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General news updateBack

Honda1Honda to raise all vehicle prices by an average of 2.3%

Honda UK has announced a price rise averaging 2.3% across its range of vehicles.

Coming into effect from December 1 for the HR-V, the Civic hatchback, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz will also see price rises from January 4 next year.

With pricing for the Japanese automakers products remaining largely unchanged since January 2014, Honda was keen to stress the market has moved substantially since then with one competitor increasing prices 3% in the last 12 months alone.

Philip Crossman, Managing Director of Honda UK, commented: “In the wider context we must ensure industry price competitiveness. To achieve this we have undertaken a comprehensive review of our product pricing over the last three years to understand where Honda sits in comparison to our main competitors and have determined that we need to raise prices accordingly.”

At launch the new Jazz had a slight price decrease, with prices not rising since January ’14. Prices for the SE and EX Jazz will rise by 2.3% on average while the entry model remains the same at £13,495.

The CR-V had a slight price increase at the start of this year when the mid-life model change occurred; from January 2016, prices will rise by 1.9% starting at £22,770 for the 2.0 S i-VTEC 2WD.

The Civic Hatchback and Civic Tourer will see a price rise of 2.3% having not seen a rise since January ’14. Indeed the mid-life model change saw a price decrease of up to £1,500 across the range. The 1.4 S i-VTEC entry model will now start at £16,470.

Pricing for the HR-V, which launched in September this year, will rise by 4.4% on average with the 1.5 i-VTEC S starting at £18,495 to be more in line with competitive prices.

Source: AM-Online

121211 Learner driversDriver training in schools could benefit road safety and the economy

Driver training on the national curriculum could provide a welcome boost to the economy as well as road safety, campaigners have claimed.

Kim Stanton, who heads up the Young Driver scheme which has delivered 275,000 under-17 driving lessons to under 17s at its 41 nationwide training centres and in 130 schools, wants mandatory training to prepare future motorists for life on the roads.

The scheme is currently heading up a campaign to have driving added to the school curriculum, in a bid to cut down the high accident rate for young drivers.

Stanton said: “Something needs to be done to tackle the shockingly high rate of accidents young drivers have – far too many precious lives are lost, and barely a week goes by without another tragic story.

“Pilot studies in Europe have shown a 40 per cent reduction among novice driver groups who trained at school, and our own research similarly shows that Young Driver past pupils are half as likely to have an accident when they do pass their test.”

Speaking to AM, Retail Motor Industry Director Sue Robinson said that the knock-on effects of driver training in schools could be far reaching: “I think it’s important that we get to grips with road safety and understand road use from a young age.

“Mobility has always been an important aspect for young people’s careers and career development. Encouraging it to be part of the curriculum will help to ensure that young people have access to the opportunities they need and help to drive the economy too.

“They are the future work force and the future customers of the automotive industry too.

“This will also ensure that young drivers get the correct tuition, something that is a vital part of ensuring safety on our roads.”

A petition has been launched to ask the government to add driving and road safety to the curriculum, which has already gained backing from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the RAC, the Driving Instructors Association (DIA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSA), Admiral, Goodyear and Quentin Willson, motoring presenter and expert.


Glass'sHigh volumes put used car values under pressure in December

Used values are coming under pressure in December due to the high volumes of stock in the market.

Glass’s said there was ongoing concern over the numbers of pre-registration vehicles that are being pumped through the system to help dealers achieve end of quarter bonuses.

“This position looks set to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Glass chief car editor Steven Jackson.

Glass’s also said there was more ex-leasing cars in the market and this was competing with dealer over age and part-exchange stock at auction.

Glass’s has also seen more ex-captive finance cars as end of contract cars return to the market.

“Wholesale available stock numbers have once more seen an increase in volume, compared to the equivalent period in 2014,” he added.

“Given the increase in cars and the fast approaching financial year end, values are under continued pressure.

“Older part exchange and budget vehicles have not declined in numbers, as evidenced once again by the Glass’s Editorial Team in the market. Auction Hall attendance has also fallen in line with seasonality and the availability of stock through alternative online remarketing platforms. This has added additional pressure to the used values for all vehicles in all sectors.

“There is no doubt that vendors and their remarketing partners need to watch the market closely as values are set to fall during the month, especially during the short trading period in the run up to the seasonal holidays. Smart decisions will need to be made to maximise the opportunity during the weeks of December to liquidate stock and keep the days to sale to the minimum,” he said.

Three year old mainstream cars were down between -0.7% and -1.8% while three year old non-mainstream and luxury cars were down between -0.2% and -3.7%



The RAC is fearful changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty system are likely to dampen the enthusiasm for a hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs).

Research conducted for the RAC Report on Motoring 2015, highlight almost one in five motorists (19%) say they would consider a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) as their next car, yet the motoring organisation fears changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty system will hamper this.

Although 19% of motorists saying they would consider buying some form of low-carbon vehicle is a significant minority, the appeal of lower running costs is bound to lose some of its ‘shine’ as changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) system announced by the Chancellor in the 2015 summer Budget will reduce incentives to run low-emission vehicles.

From 2017, only new cars which produce zero emissions will be exempt from VED in the first and subsequent years whereas at present, cars which produce 100g/km or less in carbon dioxide permanently avoid VED. Under the new system these lower-emission models will pay between £10 and £100 in first-year VED, and after year one, all vehicles other than those with zero emissions will face a flat £140 annual charge.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said, ‘Treasury income from VED is currently falling each year as the average carbon dioxide emissions of new cars falls so the Government does need to take action to stabilise the income from VED, not least because VED will be ring-fenced from 2020/21 to fund the development and maintenance of the strategic road network across the UK.

‘We accept the current VED system needs to be changed, but the Government’s plans to remove one of the financial benefits of running plug-in hybrid or extended-range electric vehicles – the fastest-growing part of the ultra-low emission vehicle market – could easily put some motorists off buying them. The Government needs to find a way of continuing to incentivise motorists to switch to low-carbon whilst maintaining income for the Treasury.

‘However, it is also important to recognise that the motoring taxation framework as we know it today will need to change as more and more low-carbon vehicles take to the road. As this happens, fuel duty revenue from petrol and diesel, which currently stands at 57.95p in every litre sold and generates an annual income of around £26bn a year for the Treasury, will shrink to a fraction of its current level leaving a big hole in the Treasury finances.

‘Under the current taxation model, the more successful we are at decarbonising the vehicle parc, the bigger the hole will be in motoring taxation income for the Treasury. This is something the Government needs to be planning for now and can only be addressed by a radical overhaul of the motoring taxation regime.’

Department for Transport figures show that registrations of ultra-low-emission cars (predominantly pure electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrids such as the Mitsubishi Outlander) increased by 19% to 34,666 in the second quarter of 2015 from 33,697 between January and March. Since the start of 2010 and the end of June 2015, some 37,742 ultra-low emission vehicles have been registered in the UK.

Overall, combined hybrid and electric car sales add up to less than 3% of the UK new car market.



Government investment in the next generation of electric vehicles (EVs) is likely to fail because of a shortage of skilled technicians, the Institute of the Motor Industry has warned today.

IMI has previously raised concerns over the dearth of skilled technicians who are trained to work on electric and hybrid cars when its own research showed 60% of consumers are thinking about buying one in the next two years. Now the Government is promising to invest £600 million to turn this public interest into sales of electric vehicles. IMI says action on closing the skills gap is now urgently needed.

Current only 1,000 vehicle technicians are qualified to work on electric cars in the UK. There are only 1,000 more in training at the moment that will have graduated by 2018. That’s only one per cent of the workforce. With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement setting the goal of all new cars in Britain being electric by 2040 the current rate of skills development will be insufficient to meet consumer demand.

Speaking at an international motor industry event focusing on electric cars in Kuala Lumpur, IMI CEO Steve Nash said, ‘For Britain to be a world-leader in electric and hybrid cars, we urgently need more qualified technicians. We face a severe shortage of skills and it will hurt our economy. If the skills are not in place when consumer demand begins to surge, drivers will be paying higher prices to keep their cars on the road.

‘There is no place for an enthusiastic amateur maintaining electric and hybrid vehicles, they have complex systems with three times the power of domestic voltage. The Government faces a skills shock if it does not factor this issue in its plan to reduce carbon emissions by 65 million tonnes.’

IMI is calling for a licence to practice for technicians, to protect employers’ investment in the skills necessary to maintain the next generation of vehicles. The industry is currently unregulated.


VWLogo3VW announce ‘simple’ emissions fix

Technical fixes for the 1.6 and 2.0 diesel engines have been revealed.

The proposed solution for the 1.6 litre engine involves a software update and the installation of what VW describes as a ‘flow transformer’, which will be located in front of the engine’s air mass sensor.

The transformer is designed to smooth the air flow towards the air mass sensor.

“This is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow in front of the air mass sensor and will thus decisively improve the measuring accuracy of the air mass sensor,” VW explained in a statement announcing the fix.

“The air mass sensor determines the current air mass throughput, which is a very important parameter for the engine management for an optimum combustion process.”

VW say the proposed fix is ‘relatively simple’, claiming it will take less than an hour to install and that it won’t affect the power output of the engine or fuel efficiency, as was feared early on in the crisis.

For the two litre engine, it’s just a software update and will take around half an hour to complete, according to the VM.
The statement adds: “With these defined measures, technical solutions are already available for the majority of all Group models affected in Europe with EA 189 engines.

“At the end of this month, corresponding measures will be presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority for the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder diesel engine as well.”


Posted by Sue Robinson on 04/12/2015