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Motor Trade News Monthly Round Up December 2017

A look at all the important Motor Trade news from December and 2017.

Welcome to the first Motor Trade News Monthly Round Up of the year, and in this edition we look at some of the biggest stories of 2017 as well as the important news from December.

Customer Experience

Research from CDK Global, which uses online dealer reviews, has found that women feel “stressed”, “taken advantage [of]”, and “overwhelmed” when buying a car. 

David Green, CDK Global’s UK Region Vice President, said: “It’s already pretty well known that generally women are wary of dealerships, however our research highlights the scale of the issue. Not only do women make up a large percent of the buying population, they also influence even more car-buying decisions, which is why it’s so important for dealers to make sure they’re providing women with the right customer experience.”

Using data from Google, Radar Video has revealed that 71% of car buyers’ ‘digital interactions’ happen on mobiles. This amounts to:

  • 139 Google searches
  • 14 YouTube videos watched
  • 89 Images viewed
  • 69 Dealer interactions

Founder of Radar Video, Derek Blair, said: “With six out of 10 car shoppers starting their purchase journey unsure about which vehicle to buy, dealers can help steer the customer to the forecourt by having appropriate branded content and tailored offers at key points on the journey.

“Facebook is the ultimate mobile content platform and provides dealers with the ability to track the customer through the purchase journey and target them with personalised offers. Dealers should consider having a mobile-first marketing strategy in 2018.”

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Employee Welfare and Safety

The motor industry charity, Ben, launched a new mental health training programme aimed at employees in the automotive industry. The service aims to raise awareness of mental health as well as helping those in the industry manage their mental health in the workplace.

Business Development Director for Ben, Jools Tait, said: “Our aim is to support the people working in the automotive industry with any mental health challenges they face, as well as providing the training needed by their managers so they know how to support them. We believe that, through Ben Training, automotive businesses will benefit from reduced absence and improved productivity in their workforces.

“According to our figures, we have seen a big increase in demand for help with mental health issues from those working in our industry over the last year. We are therefore responding to this growing need by providing this important training service, as part of our new Ben4Business programme.

“We are committed to developing the relevant services needed to prevent people from suffering in silence as well as help them remain resilient to the challenges that life brings.”

Shocking photographs depicting the aftermath of a horrific motorway crash involving an RAC van have been released by the breakdown specialists, in a bid to highlight the danger mobile mechanics can face on the roadside.

The incident took place on the westbound hard shoulder of the M4, near Swindon, when an RAC road technician was changing a wheel on the off-side of a vehicle. Another vehicle then collided with the RAC patrol vehicle causing it to roll down the hard shoulder.

RAC Health and Safety Consultant, Steve Robinson, said: “This was a major accident. It is a wonder that nobody was killed.

“This incident serves to show how dangerous it can be for anyone who has to stop on the hard shoulder of a busy motorway.

“We have released these shocking photographs of the RAC patrol van as they clearly demonstrate the need for a new way of thinking when drivers encounter stricken motorists and breakdown operators at the roadside.

“The RAC is calling on drivers to ‘slow down, make space and move on’ when passing motorway breakdowns leaving plenty of space between their car and any vehicles and people on the hard shoulder.

“With traffic volumes rising and several recent serious accidents involving roadside assistance patrols and breakdown contractors we need motorists to consider a new approach to how they drive past stricken vehicles, drivers and passengers, and those working in vulnerable locations.”

Most Popular Used Cars in 2017

Auto Trader have revealed the most searched for cars in the UK for 2017, with three German cars taking the pole positions.

Rank Car Model
1 BMW 3 Series
2 Volkswagen Golf
3 Mercedes-Benz C Class
4 Ford Focus
5 BMW 1 Series
6 BMW 5 Series
7 Ford Fiesta
8 Audi A3
9 Mercedes-Benz E Class
10 Vauxhall Astra

A Look Back At 2017 Motor Trade News

November: The Autumn Budget saw first-year VED rates rise for all new diesels, and the SMMT President called for ‘concrete progress’ in Brexit talks.

October: The Retail Motor Industry Federation called for the government to engage with the industry on Brexit, and the Institute of the Motor Industry lobbied the House of Lords for regulation on mechanics repairing EVs and hybrids.

September: Theresa May’s Government was accused of failing to properly address mileage clocking by the National Franchised Dealers Association, and the IMI warned that 40,000 independent businesses could lose access to vital information and data used to repair vehicles due to Brexit.

August: said a small number of businesses are damaging the reputation of the MOT, Servicing and Repairs industry because they are charging for unnecessary or incomplete work. Meanwhile, Servicing Stop research revealed that 70% of motorists prefer to use an independent garage.

July: A ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars/vans from 2040 was announced by the UK Government.

June: An AA-Populus poll revealed that trust in the dealer was more important than the price of the vehicle, and the value of diesels continued to fall at a higher rate than petrol vehicles.

May: Bad news for diesels as a survey found that 40% of diesel owners would change to a different fuel system for their next car.

April: Dealers were facing reduced profits as the values of cars aged three-years-old with 60,000 miles on the clock dropped by 1.6%.

March: A survey from Intelligent Environments found that 50% of drivers found vehicle finance “complicated and difficult”.

February: An undercover journalistic investigation from the Mail on Sunday found some Kwik Fit branches were charging for unnecessary work. Meanwhile new car prices rose 5.2% since the Brexit vote.

January: The Department for Transport published its consultation on plans to increase the first MOT from three years to four years.

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