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5 Things We Learned From April Auto Sales
Helping to drive sales — and lure buyers to spend more on the vehicles — were continued low interest rates. The average retail transaction through the first quarter this year was up more than 3% to $33,189, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. And it has been low rates — along with record longer loan terms now averaging 67.8 months — that have kept monthly payments down. Good news for the auto industry is that the larger economic trends make low rates look likely for some time to come. Meanwhile, with the average age of vehicles on the road still at about 11 years, there continues to be pent-up demand for new vehicles. And automakers have filled showrooms with a flood of redesigned or refreshed models. “The historically strong spring and summer selling seasons will be driven by new and redesigned vehicles as well as competitive financing rates, which bode well for auto sales over the next several months,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly.
Source: USA Today
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Cambridge Consultants claims its DropTag condition monitoring technology could spell the end of disputes over liability if a hire car is damaged.
The Drop Tag Drive service uses a small tag fixed to the windscreen, which continually monitors all vehicle accelerations and impacts to give a picture of what has happened to the car during the hire period.
It uses Bluetooth smart technology and connects to any smartphone. In high volumes, the cost for a hire car company works out at £1 per tag per month with the reusable tags lasting more than a year.
The tag is ‘always on’ – sensing what is happening to the vehicle and relaying the information to the driver and the car hire company via a smartphone app.
In the case of an accident, DropTag Drive can confirm if the vehicle was stationary when it was hit – removing blame from the driver. It can detect low-speed car park collisions down to 2mph impacts.
If no incidents are detected during the hire period, the app will give the driver the all-clear as they arrive in the drop-off area – prompted by a signal from a beacon in the depot which lets the tag know it is about to be returned. The driver can then simply park the car and go on their way.
Vauxhall has supplied Anglian Home Improvements with a fleet of 29 Vivaro vans. The deal will help the company reduce its fuel consumption and whole life operating costs, it said.
The L1H1 vans are powered by the firm’s 90hp 1.6-litre diesel engine with start/stop. They are being used by the company’s engineers who drive an average of 30,000 miles a year.
The 90hp 1.6-litre unit emits 160g/km of CO2 and returns 46.3mpg.
“Initially it was the excellent fuel efficiency that attracted us to the Vauxhall Vivaro, but when we came to experience the new model, we were extremely pleased with the smart interior and the in-cab technology, which includes a modern infotainment system and DAB radio,” said Michael Shepherd, fleet manager for Anglian Home Improvements.
“We’ve already received excellent feedback from our drivers who have said that the vehicles are both comfortable and good to drive. Keeping our employees happy is extremely important to us, so we’re very pleased with the comments,” said Shepherd.
Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has launched a free driving eyesight toolkit aimed to provide both businesses with information regarding regulations and requirements for driver eyesight.
The optician said its kit sets out an employer’s responsibility for drivers under health and safety regulations, while explaining the higher risk of collisions for those who drive for work purposes and suggests considerations for eyecare policies.
The kit also includes a case-study showing how a risk-management firm used Specsavers to help member companies test the eyesight of employees who drive.
The toolkit also provides tips on how employees can improve driving vision, including regular eye examinations, while the DVLA regulations on eyesight requirements are set out.
“We feel extremely strongly about the issue of poor driver eyesight. It is a problem that can cause shattering results but can be so easily and cost-effectively overcome,” said Suzanne Randall, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.
“By introducing the driving eyesight toolkit, we hope to assist employers and employees alike in making sure the roads become a safer place for us all,” said Randall.
Ford Motor Credit Co. increased its share of U.S. retail loan and lease volume for Ford and Lincoln dealers to 45 percent in the first quarter. That was up from 44 percent a year earlier and the highest first quarter in 14 years. The first-quarter share also was the second-highest share for Ford Credit since the third quarter of 2014, when share was 53 percent, the company said last week during a conference call. The captive finance company’s share typically peaks for the year in the third quarter, tied to model-year changeover, incentives on outgoing models and greater spending on marketing and advertising.
Source: Automotive News