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Daily News Round UpBack

What you need to do in the countdown to ADR compliance

hand shake

£1m fine of communications giant sparks interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes ahead of October

ADR offers a cheaper, faster and less formal way of resolving unsettled consumer complaints than via the courts.ADR offers a cheaper, faster and less formal way of resolving unsettled consumer complaints than via the courts.

Recently implemented Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) legislation requires all UK businesses to have an ADR mechanisms in place by 1 October 2015 to recommend fair conclusions to ongoing disputes between businesses and dissatisfied customers.

The warning comes after an operator in the communications industry, which has been bound by ADR regulation since 2011, was fined £1 million by Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for the sector, for failing to provide the correct information and guidance to consumers.

Businesses must give consumers information about their certified ADR provider that could help them in the event of an unresolved dispute by displaying a document stating their involvement in a scheme, as well providing information on the company website and in sales and service contracts.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has recently been approved by the Trading Standards Institute, the regulatory body for ADRs.

Members of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) members are covered by a National Conciliation Service (NCS) and have access to impartial mediation services for unresolved disputes.

IGA director, Stuart James said: “We have been providing conciliation and arbitration services to organisations across the automotive industry for many years.

“We have the process and infrastructure in place so members of the RMI are covered by this process.

“They don’t have to do anything at all, they just have to pick up the phone and we will support them.”

Garage businesses must ensure they inform consumers about their ADR provision on their website, terms and conditions, warranty documents and compliant procedures.


Skoda dealers providing car owners summer vehicle check

Skoda is offering customers a summer vehicle health check.

Drivers can book their car in at one of its 134 UK retailers for a check-up where it will have an express visual check (EVC), inspecting tyres, lights, brakes, wiper blades, air-conditioning, batteries and fluids.

The health check also includes a complimentary oil and washer fluid top up, alternator check, air-conditioning performance check and a Skoda picnic blanket worth £15.

Customers will also be entered into a draw to win one of ten £100 National Trust Gift Cards. The offer ends on September 30, 2015.


Car dealers warned of increase in sales scams

Consumer vehicle data provider My Car Check says the following are signs of possible fraudulent activity:

· Vehicles advertised for considerably less than they are worth

· Mention of the vehicle being shipped to or from another country

· All communication conducted via email, often in broken English

Justin Powell, manager of My Car Check’s Glasgow call centre, said: “We are constantly hearing about scams in the used vehicle market, but the frequency of these calls has increased markedly in recent weeks.

“They are nearly always private sales (not vehicles offered by dealers) because the crooks prey on peoples’ unfamiliarity with the process.

“The volume and complexity of these scams suggests the involvement of organised criminal gangs.

“One customer recently transferred £11,000 on the promise of a car being shipped from Germany. It was a classic escrow scam. Rather than going into a secure holding account, the money was simply pocketed by the criminals. The car will never arrive.”

Actual email targeting a buyer interested in a Ford Focus

Hello there, I am glad to hear that you are interested to buy my 2006 Ford Focus ST2.

Although I am registered in the UK, i recently moved to Cadiz, Spain (where my family is from) and the car is being shipped from here.

I want to sell it in UK due to the fact that it’s an UK version (right handed). It still has UK registration, so you won’t have to pay any import and insurance fees. You will get from me the keys and all documents to register the car in you name.

If the car is not how i described it, i will offer a full refund. It will be insured during transportation and will be delivered at your address in maximum 10 days. Final price is GBP 4,000 (the price includes shipping and insurance fees).

Powell said: “Used vehicle sellers also need to keep their wits about them.

“The email below, targeting the seller of a Triumph motorbike, is typical of the wording we see time and again.

“In this case, a fake or fraudulent PayPal account is ‘the convincer’. If the seller had gone ahead, his bike would have been collected and shortly afterwards it would have emerged that payment hadn’t been made.

“The bike would then have been sold to another unsuspecting victim. Fortunately, in this instance, the seller double checked with us and didn’t fall for it.”

Actual email targeting the seller of a Triumph motorbike

Thanks for your response. I’m quite satisfied with the condition and price, and I need you to understand that i am willing and ready to purchase it right away, end the advert, consider me as your favorite buyer just to close the deal and not selling to other buyer.

However, I will not be able to come for inspection, all i need is your word of sincerity that it is in good condition as described online. If possible can you send me some more recent picture…

I will be paying the PayPal charges (3.4%) from my account and will be paying directly into your PayPal account without any delay, and I hope you have a paypal account.

If you have one already, just send me the address to send it to, which is the email address you use for it or you can send me a paypal money request, so once i receive the details i will go ahead with the payment through PayPal and then I will contact my shipping company after you get the payment. I will need your home address for it to be Picked Up by the Shipping Company.

My Car Check’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs over a million look-ups a day for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.


Lookers’ boss Andy Bruce says AM100 group would expand in Scotland

Lookers’ chief executive Andy Bruce says he would acquire more dealerships in Scotland.

He told Scottish news website Herald Scotland his plan was inspired by rising sales there which had helped it post record results.

Bruce (pictured), who comes from Glasgow, said sales grew twice as fast in Scotland as other parts of the UK, through its Lomond and Taggarts operations.

“We would be open to expand in Scotland if we could,” he said.

Asked if it would be interested in buying in Scotland, he told the site: “We certainly would be if it’s the right proposition. Scotland has been a happy hunting ground for us.”

Lookers has 15 dealerships in Scotland out of a total of 124. However, around 20% of business is generated in the country.

Expansion in Scotland has most recently included the opening of a £3.5m Audi used car showroom and aftersales service centre in Hamilton in July.

Lookers, number four in the AM100, reported its seventh successive year of profit improvement in the six months to June 30, 2015, earlier this month.

Revenue was up 9% on 2014 to £1.75 billion and profit before tax increased to £39.9 million, up 6%.


Smartphone visits to Manheim’s website rise by 429%

Manheim saw smartphone visits surge by 429% in July following the launch of its new website.

The year-on-year rise coincides with data from Ofcom that smartphones are, for the first time, the most popular way to get online in the UK.

When going online generally, 33% of consumers use mobile phones: the figure for Manheim’s new and now mobile-optimised website is 26%.

Most users still access from a laptop (58%), but this figure has fallen significantly from 2013, when 87% of visitors were using a laptop.

The proportion of customers using mobile devices to access Manheim’s website grew from 5% in 2013 to 8% in 2014, and has leapt to 26% in 2015.

David Flesher, head of digital marketing at Manheim, said: “We completely transformed our mobile experience, moving from a dedicated mobile website to a single, responsive design.

“More customers are accessing the website on mobile, and are actually visiting more as a result.

“Much of the growth in mobile has undoubtedly been driven by consumers, and in particular social media, news and retail, but our figures show that having a mobile-first approach is just as important to B2B businesses and we continue to develop our experience to support this growing trend.”


BT Fleet opens ATF lanes in Maidstone, Magna Park and Northallerton

BT Fleet has opened commercial vehicle authorised testing facility (ATF) lanes at three of its garages.

The facilities, located in Maidstone, Magna Park in Lutterworth and Northallerton, comply with stringent DVSA standards and are suitable to test heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and large goods vehicles (LGVs).

BT Fleet has been selected as one of a limited number of approved privatised testing providers by the DVSA in response to the shutdown of available facilities in certain areas of the UK.

Mark Wolfe, head of garages service – UK and Northern Ireland at BT Fleet, said: “We pride ourselves on recognising and responding to customer demand and the recent reduction in ATF facilities by the DVSA meant that it was increasingly challenging for some of our customer base to find convenient test centres.

“The investment in ATF lane equipment is an important step in providing additional in-house set-up and testing services for our partners. As one of a handful of compliant companies selected by the DVSA, the process has enabled us to meet the demand in these areas and enhance our already comprehensive testing and service offering nationwide and ability to offer a one-stop-shop solution.

The Maidstone and Magna Park ATF’s are now open, with the Northallerton facility scheduled for launch in September.


Marshall issues record first half interims

Marshall Motor has recorded record revenues and profits for the six months to 30 June 2015 as the group grew its new and used car sales, aftersales and leasing operations.

In its first interims since floating in April 2015, Marshall saw revenues increase 16% to £632.5m (H1 2014: £545.4m) with profit before tax up 9.8% to £10.5m (H1 2014: £9.5m). The groups said it will pay a maiden interim dividend of 0.58p per share.

The Cambridge-based group, rated 10 in the Motor Trader Top 200, saw sales and profits increase across the business. New cars revenues totalled £326.2m (2014: £275.7m) with a gross profit of £23.8m (2014: £20.3m) with unit sales up 10.4%; while used cars totalled £238.1m (2014: £205.9m) and a gross profit of £16.9m (2014: £14.9m) with unit sales up 11.8%.

However, aftersales was the most profitable part of the business with revenues of £63.1m (2014: £57.9m) achieving a gross profit of £28.3m (£25m).

“We’re pleased to announce some strong results which are very much in line with our expectations when we IPO’d the group in April,” said CEO Daksh Gupta (pictured).

“These are record results for us from both a revenue and profit perspective, which builds on last year’s record results and continues a trend we’ve had in the business for a number of years. Our retail and leasing businesses were significantly ahead of the same period last year.

“From the end of June we have been sat on £39.9m cash which clearly we will use to invest in future growth of the business.”

The group has also boosted its fleet leasing operations which Gupta said are now fully integrated into the main business and are reaping the benefits of the group representing all four main German brands since the group debuted with BMW last year. Profit before tax was £2.5m, a 40.9% on the same period last year.

Financial highlights

  • Revenue increased by 16.0% to £632.5m (H1 2014: £545.4m)
  • Profit before tax up 9.8% to £10.5m (H1 2014: £9.5m)
  • Earnings per share of 19.7p
  • Maiden pro rata interim dividend of 0.58p per share

Operational highlights

  • Strong trading performance driven by contributions from recently acquired businesses and continued organic growth
  • New car unit sales up by 10.4% (like-for-like up by 5.9%)
  • Used car unit sales up by 11.8% (like-for-like up by 2.7%)
  • Total aftersales revenues up by 9.0% (like-for-like up by 1.7%)
  • New facility developments underway to support Audi and Jaguar Land Rover


EV makers develop warning sound in European Commission-led project

Nissan, Renault, PSA-Citroen and others have teamed together to create an audible pedestrian alert system for electric vehicles in a European Commission-led project.

Known as Evader, the system produces audible cues to alert pedestrians and other road users to the presence of an electric vehicle, while having minimal impact on noise pollution levels.

The project took three years to complete, during which the consortium members worked to ensure the sound created was audible, while having a low impact on ambient noise levels.

The sound created had to be directionally beamed at targeted users, while not being annoying at the same time.

Sirens were ruled out at an early stage by the consortium members, as they proved to be irritating and loud, Nissan said.

The final version of the system features a camera built into the windscreen, which is programmed to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

When a road user is detected, six loudspeakers beam sound at the target to alert them to the presence of the EV. According to the consortium members, the sound is five decibels lower than the sound of a conventional petrol or diesel engine.

The research and results collated from this project form a reference material for future research into this area, and it is likely that it will be utilised to shape future EU legislation on EV pedestrian alert sounds, the European Commission said.

“Pedestrian safety is of the utmost importance to Nissan, which is why we already have a pedestrian alert installed in our EVs as a preventative measure,” said David Quinn, Nissan’s Evader project leader. “We were keen to use our considerable experience to examine possible systems for future development in this field.”

“Our objective has been to find an optimum balance between ensuring the cars are detectable, whilst retaining the reduction in noise pollution,” said Quinn.

Evader consortium members:

Applus Idiada

Szm, TU Darmstadt

Siemenns Industry Software

Austrian Institute of Technology AIT





PSA Peugeot Citro?n

Continental Automotive France

European Blind Union (EBU)



Over 16 million UK motorists judge other drivers based on the colour, type, and cleanliness of their car and even let it affect how they drive according to a new study released today.

Some 45 per cent of Brits allow their own prejudices to affect how courteous or aggressively they act towards other road users – with something as simple as a bumper sticker prompting millions to see red.

In a survey of 2,000 drivers, more than a third admit they allow their assumptions to affect them behind the wheel, meaning they are intentionally more or less reckless as a result.

The research for Continental Tyres also revealed that we are twice as likely to not let someone out at a junction if they are in a flash car because ‘they think they’re it’. Yet, the biggest reason why drivers will not let someone pull out is if they can see the other person at the wheel using their mobile phone.

It was also revealed was that six in ten get agitated by a sticker for a rival sports team or in support of a cause or organisation. Mark Griffiths, spokesman for Continental Tyres said, ‘It is alarming that 34 per cent of drivers will change their driving style based on a prejudice about something as unimportant as how clean a vehicle is.’

‘Keen observation is vital for road safety and this study was part of our commitment to making driving safer, while trying to understand the ways that motorists behave.’

It seems UK motorists are not bothered about the prejudices made about their car. Over half expect to be stereotyped – though only one in seven admit it affects their choice of car.

Occasionally it can count in our favour as the survey found that 27 per cent of people make an effort to be courteous to people in the same make and model of car as them.

Opinions are divided on hybrid and electric vehicles with one in three believing owners are right to consider the environment and an equal number describing them as ‘tree-huggers’ or ‘self-righteous’.

Mark added, ‘We might form opinions of people based on issues like appearance, though for that to lead to more aggressive driving is dangerous. We think road users must be courteous to others at all times.’

‘Rather than aesthetic and other non-risk affecting features, the importance should be placed on factors like driving behaviour, car safety and tyre condition – as these are the things that really impact on safety.’

The top ten of drivers we are least likely to let in at a junction are:

  1. Anyone using a mobile phone
  2. Performance car
  3. Towing a caravan
  4. Flash car
  5. 4×4
  6. Taxi driver
  7. Learner
  8. Bus
  9. Van
  10. Pensioner



The RAC has signed up 45 dealers to its used car network in Northern Ireland in just three months, rapidly creating a strong presence in the country.

This has been achieved since Coleraine-based Tom Reid was appointed the RAC Dealer Network’s representative in the region.

He explained that dealers were recognising both the strength of the RAC brand name and the way in which working with the RAC allowed them to build a complete customer proposition to support used car sales.

Tom said, ‘Signing 45 dealers so quickly is very pleasing but we are sure that we will see many more join the network over the coming months.’

‘As in the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland dealers are becoming more and more aware that simply putting a warranty on a used car is not enough. Customers are looking for a complete support package that allows them to feel a high level of confidence in their purchase.’

‘Working with the RAC allows them to do just this – creating a proposition including elements such as breakdown recovery, vehicle inspections, provenance checks and more.’

‘Also, the strength of the RAC brand is strong in the mind of used car buyers and creates a high level of confidence. They know that the RAC will only put their name to a quality product and work with reputable dealers.’

Tom has been involved in the warranty sector for more than a decade and was previously regional manager for Lancia Cars and Suzuki GB covering Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.

He also has an extensive track record in the dealer sector, having been sales manager and general manager for a number of large retail groups in Scotland covering marques ranging from Rolls-Royce and Bentley to Nissan and Vauxhall.


MOT examiners urged to be patient with new MOT roll-out

Test stations across the country are experiencing major problems with the new MOT testing service

Vehicle examiners are reporting major issues with the new MOT testing service, with the majority of problems concerning system speed, error messages and even prolonged periods of system down-time.

The DVSA has acknowledged that some testing stations have been experiencing issues during the switch-over process and have advised garages to report any problems directly to them by calling 0330 123 5654.

Speaking on the latest system outages, DVSA’s MOT Service Manager, Neil Barlow, told GW: “We are aware that some garages had issues accessing the service yesterday morning.

“There is a contingency process in place and all garages were still able to carry out tests and issue MOT certificates. This issue has now been resolved.”

The new web-based system will give garages greater flexibility for recording and managing MOT test results and can be accessed from any internet-connected device.

More than 3,500 garages are now using the new system, which has so far processed over 60,000 real MOT tests.

Around 65 per cent of the MOT trade have claimed new accounts.

Gradual system roll-out

Barlow added: “We have worked very closely with the MOT industry to develop the new service, which is being gradually rolled out to garages over the summer.

“We are continuing to update and improve the service in line with feedback from users.

Barlow explained that the DVSA have put “temporary workarounds” in place for some of the known issues, permanent fixes will be made as soon as possible.

The move to the new MOT testing service will continue to be rolled out until the end of August 2015, when it’s expected that all 22,500 MOT garages will be using the new system.

The old system will be switched off at every garage by the end of September 2015.

Teething problems

Despite the issues experienced so far, IGA Director Stuart James is confident the DVSA is working hard to ensure the industry benefits from an updated system.

Speaking to GW, James said: “We’ve worked very closely with the DVSA over the last 18 months and we understand that there have been some teething problems, indeed there still are some teething problems but I’m anticipating that they will meet their deadline.

“We have to be there for our member’s if their businesses are being affected by this but in the long-term, it will be better for garages and we give our support to the DVSA to help them achieve their goals in this project.”

David Walters, owner of DKW-Autos in Liverpool, DVSA VTS council member and administrator of The MOT Testers and AE’s Forum (MTAETA) told GW: “It’s a good system but people need to understand that it’s deliberately very limited at the moment.

“The main priority from DVSA’s point of view is to ensure that test stations across the country are online and active before the cut-off date in September.

“I think the general advice is just to be patient.”

Extensive task

Mr Walters said the data transfer is an extensive task for the DVSA, he added: “It’s coming from a system that was built in the early 2000’s, you have to consider the extent of the task here.

“The data is having to be translated, transferred and then imported into the new database and there’s 38 million class 4 MOTs a year, plus HGV and motorcycle tests – every class of MOT is on this new system.”

One registered user on the MTAETA forum last week posted: “This is the first time that I have used the new system, and in my opinion after reading all of the issues that people are having with it, I feel that it should not have been rolled out until it was working as it should be.

“[It’s] very poor, and it’s testing stations that are suffering because of it.”

However, not everyone has been experiencing problems with the switchover.

Shaun Miller of Millers Garage in Newbury, Berkshire went live with Comp 2 last month and told GW that the switchover process itself seamless.


Mr Miller said: “We bought a desktop computer and built a desk by the MOT bay, connected to the Internet and awaited DVSA instructions.

“I love not having a smart card and I love the fact it’s cloud based.

“We don’t have to back up anything, the system is user friendly a uses what I would describe at the Apple era platform, by that I mean everything is crisp and sharp with no clutter.

“I have to interest of time for people that get stuck in the past and don’t like change.”


CarVue listened to launch new free version

The cloud-based garage management system brand claims to be first to launch a fully featured free system

CarVue Free, introduced 14th August, has replaced the 30-day free trial of CarVue, allowing independent garages to sign-up and use the fast-growing app to manage their workshop and sales operations completely free of charge.

The free version will also be supported by two new plans – called V6 and V8 – within a simplified overall structure, where all plans get all the main features.

There’s no time limit on the free version and users can upgrade or downgrade at any time.

The V6 and ‘unlimited’ V8 packages offer higher allowances on the key features including text messages, VRM look-up, address look-up, job cards, invoices and stock records.

All plans offer full functionality including data import/export facility.

CarVue only ever charge at business level, with an unlimited user policy meaning there’s no penalty for business growth.

The company said the new version was introduced as a result of listening to feedback from their growing community of garage users.

They add the streamlining of the packages bring them even further into line with their ‘simple but smart’ business ethos.

Marketing Director, Alex Knight said: “We wanted to remove all the barriers because we’ve found that once people start using CarVue they quickly value the benefits.

“The aim is to get more garages in and using the free version.”

CarVue is a cloud-based system, with no requirement for specific IT hardware, and can be used on any device with a connection to the internet and set up ‘within minutes’.


Rise in independents accepting hybrid and electric vehicles

An increasing number of independents are carrying out servicing and repairs on alternatively fuelled vehicles

A leading UK technical information supplier has reported a 104 per cent increase in access to data relating to alternatively fuelled vehicles over the last quarter.

Autodata say the most popular information requested included service schedules, interactive coloured wiring diagrams and wheel alignment specifications.

In August, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced a 58.6 per cent rise in year-to-date sales of electric vehicles in 2015 compared to last year.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has also seen an increase in independent garages attending hybrid awareness courses, which provide technicians with a qualification to deal with eco models.

Autodata Chief Executive, Rod Williams, said: “It is encouraging to see a number of garages take a proactive step to actively accept jobs on alternatively fuelled vehicles.

“In the past there has often been a misconception about the ability of independents to carry out routine servicing and repairs on hybrids, however the reality is that with a modest level of investment in new tools and training, this can be achieved to the same standard as a one-brand dealer.”


Peugeot makes its Just Add Fuel package available to teenager drivers

JUST Add Fuel is Peugeot’s innovative and unique fixed-cost motoring package – and now it’s available to teenagers.

Since launch in July 2010, more than 27,000 UK drivers have taken advantage of Just Add Fuel. Along with being hassle-free, its low single monthly payment to cover all motoring costs and exceptional value for money have been the appealing factors.

But it has only been available to drivers aged 21 or older – until now.

Peugeot has again rewritten the retail rule book and, thanks to the use of advanced telematics technology, younger drivers can benefit for the first time.

Just Add Fuel is an innovation which has had a significant influence on UK car-buying patterns. It includes:

· A single monthly payment to cover all motoring costs.

· No need to budget for insurance, servicing, road fund licence or roadside assistance costs – they are all included.

· No need to search for cheaper insurance each year.

· Fixed-price motoring for three years, giving peace of mind.

· A transparent motoring package with no hidden costs.

· The opportunity to drive a new car every three years, meaning no MOT costs.

Neil Moscrop, Peugeot brand director, commented: ‘Just Add Fuel is recognised as the most significant innovation in vehicle retailing for a number of years. Now we can widen its appeal even further.’

Just Add Fuel for those aged 18-20 is only available to Peugeot 108 buyers and is priced from just £248 rental per month.

The secret is a discreet plug-in telematics device. Using satellite tracking, it assesses the customer’s driving style and rates each journey made, on a scale from one to 100. Customers will have access to an online portal where they can review their driving activity.

This is also regularly monitored by the insurer and an aggregate score awarded. Feedback is provided to assist the customer in improving this if necessary. If the score falls below an agreed threshold, the driver will receive a warning.

Four warnings a year will result in the insurance policy being cancelled. This may reduce the number of insurance products available to the customer, and/or increase the premiums they are quoted. Terms and conditions apply.


UK inflation rate rises to 0.1%

The UK’s inflation rate turned positive in July, with the Consumer Prices Index measure rising to 0.1% from June’s 0%.

A smaller fall in the price of clothing was the main reason for the rise, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Retail Prices Index measure of inflation was unchanged at 1% – the figure that will be used to calculate rail fare increases next year.

CPI has been almost flat for the past six months, having turned negative in April for the first time since 1960.

The ONS said falling food and non-alcoholic drink prices partially offset the positive impact of the smaller rise in clothes prices.

The underlying measure of CPI inflation, which strips out increases in energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, rose to 1.2% in July, a five-month high.

“This is the sixth month running that headline inflation has been at or very close to zero,” said Richard Campbell from the ONS.

“While households will have seen individual prices rise and fall, the overall shopping basket bought by the country remains little changed in price compared with a year ago.”

‘Deflationary forces’

Analysts say the inflation rate could fall back again, partly due to the drop in the price of oil, which has slumped by nearly a quarter in the past two months.

“This morning’s inflation figures are higher than expected, but could easily fall back next month,” said Peter Cameron at EdenTree Investment Management.

“Brent Crude has dropped below $50 a barrel and China, the world’s largest exporter, is potentially now unleashing a new wave of deflationary forces around the world through the devaluation of its currency.”

There has been considerable speculation over when the Bank of England – which has a target inflation rate of 2% – might start to raise interest rates. However, Mr Cameron said it was “hard to envisage a rate rise this side of Christmas”.

Samuel Tombs from Capital Economics said raising rates could be postponed until the second quarter next year, with inflation “likely to turn negative again over the next few months”.

However, the pound strengthened against the dollar immediately after the inflation rate was announced, reflecting the fact that the rate was higher than expected. The pound rose by almost a cent to $1.5667. This suggests that many investors felt the rise in inflation made an early rate rise more likely.

“The pick-up in core inflation reinforces the case for interest rates to start rising sooner rather than later, so the [Bank] does not fall behind the monetary policy curve,” said PwC’s John Hawksworth.

Earlier this month, meeting notes of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee showed that members voted 8-1 to keep rates on hold at a record low of 0.5%.


Royal Enfield Opening North American Subsidiary

Royal Enfield is setting up shop in North America, opening its first wholly-owned direct distribution subsidiary outside of India. Royal Enfield North America will be based in Milwaukee, Wis., (home to another long-running motorcycle brand established in the early 1900s) and will handle business operations including marketing, service, financing and dealer development.

Until now, Royal Enfield worked with separate distributors in North America: Minnesota-based Classic Motorworks for the U.S. and Origin Motorcycles of Edmonton for the Canadian market. Classic Motorworks will be transitioning out of its distributor role through the rest of 2015.

Royal Enfield’s current model lineup consists of the 500cc Bullet and Classic line and the 535cc Continental GT. The company is rumored to be developing new models in the 400cc and 750cc displacment levels, including a new adventure-styled model called the Himalayan. Royal Enfield President Rudratej Singh says the company will continue to focus on “mid-sized” displacements, believing there is a gap for such models in North America.

“North America is a key international market for Royal Enfield, with a rich history of riding enthusiasts,” says Singh. “Given the lack of attractive options in the mid-size segment, we are well poised to fill the gap and serve potential customers at a close, intimate level by localizing our operations in North America.”

Royal Enfield North America will be led by Rod Copes, a former Harley-Davidson executive. Copes says the firm will open its first retail store in Milwaukee before adding other stores in metropolitan areas across the U.S. over the next 18 months. Royal Enfield North America will also be establishing an independent dealer network.

“In a post performance era where American riders are looking for machines that are easy to own and maintain, Royal Enfield offers evocative and unintimidating modern classic motorcycles, with timeless appeal,” says Copes.

Manufacturing will remain in India at Royal Enfield’s Chennai factory. Royal Enfield produced more than 300,000 motorcycles in 2014 and is expected to reach a total of 450,000 by the end of this fiscal year.


The Expemotion E-Raw could change the future of electric bikes

Meet the Expemotion E-Raw: an electric bike with a twist

At MotorbikeTimes, we love quirky concepts, and the futuristic electric Expemotion E-Raw is definitely a head turner.

The Expemotion E-Raw throws all convention out of the window, bringing you an air cooled motor and a dash for your smartphone, all polished off with a kooky laminated wood saddle. The steel tube chassis has a slightly more simple design, but still gets full marks for aesthetics.

Although the design as a whole is magnificent, there is one flaw to this electric concept: there doesn’t seem to be any way its rider can grip the bike with their legs.

But that’s a flaw that can be easily altered, we’re sure.


This weekend dedicated to motorcycle safety by police in Scotland

Dozens of Road Policing officers hit the streets across the East of Scotland to ensure motorcycle safety

The importance of motorcycle safety will be high on the agenda north of the border this weekend, as Police Scotland oficers will take to the roads across East Scotland to highlight the importance of motorcycle safety.

Frequented motorcycle routes will be heavily patrolled by officers from Divisional and Trunk Roads Policing Units in accompaniment of colleagues nationally. Police will be stopping bikers on the road to offer advice on traffic safety.

Another task for the police will be to stop any motorist that causes an offence. Safety Camera vehicles will be patrolling all four East policing divisions to maintain a sense of security on the road.

The weekend is seen as an attempt to correct all of the issues that have been plaguing Scottish streets this year. Local Area Commander for Road Policing in the East of Scotland, Chief Inspector Stephen Innes, said: “So far in 2015, there have been 18 motorcycle fatalities on Scotland’s roads. Six people on motorbikes have sadly lost their lives in the four Divisions that make up the East.”

“Biking is a very popular pastime especially over the summer months, and we want everyone to enjoy our scenic routes safely, no matter what mode of transport you are using.”

“We are taking the joint approach of education and enforcement and will be patrolling key roads which are popular with bikers. Whilst the majority of motorcyclists ride appropriately, a small number take unnecessary risks and cause a danger to themselves and others.”

“We want all bikers, indeed all road users, to think about their riding and driving and be mindful of the road conditions and other vehicles,” he finished.

Motorcycle fatalities are probable no matter the time of year, but the summer months definitely sees a spike in lives lost due to a lack of safety. The Scottish police are only looking to keep you safe and well. Police Scotland is in support of the Road Safety Scotland and Scottish Government ‘Live Fast Die Old’ Campaign.

Chief Inspector Innes was also quoted with saying: “We’ll be encouraging bikers to check out the Live Fast Die Old Facebook page, as well as our Around the Corner website – both are great resources for enjoying riding safely.”


Double world record for British female bikers

London bikers’ emphatic world record success

On Sunday (16 August) 618 women took to their motorbikes to smash two previous records for female-only bike events.

At London’s Ace Cafe, organisers Nimisha Patel and Sherrie Woolf coordinated the largest ever women-only bike meet.

Patel and Woolf’s 618 smashed the previous best of 221 ,which was swiftly followed up by the biggest all female bike parade; 251 Women on 251 bikes bested the old mark of 221 women on 190 bikes, set in Australia.

The meet was intended to attract industry attention to a dearth of female-specific clothing and equipment. “The industry isn’t catering for women, it isn’t listening”, Woolf said.

“That’s one of the reasons for this event, to say look how many women are riding their own bikes.That’s the point we want to make, we’re not just sat on the back – we have our own bikes,” she continued.

Her personal difficulty was highlighted when attempting to buy clothing for a trip to Germany: “The other day I was shopping for leather trousers, I went to my local shop and there was not one single pair of leather trousers that had knee sliders – I was going to the Nurburgring and I needed sliders!”

The Stonebridge event’s youngest attendee, ten year-old Emilia Romarewicz, gave away 63 years in riding experience to the oldest rider, whilst women from across the country expressed the need for greater equality amongst bikers.

Sergeant Poston, who is the only female running Bike Safe courses in London, and is considering beginning female-only classes, told VisorDown: “Men always ask me, if you drop your bike could you pick it up? It’s so annoying. I’m not going to drop it. I ask them: ‘Could you pick it up?”

Patel and Woolf are contemplating further events outside of the capital, with more records likely to tumble.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 18/08/2015