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General News UpdateBack

AmOnlineCar dealers urged to ensure appeal of online finance offering

Car dealers are being urged to ensure they have an effective online finance offering.

A bright, clear presentation is vital says finance software experts Codeweavers.

Sales director Shaun Harris said: “Used car dealer finance may be 9% up this year, but with consumer credit growing by broadly the same level, dealer finance risks losing the ground it gained through the economic downturn.

“It is essential that dealers ensure the attractiveness of dealer finance is clear in the fastest growing marketplace for finance – online.”

Codeweavers analysis of the consumer credit market suggests that while still the largest source of unsecured lending High Street banks are lagging behind growth in the wider market.

The indications are that there is a trend to other channels, with online and supermarket lenders the likely winners.

“Lingering dissatisfaction with traditional banks and especially access to a wider portfolio of lenders through digital channels are thought to be the key factors behind this shift.”


MitsubishiMotorsLogoMitsubishi dealers commit to record apprenticeship intake

Mitsubishi Motors UK has reported a record number of apprenticeship requests from the dealer network for training at its headquarters in Cirencester.This year 20 Mitsubishi dealerships from across the UK have committed to the head office run scheme as part of the IMI-accredited three-year Level Three Diploma in light vehicle repair.

The figure has grown from 11 apprentices in 2014 and eight in 2013. The company has also appointed a new apprentice trainer, Gary Preece, to meet the increased demand for places.

“The demand for places for apprentices has been unprecedented this year and our intake is double the usual number, which is a reflection of how confident the Mitsubishi dealers are feeling,” said Glyn Lewis, Mitsubishi’s apprentice programme controller.

“The dealers are secure about their future and they are investing in more staff as a result. The dealers want people that are trained from the ground up and able to work on Mitsubishi products, like the Outlander plug-in hybrid vehicle.’

The rise in the number of technician apprentices in the dealer network comes at a time when Mitsubishi Motors is the fastest growing mainstream car brand in the UK, with figures just released by the SMMT showing sales for the year to August up 100%.


ShellLogoShell to site hydrogen refuelling on three forecourts

The first deal to fully integrate hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) onto UK forecourts has been agreed by Shell.

ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, has signed a strategic siting partnership with Shell for the delivery of HRS on three Shell sites in the UK.

Oliver Bishop, general manager of hydrogen, Shell, said: “Shell has signed an agreement with ITM Power with the intention of deploying hydrogen refuelling facilities on three forecourts in the South East of England. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) could be an important part of a low-carbon transport system – they produce no emissions at the exhaust pipe, only water. If hydrogen is generated using power derived from low CO2 energy sources, such as natural gas with carbon capture and storage, FCEVs can be almost carbon free on a well-to-wheels basis. They can drive similar distances to combustion engines and take only minutes to refuel.

“For hydrogen mobility to succeed, vehicle manufacturers, fuel suppliers and governments need to work together. In Germany, Shell and its partners have set up a joint venture, called H2 Mobility Deutschland, the most promising example of a public-private collaboration designed to progress the commercialisation of hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of a number of options Shell is actively developing to reduce emissions from transport.”

Some of the UK development will supported by government funding. ITM Power announced in March that it had been awarded £1.89m by OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to invest in two new HRS in London at strategic locations suitable for use by FCEVs. Both HRS will incorporate on-site hydrogen generation using the company’s PEM HGas electrolyser platform.

Additional financial support of £1.7m is being contributed by the FCH JU (Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) to provide support for the operation of these stations in the early years. Following the agreement with Shell, at least one, and possibly two, of these HRS will be built under the OLEV scheme.

Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power, commented: “This agreement and the OLEV funding for these new refuelling stations in the South East is an important step in developing hydrogen mobility in the UK. These HRS deployments will be the first to be fully integrated on fuel forecourts.”



Carwow has found that 66% of new-car buyers are put off buying from a dealer by a pushy salesperson.

The survey also found that pushy salespeople would put off 77% of women and 60% of men.

Of more than one thousand respondents, 33% – the second largest group – said that dealers not having the car they want available to test-drive caused them to look elsewhere when buying a new model. Following shortly behind, with 31% of people, is dealers refusing to offer a discount on a new model.

Having salespeople that don’t know enough about the cars they’re selling is an annoyance for 30% of buyers, but it’s of far more importance to women than men. Only 26% of men said they’re put off by unknowledgeable salespeople, compared with 36% of women.

Not being served quickly enough and having to haggle fall at the bottom of the list, with 27% and 19% of people respectively, but again there’s some disparity between the sexes. Just 23% of men are put off by long waiting times in a dealership, but that figure is 33% for women.

James Hind, CEO of carwow said, ‘More than ever before consumers are looking for the quickest and most stress-free way of buying things, and many still feel a bit let down by the car-buying experience. We’re seeing more and more people using carwow when they buy their new car, and the reasons we’re hearing from our users all centre around the fact that our service allows them to sidestep many of the gripes marked out in this survey. The dealers using our site are constantly monitored for their performance, so the ones that don’t impress won’t have the opportunity to make offers to our users.’

He continued, ‘What we also see through our users is that there’s also a much more relaxed relationship between salespeople and buyers. Before heading down to the showroom to complete their purchase or test drive the car, a price has already been agreed so there’s none of that tension you might normally have.’


FTATransport Committee launches investigation into lack of skilled drivers

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the launch of a skills and workforce planning inquiry into the lack of professional drivers in the haulage industry by the Transport Committee.

FTA has been warning that the freight industry is facing a long-term challenge to attract and recruit sufficient people to professional driving, and that the skills shortage in the logistics sector has reached crisis point.

According to the Committee, the objective of the inquiry will be to investigate what action Government has taken to address industry concerns about a lack of skilled drivers in the road haulage sector, and assess how effective the Government’s response has been.

David Wells, FTA chief executive, said: “FTA is delighted that the Transport Committee is going to investigate the lack of skilled drivers as this has been an important issue for our members who have been concerned about this for some time.

“In our recent conversations with MPs we have emphasised the real problems the logistics sector is having in attracting new recruits and suggested that Government and the industry need to work together to find solutions which enable us to keep delivering the goods for the UK economy.”

How to fill the skills gap and to engage, develop and retain staff is currently being featured within the current FTA Transport Manager Conference 2015 series, which includes a presentation focusing on plans for solving the industry wide problem with the driver crisis.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 18/09/2015