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Motor Trade Monthly Round Up January 2017

Motor Trade News From The First Month Of 2017

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Working in the motor trade means you need to keep up to date with all the goings on in the motor trade world.

Good News

The used car market has seen a strong start to the year, reports consumer-to-dealer trading tool Wizzle, who have reported a 300% increase in sales in the first two weeks of January. Founder, Sébastien Duval said: “The SMMT says new car sales could be down by 5% to 6% this year, so dealers are looking at every possible avenue to keep growing. Used cars are seen as a good hedge against pressures on new car sales because there is no sign that overall consumer demand for cars is reducing.”

Things You Should Know

Online retailer, Amazon, is set to expand its aftermarket auto parts business in the United States, according to the New York Post. If successful, it’s likely that the retail giant would do the same in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, van users have been warned they must plan for an electric future by Fleet Europe, in the wake of growing anti-diesel sentiment across the country in recent weeks, with Westminster City Council planning to charge diesels entering the city centre. With the Government’s plug-in grant scheme offering 20% of the cost of an electric vehicle (up to £8,000) and 964 rapid public charging devices available at 693 nationwide locations, it might be the time to look into operating from an EV.

Coincidentally, the Institute of the Motor Industry has called on the Government to invest in the training of mechanics to carry out work on ultra-low emission vehicles and high voltage vehicles. IMI CEO Steve Nash said: “Millions of tax payers cash spent on charging points will be wasted if the Government won’t help independent garages and wider industry keep up with the switch to electric. It’s not rocket science. Small businesses are uncertain about future demand for work on electrified cars and won’t risk investing in the skills they need without help from the Government. The Government has recognised the most obvious barrier to consumers buying electric cars, which is the charging infrastructure, and it is taking direct steps to address this. However, it needs to recognise that this is the biggest change in the automotive industry for over 100 years and there are other barriers that must be addressed too, not least the skills gap.” reported Motor Trader.

What Car? has launched its own online car buying service. What Car? Editor, Steve Huntingford said: “Consumers are increasingly turning to the web to purchase all manner of products and cars are no exception. Fewer and fewer people want the stress of having to haggle with a salesman in order to feel like they are getting a good deal and our new service takes all of that hassle away.” reported Motor Trader. The launch comes in the wake of YouGov research which found convenience was the number one priority for car buyers, and a study of 1,018 adults (who had purchased new or nearly new cars in the past 12 months) resulted in 90% saying they wanted the buying process to be as convenient as it possibly could be.

Customer relations firm, Market Delivery, has launched a new service to help car dealers target customers via the popular social network, Facebook. Managing Director, Jeremy Evans said: “Dealers are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves, professionalise their outbound marketing and derive greater return from their lead generation campaigns. All of this is contributing to a significant rise in eCRM and social media activity. We’re scaling our operations to make the most of the opportunity and consolidate our leadership position in terms of strategy, technology and account management.”

News You Should Know

Dealers sold a record number of cars online last year through BuyaCar.co.uk, with the online motor retail platform recording a 41% increase in online sales. This news follows a trend of car manufacturers offering online sales including Peugeot, Volvo, and Smart. A survey carried out by the NFDA’s Trusted Dealers found that 10% (of 1,000 motorists polled) would buy a car online without seeing it in person, with 7% saying they would put down a deposit before viewing the vehicle. Managing Director of Trusted Dealers, Neil Addley, said: “Many of our members already have great websites, but as more consumers become comfortable with buying higher ticket items online, dealers need to ensure that their sites are not just informative and engaging, with reviews clearly displayed, but also allow customers to take the purchase as far as they want.”

Health & Safety In The Workshop

Bosses at Pye Motors Ltd in Morecambe, were fined £120,000 with £9,028 costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, after mechanic Stuart Currey suffered serious fractures to his shoulder, hip, ribs and pelvis after being struck by a van driven by an apprentice. Judge Robert Altham, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said: “He describes in a statement he was struggling to breathe and feared there and then he would die. Despite there being a clear risk of working in and around pits, there was no risk assessment addressing that risk whatsoever. Another employee indicated it became customary to drive over the pits when people were in them. The procedure was people would simply duck down as vehicles drove over. The defendant has now implemented procedures to address the risks posed. This was a life-altering incident for Mr Currey and his immediate family.” reported the Lancashire Post.

Motor Trade Crime News

A mechanic was jailed for running a stolen car ‘chop shop’ which contained almost half a million pounds worth of stolen goods. Eamonn O’Malley was handed a sentence of three years and seven months at Wolverhampton Crown Court, after he was caught out when police officers located a stolen BMW 1 Series in his yard using a tracker installed in the vehicle. The investigating officer, Detective Constable Lee Plant, said: “We found parts, keys and owners’ manuals relating to an Audi Q5, two Porsches, BMWs and a Mercedes. There was evidence that at least 22 stolen vehicles had passed through O’Malley’s yard with a combined value of £448,000. O’Malley was providing a market for car thieves across the UK, people who were causing misery and huge inconvenience to motorists. It’s only right given the scale of his illegal operation that he’s been handed a long jail term.” reported the Birmingham Mail.

Interesting News

The colour white has retained its title as the UK’s most popular new car colour for the fourth successive year, with over more than half a million new car buyers opting for a white paint job. 555,329 registered new cars were white, with black just behind at 542,862.

Motor Trade Insurance

We hope you have enjoyed the first Motor Trade Monthly Round Up of the New Year, and if you are in need of Motor Trade insurance click Get a Quote below or to speak to a member of our Motor Trade insurance team call 0800 221 8077.