Motor Trade Monthly Round Up June 2017 News
Important and interesting motor trade news from the month of June summed up.
Keeping up to date with industry information is an integral part of being a motor trader. Read on to catch up on all the news from June.
Motor Trade Industry News
An AA-Populus poll has found that trust in the dealer was rated higher than the price of the vehicle in terms of importance.
Highlights of the poll, which canvassed 18,077 AA members, show the levels of importance as follows:
- 25% - Safety
- 23% - Condition of the Vehicle
- 14% - Trust in the Dealer
- 12% - Price
- 2% - Style
- 1% - Performance
Director of Motoring Services at AA Cars, Simon Benson, said: “The internet has fundamentally changed the way that people buy used cars, but not necessarily what they want from their next vehicle.
“Just how influential the impact of online car shopping has been is born out in how few people are bothered about the convenience of a dealership. The typical car buyer no longer just hopes to chance upon the right car locally – evidence shows that drivers will do extensive research online before heading to a dealership that they can trust.”
Dealers have been warned by Turbo Technics about the risks of using turbo charges from Eastern Europe, after a series of engine failures. General Manager Steve Preest, said:
“We’ve been receiving an increasing number of calls from garages and vehicle owners who are experiencing problems after replacing or repairing turbochargers. A closer inspection of some of the units at fault has revealed an alarming trend in low quality Eastern European turbochargers that now seem to be available for anyone to buy.
“A turbocharger is a complex piece of engineering and remanufactured units must, crucially, be produced to the very highest standards including being correctly balanced and calibrated. Unfortunately garages are largely buying on price and not on quality.”
Research conducted by Frost & Sullivan on behalf of the SMMT revealed that UK consumers bought a higher percentage of automotive parts and related products/services online, in comparison to groceries and cosmetics.
Chief Executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes said, “Our car maintenance sector is one of Europe’s most competitive, with vehicle owners enjoying more choice over where they have their cars serviced.
“The shift to digital vehicles and services will help drive this further, but the sector must continue to invest in the advanced skills, equipment and systems needed to stay abreast of evolving technology and changing mobility patterns.”
Diesel Vehicles and the Motor Trade
The value of diesel vehicles continues to fall at a higher rate than petrol. According to ‘cap hpi’, vehicles aged three years with 60,000 miles on the clock declined by 2% in June. This could be down to customer attitudes changing due to the stories regarding diesel vehicles in the media.
Cambria Automobiles CEO, Mark Lavery, commented: “We’re certainly seeing a change in customer behaviour. They’re aiming towards petrol, but in a lot of cases they don’t know why. So you’ve got typical diesel owners doing 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year now converting to a petrol, even though they can have a Euro 6 engine.
“I think that it’s unfortunate where we are, and a period of calm and consideration, with a clear plan, would be helpful to all parties.”
An Autocar survey of 1,000 motorists found that 23% of drivers plan to buy diesel next time. The survey also confirms driver attitudes towards diesels, as 65% said diesels were more harmful to the environment than petrol.
Mark Tisshaw, the Editor for Autocar, said: “These findings are a testament to the public battering diesel has taken over the last few years. We’ve already seen figures showing a diesel sales slowdown but what is clear from this survey is that there will be a major shift towards petrol, hybrid and electric cars.
“While some vilification of diesel is justified, there is a major gulf between the perception and the reality. It is concerning that the majority of buyers now believe diesel is a wholly dirty fuel, pumping out the most CO2 and NOx into the atmosphere. The reality of modern Euro 6 diesels is very different.”
Brexit Motor Trade News
Independent accountant organisation, MHS, has released its second annual Motor Dealer report, with a decline in optimism among UK motor dealers amid its findings. It found that 76% of dealers surveyed predicted profits to either drop or remain static.
Optimism surrounding growth shrunk as 60% said they expected their motor trade operation to grow in the next 12 months, compared to 64% in 2016.
Steve Freeman, Head of The MHA Motor sector, said: “I am not surprised to see the survey results confirming the marked change in dealer confidence levels we have heard from our clients recently. The industry is really going through a period of change and I do think that online developments may start moving at a pace now. The continued strength and resilience of the sector is certainly dependent on all parties (including manufacturers and their franchise partners) working together to ensure a sustainable business model for the future.”
Environment and Technology News
Motorway services and major fuel stations will have to install electric charging points, under new rules. Revealed in the Queen’s Speech, the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill commits the Government to improving the electric charging infrastructure, achieving this by installing charging stations across the UK’s motorway network, as well as along major fuel retailer sites.
Clean Vehicle and E-mobility officer at campaign group, Transport & Environment, Yoann Le Petit said: “The UK now has good coverage in many areas, but will need to ensure fast charging points continue to be developed throughout the trunk road network, notably between Sunderland and Leeds, and Edinburgh and Newcastle.”
According to the BBC road trials for driverless cars are set to take place by the end of the year in Coventry and in Milton Keynes. The project, named Autodrive, is a collaboration between Ford, Tata Motors and Land Rover Jaguar. It will include a fleet of 40 ‘self-driving pavement based pods’ descending upon pedestrianised areas of MK.
UK Autodrive Project Director, Tim Armitage said: "The successful completion of the proving ground trials marks a significant milestone for the project team, and we are now looking forward to demonstrating the benefits of these exciting new technologies in the real-world settings of Milton Keynes and Coventry.
“Once the technology becomes widely available, we anticipate huge potential benefits in terms of road safety, improved traffic flow and general access to transport, so we're really excited about being able to demonstrate this on real roads."
Why Having Public Liability Insurance Is Important
A woman was ordered to pay £70,000 after a failed £200,000 compensation claim against a Southwick Service Centre in Trowbridge.
Yvette Thomas of Trowbridge claimed she had been forced to use crutches and a walking stick, after supposedly being tripped up with a hosepipe by a member of staff, when she had taken her daughter’s MINI in for an MOT. The 54-year-old also claimed to have been sacked from her job, as well as having to cancel a holiday to Gran Canaria, quit the gym and halt her salsa classes.
As part of her unsuccessful bid for compensation, the mother of two claimed:
- £96,110 for loss of earnings
- £60,000 for injuries to her knees and left wrist
- £12,000 for additional employment losses.
- £11,268 care costs
- £3,700 for DIY and gardening
- £2,000 for heating
- £950 for homeopathic remedies
Undercover footage revealed Thomas to be injury free and X-rays from the day of the incident showed no signs of trauma.
Despite testimonials from family members, District Judge Francis Goddard ordered her to pay the £70,000 – with £20,000 to be paid within 14 days, telling Bath County Court:
“In my judgment the case that Mrs Thomas puts forward simply does not add up.
“I do not find her story in any way believable notwithstanding that she may well have by now convinced herself that what she said happened did happen.
“Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that, on a hearing of the evidence, is quite implausible.
“It was not a pre-thought out plan. The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.” reported the Daily Mail.
This story answers the question: Why do I need Public Liability Insurance? Without Public Liability cover the garage would have had to fight the outlandish claim themselves, or would need to hire solicitors to fight the claim on their behalf. However, because they had Public Liability insurance, their legal fight was handled by their insurer.
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