects children from four to around 12 years of age. At this stage many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the vehicle seat belt sits correctly on the bony parts of their bodies. However, Britax found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly. They are often twisted, too high, or fitted around the seat and not the child. On top of misfittings, these booster cushions also offer no head or side impact protection for children.

To get parents’ full attention and highlight the true danger of booster cushions, Britax has released some alarming footage filmed at their crash test centre in Andover. It captures the safety performance of a booster cushion vs a highback booster seat in the event of a frontal collision. The footage sees the child sized dummy in the booster cushion instantly thrown forward upon impact. Viewers are able to witness from a range of angles that the upper belt is kept in place on the highback booster thanks to the upper belt guide, whereas the dummy on the booster cushion frees itself from the upper belt. Even in this frontal collision, the dummy in the booster cushion is flung towards the side of the car, dangerously hitting its head on the side of the vehicle at speed, as opposed to the highback booster, which sees the dummy stay more supported with head and upper body containment thanks to its side wings and headrest.

Mark Bennett, Britax’s safety expert, commented, ‘After watching this footage, parents will think twice when choosing a Group 2-3 car seat as it is incredibly haunting and really demonstrates the importance of deep protective side wings, head support and seat belt guides to ensure that seat belts are correctly positioned and fitted. We are calling for all parents using booster cushions to switch to a highback booster option and help us further spread the word about the inadequate protection these cushions provide – it could save precious lives this summer!’

Booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions on Group 2-3 seats. However, Britax only sells and recommends highback boosters and their products far surpass the legal safety requirements.

Source: bodyshopmag.com

Major investment set to accelerate WhoCanFixMyCar.com growth

Active Private Equity and Sir Trevor Chinn invest in leading digital marketplace

Active Private Equity, a growth capital firm specialising in consumer brands and services, today announces it is investing in WhoCanFixMyCar.com, the UK’s leading digital marketplace for car servicing and repairs.

The investment will accelerate growth and allow the business to develop and expand its range of services to UK drivers and garages.

Alistair Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com said: “We are delighted to be partnering with such a strong investment team made up of proven entrepreneurs. This investment will allow us to consolidate our market-leading position and focus on growing our core audience on both sides of the marketplace.”

The platform, which has grown tenfold in the past 18 months, does for car servicing and repairs what other well-known online platforms have done in insurance, holidays and used car sales.

Over 118,000 customers have now used WhoCanFixMyCar.com, choosing from a growing list of over 6,600 garages nationwide.

Spencer Skinner, from Active Private Equity, who will join the Board, said: “We think there’s a great deal that this innovative company can bring to the automotive market – which has seen relatively little digital innovation outside of car sales – and we’re delighted to be making this investment.”

Also investing in the team is industry veteran Sir Trevor Chinn, former Chairman of the AA, Kwik-Fit and the RAC, and currently Senior Advisor to CVC Capital Partners.

Attracting business for garages

Through WhoCanFixMyCar.com, drivers specify a service or repair on their vehicle and receive detailed estimates for the work required from locally-registered garages.

The user can then select a garage based on location, price, availability or feedback from previous customers.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com also provides garages with incremental business, via an efficient no-win-no-fee marketing channel.

The top five registered garages have, between them, won over 1,000 new customers via the platform.

Top performers, such as Automotive Components Specialist in Enfield, have brought in over £250,000 in incremental revenue.

Active, founded by entrepreneur-investors Gavyn Davies, Spencer Skinner and Nick Evans, has a strong track record of investing in the consumer, leisure and retail space.

Last year they raised a new fund backed by a small team of long-term committed partners including Sir Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse and Chairman of Talk-Talk.

Source: garagewire.co.uk

Remains of Erik Buell Racing sold for £1.5 million

Manufacturing assets for EBR have been sold to Atlantic Metals LLC

The Erik Buell Racing (EBR) company has been forefront in the news after declaring bankruptcy back in April 2015, and went up for auction yesterday. The winning bid of £1.5 million (USD $2.25 million) came from Atlantic Metals LLC.

Through its bid, Atlantic Metals acquired everything from EBR in bulk. This includes acquisition of machinery, tooling, motorcycle and parts inventory, accounts receivable, and intangible assets, including trademarks and patents.

Due to Atlantic Metals LLC’s purchase combined with the procurement made by Hero MotoCorp last week, EBR has gained a little over £3.2 million ($5 million USD) in receivership proceedings.

The first to reap the reward will be former EBR employees who will receive £130,125 ($202,000 USD) in paid time off that they are owed.

But Erik Buell Racing isn’t quite out of the gutter just yet. The company owes £13.1 million ($20.4 million USD) in liabilities and these purchases aren’t enough to square out these issues. The future of the company still remains in the balance.

What exactly is Atlantic Metals, a company that specializes in reclaiming metals, going to do with a motorcycle company? Only time will tell.

Source: motorbiketimes.com

Posted by Lois Hardy on 10/08/2015