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Daily News RoundupBack

TradeCarLink launches new app


TradeCarLink has launched a new application which allows car dealers to coordinate auctions from their mobile phone.

The application is available in the Apple store and is set for Android and Web release in the near future.

The tech start-up is providing a month’s free trial of the app, allowing dealers to familiarise themselves with the range of features available. It is also fully integrated with HPI, allowing dealers to verify the history and background of all vehicles listed.

TradeCarLink co-director Jeremy Mitchell said: “Vehicles are free to advertise – after the trial period, a single fee of £69 provides access to all of our platforms from up to five devices per account, making TCL a viable prospect for larger dealerships with more expansive sales teams.”

“We’ve worked hard to ensure we’re developing features that align with our customer’s needs. We saw an increase in dealers utilising video so immediately worked that into the app. Traders can now upload video appraisals to provide greater detail to the condition of vehicles.

TradeCarLink co-director Guy Harrington said: “The concept was born out of our frustrations within the trade. It became quickly apparent that the existing trade platforms were essentially carbon copies of one another. They really failed to provide the service that, from experience; we know the vast amount of traders have been searching for.”

Mitchell and Harrington have a combined experience of 20 years in the motortrade.

The TradeCarLink platform utilises push notifications and an in-app messaging system to aid negotiations between dealers.

Visit for more information.


Bristol Street Motors Volvo Derby loans cricket star an XC60

Bristol Street Motors Volvo in Derby has provided Australian right-arm fast bowler Nathan Rimmington with a new XC60 for the season.

Originally from Queensland, Rimmington was signed by Derbyshire in the run up to the NatWest T20 Blast in 2015.

Business specialist at Bristol Street Motors Paul Harmon said: “Sport is very important to the local area and we were pleased we could assist Rimmington move around throughout the season, in what we hope will be a successful time at Derbyshire County Cricket Club. We wish the club and Rimmington all the success for the future.”

Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s commercial director Ryan Duckett said: “We obviously wanted to provide Rimmington with a quality car while he is with us for the season and he is delighted with the XC60, that the team at Volvo Derby have been able to provide.

“He has been one of the star performers in the Big Bash in Australia over the last few years and we are hoping he will have a similar impact for Derbyshire in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast.

“Rimmington will be doing a lot of miles around the country this summer and this will be made a lot easier by the specification and comfort the car provides. The service we have received from the team at Derby Volvo has been first class.”


Fleet Alliance voted one of the UK’s best places to work for third year in a row

Leasing and fleet management specialist Fleet Alliance has been voted one of the best places to work in the UK for the third consecutive year, following a survey by the independent Great Place to Work Institute.

The company, which operates nationally from a head office in Glasgow, finished ninth in the medium-sized category for companies with 50-499 employees.

This was up two places on last year, and in a larger size company category. The company also won one of the night’s special awards: the excellence in leadership award for the medium-sized company category.

The special awards are designed to recognise and promote excellence in specific areas of people management, and winners demonstrate a wealth of initiatives that are unique and innovative.

The Great Place to Work Institute is part of the world’s largest consultancy specialising in workplace assessment and enhancement.

Every year, the Institute surveys some 6,000 organisations around the world representing around 10 million employees to give an insight into what makes an organisation’s employees tick and how leaders can improve their business performance by understanding and improving their workplace culture.

In participating in this year’s Best Places to Work survey, Fleet Alliance staff took part in confidential and anonymous interviews with researchers from the Great Place to Work Institute.


Cognito appoints Laurent Othacéhé as CEO

Cognito, the field service management solutions company, has appointed Laurent Othacéhé as chief executive officer. The move comes as part of a wider organisational restructure intended to position the company for growth. Othacéhé joined Cognito in 2014 as sales director, bringing with him more than twenty years’ experience in the field service industry. Prior to that he was cheif executive officer of 360 Scheduling, a company he created from scratch, which grew to be a major provider of mobile workforce scheduling and optimisation software.

“Innovation is at the heart of our business, so I’m thrilled to be leading a company whose people are known within our industry for their creativity, expertise and dedication to customer service” said Othacéhé.

Cognito’s plans to grow the business include expansion into new markets, and the goal of the restructure is to support this strategy. Other changes of role within the management team include the appointment of Dave Webb, who joined Cognito in 2010, as cheif operating officer, and Steve Alderson, who has been with the company for more than 20 years.


Pendragon to open new BMW and Mini centres in Leeds

The new centres, which will see the relocation of both BMW and Mini from Sheepscar Interchange to the corner of Gelderd Road and Leeds Ring Road, are set to open in the summer.

In keeping with corporate standards, the BMW and Mini centres will incorporate dedicated BMW i, BMW M and MINI John Cooper Works customer areas.

Pendragon is a key player with BMW and Mini holding the franchises in Chesterfield, Hull, Derby, Doncaster, Leeds, Tyneside and Harrogate.

Trevor Fussey, national franchise director at Stratstone Group, said: “The move to this terrific location will herald an exciting era for Stratstone in Leeds, and more importantly an outstanding experience for our customers.”

Pendragon is rated number one in the Motor Trader Top 200 with annual turnover of £4bn in the year to 31 December 2014.


Average dealer loses £92k on lost vehicle health check work

Franchised dealers are losing an average of £92,145 in workshop sales by failing to sell red work identified during customer vehicle health checks, according to research from BTC.

The automotive industry consultancy said the losses equated to more than £450m worth of revenue across the UK’s 4,900-strong franchised dealer sites.

The data was gathered using autoVHC, BTC’s electronic vehicle health check system, which recorded information from a sample of 500 UK dealers over the course of 2014. It revealed dealers sold an average of just 56% of urgent red work, such as severely worn or illegal tyres and faulty brakes, which equated to a total of £46m of missed sales across the sample.

The data also revealed that 22% of customers at the sampled dealers did not have vehicle health checks completed as part of their service.

“Dealers are letting too much urgently required work slip away. Red work is identified as faults that, if not dealt with, render the vehicle un-roadworthy. So when a customer decides not to have it done at a dealer they’re usually looking at having it carried out by an independent outfit,” said BTC chief executive Guy Allman.

“Once customers make this decision it’s hard for dealers to win them back. So it’s not just a case of losing the immediate sale, it also means missing out on future business. There is also a duty of care aspect. If the customer doesn’t have the work done there and then, they’re basically being allowed to drive off the forecourt in a car that is in a dangerous condition.”


Vauxhall Astra GTC tops Glass’s Hot Five in May

The Vauxhall Astra GTC was the fastest used car off the forecourt in May, according to vehicle data experts Glass’s monthly Hot Five survey.

However, Glass’s said the used Astra GTCs sold during the month had an average of just 541 miles showing on the odemeter, suggesting Vauxhall and its dealers have pre-registered a large number of vehicles.

Lexus’ RX400h large 4×4 was second, while the Chevrolet Orlando was in third, while Hyundai’s i20 and the Peugeot 407 made up the top five.

Having the Astra GTC as the fastest selling used car is a bit of an anomaly as this reflects the pre-reg activity that is supporting the new car market at the moment,” said Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass’s. “At 11 days to sale and an average mileage of just 541 there are no prizes for guessing what is happening here. There is a lot of this kind of activity going on in the market and Vauxhall is certainly not the only manufacturer doing it.”

“The Lexus RX450H should not really come as a surprise as these are generally in short supply. Tried and tested hybrid technology makes this a sensible choice for what can be a costly car to run in its equivalent petrol guise,” said Pontin.

Glass’s Hot Five is based on 300 models, all of which have been subject to more than 50 price observations over a four-week period. The set is then split by range, and an average is determined by the number of days that cars have been advertised on web portals.


London Car Club Action Plan launched to boost membership to 1m by 2025

An action plan to increase the number of car club members in London to a million people by 2025 has been unveiled.

The action plan, dubbed Vision for Car Clubs has been developed by Transport for London, London Councils, the Greater London Authority and a coalition of car club operators and stakeholders to encourage residents and businesses across the capital to sign up to car club schemes as an alternative to direct car ownership.

The members of the coalition are: Transport for London (TfL), London Councils, Greater London Authority (GLA), Carplus, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), Bolloré, Car2go, City Car Club, DriveNow, E-Car Club, Europcar, Hertz 24/7, and Zipcar.

Between now and 2025, the coalition will aim to grow car clubs into a mainstream alternative to private cars for journeys into the capital to help address future congestion, growth and environmental issues.

The group is also aiming to reach a joint target of a million car club members in London by 2025. TfL said that at present there are more than 135,000 car club members in London.

A BVRLA spokesman told BusinessCar that the target includes business users but it is too early to determine a split between fleets and consumers.

Currently 27 of the 33 London boroughs have on-street parking bays for the clubs with low awareness of the club being cited as a key barrier to car club growth.

The plan has set out what the group calls key action points. It said the members will deliver the points to grow the membership of car clubs.

The points include:

  • Working with London boroughs to develop best practice measures to promote car clubs as a sustainable travel option for local residents and businesses.
  • Improving access to data such as nearby parking bays through new technology and apps, as well as making more information available through the TfL website.
  • Creating more car club parking, as well as ensuring that new and existing car club bays are used as efficiently as possible.
  • Encouraging more low emission vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, within car clubs to help increase the environmental benefits and reduce noise pollution.
  • Using public procurement to encourage boroughs to use car clubs as part of their fleets.
  • Lobbying the Government to include car clubs in its own procurement frameworks to help build on the work being done at the local level.
  • Promoting car clubs to commercial and business fleets to help reduce the burden of fleet management and encourage further use of electric vehicles.

“The use of car clubs in London has grown significantly in recent years and we continue to support the initiative across London as a way to help reduce congestion and encourage sustainable travel,” said Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL. “I myself am a regular user and this new action plan will help encourage more Londoners to consider the benefits of car clubs, including the money saved.”

“Promoting new models of urban mobility is essential if we hope to deal with the issues of congestion, road safety and air quality that affect our cities,” said Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive. “Car clubs, car rental and other forms of pay-as-you-go motoring are evolving at a rapid pace.”


Posted by Lois Hardy on 21/05/2015