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Daily News RoundupBack

Toyota enters England and Wales Cricket Board partnership


Toyota has today been announced as a new official partner to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The initial two-year partnership will see England’s male contracted cricketers at the wheel of a variety of Toyota models including RAV4 and Land Cruiser.

Toyota will gain live and recorded exposure, with advertising at grounds around the country and sponsorship of Channel 5’s international cricket highlights television coverage.

It will also have access to the England’s top players for a range of new marketing and publicity opportunities.

Sanjay Patel, ECB chief sales and marketing officer, said: “Ahead of a hugely exciting summer of cricket for the England team, we’re delighted to be entering into a new partnership with Toyota. They are a leading high profile automotive brand that continually strives for enhanced performance; a great fit for England cricket. The deal highlights the continued appeal England cricket brings to a variety of brands.”

Matt Harrison, Toyota GB president and managing director, said: “Our partnership with the ECB is an excellent opportunity for us to support a fantastic sport that reaches millions of people. We’re proud to be backing England for every success this summer and beyond and providing its players and personnel with vehicles they can depend on.”

The agreement with the ECB is the latest in a list of Toyota international sports sponsorship.


Countryfile’s farmer Adam Henson is new Land Rover brand ambassador

Land Rover UK has shown it is not forgetting its farming roots and has appointed farmer and BBC TV’s Countryfile presenter Adam Henson as its latest brand ambassador.

At the Royal Windsor Horse Show during the weekend, Henson’s first appearance for Land Rover saw him formally hand over a new Discovery Sport to The Prince’s Countryside Fund Land Rover Bursary beneficiary SARA.

SARA will use the vehicle for its search and rescue operations on the Severn Estuary.

The Land Rover Bursary, part of a three year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, serves to award innovative projects helping to revitalise and preserve British countryside communities and rural traditions.

Henson said: “Farming and agriculture has been my life’s work and if ever there is a vehicle for the countryside, it has to be a Land Rover.

“I’ve got great admiration for the life-saving work that the team at SARA do and it’s a real privilege to present them with the new Discovery Sport which will give them enhanced capability to continue their vital operations.”

Land Rover said Henson, who runs the Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire, is a perfect fit with Land Rover and complements its support of rural communities.

At the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Land Rover UK continued its 2015 Defender Celebrations with a parade drive through the Windsor Great Park.


ACFO puts defleet charges in spotlight at Company Car in Action debate

Members of ACFO and visitors to Company Car In Action 2015 are being urged to attend a seminar on end-of-contract mileage and vehicle wear and tear recharges.

It is one of the major bugbears confronting fleet decision-makers with some contract hire and leasing companies being accused by fleets of using both excess mileage and damage charges as “profit centres”.

Meanwhile, the debate entitled ‘The End is Nigh’ is also expected to attract fleet chiefs that outright purchase their vehicles as speakers will provide expert advice on how organisations can enhance vehicle values by ensuring defleeted company cars and vans are sold in ready-to-retail condition.

This year’s ACFO seminar, to be held at Company Car In Action on Tuesday June 16, builds on last year’s seminar at the event when Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency officials tackled a range of issues confronting fleet managers with the introduction of a number of online services to manage both driver and vehicle compliance.

Experts speakers will address the critical issues to assist fleets in overcoming additional defleet costs which, according to the current FN50, the Fleet News’ report on the top 50 UK contract hire and leasing companies, saw customers’ charged an average £439 per car in excess mileage and £274 in wear and tear damage last year.


Used LCV values fall in April

Values for fleet and lease LCVs averaged £6,459 in April – a fall of £150 (2.2%) compared to March, according to BCA.

CAP performance fell back by half a point to 100.54% and retained value against Manufacturer Recommended Price fell by a similar amount to 35.6%.

Year-on-year, values were down by £276(4.1%).


Fleet/Lease Avg age (months) Avg mileage Avg value Sale vs CAP Sale vs MRP
Apr 2014 41.51 69,666 £6,735 100.59% 38.06%
Apr 2015 42.53 69,375 £6,459 100.54% 35.60%


Overall, average values for light commercial vehicles fell in April to £5,508, a fall of £108 (1.9%) compared to March. However, year-on-year, average values were up by £113 (2.0%) compared to March 2014, with performance against CAP virtually static over the year.


BCA’s head of Commercial Vehicles, Duncan Ward, said: “Although we are reporting some price pressure as a result of rising supply and the typical seasonal issues we experience post-Easter, there is still plenty of demand from professional buyers and end-users. Average values for light commercial vehicles have risen significantly over time.


“With record numbers of small businesses being set up as the economy recovers there has been steady interest for panel vans of all types and capacities, as well as more specialised vehicles such as Lutons, dropsides and tippers. One of the first assets small businesses, partnerships and sole traders are likely to acquire is a company van and that is being reflected in the wider wholesale market.”



Evans Halshaw tops social media ranking

Evans Halshaw is the best performing dealer in a new piece of research conducted by for Motor Trader by Headstream, the content marketing agency.

The research analysed the level of engagement achieved by the biggest dealers in the Motor Trader Top 200 listings.

Evans Halshaw, the volume brand division of Pendragon, topped the ratings with an engagement score of 8,354, followed by Mercedes-Benz Retail Group (5,941). Stratstone, Pendragon’s premium group, came third with a rating of 1,127. TrustFord was rated fourth (1,018) and Arnold Clark fifth (774).

The research, published in the May edition of Motor Trader, was conducted for a month long period with Headstream analysing the engagement rates of each dealer’s main Facebook and Twitter pages. Social engagement scores were based on likes, comments and shares on Facebook and replies and retweets on Twitter.

According to Headstream dealers tend to use their social media channels as a base for customer service, reviews and driving loyalty through active engagement. Facebook content largely featured pictures of new stock and images of customers with their new vehicle with activities generally focused on sharing image posts which were often repurposed for Twitter.

Headstream found dealers tended to use Twitter for more one-to-one engagements, with dealerships using the channel to respond to Tweets and customer service issues.

Top 10 Dealer Groups’ Social Media Performance

Dealer Facebook Likes Twitter Followers
1. Evans Halshaw 6,924 11,000
2. Mercedes-Benz Retail Group 17,045 7,833
3. Stratstone 2,129 2,522
4. TrustFord 906 784
5. Arnold Clark Automobiles 14,846 8,624
6. Lookers PLC 1,567 1,509
7. Bristol Street Motors 2,791 5,100


Customers ‘don’t feel the need’ to contact dealers

Auto Trader carried out research 1,300 customers and found that 61% have visited a franchised dealer’s website before making their purchase.The figure for independent dealers was 75% and car supermarkets 78%.

When asked what information they look for in a dealer website, most buyers focus on stock. T majority, 57%, said they visited 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 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 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.

“Today, around one in ten buyers actively look for customer testimonials on a dealer website. A similar proportion seek background information on the dealership itself, such as how long it has been in business.”


Half of van tyres incorrectly inflated, says Wheelright

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.”


Vehicle preparation is key to high RV values, says Glass’s

Vehicle preparation is key to sellers maximizing residual values over the next few years thanks to used car availability increasing, according to vehicle data provider Glass’s.

According to the head of valuations, Rupert Pontin, vehicle condition had been of less importance in recent years because the number of vehicles for sale had been low.

Pontin said that thanks to the availability of used cars being low in recent years sellers had not found it necessary to invest in preparation unless vehicle damage was bad enough for it to affect the value of the car.

“That picture is changing. Stock availability is growing quite quickly and will continue to do so over the next few years. That means more choice for buyers and only the best presented vehicles will reach the desired values,” said Pontin.

“We are predicting that there will be greater emphasis placed on vehicle preparation through the remainder of 2015 and into 2016 as sellers look to try and achieve the prices they want in a market that is no longer as receptive to their wares.”


Posted by Lois Hardy on 18/05/2015