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PSAUKPSA Group acquisition will see network fight it out with independents for servicing work

PSA Group’s acquisition of repair price comparison website Autobutler will see its own network of franchised dealers in the UK directly compete on the service with independents for repair work.

PSA has acquired a controlling stake in Autobutler but said it will remain as an “independent business”. Customers can use Autobutler for free to post their servicing job to the website’s network of independent and franchised dealer garages. The customer is then given three quotes to choose from. Quotes can be chosen based on the fastest, lowest priced or highest rated garages.

A spokesman for Peugeot UK said: “We’re not going to change Autobutler’s business model. Customers of that service will be given a free and transparent choice to choose the garage they want based on merit – the best garage will win the quote.”

mercedesNew car market was propped up by premium brands in Q2

Premium brands have been driving the new car market during the second quarter of 2016, helping to counter a decline in mainstream brand sales and keep the overall market buoyant.

The UK motor industry achieved 647,966 new car registrations in Q2 2016, 6,235 more than in Q2 2015. The top performer for growth in Q2 was Mercedes-Benz, with registrations rising by 6,872 units year-on-year to, 41,364.

Close behind was BMW, with a 4,776 rise in new car orders to a 45,115 Q2 total. Other premium brands that achieved significant volume growth included Jaguar (up 2,987 to 7,917), Land Rover (up 2,882 to 18,441), Mini (up 1,442 to 17,785) and Audi (up 1,051 to 42,141). The premium brands have been supported by fresh core products, such as Mercedes’ C-Class and Jaguar’s XE, plus strong incentives for new customers and for renewals.

*Excluding the SMMT’s ‘other British’ and ‘other imports’ categories

Source: AM Online

SMMTEleventh consecutive month of growth for UK car makers

UK car makers reported their 11th consecutive month of growth in June with production up 10.4 per cent to 158,641 units – the highest level since 1998, when volumes reached 172,232, according to figures by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The performance closes the industry’s best first half for 16 years, with 897,157 cars rolling off production lines so far in 2016 – up 13 per cent on the same period last year as billions of pounds of investment in new models came to fruition. Exports drove volumes, with year-to-date demand up 14.9 per cent to 695,139 units, while production for the domestic market also grew 7.1 per cent.

UK Automotive is export-led, with 77.8 per cent of cars built in the UK destined for more than 100 overseas markets, but the majority of which are headed for the rest of the EU. Also, while local content of UK-built cars is growing, 59 per cent of vehicle components are imported, predominantly from the continent.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: ‘These decisions were based on many factors but, primarily, on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce. To ensure the sector’s continued growth, and with it the thousands of jobs it supports, these must be priorities in future negotiations.’

Source: Car Dealer Magazine

Mercedes-Benz CLCBlack tops car colour choice

Statistics from the industry’s cap Black Book reveal that drivers are currently favouring black over any other colours or shades. The market analysis paints the following picture when it comes to most popular colours across the different motoring sectors:

  • Black is the most popular colour in the convertibles market with 21.5% of overall market sales
  • A third (29%) of coupe cabriolets sold are black
  • Executive car sector gives black the vote (28%)
  • Black also tops the sales chart in the large executive (28%) and luxury executive (24%) sectors
  • 22% of the mid-range car market favours black
  • 23% of the sports market is geared up for black
  • A quarter (25%) of SUV sales leads are for black paintwork

Exceptions to the rule include the city car market sector with the most popular colours being red (18%) followed by white (17%) and black (16%). The MPV market favours silver (27%) as does the supermini sector (19%).

Philip Nothard, retail specialist at Cap Hpi commented, ‘Black is without doubt the new white. White had become the colour of choice over the past few years but black seems to be back with a vengeance. Black represents a safe choice for motorists as, along with silver and grey, these so called safe colours consistently maintain their value when sold as used.’

Source: BodyshopMag

taxThousands check their company car tax online

More than 100,000 people have used a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online service, to ensure that their car benefit and car fuel benefit is correct.

The service – for checking or updating company car tax – is available via the Personal Tax

Account (PTA) and allows customers to:

  • Tell HMRC about changes that need to be made as soon as the circumstances around the use of their company car change
  • See the amount of car benefit based on the company car reported
  • See their amount of car fuel benefit based on the company car reported
  • Immediately see the impact a change has on their tax code

JaguarLandroverAutonomous technology need not mean ‘driverless’ says JLR

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) believes the popular view of autonomous cars as ‘driverless’ is wrong.

The manufacturer’s group strategy director Adrian Hallmark insists the driver will remain in ultimate control of JLR products. Cars will become safer not because they are driving themselves, but because the driver is supported by a plethora of unobtrusive new features.

“Technology will help improve traffic flow and air quality, reduce congestion and reduce the potential for accidents,” Hallmark said.

New technologies such as Roadwork Assist – demonstrated to Fleet News in a Jaguar XE – uses the forward-facing stereo camera to gently and accurately guide the car through narrow roadworks. It detects cones and barriers, centralising the vehicle between them. The system is the first step in fully autonomous driving through roadworks, says JLR.


MarshallMotorMarshall CEO Daksh Gupta’s Skydive raises £142k for BEN

Marshall Motors CEO Daksh Gupta has raised £142,000 for motor industry charity BEN having completed a Skydive last week.

Gupta is the first automotive industry leader to take on the Industry Leader Challenge which launched this year, in which an individual takes on a personal fundraising target over the course of a year, for BEN. Once completed they pass the baton on to the next automotive industry leader who then attempts to top the amount raised.

Gupta, said: “I must admit the worst thing is going up. I was having second thoughts up there but it was amazing. We actually jumped from 13,000 feet, not 10,000.

“When you come out of the plane you’re actually doing 140 miles an hour freefall for about 50 seconds. You watch the earth come rapidly up to meet you and that’s the worst part. Then you’re praying for the parachute to open.”


MotorwaysMotorists warned not to stop for unmarked police cars

Essex Police is urging motorists not to pull over if they are requested to do by “anything other than a marked police car” following two van thefts earlier this month.

According to the force, on both occasions a silver Ford Mondeo equipped with blue flashing lights and men dressed in a fake police uniform requested a grey VW Transporter van and a white Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to pull over on motorways in the county – the M11 and M25.

“In a direct response to these incidents occurring a direction has been given to our officers that they should not, unless in emergency circumstances, be in an unmarked car and attempt to stop a driver,” said DCI Stuart Smith from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 29/07/2016