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Online solutions provider, Ebbon-Dacs, has outlined plans to strengthen its position in the fleet connectivity market with new investment and resources.
In the fleet market, Ebbon-Dacs operates the e-procurement platform, Leaselink, along with the vehicle delivery and collection system, MoDel, and its telematics service, MoDrive.
Both MoDel and MoDrive are joint ventures between Ebbon-Dacs and motor accessories supplier, VGroup International.
The MoDel solution is currently being used by seven major contract hire and leasing companies, who between them operate more than 430,000 company vehicles, while the MoDrive telematics offering is seeing stronger take-up in the UK leasing market.
Ebbon-Dacs has also recently expanded into Europe with the opening of offices in Germany, to compliment those that it opened in the Netherlands 4 years ago. Its Leaselink platform is now used extensively in the Dutch fleet market where it sources around 50,000 vehicles annually.
Based on a strategy to build on growth within the fleet market and to focus on what the company call “core strengths”, Ebbon-Dacs has now taken a senior executive decision for a strategic withdrawal from the UK DMS sector, where its DMS system has a small share of the retail dealership market.
Plus 57% of people say they visit a website to check the range of stock, 41% to check availability of a car for sale and 53% to check prices.
One in five looked for practical information like opening hours and contact details while location maps were sought by 13% of visitors.
The finding is included in the latest buyer behaviour survey* for Auto Trader.
Based on interviews with 1,300 new and used car customers, it revealed a higher proportion of visits to car supermarket websites, at 78%, and independents at 75%.
The proportion visiting a franchised website was slightly lower at 61%.
When asked what information they look for in a dealer website, most buyers focus on stock.
“The internet has fundamentally changed the way cars are bought and sold. Consumers do most of their research online when looking for their next car and this includes visiting dealers’ websites”, said Auto Trader’s market research director Nick King.
“Consumers don’t feel the need to contact dealers as much either; they simply turn up on a forecourt knowing exactly what they want to buy.”
But the research also suggests that dealer websites are increasingly used to build trust in the company from which they wish to buy, King said.
Mercedes-Benz have introduced a number of updates to the Citan. Modifications have been made with a focus on achieving the Euro 6 emissions standard. Mercedes-Benz say the Citan is now “even more practical and individual than before”.
New optional extras have been introduced, which range from a factory-fitted navigation system to a panoramic roof or reversing camera. The new touch-screen navigation system has been developed specially for the Citan, and as well as GPS navigation with maps for Western Europe. The equipment includes a USB port, a micro SD card slot, auxiliary interface and Bluetooth.
The optional reversing camera is located by the number plate holder on the rear. It is activated when reverse gear is engaged, with the camera image being shown on the interior mirror.
The new options will be available to order from June.
The Citan Traveliner will also become the Citan Tourer. All Tourer models come with the BlueEfficiency package as standard. Among other features, this includes an Eco start/stop function and improved fuel consumption for the diesel models up to a claimed 65.7 mpg on the NEDC combined cycle. Mercedes-Benz said this consumption figure, improved over the outgoing model, does not sacrifice performance.
As from June all Mercedes-Benz Citan Tourer models will comply with the Euro 6 emissions regulations as standard.
MileageCount has partnered with Access aCloud Expense system for expense management functions.
The new partnership brings together MileageCount’s fleet management software and aCloud Expense’s business expense management software.
MileageCount offers comprehensive management of key fleet needs including mileage capture and reporting, finance and tax, duty of care compliance, fleet cost control and grey fleets.
Access aCloud Expense is a mobile, cloud-based solution that makes the process of submitting and approving expenses quick and efficient.
Jez Strong, MileageCount product manager, said: “MileageCount is already delivering tangible benefits in the management of more than 100,000 UK fleet vehicles, while aCloud Expense is boosting performance at around 300 locations, with over 20,000 users nationwide. With both solutions making life easier for managers and users, through leading app-based technology, there is obvious synergy between us.”
Marshall Motor has been named a Great Place to Work For, entering the annual national survey’s large company category at number 26.
The company was acknowledged as has having a high trust and high engagement workplace culture which attracts and retains talent and helps drive business success.
Entrance into the listing is the result of both an employee survey and an audit conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute into an organisation’s management and HR practices.
“Following an extensive audit of our management and HR practices, in addition to our survey results, I am extremely proud that we were named by the Great Place to Work Institute as one of the UK’s best large workplaces,” said Daksh Gupta, Marshall’s CEO.
“A significant number of major UK companies participate in this programme including Microscoft, Hilton Hotels, Admiral Group and Cisco. We are therefore delighted to have achieved a ranking.”
New car registrations in Western Europe rose 6.9% in April to 1,166,482 units, the 20th consecutive month of growth and the best April since 2009.
Figures released by the European carmakers association ACEA show that all major markets showed growth, particularly Italy, which rose 24.2% for the month, followed by Germany (+6.3%), the UK (+5.1%), Spain (+3.2%) and France (+2.3%).
In the year to April, the market grew 8.2% to 4,695,058 units with registrations in Spain up 23.9%, Italy (+16.2%), the UK (+6.4%), Germany (+6.4%) and France (+5.6%).
The Spanish market was stimulated by a joint government and industry scrappage scheme which expired in April but has subsequently been renewed.
HIS Automotive analyst Carlos Da Silva said most of the increase in private sales across Europe was coming from consumers who had to replace their ageing cars but overall fleet sales were outperforming the private sector.
“Private demand shrank 5% year on year in France in April and nearly 1% in Germany. This is not necessarily such a bad thing if business or corporate demand compensates for this loss, and this indeed this happened in both these markets, with a 7% gain in France and 9% improvement in Germany,” he said.
He raised concerns over the number of registrations made through “tactical channels” including rental fleets, dealer self-registrations and carmakers.
“In April, these were up 11% in Germany and 13% in France, which is way above the overall growth of these markets,” he said.
“Until private buyers really come back into the market and businesses pass the point where they are merely renewing past car contracts and leases, it is hard to consider Europe as a sustainable place for both long term volumes and long term profitability,” he said.
Highways England will remove or suspend almost 400 lane-miles of roadworks by 6am this Friday (22 May) ahead of the late spring Bank Holiday weekend.
In light of the recently announced industrial action affecting rail passengers, Highways England said it is not planning on reinstating the roadworks until 6am on Thursday 28 May.
Roadworks are normally reinstated on the Tuesday after the break.
Network Rail workers are set to strike for 24 hours on Bank Holiday Monday over pay and jobs. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are planning to walk out at 5pm on Monday, including signalers and maintenance staff.
The strike is likely to cause significant disruption, which could continue into Tuesday as commuters return to work after the break.
Union members will ban overtime during the strike period.
Highways England said it will aim to complete or lift 155 sets of roadworks, leaving 96.9% of its 9534 lane miles free of roadworks. It has issued a map showing the locations of lifted and completed roadworks.
Only 50% of the tyre pressures at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show were found to be within 10% of the correct level, according to tyre pressure monitoring company Wheelright.
According to the firm’s data, one in 10 vehicles tested were found to have tyres that were underinflated by more than 20%.
The tyre pressure monitoring system was placed in the NEC’s eastern car park. Visitors to the show were able to test the device by driving over the instrument and then obtaining their results by confirming their vehicle’s registration number.
Wheelright claimed it read the pressures of 1476 vehicles on the day of the show. The lowest tyre pressure monitored at the show came in at 9psi.
“The data we have collected clearly highlights that tyre pressure remains an issue of concern,” said Wheelright chief executive John Catling. “Indeed, the lowest tyre pressure read by our system during our CV Show demonstration revealed nine psi – a worryingly and extremely unsafe result.”