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Motor Industry News Round UpBack

chryslerChrysler to exit UK in 2017

Chrysler franchisees have been issued two years notice that the brand will withdraw from the UK in 2017. Chrysler UK said the latest possible date that the brand will be operating in the UK will be March 15, 2017 and its network of car dealers has been given 24 months notice of termination.

The exit has been widely expected, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK, the parent group, had begun promoting Jeep as a separate entity over the past 24 months after years of trading from Chrysler Jeep dealerships.

Chrysler’s product line-up, including the Ypsilon supermini, Delta family hatchback, 300C large saloon and Grand Voyager MPV, have struggled to garner significant interest among UK consumers.

In 2014 Chrysler’s new registrations totalled 1,982 units.

Car dealer Marshall Motor Group applies for stock exchange float

Marshall Motor Group has applied to float on the London Stock Exchange. The expected admission date is April 1.
The dealer group’s staff are understood to have been informed this morning. The application states:

“The group is the only dealer group in the UK to represent all of the top five prestige (being Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Jaguar) and top 10 volume (being Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Nissan, Peugeot, Toyota, Citroen, Hyundai, Kia and Skoda) vehicle manufacturer brands.”

The broker is Investec.

Average value of used cars at auction falls in February

The average month-on-month value of used cars sold at auction decreased 0.4% from £5,592 to £5,567, reports the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).

Sales volumes were down by 7.3% in comparison to the January 2015 figures. This is not unexpected as stock levels reduce at the auction centres in line with the February market prior to the March plate change, and the sale of vehicles that had built up in January post the holiday period sold at the end of January, said NAMA. However vehicle sales were up by 7% and almost 7,000 units compared to February 2014. The volume of vehicles sold first time during February 2015 rose from 82% in January 2015 to 84%.

However, this was down as a percentage on February 2014 by 2% despite showing a greater number of vehicles sold in comparison.

The price premium for vehicles sold first time rose by £50 on the January 2015 value to £350 and the average days on site decreased to 8.2 days.

Average sale price has increased on the perception of tighter supply in comparison in all sectors although the overall number of vehicles sold was higher than February 2014.

Paul Hill, NAMA chairman, said:

“February 2015 has shown another strong month in the new car market, the 36th month of consecutive growth delivering 76,958 units up 12% on the February 2014 number of 68,736 units. The registrations were pushed up by a growth of 19.9% in fleet and 3.4% in the private market. At a wholesale level as expected values were strong for the month of February in the build up to the March plate change. Early indications are that stock numbers are building in the auction centres a little earlier than the normal market trend for this time of the year. Dealers are verbally reporting a good order take for the new plate change, and transport companies suggesting that their utilisation will be high for March delivering new stock and moving used vehicle stock to the auction centres. A strong month on the plate change will inevitably mean more used vehicle stock in the market, that will potentially put pressure on average prices and an early Easter in April will potentially compound this.”

General News

IMI urges employers to go further than 20% pay increase for apprentices

IMI chief executive Steve Nash has welcomed the Government’s plans, announced in today’s papers, to implement a 57p an hour increase for apprentices under 20 years old. Nash recently called on employers in the motor industry to increase the starting rate for junior apprentices to £4 hour, a 70% rise on the current rate, to help the industry attract the top talent it needs. Nash said: “20% on top of today’s apprentice minimum wage is a great step forward; it should help business attract talented youngsters into vocational training as a viable alternative to university.
IMI are recommending that businesses in the motor industry go further and offer up to £4 an hour to 1st year apprentices, to attract the brightest students into our branch of engineering apprenticeships.”

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 18/03/2015