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Motor Trade Monthly Round Up August 2017 News

News for Motor Traders looking at what happened in August 2017.

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This month we look at everything from industry news to general motoring news that could be of interest to motor traders, from August, including Brexit news and diesel news too.

A small number of businesses are damaging the reputation of the MOT, Servicing and Repairs industry says MyCarNeedsA.com. Managing Director, Scott Hamilton said “We know from our own research that customers are concerned that they will be charged for work that is not done, or that unnecessary work will be carried out.

“In reality, the industry has come a long way to improve the quality of service and has made great efforts to build consumer trust and shift misconceptions. The ability to carry out a job and meet customers’ expectations is incredibly powerful in building trust.”

It seems independent garages are seeing the benefit of the trust. A survey conducted by Servicing Stop found that 70% of motorists prefer to go to an independent garage rather than a main dealer, with 46% believing independent garages offer the best prices and 40% said that they preferred to go to local businesses.

Oly Richmond, the Founder and CEO of Servicing Stop, said “It is no surprise that motorists back independent garages, this has always been the case, but it is vital that as an industry we continue to pledge our support to local garages and independents everywhere and say no to manufacturers monopolising the market.

“We want to see garages and mechanics continue to thrive in a fast-paced and forever-growing automotive industry.”

Heavy duty hand cleaner, Swarfega, has urged garages to consider the appearance of the workshop and customer waiting area.A spokesperson saying “Take a moment to look at your garage through the eyes of your customers; is the forecourt piled high with old tyres and broken parts? Is the floor of the garage black with years of accumulated grime?

“Then drive by your nearest main car dealership garage and check out the shiny customer service area, painted floor and brand-new overalls – this is the competition!”

While it’s bad news for motorists, it’s good news for garages, as the RAC are reporting a 3,500 year-on-year rise in Q2 calls from motorists with distorted wheels, damaged shocks and broken springs. David Bizley, the Chief Engineer for the RAC said “After a period of steady improvement, it is disappointing to see an unwelcome rise in the number of pothole-related breakdowns.

“We fear it would only take a spell of very cold or wet weather for the improvements of the last year or two to evaporate and for the nation to find itself in a situation when we would once again be seeking emergency funding from Government to address the worst affected roads.”

The Vehicle Remarketing Association has warned that clocking is becoming a growing problem. Chairman, Glenn Sturley said “The fact is that anyone with a laptop and some fairly simple, inexpensive digital tools can set themselves up as a mileage adjuster or even adjust the mileage on their own cars.

“With the growth in PCPs over the last few years, many of them predicated on headline rates that are based on low annual mileage, there is undoubtedly a demand in the market for less-than-scrupulous adjusters to wind back the clock.

“We hear some fairly horrific stories from our members and are coming across them with increasing frequency, not just cases of people taking a few thousand miles off so that they don’t have to pay excess charges but lease cars being used as minicabs, clocking up galactic mileages in a short space of time and then being wound back massively.”

AutoTrader have launched a new advertising campaign announcing their free service for selling cars valued below £1,000. Auto Trader Sales Director, Le Etta Pearce said: “This is a new campaign that has been designed to broaden our core audience and help establish Auto Trader as the go-to destination for the next generation of car buyers and sellers.

“Importantly, more private sellers on our site means there will also be more people looking to buy their next car, so dealers have the opportunity to capitalise on a highly engaged audience of car buyers.

“Auto Trader customers can already list their stock valued for less than £1,500 on Auto Trader for a bargain price, as part of the different packages. This campaign will allow the company to extend the same great value to consumers and drive them to the marketplace in the process.”

The Scottish Motor Trade Association has partnered up with cap hpi to launch an SMTA Approved Vehicle Check for its members. The Chief Executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, Sandy Burgess said “cap hpi is a reputable and trusted automotive brand, the data accuracy is comprehensive and reliable and the support is first class.

“The SMTA is very happy to be working so closely with cap hpi to deliver its provenance check to the membership, and we anticipate this growing from strength to strength as the member numbers increase.”

Head of Retail for cap hpi, Wendy Swaine said “We are proud to be working with the SMTA, one of the UK’s most proactive motor trade membership organisations.

“This new partnership is a testament to the trust we’ve established, and we look forward to providing an unrivalled data service to the members ensuring they remain at the forefront of the organisation’s focus.”

The average used car value at British Car Autions has risen by 1.8% during July. BCA Managing Director UK Remarketing, Stuart Pearson said “Supply and demand has been relatively well balanced over the summer period, and average values rose in July, as buyers competed strongly for good quality stock. However, professional buyers remain selective, often buying to order and focusing their attention very firmly on the ready-to-retail vehicles that can be churned quickly.

“The best presented and specified cars are selling quickly, while the budget end of the market is relatively strong, providing the condition is good and vehicles are sensibly appraised and valued.”

Brexit

The SMMT have warned that servicing prices could rise by as much as 10% if a trade deal between the UK and the EU isn’t reached.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said “Our car maintenance sector is one of Europe’s most competitive, and motorists enjoy a great choice over where they have their cars serviced.

“However, if we don’t secure a new trading relationship with the EU that is free of tariffs and customs checks, British consumers could face significant increases to their annual car repair bill due to new tariffs and other trade barriers. Government must now prioritise an interim arrangement that maintains single market and customs union membership until the right trade deal with the EU is implemented.”

Diesel

Ford have launched a scrappage scheme for both petrol and diesel engines, with up to £4,000 off a car and £7,000 off a van being offered. Ford of Britain Chairman, Andy Barratt said: “Removing generations of the most polluting vehicles will have the most immediate positive effect on air quality, and this Ford scrappage scheme aims to do just that. 

“We don’t believe incentivising sales of new cars goes far enough and we will ensure that all trade-in vehicles are scrapped. Acting together we can take hundreds of thousands of the dirtiest cars off our roads and out of our cities.”

And finally…

  • Dodge and Ram is to return to the UK after a seven year absence under a new import deal.
  • The Independent Motor Dealers Association has been launched by a group of used car dealers for non-franchised dealers.
  • Research from CitNOW has found that for 74% of car buyers, videos made them feel more confident when buying a car.

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