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The Chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, delivered his first Autumn statement, axing the salary sacrifice scheme, incentivising Ultra Low Emissions cars, and increasing spending on transport infrastructure spending.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, welcomed these pledged investments: “SMMT welcomes the government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and investment in R&D, an area in which UK automotive punches above its weight. One of the main areas in which UK Automotive is playing a leading role is the development and introduction of low emission and connected and autonomous vehicles. The Chancellor’s announcement of £390 million will help promote our competitive advantage in these fields. We welcome the investment to enhance the charging network for electric vehicles, as well as further support to boost uptake of low emission buses and taxis. He was also quick to champion the sector’s productivity record.
Sue Robinson National Franchised Dealers Association Director drew attention to the double edged sword of the pledge to increase the National Living Wage to £7.50 an hour from £7.20, from April 2017: “The National Living Wage rise encourages disposable income growth, which in turn plays a key role in supporting consumers’ confidence. It is vital for NFDA members and other big retailers that households continue to feel safe in committing to purchase high value goods. Nevertheless, this will bring more costs for businesses which are already facing extra costs due to the apprenticeship levy and increase in employers’ national insurance contribution.”
The Chancellor’s decision to close the salary sacrifice scheme, for all but Ultra Low Emissions cars drew fire from the industry, as LeasePlan UK’s Managing Director, Matt Dyer’s comments illustrate: “The Chancellor’s decision to target cars gained through salary sacrifice is both destructive and disappointing for the motoring industry. We must also remember that going forward, HMRC have been clear that they will make no distinction between Salary Sacrifice and the practice of offering a cash allowance in lieu of a company car meaning this could affect up to 600K drivers. The vehicle rental and leasing industry contributes £24.9 billion a year to the UK economy, and company car leasing schemes are a large part of that success story – with over half of new car sales alone last year going into fleets.”
James Tew, CEO at iVendi commented: “Mr Hammond made it clear that we are looking at increased borrowing, higher inflation and weaker growth. This cannot help but have an impact on the UK new and used car markets. The question is one of degree.”
James Broadhead, CEO of Close Brothers Motor Finance, commented: “We work with many car-dealerships in rural regions across the country and we understand the challenges they face on a day to day basis from changes to regulation. Today they can feel positive about a change that should improve local business confidence and inspire growth in the economy.”
Rupert Pontin, Glass’s director of valuations, said that the commitment to the EV segments was likely to drive some sales, and he added, “for the motorist using their car today, the Fuel Duty freeze is good news, as are the measures designed to minimise false whiplash claims that are pushing up motor insurance premiums. For people whose personal budgets are under some pressure, these measures are worthwhile if unspectacular.”
Lookers is to open a Volvo dealership in Stockport, Greater Manchester in late 2017 following a £4m investment. The dealer group, rated three in the Motor Trader Top 200 with annual turnover of £3.6bn, has held the Volvo franchise for a decade.
It said it was “looking at further relocation opportunities” as well as improving existing Volvo facilities in Colchester and Glasgow. The new Stockport dealership will have a10-car showroom sand a 50-car forecourt. Until it officially opens in late 2017 it will operate from temporary premises in Stockport.
Lookers’ franchise manager, Miles Alvis, said: “St Marys Way is one of the largest areas in the UK for new car registrations, which represents huge opportunities for both Lookers and Volvo, particularly as a whole new range of premium models will be coming to market over the next few years.”
Lookers’ text message marketing campaign wins two awards
A text message marketing campaign by Lookers, which used a new SMS technology from Textlocal.com to offer personalisation and a customer offer, resulted in a return on investment of more than 4,000% and won two industry awards.
The campaign beat the likes of John Lewis, Audi, Tesco and Jaguar to scoop two prizes at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards for ‘most effective sales promotion campaign’ and ‘most effective automotive campaign’. At the time, Lookers were using the business text messaging platform Textlocal.com to reach its customers for MoT and service reminders.
Paul Craft, divisional online sales and performance manager, said: “We already used a variety of tactics to contact customers, but were experiencing poor returns from social media and email promotions.
Jason Palgrave-Jones, managing director at Textlocal, said: “SMS marketing can be far more powerful than other forms of direct marketing and we have proved with the Lookers’ campaign that the humble text message can be a highly effective communication platform.”
Source: AM Online
Blocking the road (42%), verbal aggression (34%) and aggressive gestures (56%) are among the top threatening behaviours motorists around the world experience while driving, according to 2016’s MobilityMonitor Survey from LeasePlan.
The two most aggressive behaviours that the 4,869 drivers surveyed claim to have experienced are being cut up (70%) and tailgating (70%). A quarter (25%) of motorists also admit to committing the latter themselves. UK motorists do, however, appear to be some of the least aggressive drivers in the world.
Mobile phone use behind the wheel also fell under the top annoyances of drivers globally, with LeasePlan’s MobilityMonitor Survey revealing that the UK (17%), USA (22%) and Italy (17%) are most frustrated by this.
Nearly 1 in 4 motorists readily admit to regularly driving while tired – and men are more prone to driving when tired than women.
Whilst only 9% of motorists surveyed by Exchange and Mart said they use their mobile phone when driving, mobile phone usage by drivers remains the second most common cause of road traffic accidents. Interestingly, 33% motorists in the 18-24% age bracket admitted to frequently using their mobile phone while driving. It is illegal to drive while using a mobile phone and motorists caught by the police will receive 3 points on their driving licence and £100 fine.
The third largest cause of driving accidents is people getting distracted by things outside their vehicle (7%). External distractions include bill-board advertising, ‘people watching’ or even another vehicle involved in a road traffic accident. In total, one in four people surveyed by Exchange and Mart admit to being easily distracted by events happening outside their car, but 31% of women surveyed admitted to something easily catching their eye, compared to 21% of men; this goes up to 33% for drivers aged 65 or older.
Following the switchover to the new MOT testing service, vehicle specific information (VSI) has been limited.
On the old MOT system, the DVSA provided information such as VIN location, brake testing weight, ABS presence and lighting test sequence and the type of roller brake test required. However, after a review of the data during the switchover, the information has been revised and is to be gradually reintroduced into the new MOT testing service.
The DVSA said: “We always intended to make more technical information about specific vehicles available on the MOT testing service. Unfortunately, this has taken us a little longer than we originally planned.”
A new research from Dealerweb, which polled 1,000 motorists across the UK on their expectations of the vehicle buying process when initiated online, found that 49% of buyers expect a response to an online enquiry from a dealer within one hour, with 25% expecting a response in under 30 minutes.
A third of buyers (34%) would take their enquiry elsewhere if the dealer did not respond within four hours and 10% of prospective buyers would take their custom elsewhere after just one hour. Premium buyers are more demanding than buyers of volume cars with 42% of premium brand buyers saying they would take their enquiry to another dealership after four hours without a response, compared to 32% of those enquiring about volume brand products.
James Hill, sales operations director at Dealerweb, said: “Dealers operate in a highly competitive online environment and so speedy responses are crucial if they want to maximise the potential of every enquiry.”
Source: Motor Trader
A new app for Apple devices from Cap HPI promises the fastest access to industry leading vehicle valuation data – under 15 seconds. The updated app is accessed with an existing Cap HPI subscription and offers car, LCV, HGV and bike valuations. Adjustments for derivative, age, mileage and condition can be made and the core data updated monthly.
If a data connection is not available, valuations are still available within the app using a manual model and derivative search, with the data stored on the device. There is also instant access to all previously saved valuations. The launch of the new app comes after Cap HPI ended print editions of its valuation guides to focus on digital delivery of its information and services.
Source: AM Online