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Nissan, Renault and BMW were top of the popularity stakes on Motors.co.uk as the online tool saw a 116% rise in EV searches during the first half of 2016.
Motors.co.uk analysed the number of times consumers looked at the full details of electric vehicle models in January to July 2016, and while it revealed more people looking at more mainstream models such as the BMW i3, it also showed increased interest in unusual electric vehicles such as the Renault Twizy.
The most popular EV manufacturers were: Nissan (24.4% of total views), Renault (10.5%) and BMW (10.0%), with the top three individual models being the Nissan LEAF (21.9%), the Renault ZOE (5.5%) and the BMW i8 (5.0%). The BMW i8 also saw the biggest increase in DPVs for an individual model, up by 668% from the prior year.
Source: AM Online
Lookers turned in a record performance for the half year to 30 June with pre-tax profits up 17% to £46.7m on turnover up 33% to £2.34bn.
Andy Bruce, Chief Executive of Lookers, said: “I am pleased to announce an excellent set of results for the first half of the year.
“Since the period end, we have also announced the conditional sale of the group’s parts division, an attractive offer which we believe allows us to concentrate on what we do best; focusing on our motor division to buy and sell cars, and add value through acquisitions.
Marshall Motor increased profit and revenue by 30.7% to £826m (2015: £632.5m) for the half year ended 30 June, with adjusted profit before tax up 33.6% to £14m (2015: £10.5m). Return on sale for the listed group reached a new high of 2%. Marshall now operates 103 showrooms from 89 sites and represents 24 brands across England.
The group’s performance was significantly boosted by its successful integration of SG Smith which added four South London Audi dealerships in November 2015. The business added around £100m to Marshall’s bottom line. The half year totals also included one month of trading from Ridgeway which Marshall acquired at the end of May 2016, which helped boost new and used volumes.
CEO Daksh Gupta said: “We have a very strong balance sheet. The group has changed shape year-on-year through our acquisitions. We’ve spent over £130m in acquisitions since listing and they’ve really strengthened the group’s balance sheet. We also have over £100m of freehold property, up from around £25m 12 months ago; we’ve been buying some good quality assets”.
Used car transactions rose by 5.9% in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
A total of 2,008,439 vehicles were sold with prices underpinned by strong consumer demand. The performance over the quarter was strong despite a sharp decline in activity in June volumes which rose just 0.5% to 632,449 vehicles.
Philip Nothard, consumer and retail specialist at cap hpi said: “Despite large volumes of used vehicles available the market has remained steady through 2016, with the market following seasonal trends.
“Additionally, 2016 remains 9.4% ahead of 2015 over the first half of the year, which is significant against a 2015 figure, only 0.54% ahead of 2014 at the same point.”
New car registrations in Europe’s five biggest markets dropped by 2% in July following 15 months of growth, according to analysis from JATO Dynamics.
July saw modest growth in the UK (+0.06%), Spain (+4%) and Italy (+3%) but sales in France fell by -10% and Germany by -4%. These top five markets account for 72% of all European sales. Overall registrations across the five markets totalled 836,431 units, down -2% year on year.
“This slowdown is partly due to July 2016 having two fewer working days compared to July 2015. As Europe’s largest carmaker, the double-digit fall in the Volkswagen Group’s monthly sales also had an impact,” said Felipe Munoz, Global Automotive Analyst at JATO Dynamics.
The biggest market share growth amongst the top 10 brands was posted by Fiat with sales boosted by the new Tipo and 500X.
Top 5 European New Car Markets July 2016
Country July YTD
1 Germany 278.9k (-4%) 2.03m (+5%)
2 UK 178.5k +0%) 1.59m (+3%)
3 Italy 137.4k (+3%) 1.18m (+17%)
4 France 132.9k (-10%) 1.23m (+6%)
5 Spain 108.8k (+4%) 0.73m (+11%)
Source: Motor Trader
Internet searches relating to air pollution have increased 750% in the UK in the last decade, according to the producer of the world’s best-selling electric car.
Nissan, which produces the LEAF, found that the popularity of search terms ‘best air purifier’ and ‘air quality index’ both rose by a factor of 750% from August 2006 to August 2016 whilst the phrase ‘air pollution facts’ climbed 350% over the same period.
With the World Health Organisation recently declaring that more than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the WHO limits, the problem is a global one.
Nissan has stepped up its own commitment to zero emissions by exploring technology that will contribute towards a greener, more sustainable environment. It has also announced a major partnership with energy provider Enel to trial vehicle-to-grid technology across Europe that will turn electric vehicles into clean mobile energy units, able to put energy back into the grid as well as take from it.
Source: Bodyshop Mag
Transport for London has started a trial where it will display live traffic information on the back of buses using digital information boards, the signs are fitted with GPS technology to give up-to-date information from TfL’s variable message sign network. This will be taking place on a specific route and will be a “world first”.
“This innovative use of one of the capital’s most iconic features – the London bus – will help all road users,” said Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport. “We’re focused on keeping London moving and on giving drivers real-time information through a range of channels to help them avoid congested roads and reduce wasted time and needless pollution from idling cars.”
If successful, the digital boards could be expanded across London in the future, TfL said. The bus trial follows on from a similar project last year which saw a number of taxis displaying live traffic information on advertising boards.
Source: Business Car
LOOKERS plc has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Warwick Holdings Ltd, better known as the Drayton Group, for £55.4m in cash.
The acquisition will increase Lookers’ partnership with Mercedes Benz and Smart where the new combined business will have an annual turnover in excess of £600m.
Drayton Group’s statutory accounts for the year ended December 31, 2015 reported turnover of £276m and profit before tax of £5.2m. The company had gross assets of £84.2m and net assets of £22.0m. This acquisition is expected to be earnings-enhancing for the year ending December 31, 2017.
Andy Bruce, chief executive of Lookers, said: ‘As noted in our announcement on August 10, 2016, we are looking to accelerate growth and today’s announcement shows we are putting the proceeds from the proposed disposal of the parts division to work as quickly as possible.
‘We look forward to welcoming the Drayton team to the Lookers Group as it will enable us to increase our growth by adding value through excellent execution and targeted acquisitions. This acquisition will also help to build the company’s presence in the midlands.
Source: Car Dealer Magazine
Automotive charity BEN has launched a recruitment website designed to give automotive recruiters a niche job board for the industry.
The site is open to all types of vacancies, including apprenticeships, within the industry. Rates for one-off listings start at £59 for 30 days, and cost £300 per month for unlimited posting.
Jools Tait, business development director, said: “We are very pleased to have launched UKAutomotive.jobs which we believe will become an invaluable recruitment tool for the industry. A healthy, motivated and skilled workforce is essential to the future of the industry and by using UKAutomotive.jobs you will be helping us support colleagues across the UK, with every penny of profit made donated directly to BEN.
“We have big plans for UKAutomotive.jobs and, we believe that, with our unique relationships and longstanding commitment to supporting the industry, we are well placed to bring together the best recruiters and candidates on a simple, user-friendly online platform. We hope you will see the benefit of using the website for all of your recruitment or job hunting needs.”
Source: Motor Finance
Source: Motor Trade News
Source: Commercial Fleet
Source: Fleet news