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General News UpdateBack

MGlogoMG is calling on forward thinking dealers to join the brand

MG Motor UK is calling for more dealers, specifically smaller groups, to join the brand and forge a strong relationship to drive results forward together.

The latest new car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited (SMMT) showed that MG’s June 2015 performance was almost 20% higher than last year; whilst the year-to-date saw a rise of just fewer than 40%.

MG is looking for prospect dealers to join the franchise and be part of a company that cares more about building strong relationships than the colour of the tiles in the showroom.

Head of sales and marketing at MG, Matthew Cheyne, said: “We’re looking for the smaller groups, perhaps family owned, that have strong local relationships and are fed up of how they are treated by other manufacturers.

“We want to work with dealers who strive to deliver a great service and have a say in how they want their franchise to go in the future. We also want to reassure prospect dealers that we’re not going to come into your showroom and demand for the tiles to be changed, or to have different style coffee cups; we care more about listening to you, forging a strong relationship, and building a franchise for the future, together.

“MG understands that the best dealers are those who are well known in their area at the grass roots level and are not afraid to get out into their local community to put the product in front of customers. Hard working people build businesses so, if that’s you, help us build this business together.”

If you are interested in becoming part of MG’s dealer network, contact Sue Kent, network development manager, for more information on 0121 251 3500 or via email:


TTIPLogoTTIP has potential to boost transatlantic auto trade by 20% or more

The automotive trade could increase by 20%, following the 10th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, according to ACEA.

The increase could represent transatlantic income gains of over $20 billion.

TTIP represents an opportunity to remove regulatory barriers, while maintaining high safety and environmental standards.

Following a recent study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), industry estimates that this rise would represent over 240,000 more vehicles traded annually, worth more than $9 billion, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs. Eliminating tariffs and achieving greater auto regulatory convergence would also provide greater consumer choice, lower costs and improve the international competitiveness of the American and European auto industries. The conclusions of the study are based on the experiences of the signatories of the UN 1958 Agreement

The American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) strongly support an ambitious outcome for the automotive sector, which maximises the consumer benefits and economic growth that could be achieved. The associations are supporting the TTIP automotive talks through coordinated engagement with the American and EU negotiators, as well as by supporting reports and studies that inform the talks, such as the PIIE study.

ACEA, AAPC and the Alliance are confident that transatlantic automotive regulatory convergence will result in large economic gains for both economies.

The conclusions of the study are based on the experiences of the signatories of the UN 1958 Agreement.


FCAFCA asks dealers to reveal claim ratios on all general insurance products

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing that automotive retailers must show a claims ratio on all general insurance add-on sales as part of new measures it is looking to introduce.

The FCA recently released a discussion document around the value provided by general insurance products and has suggested three potential solutions for dealers to adopt:

– a claims ratio as a stand-alone value measure.
– a package of claims frequencies, claims acceptance rates and average claims pay-outs.
– claims ratios and claims acceptance rates.

The “value measures” will affect all general insurance add-on sales across all market sectors, not just automotive, but the discussion paper follows on from the FCA’s crackdown on GAP insurance sales.

New value measurement rules will likely impact on the way products like MoT insurance, tyre and alloy insurance and paint protection insurance are sold in the future.

Tim Heavisides, Car Care Plan chief executive, told AM: “These proposals are totally separate to the new GAP insurance rules.

“We expect the process to go to the consultation period after September and we could see new regulations implemented by the middle of next year.”

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “We are committed to introducing a measure of value for general insurance products.

“We believe consumers in this market need to have greater transparency about what they are paying for.”

Woolard believes the FCA’s suggestions set out in the paper will boost competition between finance and insurance companies to offer better deals.

The FCA is now inviting the automotive industry to put forward its own ideas that will give consumers an indication of the value of general insurance products.

The deadline for responses to the FCA’s discussion document is September 23 and dealers can download the full paper here.

Click here to view the most recent policy statement from the FCA.


AutoTraderAuto Trader reveals fastest selling cars in June

Auto Trader has revealed that the 2014 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso MPV diesel automatic was its fastest selling car in June.

Overall, cars in the national top ten sold more quickly than their equivalents in May, taking an average of 20.7 days to turn compared with 22 days. That compares with an average of 55 days for all cars on forecourts.

The average price of the nation’s quickest sellers also fell significantly month-on-month, from £14,953 to £9,450.

Vauxhall’s Insignia was the only car to take its place in both May and June’s top ten. The 2010 petrol hatchback took fifth spot in May and fourth place in June. The 2011 Insignia took ninth spot in June too.

London, the North West and Scotland proved to be regional hot spots for speedy sales last month. On average cars in the top ten sold in just 16 days in London with the 2011 BMW 3 Series diesel manual taking just nine days to turn. In the North East, cars in the top ten sold in just 15 days with the 2014 Ford Galaxy MPV diesel taking just 6 days to turn. In Scotland top ten cars turned, on average, in 18 days.

Auto Trader director, retailer and consumer products Karolina Edwards-Smajda said: “Stalwarts like the Nissan Qashqai continue to demonstrate their value as a forecourt acquisition, but this month we’ve also seen less obvious cars like the Chrysler Ypsilon make it into the national top ten. What’s really interesting however is the variation in speed-of-sale by different regions.

“In London, the North West and Scotland, cars in the top ten took an average of less than 20 days to sell. However, when looking at the East of England, Wales and the South West, we found that they took more than twice as long to leave forecourts: the average top ten model taking more than 40 days to turn.”


FTAFTA is against banning lorries in cities

The FTA has said it is against banning HGVs during peak hours in cities, in response to David Cameron examining the case for such bans.

According to reports, the prime minister told the all party parliamentary group on cycling yesterday that he would ask transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin to investigate the possibilities of several measures to improve cyclist safety, including possible HGV bans.

Christopher Snelling, head of urban logistics at the FTA, said: “Even a medium-sized lorry would have to be replaced with 10 vans – which means overall safety would not be improved, let alone the emissions and congestion consequences.

“It has to be remembered that we don’t choose to deliver at peak times on a whim – our customers need goods at the start of the working day.”

The FTA has written to the prime minister on the issue of cycle safety and is having ongoing discussions with the transport secretary and department for transport officials over the best ways to improve safety for all road users while preserving efficiency.

Snelling said: “What we are looking at is the safety of everyone. For example while early morning is rush hour for cyclists, the pedestrian peak is later. Forcing deliveries outside morning peak would interact with another group of vulnerable road users.”

He said there were better approaches to making busy city roads safer. They included: increased targeted enforcement against HGVs and drivers that do not comply with safety regulations in key areas such as London, improved road infrastructure, such as road surfaces and junctions, tipper vehicle operators to commit and work to the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standard incentives from Government to make lorries with better visibility more available and commercially viable, allowing deliveries operators to work outside the peak, such as easing night-time restrictions like the London Lorry Control Scheme (that ends at 7am each morning) and progressive improvement of safety standards for vehicle equipment from DfT, in line with what is possible for industry.

Snelling added: “All road users have a role to play in improving road safety. Better awareness, training and behaviour is needed on all sides to make our roads as safe as they can be. Things can improve. The number of HGVs involved in fatalities in the UK has halved in the last 12 years, which shows the success of the progressive approach to improving safety.”


LowEmissionZoneWestminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum to discuss developing low emission transport

The Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum will discuss the development of low emission transport in the UK at a seminar in London, on December 8.

The meeting is timed to follow the announcement of the winners of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme in autumn 2015, part of a £65 million fund for cities to become international leaders in low emission vehicles (LEVs).

Keynote speaker will be Richard Bruce, head of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Delegates will assess technological design and innovation in the electric vehicle market, and look at the next generation of hybrid vehicles, as well as the role of alternative fuels in the low emission arena and progress towards educating drivers on fuel-efficient driving habits.

They will also examine the ability of electricity networks, the strategic road network, and the automotive manufacturing sectors to adapt to an uptake of LEVs, as well as skills issues.

Further planned sessions focus on investment; consumer and business engagement in take-up of LEVs; and what other transport sectors, including aviation and shipping, are doing to reduce emissions.


120314 CheapusedcarsUsed cars in June take 55 days to shift off forecourts

The average used car on forecourts took 55 days to sell in June, according to Auto Trader figures.

The online classified group also published data for the top 10 fastest selling cars in June which took on average 20.7 days to sell.

This was better than the performance in May when cars in the top 10 were on forecourts for 22 days.

The national Top 10 included a Citroen C4 Picasso and Mercedes CLS which sold in 19 days in June while a Hyundai ix35 Estate, Vauxhall Insignia and Chevrolet took 20 days. (See table)

Auto Trader also published data for regional performances. The regional fastest seller leagues revealed the popularity of the Nissan Qashqai.

As well as taking top spots in the South West and Wales, the Sunderland-built model also made third position in London and fifth in its home territory, the North East.

On average cars in the top ten sold in just 16 days in London with the 2011 BMW 3 Series diesel manual taking just nine days to turn.

In the North East, cars in the top ten sold in just 15 days with the 2014 Ford Galaxy MPV diesel taking just 6 days to turn. In Scotland top ten cars turned, on average, in 18 days.

“Stalwarts like the Nissan Qashqai continue to demonstrate their value as a forecourt acquisition, but this month we’ve also seen less obvious cars like the Chrysler Ypsilon make it into the national top ten,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda Auto Trader director, retailer & consumer products. “What’s really interesting however is the variation in speed-of-sale by different regions.

“In London, the North West and Scotland, cars in the top ten took an average of less than 20 days to sell. However, when looking at the East of England, Wales and the South West, we found that they took more than twice as long to leave forecourts: the average top ten model taking more than 40 days to turn.”


Bank1Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions

Please find below the link to the Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions published today on the bank’s Website.

NamaNAMA Appraiser training courses hailed a success

National Association of Motor Auctions has praised Stephenson College in Leicestershire, following its role in running the new NAMA Appraiser training courses. “We are delighted with the success of NAMA’s Appraiser training courses, which have been extremely beneficial for attendees,” said Paul Hill, NAMA chairman. “Stephenson College continues to meet all the challenges presented. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a respected higher education establishment.”

The courses train auction staff to appraise vehicles consistently and to a high standard, underpinning NAMA’s Grading Scheme by ensuring that vehicles are assessed uniformly. This gives consumers confidence in the veracity of the scheme.

NAMA’s Grading Scheme is the first national vehicle grading scheme and an unprecedented competency framework.

The Appraiser course was started 10 months ago, and has already trained over 300 candidates. It helps candidates to qualify faults and severity levels to a consistent standard, and to justify decisions utilising the NAMA standards for appraisal. It takes place over the course of one day.

Candidates gain an in-depth understanding of the benefits of standardisation for both buyers and sellers alike, and the importance of such a role in setting a new standard for the UK motor industry as a whole.

Successful attendees are rewarded with the ‘NAMA Accredited Appraiser’ qualification from the college and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).


FTAIncentives could improve London’s air quality now, says FTA

The Mayor of London could immediately improve the city’s air quality by offering incentives such as discounted congestion charging to the cleanest freight operators, says the Freight Transport Association.

Boris Johnson’s office this week launched its ultra-low emission vehicle delivery plan which sets a direction for London to support the expected increase in the number of ultra-low emission vehicles over the next 10 years.

The launch was followed by the announcement that London Fire Brigade has agreed a £600,000 plan to replace 57 of the its fleet vehicles with range extender and hybrid electric cars by 2016.

Rachael Dillon, FTA’s climate change policy manager, said the right incentives were needed to get the freight industry on board as the plan had huge cost implications for the sector.

She said: “Low emission vehicles can offer fantastic benefits to helping the freight sector play its role in reducing pollutants and carbon, but high vehicle costs, concerns over reliability and lack of public refuelling infrastructure means that uptake remains relatively small.

“FTA sees the announcement as a key opportunity for both Transport for London and the Government to provide further incentives to enable fleet operators to make a business case for these alternative fuels and technologies. Why wait? This could be done straight away to improve air quality.”

Within TfL’s 15-point action plan to deliver ULEVs, it aims to increase the uptake in freight and fleet operations.

This will include a new low emission commercial vehicle programme commencing this summer in which FTA is participating.

The programme is intended to accelerate the development and supply and widen the uptake of low-emission commercial vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.

The alternative fuel discount, a previous incentive, was launched in 2010 and since then the only discounts available on the congestion charge are for cleaner cars.

There are no incentives to encourage investment in cleaner commercial vehicles.

Dillon said: “Many fleets are already operating Euro 6 HGVs ahead of the introduction of the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) from 2020.

“The right incentives could mean that fleets move their newest and cleanest vehicles to the capital, giving those living and working in central London some of the benefits of ULEZ straight away.”

Following the announcement that London Fire Brigade is adopting 57 range extender and hybrid electric cars by 2016, London’s fire commissioner Ron Dobson revealed the Brigade’s ambition to eventually use low emission fire engines in the capital, calling on industry to bring forward new technologies to meet the unique demands of operational emergency vehicles.

London’s deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring said: “London has real potential to become the ultra-low emission vehicle capital of Europe.

“There is a great opportunity for the capital’s fleet of commercial and private vehicles to step forward and help to deliver our ambition for London to be a world leader in green vehicle technology.

“It will help us meet London’s air quality challenge and provide economic benefits right across the UK – as shown by the mayor’s commitment to zero emission taxis which led to a £300 million investment, creating 2,000 jobs and two factories in Coventry.”

The new ULEV delivery plan sets out a range of actions to support the uptake of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles. It includes:

• A commitment to the ultra-low emission discount for the congestion charge and to improving it as emission standards improve, so only the cleanest vehicles are incentivised.
• Exploring preferential access for ULEV vehicles when new infrastructure is opened.
• Working with boroughs to develop preferential access, parking or charging in new area-based schemes, including through the £2m low emission neighbourhood programme to be funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund
• A £65m programme of zero emission capable London taxi top-up grants, as well as decommissioning grants for taxis older than 10 years to encourage an accelerated take up of zero emission capable taxis.
• Launching a new low emission commercial vehicle (LECV) programme by the end of the year to accelerate the development, supply and widen uptake of low emission commercial vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.
• A trial of inductive wireless charging in the bus fleet by 2016.
• Undertaking trials of ‘geofencing’ to harness new technologies and target the potential air quality benefits. A trial will launch on bus route 159 next year and TfL will also explore trials with taxi manufacturers.
• Working with the car club industry to identify and put in place infrastructure to support the industry’s ambitions for at least 50% of their fleets to be ULEV by 2025.
• Developing a new infrastructure procurement framework for charge points that provides best value for procurers in the GLA Group.


CarProdUK car production hits seven year high

UK car production rose to its best half year level since 2008 with 793,642 cars rolling off production lines between January and June, up 0.3% on the same period last year, according to the SMMT.

The SMMT said the result equated to more than three cars being produced every minute with 76.2 % destined for export (2014: 79%).

The number of cars built in June was up 5.4% year-on-year with production hitting 143,759 units. Production for export was up 9% which outperformed domestic production which was down 7.1% – a reversal of the trend seen in previous months.

According to the SMMT production volumes are now up more than 50% since 2009.

“With significant investments still to be realised – a raft of brand new models are set to hit production lines in the coming months – the UK car industry is growing on a global scale,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“While the sector is enjoying robust demand in the domestic market, it is not immune to external influences. With economic and political instability in some global markets, it is essential the UK retains its competitive leadership, attracting investment to stimulate innovation, productivity and employment.”

UK Car Manufacturing June 2015

Car manufacturing Jun-14 Jun-15 % Change YTD-14 YTD-15 % Change

Total 136,419 143,759 5.4% 791,314 793,642 0.3%
Home 30,532 28,351 -7.1% 165,855 188,598 13.7%
Export 105,887 115,408 9.0% 625,459 605,044 -3.3%
% export 77.6% 80.3% 79.0% 76.2%

Source: SMMT


HyundaiLogHyundai’s 10-year success story in the UK

HYUNDAI Motor UK is this year celebrating 10 years in the UK, since the subsidiary was founded in July 2005.

The company says it has invested more than £35.2 million in its dealer network over those 10 years, with more than 70 per cent of the network changing since 2005.

Most recently, Hyundai introduced its new dealer showroom identity combining open space, modern furnishings and the latest technology.

Rockar Hyundai has seen more than 120,000 visitors to the store in Bluewater over the past seven months.

Since its official opening in 2005, Hyundai Motor UK has sold more than 600,000 units, with more than 82,000 cars sold in 2014. The brand’s market share has risen from 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

Hyundai says it is now the fastest-growing car manufacturer in the UK and that the company’s import centre at Tilbury Docks in Essex has grown to three times its original size to accommodate the increased demand.

hyundai i30Tony Whitehorn, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK, said: ‘I joined Hyundai in 2005, and it’s fantastic to see how far the company has come in such a short space of time. Our success has been driven by three key areas: our product, our customer and our people. In the past 10 years our product range has been completely transformed. We have transitioned from a brand with product that was purchased on price and reliability to a brand with product that’s now also bought for its looks, technology and comfort.

‘The best is yet to come – we are targeting 100,000 sales in the UK in the next few years, with a long-term goal of being within the top five car brands in the UK in the not-too-distant future.’


Posted by Sue Robinson on 24/07/2015