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Lookers has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its parts business to Automotive Alliance for £120 million. Alliance Automotive is part of Alliance Automotive Group, a European distributor of automotive and commercial vehicle parts to the automotive aftermarket.
Andy Bruce, Lookers chief executive, said: “The board believes this conditional agreement is in the best interest of shareholders.
“The offer from Alliance Automotive is an attractive one and will enable us to focus on what we do best; buying and selling cars, and adding value through acquisitions. We are already at advanced stages of negotiation on the acquisitions of two premium-branded car dealership businesses and hope to make further announcements on these in the coming weeks.”
In the year to December 31, 2015, Lookers’ parts division generated sales of £218.8m, underlying operating profit of £12.6m and gross assets of £155.7m.
Source: AM Online
The Government has issued consultations on three key areas of tax policy affecting the fleet sector – salary sacrifice schemes, lease accounting and company car tax treatment of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).
In terms of company car tax treatment of ultra-low emission vehicles, HMT is seeking views on how the company car tax system can be adapted to take into account the growing number and variation of ultra-low emission vehicles, while encouraging their uptake.
BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “For some time we have been calling on the Government to increase the number of ULEV tax bands and narrow the CO2 gaps, so that greater incentives can be provided for those choosing the cleanest vehicles.
“The Government is right to explore whether zero-emission range could be used alongside CO2 emissions to produce a more effective set of company car tax bands, but it needs to ensure that any new system does not become too complicated.”
The Government is also seeking views on how new lease accounting rules will impact the tax treatment of leased assets, and how tax legislation will need to adapt.
Keaney concluded: “We will be working closely with HMRC to ensure that these long awaited new lease accounting rules result in a simpler and fairer tax treatment of leased assets, particularly for low emission vehicles that should be entitled to enhanced first-year capital allowances.”
Source: Fleet news
The gap between the advertised price of a used car and the achieved transaction price doubles over a 12-week period, according to research carried out by cap hpi.
Analysis of sales data shows that the average difference in the first week a vehicle is advertised is 3.8% rising to 6.4% by week 12.
The survey follows a report that dealer stocks are currently running at a five year high. The results have prompted cap hpi to urge dealers to focus more closely on the cars they source an how they price them to reduce stocking days.
“With concerns over a more volatile market it is important to make stocking decisions that keep your retail offer flexible. The research shows that sourcing the right vehicle, at the right price for the market, pays dividends,” said Philip Nothard, retail and consumer specialist at cap hpi.
A survey of dealers by cap hpi showed that 48% claimed retained margins were worse in July than June, while only 19% said they had improved. It argues that making the correct stocking decisions for local conditions is key to maximising margins.
The study showed that different pricing and stocking strategies are required for different vehicle marques.
According to iVendi, last month, 64% of all visits logged through the iVendi Platform’s consumer areas were by smartphone or tablet, compared to 37% via a laptop or desktop PC, up from 60%/40% in January.
Commenting on the shift, James Tew, iVendi’s CEO, said “The move towards mobile has been rapid and dramatic. Our figures show that mobile access first exceeded PCs for visits to dealer web sites in January of 2015. Since then, the trend has shown no sign of abating.
“It underlines something that we have been saying for some time, that dealers and used car portals need to consider mobile first when designing their web sites. Something that doesn’t work well on a phone won’t be as productive”.
Source: Motor Trade News
Ian Simpson, European managing director of automotive, explained that warranty sales could be countercyclical and that, during the last recession, warranty upgrades had increased.
He said that used car customers are ‘looking for greater protection against unexpected motoring costs’ as ‘when consumers feel as though there is less flexibility in their finances, they desire a more comprehensive safety net.’
Simpson said that dealers should ensure that their warranty offering fitted this likely need and was properly integrated into their used car sales process.
He added: ‘Making sure that you offer a structured warranty upgrade path is something that you need to have in place in order to meet probable consumer needs.
Source: Car Dealer Magazine
Price is the most important factor for both men and women when buying a car, but that’s where the similarities end.
According to a survey of more than 500 motorists conducted by My Car Check, women are concerned about fuel efficiency after price, while men care more about the car’s design.
Meanwhile, men said negotiating price was the most uncomfortable part of buying a car while women said it was physically inspecting the car they disliked most.
Head of My Car Check, Roger Powell, said, ‘For the vast majority, price is always the most important consideration; people set a budget and then see what they can get for the money. The secondary driver is where we see clear differences along gender lines. Women are most concerned with fuel efficiency, a significant ongoing cost of ownership, while men are more concerned with image, the ‘what will my mates think?’ factor.
Source: Bodyshop Mag
The number of plug-in cars registered in the second quarter of 2016 set a new record for a three-month period, with UK registrations rising by 38.0% versus April-June 2015, according to new figures released by EV campaign organisation Go Ultra Low.
Plug-in car registrations have now grown for 22 consecutive quarters, and the total registered across the first six months of 2016 sits at 19,252, a figure not achieved last year until September.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Nissan Leaf continue to lead the charts for plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicle sales, respectively, and Go Ultra Low is predicting that electric power could be the dominant form of propulsion by 2027, with more than
1.3 million plug-ins registered per year.
“I am delighted to see record numbers of motorists coming round to the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles, which are also cheaper to run,” said transport minister John Mahes. “We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero-emission vehicle.”
The latest firm to adopt plug-in vehicles is Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, which has added 15 BMW 330e plug-in hybrids to its 140-vehicle fleet.
Source: Business Car
Finding a healthy snack while out on the UK’s road network every day is one of the biggest frustrations facing commercial drivers, according to research by RAC Truck Rescue.
Of the 500 UK businesses surveyed, 41% said lorry drivers have reported this as their top roadside gripe.
For lorry drivers the lack of healthy snacks came above other issues on the road, including using mobile phones (40%), poor standard of overnight facilities (39%) and middle lane ‘hoggers’ (34%).
Source: Commercial Fleet