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Motor Trade Monthly Round Up February 2016

Motor Trade News February 2016

Things Of Interest from January 2016

Good To Know

The Retail Motor Industry Federation has opened a new MOT training centre for motor traders. The RMI Academy of Automotive Skills which is based in Southam, Warwickshire will be open to all MOT garages in the UK and will provide MOT tester and manager training. RMI Director, Stuart James, said: “The way MOT testers are trained is changing with the qualification to become a National Occupational Standard. This will be a recognised qualification for testers, creating a professional standard for both the role and the MOT industry. As the UK’s leading automotive trade body, we will support all MOT stations. With this major change to the way MOT testers are trained, the RMI is the first off the mark to support the industry and has developed a cost effective solution.”

Food For Thought

According to research by Carwow, prospective car buyers are likely to travel further for new premium cars, with new buyers travelling the furthest for Mercedes-Benz, which topped the table of average distance with the GLC model (90 miles), followed by the C-Class (89), and the E-Class Estate (85). Interestingly Mercedes had seven cars in the top 10. Carwow’s Head of Trading, Alex Rose, said: “Two trends are extremely clear: firstly the more valuable the car, the more willing a potential buyer is to travel to the right dealer in terms of reputation, stock availability and price. Secondly, all other things being equal, a consumer will pick their closest dealer. But when presented transparently with a number of options, they will travel further than you might think.” The research suggested new car buyers are willing to travel less for hatchbacks and superminis, with the average distance travelled for a new Ford Fiesta only 16 miles.

Things You Should Know

The Institute of the Motor Industry called on the motor trade to employ more women, following a survey which showed that 96% of female drivers want to see more women in garages. IMI CEO Steve Nash said: “The number of women drivers in the UK continues to increase year-on-year; it’s important businesses understand and develop their methods, behaviour and attitudes to reflect the changes in the consumer landscape.” HPI has launched a Recall Check service for used car buyers that are purchasing privately. Ian Rendle, Managing Director of HPI, said: “Now, however, used car buyers can quickly and easily check whether their potential purchase has been recalled by the manufacturer, removing any risk of them driving a vehicle that could have a safety flaw.” According to research from iVendi more than 65% of the Motor Trader Top 200 offer an interactive finance option on their websites.

Need To Know

Head of Valuations at Glass’s, Rupert Pontin told delegates at the Vehicle Remarketing Association Annual Conference last month that the value of used cars is set to decline throughout the rest of the year. This is because large volumes of PCP cars are coming off contract and entering the market. The AA’s classified website saw enquires surge 40% in the first quarter of 2016, in comparison to the previous year. Paul Yates, managing director of AA Cars, said: “The internet might have revolutionised the process of buying a used car, but the basic principle of trust between dealer and customer remains key. The AA is one of the most trusted brands in Britain, and our latest figures are a testament to that as we’ve continued to introduce more AA services to our marketplace.”

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Good News

According to figures from Experian, used car sales in Great Britain are rising fastest since 2007. The North-East has the highest rise in any region with an 8.3% year-on-year increase, with Scotland having the lowest rise at 4.1% year-on-year. Andrew Ballard, Principal Consultant at Experian, said: “New car registrations have been buoyant for the last four years so it is natural to now see this reflected in used car sales. Vehicles which were sold as new cars in the years since 2012 are coming back to motor traders as used cars within the typical change cycle. In some cases, people are being tempted and finding it viable to trade their car in before their finance deal reaches maturity.”

Crime News

A motor trader in Northern Ireland has been fined £500, after they were found guilty of selling a car without telling the buyer it had been declared a category C total loss by an insurance company. In December 2014 a complaint was brought to the Trading Standards Service from a consumer, regarding a Ford Focus which had been bought from Lee Toland of LT Cars. Commenting on the case, Eamon McPartland of the Trading Standards Service said: “Car dealers must ensure that all descriptions applied to vehicles are truthful. Additionally, they must not leave out any important information that might affect a consumer’s decision to buy a car. In this case, Tolands’ behaviour in the sale of the vehicle fell short of the trading practices expected of traders selling used cars to consumers.” In Nottingham, two car dealers who clocked 13 cars by more than one million miles were jailed for 15 months in prison and ordered to pay £20,000. Brothers-in-law Meti Zielinsk and Marcin Kaminski tampered with 17 cars in total, cutting the mileage on some and selling all the vehicles with false documents.

Interesting News

A motor trader in Oxfordshire got a visit from a famous world leader last month. Ian Harris of Witney Used Car Centre sold a used blue Nissan Micra to David Cameron, despite the PM owning a Jaguar X. It’s rumoured the £1,500 Micra was for wife Samantha. Harris said: “He was just a normal bloke, just buying a car for his wife. That’s about it really. No airs or graces. He came in, looked at the car and said that’s what he wanted.” HR Owen are to offer footballers who buy supercars and premium vehicles such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins driver training on their new purchases.

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Dealership News

JCT600 opened their new £2m Audi centre in Lincoln, after an eight month redevelopment. MG returns to Warrington after a 10 year absence as the John Stuart Motor Company opens a new dealership. Work has stated on Vertu Volkswagen Nottingham, as the dealership undergoes a £1.4 million refurbishment which is expected to be completed this year. Finally, Stratstone has acquitted one of the rare recreated Jaguar Lightweight E-Types as an ambassador for the company. Trevor Finn, CEO of Stratstone’s parent company Pendragon, said: “Our intention for this very special Jaguar is that it will serve as a living and dynamic ambassador for Stratstone across the UK and Europe. This car brings its own legacy and we’re delighted to be a part of its story. It was a pleasure to have the chance to work with Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations and we’re proud to have been successful in securing one of the ‘missing six’. We want E-type 15 to be the UK’s E-type and the plan is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see it in a variety of locations.”

Watch Out For The Next Instalment

Keep an eye out for next month’s instalment. We’ll update you on the latest news, views and goings on from around the motor trade. If in the meantime you need a quote for your motor trade insurance, or want to speak to one of our expert team, give us a call on 0800 221 8061 or click Get a Quote below.