Motor Trade Monthly Round Up July 2017 News
The most important July news from the motor trade world summed up.
In this roundup we look at the reaction from the petrol and diesel ban, as well as the first annual DVSA review.
Petrol & Diesel Ban
In late July, the UK Government announced plans to ban the sale of both petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040. A government spokesman said: “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible.
“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said: “The UK Government’s ambition for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040 is already known. Industry is working with government to ensure that the right consumer incentives, policies, and infrastructure is in place to drive growth in the still very early market for ULEVs in the UK.
“However, much depends on the cost of these new technologies and how willing consumers are to adopt battery, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars. Currently demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumer have concern over affordability, range and charging points.”
Vehicle Remarketing Association Chair, Glenn Sturley said: “It is highly unlikely that this announcement will have any kind of immediate effect on the market for used petrol and diesel vehicles, especially those that meet the newer, cleaner Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standards.
“2040 is a long way away in terms of car sales. Most motorists will own half a dozen cars between now and then based on normal length of ownership. Also, the used car market cannot undergo a sudden switch to non-petrol and diesel cars simply because alternatives such as EVs are around in relatively tiny numbers.”
Automotive industry expert at Aston University, Prof David Bailey said: “The timescale involved here is sufficiently long-term to be taken seriously. If enacted it would send a very clear signal to manufacturers and consumers of the direction of travel and may accelerate a transition to electric cars.”
ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “The government has trumpeted some promising measures with its air quality plans, but we need to see the detail. A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.
“However, the law says ministers must bring down illegal levels of air pollution as soon as possible, so any measures announced in this plan must be focused on doing that.”
DVSA MOT Report
The DVSA published its first annual review, reporting on recent changes to the MOT testing service as well as MOT training and outlined future plans. In the past year, 511 garages and 483 testers were investigated by the DVSA, with 45 garages and 11 testers stopped from testing. The report said: “In some of these cases there were administrative errors, but the more serious cases involved testers who’d issued MOT certificates without actually testing the vehicle.”
DVSA Accounting Officer and Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn said: “We have invested in further improvements to the MOT system including, for example, helping garage managers with simplified processes, improving provision of information to help testers to conduct the test correctly and building an MOT reminder service for the public.”
Servicing and MOT News
According to automotive components manufacturer DENSO, air con failures are an issue of servicing in 99% of cases. DENSO said in a press release: “Air-conditioning systems need regular maintenance to ensure good performance throughout the year, particularly during the spring and summer when the parts are put under a greater strain.
“In just 45-60 minutes, workshops can deliver a thorough air-conditioning service. Delivering lower fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and noise, a comprehensive service can help improve workshop’s customer service and secure return business.”
Data analysed by Servicing Stop has revealed which brands of cars have the best success rate. After looking at a random selection of 29,790 MOTs carried out by the by online car service provider, they found that the more than 80% of cars pass their MOTs at the first attempt, which saw Audi topping the leader board with an 86% success rate. They were closely followed by fellow German manufacturer, BMW who had 85%.
Oly Richmond, the CEO and Founder of Servicing Stop said: “It’s great to see the number of MOT failures decreasing more and more every year, now just ten per cent overall.
“Motorists are spending more time looking after their vehicles and more drivers than ever before are opting for interim check-up services throughout the year to ensure their motors are in top shape.”
Good News For Motor Traders
‘Automotive’ has moved above ‘Public transport/trains’ and ‘Insurance’ in the customer service league table from service design consultancy, Engine. It previously occupied bottom place out of 14 sectors including ‘Technology’, ‘Air travel’, and ‘Public services’.
Co-founder of Engine, Joe Heapy said: “The dealership is becoming less relevant in car purchasing due to the amount of product information online, alternative routes to test drives and direct sales disruptors like carwow.
“Consequently, manufacturers need to work harder to provide customer-centred experiences around buying and owning a car, such as the easy access retail stores from DS, Infiniti and Tesla, product geniuses at BMW, brand experience centres by Audi, and customer-centred servicing options from Mercedes-Benz.”
Of the sectors at the top of the table, he added: “The leading sectors and companies in customer service don’t think of it as an add-on at the front line, they put as much effort into designing the customer experience as they do their actual products.”
The low position of the ‘Automotive’ sector isn’t surprising in the wake of research from Motors.co.uk which has found that one in four telephone enquiries made to dealers between the hours of 6pm to 8pm go unanswered.
Research from Auto Trader has found that 47% of customers complained about the lack of photographs from car dealers. Auto Trader Insight Director Nick King said: “Offering well-presented and clear imagery that reflect the true condition of the car, pricing that is in line with the market and reviews that offer genuine insight are all key to building the all-important trust.”
Car Dealer News
One in four dealers have expressed concerns over mileage discrepancies and clocking, saying they thought it had worsened in the past 12 months, that’s according to a national survey undertaken by cap hpi.
Head of Industry Relation at cap hpi, Barry Shorto said: “There’s no doubt that the escalating problems associated with clocking and mileage tampering are now starting to become a cause for concern by dealerships across the UK.
“The increase in mileage-related finance arrangements such as PCP and PCH may also be a contributing factor as motorists look to bring down their mileage count to within contracted levels and avoid paying penalties for excess mileage.”
Dealers have been urged by Motors.co.uk to extend their summer opening hours; Managing Director of Motors.co.uk, Phill Jones, said, “With the share of evening telephone enquiries increasing by nearly a quarter in summer months, consumers have shown they are prepared to search for and purchase vehicles as daylight hours improve.
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