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Marshall Motor Holdings has bought southern England, premium brand retail group, Ridgeway Garages, for £106.9 million. The acquisition will add 30 franchised dealerships from 12 brands, taking Marshalls to 103 franchises and give the combined group a turnover in excess of £2 billion.
The two groups have a strong match in terms of brands with Marshall already dealing with 11 of Ridgeway’s franchise partners. The additional brand is Mercedes-Benz Commercials and Ridgeway also has five stand-alone used car outlets, two body shops and a parts business.
The acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing. In 2015 the Ridgeway group sold 15,918 new cars and 14,450 used cars and had aftersales revenues of £83.6m, total turnover was £722.6m with a profit before tax, depreciation and amortisation figure of £21.9m. Net assets for Ridgeway are £55m.
Source: Auto Retail Network
The Department for Transport (DfT) has denied it is looking to launch a diesel scrappage scheme in the UK to encourage customers to trade out of their older diesel vehicles.
Speculation on the launch of a new national scrappage scheme, the first since the transformative initiative in 2009, has been building after new mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said Transport for London has started work on the costs and challenges of implementing a diesel scrappage scheme “as part of plans for a wider national scheme delivered by Government”.
The DfT said it has invested more than £2 billion in greener transport schemes since 2011, with £600 million over this parliament to support electric vehicle uptake.
The initial scrappage scheme, costing the Government £300m was introduced in 2009 to support the replacement of 300,000 vehicle sales. The Government agreed to provide a £1,000 payment towards the purchase of a new car ordered from participating manufacturers after April 23, 2009. Manufacturers agreed to provide £1,000 off the list price for a total discount of £2,000.
Car manufacturers Toyota and Volkswagen have invested in ridesharing companies Uber and Gett (formerly GetTaxi). However, Toyota has not disclosed the amount of investment in Uber.
Through this partnership, the companies will create new leasing options in which car purchasers can lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers.
“The leasing period will be flexible and based on driver needs. This initiative builds on Uber’s current Vehicle Solutions program,” Toyota wrote.
Source: Motor finance
The Queen said recently that measures in the Modern Transport Bill would ‘ensure the UK is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.’
However, half of motorists oppose driverless the ongoing development of self-driving vehicles, according to a new survey. 62% of drivers said they would feel less safe on the roads alongside other vehicles with no human behind the wheel.
There is still great uncertainty over the new technology amongst motorists who are mainly concerned with what would happen with insurance claims involving autonomous cars.
91% support the compulsory introduction of camera technology in all autonomous vehicles to provide the court with proof of what had exactly happened in the event of an accident.
A selection of Britain’s car dealer bosses believe UK new car sales will hit 3 million units a year in 2017, a record that would take the UK close to Germany, which currently has Europe’s biggest new car market.
Speaking at a dealer conference at last night’s Autocar Awards, five key UK distributor bosses from Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ssangyong and Volvo all predicted a significant growth in new car sales, with estimates ranging between 2.8 and 3m units per year.
Lance Bradley of Mitsubishi predicted a rise in sales funded by structured finance deals such as PCPs, particularly among younger buyers who don’t want to own a car, but would like to pay to use one instead.
A three million new car market will surpass last year record of 2.6m. Historically, the UK has bought around 2m new cars a year, with three bumper years in 2002, 2003, 2004 when sales broke through 2.5m.
The DVLA is to publicly test an online service to enable people to pay fines online from next week. So far, 1200 customers have used the service in the private testing stage.
When people receive penalty notices through the post they will have a unique code to input into the system in order to pay the fine online.
“By making it easier for our customers to pay their fine, it means further enforcement action is less likely, customers are able to pay any vehicle tax outstanding and it reduces the number of calls taken by our contact centre,” the DVLA said in a blog post.
UK car dealers should be prioritising demonstrations and test drives, according to a survey of 3,700 connected car owners across Europe.
The study carried out by BearingPoint and Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), revealed that around 59 per cent of respondents said that knowledge about in-car technology influenced their choice of car.
As part of the commitment to providing the very best level of customer service, car dealers should consider good demonstration insurance to provide test drives on request — in addition to their general motor trade insurance and road risks insurance.