Motor Trade News Monthly Round Up September 2017
All the usual topics are covered including MOT news, future developments in the automotive industry and the latest Brexit trade car news.
Last month the National Franchised Dealers Association accused the government of failing to properly address the growing problem of mileage clocking. Sue Robinson, the NFDA Director said: “It is frustrating to see that although many respondents recommended possible actions to address the issue of clocking more effectively, government continues to ignore industry calls for action and will only will ‘consider further what measures, if any, are needed.’
“Recent figures show that mileage fraud is on the rise. This comes as no surprise as, with current technologies, modern odometers can be altered very easily and without detection.
“Over the past few years, the NFDA, alongside other organisations, has campaigned, actively engaged with government, and gained support from a number of MPs and Lords. We consider today’s response to the consultation, which was published nearly a year ago, to be extremely limited.
“We will be questioning why government chose to amend legislation following recommendations surrounding roadworthiness testing, but not following more industry calls to outlaw all mileage adjustment and follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland and the USA.”
“We will continue to campaign and call on government to change the law to outlaw all forms of mileage adjustment, including mileage adjustment companies and mileage adjustment equipment.”
Brexit Motor Trade News
The Institute of the Motor Industry has warned that 40,000 independent businesses could lose access to data and information needed and used to repair vehicles, that’s if the EU Block Exemption Regulation doesn’t apply to the United Kingdom once it leaves the European Union in 2019. Chief Executive of the IMI, Steve Nash said: “The developments in new technology has already begun hitting the most vulnerable area of the industry so without the Block Exemption Regulation in place their will be catastrophic consequences for the independents that make up 80% of businesses engaged in servicing and repairing motor vehicles in the UK.”
“In these ever-changing times where the majority of manufacturers are developing vehicle technology faster than ever before, and government setting a target of all vehicles on UK roads to be electric or hybrid by 2040, plus the added danger of seeing a sharp reduction in our ethnically diverse workforces - It’s important the IMI are supporting the industry and its workforces through these challenging times, whilst making sure the government hear our concerns and secure a deal that allows us to continue to operate this £51bn industry.”
The Department for Transport announced that vehicles over 40 years old will be exempt from MOT tests from May 2018, on a rolling basis. The change means that 293,000 vehicles will join vehicles manufactured before 1960 as exempt from compulsory annual roadworthiness testing, equalling approximately half a million vehicles. The move comes despite a government consultation in which 1,130 respondents opposed the plans in comparison to 899 people who supported exemption for vehicles over 40 years old.
Transport Minister, Jesse Norman said: “After considering the responses, we have decided to exempt most vehicles over forty years old from the requirement for annual roadworthiness testing.
“This means lighter vehicles and those larger vehicles such as buses which are not used commercially. Heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles falling under operator licensing regulations will remain within the scope of roadworthiness testing.
“Vehicles that have been substantially changed, regardless of their age, will not be exempt from annual roadworthiness testing.”
The DVSA has issued serious warnings to garages and MOT testers offering DPF deletion services. MOT Product Manager for the DVSA, Danny Charles, said: “The bans give a clear message about the importance of maintaining the integrity of the MOT.
“Remember, the consequences of turning a blind eye to a missing diesel particulate filter – or worse, actively taking part in their removal – can be serious for an MOT tester. A vehicle that needs a particulate filter and doesn’t have one should fail its MOT. If you pass it knowing that it doesn’t have one, you’re harming the environment and committing fraud.”
Five MOT Testers and a garage owner were handed 28 day testing bans after a routine visit from the DVSA found that they were illegally failing to test diesel vehicle emissions. Gareth Llewellyn the DVSA Chief Executive said: “We take the quality of MOT testing extremely seriously, have carried out 24,000 garage checks and continue to work with the industry to improve test quality.
“We’ll withdraw the right to provide MOTs, and even prosecute garages who fail to meet the required standards, including those who pose a risk to air quality by failing to carry out emissions tests on vehicles.”
According to figures released by ACEA, the European carmaker trade association, diesel engine cars are now less than half of all new car sales across Europe. It’s the first time since 2009 that petrol cars have outsold diesels. The ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert said: “Alternative powertrains will undoubtedly play an increasing role in the transport mix, and all European manufacturers are investing heavily in them.
“To this end, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to buy alternatively-powered vehicles, for instance by putting in place the right incentives and deploying recharging infrastructure across the EU.
“In the meantime, however, as diesel cars emit significantly less CO2 than equivalent petrol-powered vehicles, they will have to be part of the gradual transition to low-carbon vehicles, acting as a ‘bridge’ technology.
“Policy makers need to be aware that a sudden shift from diesel technology to petrol will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions, given that the market penetration of alternative powertrains remains low.”
Vehicle Sales News
The Car Buyers Report from Auto Trader has found that car buying habits have changed from a funnel process, where makes and models are eliminated, to one where consumers change their mind several times before making a decision. The report found that the average number of makes and models in the buying process more than doubled from 3, to 6.5 – the report also found that 30% of buyers switched between new and used.
Auto Trader’s Manufacturing and Agency Director, Ian Plummer said: “The complex nature of today’s car buying journey presents genuine opportunities for both retailers and manufacturers. Fatigued consumers are clearly looking for brands that are able to simplify the process, the options and the offers available.
“What’s more, the frequent flipping between new or used, make or model, means consumers are no longer looking for a new car or a used car, but rather their next car. Targeted digital marketing can not only influence the purchase decision, but also create the opportunity to both retain loyal customers, as well as attract new ones, even at the final stages of their journey.”
Jaguar Land Rover announced that all Jaguar models will come with the option of an electric engine by 2020. “We've taken the plunge. We've got I-PACE coming out next year, an all-electric car. Speaking to ITV News Central, Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum said: It’s a brave move but I think it's absolutely the right move for Jaguar.”
Kwik Fit lost their IPSO complaint over the Mail On Sunday’s ‘THE GREAT Kwik Fit FIT-UP’ headline, after claiming it breached the privacy and accuracy clauses of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation said: “The newspaper had provided the complainant with an opportunity to comment on the findings of the investigation, and where a difference of opinion had arisen, the complainant’s position had been reported.
“The Committee did not conclude that the article had given the significantly misleading impression that the complainants deliberately defraud their customers.”
A recent survey conducted by CINT, a research company, has revealed that 75 percent more women preferred the ‘hands-off’ process offered by Servicing Stop, compared to other service providers. Oly Richmond, the Chief Executive Officer of Servicing Stop said: “The fact is, having to book a day off work or having to arrange childcare whilst you take the car to the nearest service centre is unavoidably inconvenient and time consuming.
“This is simply not a set of circumstances acceptable to the majority of people, regardless of whether you are male or female.”
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