Category Archives: Motor Trade News

CDX17 Car Dealer Automotive Industry Expo

The Car Dealer Automotive Industry Expo is on the horizon, as the motor industry turns its gaze towards the hallowed tarmac of Silverstone for CDX17.

On May 23rd 2017, car dealers and suppliers from across the industry will converge inside the incredible ‘Wing’ exhibition centre at Silverstone for one of the hottest motor trade show tickets on the calendar, CDX17.

CDX17 - Warranty Administration Services Ltd
CDX17 will take place inside Silverstone race circuit.

Hosted by Car Dealer Magazine, in association with GForces, this years event will be even bigger and better than lasts years success, and, Warranty Administration Services Ltd will be there! Yes, we will be at CDX17 on Stand 317 near the main stage, showcasing our services which will include our market leading Crystal Clear Warranty.

If you’re a motor dealer attending this year’s event, and looking to take control and get more from your warranty, then please come and speak to us at Stand 317.  We also have a web page online where you can download a free information pack before and after the event!

WAS Crystal Clear Logo Large

Crystal Clear Warranty is a self-funded aftermarket solution  that has helped motor dealers take control and profit from their warranty since 1984. For over 33 years, many of the most trusted franchises, dealer groups, and independents in our trade use Crystal Clear Warranty to enhance their customer care, and help bring new profit to their business.

CDX17 - Warranty Administration Services Ltd
Motor dealers and suppliers converge to make last year’s event a success.

Hosted by Car Dealer Magazine, last year’s event was praised for showcasing a wide range of suppliers, products, and an insightful panel of guest speakers.

CDX17 - Warranty Administration Services Ltd
The main stage was consistently packed with visitors, eager to hear from the CDX guest speakers.

If you’re a motor dealer and looking to take control and profit from your warranty then please come and visit us at CDX17 on Stand 317, or visit our website at warrantyadmin.co.uk/cdx for more information.

Diesel cars in decline: How might this affect the used car dealer?

Motorists appear to be turning their backs on diesel as they look to more eco-friendly vehicles, industry figures suggest. We look at how this might affect the used car dealer.

When it comes to buying a new car, there’s always a question you ask yourself: “petrol or diesel?” Both engine types have their pros and cons we usually we decide based on the cost of fuel, or the type of driving we adopt such as urban or motorway driving.

The kind of questions we ask ourselves are: ‘What is the cost of unleaded at the moment? Will I mostly drive motorway miles? Will I just pootle around the city centre?’

When it comes to choosing the fuel type for a new car we usually stick to petrol or diesel because it’s what we know. However, as figures suggest, there is now a third element to this dilemma. One that has taken its seat at the table, and is asking for equal helpings of the motoring market.

What about eco-friendly?

No longer just a buzz word. No longer just a fad that over-promised on a vintage episode of Tomorrows World. No longer shrugged off with a ‘yeah right’ around the pub table. Eco-friendly… green… hybrid… electric… However you refer to it, the eco-friendly ‘green’ option has clawed its way into our age-old motoring conundrum, and is satisfying a bigger portion of drivers demands each month.

Choosing the right engine that is going to drive your new car is an important decision. Not only because of the build-costs involved and the price of gas and fuel efficiency, but also the impact the engine will have on the environment. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 78,778 diesel cars were sold in January, a drop of 4.3% on the same month in 2016.

Now here’s the eyebrow raising part. Over the same period of sales, electric cars and other alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) leaped by 19.9%.

For the first time ever – AFVs now account for more than 4% of the market. Okay okay, I know you’re going to say: ‘But it’s only 4%.’ However, just consider that January’s total vehicle sales were 174,564 – and of that 7,270 were eco-friendly cars.

Every single month a greater proportion of green cars are purchased, whilst traditionally fuelled vehicles like diesels decline. Some 3,536 less diesel cars were bought compared to the same month last year.

Let me put it another way. More people bought AVFs in January than the total number of people who bought a Ford Focus.

So what’s going on at the petrol pumps? Well. Sales of diesel cars have actually been dropping for several months. In fact, 7 of the last 8 months have seen a drop!

Steady media attention. Public outcry and political focus on pollution. Health issues.  The negative revelations that Volkswagen and possibly other manufacturers were fiddling emissions data, are souring our taste for diesel cars.

In December 2016, sales of diesel cars were down by 6.8% on the same month a year earlier.

Diesel cars: So are they that bad?

To sprinkle some positivity over this article, diesel cars as we know are more fuel efficient than petrol. You get more bang for your buck at the pumps, and they also produce less CO2 meaning, at present, you pay less road tax because UK road tax is based on how much CO2 a car emits.

However.

CO2 emissions don’t paint the entire pollution picture.

Diesel Cars in Decline

Diesel engines produce more nasty pollutants like nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, and other heavy particulates that constitute that thick toxic smog you see hanging over big cities. These are not only harmful to the environment, but have been linked to respiratory conditions such as asthma.

So are the headlines over diesel cars finally hitting sales? Recent figures for January seem to confirm the trend. One year ago, new diesel car sales were out outnumbering those of petrol cars. Now? The situation has reversed.

Big City Influence

Several major capitals around the world have voiced their desire to ban diesel cars within 10 – 25 years because of the pollution they cause. The Mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens say they are implementing the ban to help improve air quality, and are also going to give incentives for alternative vehicle use and promote walking and cycling.

Pollution in London 2017 - photo by Leon Neal
Pollution in London 2017 – photo by Leon Neal

This is a huge statement of intent and a welcoming hand to eco-friendly vehicles. In recent weeks we have seen a feed of troubling media and new research spill into the news.

The poor quality of London air is fuelling demand for more direct action and harsher tolls against ‘dirty cars’, and diesels are the ones to be dragged through the streets.

For instance, as of April 2017, Westminster will hit some diesel drivers with extra parking charges. It is also believed a diesel scrappage scheme could be implemented soon to encourage motorists to ditch cars which are the heaviest polluters.

London T-Charge?

From the 23rd October 2017, a brand new ‘toxicity charge’ will take effect in central London. The so-called T-Charge will see the owners of older, more polluting cars face an extra £10 fee for entering the congestion charge zone. City Hall estimate that up to 10,000 vehicles every weekday will be liable for the new emissions levy.

How could this affect the used car dealer?

You’d think that with a decline in demand for new diesel cars would reflect on the used car market – but apparently no. According to CarBuyer.co.ukdiesel cars are more in demand than cars with petrol engines and can be worth 10% more when bought secondhand.

It appears that diesel cars, at least for the time being, can retain a good value and good demand on the used forecourt. Whether the ever increasing financial obstacles the government hurls into the path of diesels reduces their appeal to buyers, and their value, this is a question many used car dealers should consider. Especially those within the big city limits.

Used Diesels vs. Used Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles

If the new consumer market is anything to go by, it looks like we’ll see a slight but steady decline of diesels flowing into the used car market over the coming years. Slowly being replaced by a new demand for used hybrid, electric, and other AVF vehicles. This brings about a whole new set of goalposts to kick through, as common diesel issues that we’re all familiar with like DPF or glow plug faults, are replaced by potential hybrid battery pack problems  or complexities associated with the drive train.

Used hybrids however are nothing new. The first Toyota Prius rolled onto UK roads in 2000 and with the 4th generation in the showrooms now it’s fair to say hybrid technology is reliable and in-demand.

The problem from a used buyers point of view is the unknown. They assume expensive repairs because of the newer and complex technology – even though vehicles like the Prius has no clutch, conventional starter motor, alternator or drivebelt. Plus the hybrid system apparently leads to longer durability of brake discs, pads and tyres. But, of course, it’s the battery pack that has most potential buyers worried.

Hybrid Green Cars

I guess it’s the same kind of worry traditional used car buyers have about a timing belt. You’ll probably think something like:  ‘If the battery fail then the repairs will be expensive. The parts will be expensive. That will not be a good day.’

According to Honda, reliability isn’t an problem with their hybrids. They say the batteries in the Civic IMA (from 2002) are lasting 10-14 years, while the company has yet to replace a single pack from newer models such as the post-2010 Insight and the Jazz Hybrid offered from 2011.

With these batteries still under warranty, most manufacturers have yet to set prices for replacement parts. Mitsubishi UK advise battery pack costs have halved in the past three years and by the time the current crop of cars are out of warranty – and by the time their battery packs begin to fail – replacement costs will be even lower.

What is more encouraging is that it’s unlikely a complete battery pack will need renewal. It will simply be a question of replacing the dead cells inside, reducing costs even further.

So how much does an entire battery pack cost for a Mk1 or Mk2 Prius?

At the moment, it’s around £1,000 to £1,200 respectively for replacement battery. A new battery for a Mk3 is priced at £5,730.

Replacing the battery pack on an original Honda Insight or Civic IMA will cost around £2,000, but only £900 on the later Insight and Civic IMA.

In 2012, Honda switched from nickel metal hydride batteries to lithium-ion versions, almost tripling replacement costs from £972 to £2,700.

So in this article we’ve talked about the perception and decline of diesel cars, and the possible effect this could have on the used car market. Even though we predict that eco-friendly cars will begin to take up more and more space on the forecourts, there is still a feeling of the unknown when it comes to used AVFs aftersale problems and potential repair costs.

One thing’s for sure. Times are changing, and with it, the landscape of the new and used car dealer forecourt.

Thank you for reading this post on the Warranty Administration Services Ltd blog, about diesel vehicles on the decline.

September 2016 New Registrations

September 66-plate registrations drives new car sales over £2,000,000 during 2016.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed? I certainly have! The number of cars featuring the new ’66 plate’ driving on the roads has been quite apparent? Maybe the ’66’ is more eye catching than past plate formats, but there’s certainly been a feeling of more ‘new-cars’ on the road lately! Well it’s not just a feeling, the SMMT reports that 469,696 new cars were registered in September 2016 – a steady rise of 1.6% and most importantly, the highest September on record.

There has also been a rise in demand for diesels and alternatively fueled vehicles; up 2.8% and 32.6% respectively.

If you’re liking all the numbers in this post, then the next figure will get your juices flowing! The year-to-date total registrations grew 2.6% in September taking the grand total so far to over 2 million new cars sold this year.

This amazing and very encouraging news means this marks the highest September on record, while the total number of cars registered so far this year also grew to  2,150,495 units – up 2.6% compared with the same period last year.

It is only the second time in recorded history that the two million mark has been passed in September. The first time was in 2004.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

“September is always one of the biggest months for Britain’s new car market. The new 66-plate, combined with a diverse range of exciting new models featuring the latest technology, has certainly helped draw buyers into showrooms and many are taking full advantage of the attractive deals and low interest financing options on offer. Business and consumers place September orders many months in advance, so the ability of the market to maintain this record level of demand will depend on the ability of government to overcome political uncertainty and safeguard the conditions that underpin consumer appetite.”

Average Used Car Price Increase During July 2016

Luxury cars pricing and used car sales helped to bolster the used car market which increased by a slight 0.1% in July, according to Motors.co.uk.

The online website recorded the change through its transactions throughout the month, with the average price of a used vehicle rising slightly to £12,472.

The wholesale market at Manheim’s auctions saw its average selling price drop by 3.4% month-on-month, but within that figure the luxury segment saw selling prices up by 6.5%.

A spokesman for Manheim said: “While the average wholesale selling price was largely affected by the 3.9% decrease in ex-fleet car values, which fell to £9,822, it was bolstered by a slight rise of 0.5% in the average selling prices for part-exchange stock, which rose to £3,529.”


Thank you for reading this post on the WAS Blog!

Hendy Automotive Acquire Lifestyle Motor Group

Hendy Automotive expand their reach along the South Coast with the acquisition of Lifestyle Motor Group.

Everyone at WAS would like to send congratulations to our friends at Hendy following their acquisition of the Lifestyle Motor Group. This exciting development in the motor trade sees the Hendy brand broaden its reach across the South Coast, encompassing the shared values and work ethics of the Lifestyle Motor Group.

Hendy Group Logo

“The Lifestyle Motor Group shares the Hendy Group’s values, so we’re excited to be making Hendy history as we integrate and move forward together. We are delighted to have bought Lifestyle which has a similar philosophy to Hendy, with a strong commitment to customer care and service.” – Paul Hendy.

lifestyle-motor-group

The Lifestyle Motor Group, formed in 2001, operates Ford, Mazda, Kia, Renault, Dacia, Seat, Suzuki and Isuzu in the South East and is now part of newly formed company Hendy Automotive Limited.

Hendy Map 2016

“The Lifestyle Group shares Hendy’s values; a family-run business with similar tight geography and a clear focus on doing the right thing by customers, employees, and suppliers. Covering West Sussex, Surrey and Kent, the Lifestyle Group sits adjacent to Hendy and will offer a fantastic footprint in a neighboring location.” – Hendy Torque Magazine.

According to AM-online, the deal should place the new company in the top 25 of the AM100 with 12 motor franchises at 25 locations in Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, and Devon.

Hendy Automotive’s newly-acquired dealerships will continue to operate under the Lifestyle name for the immediate future as the business is integrated into Hendy Automotive.


Thank you for reading this Hendy Lifestyle Acquisition post on the WAS Blog!

July 2016: New Car Registrations

England keeps UK new car registrations afloat during July.

Considering all the doom and gloom forecasting in the run-up to and after the Brexit, you have to admit that the motor trade is standing firm with a real sense of “let’s just get on with things”.

Yes there’s been ripples in the water as a result of the EU Referendum, with Vauxhall, Ford and Peugeot having implemented small price rises across their cars in the six weeks since the UK voted to leave the European Union, according to Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings during a recent interview with TradePlates.TV.

“It’s only been small percentages, but I think clearly one of the things (driving it) is “what’s the impact of sterling going to be?”, said Gupta.

He said: ‘If you take what we’ve seen with these manufacturers that have put their pricing up, it’s only been one or two per cent. So, if you’re saying that an average vehicle is £20,000 and you took a midpoint and said it was a five per cent increase – that’s £300.

In related news, the boss of Nissan has said future decisions about the car giant’s Sunderland plant will depend on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. However he was ‘reasonably optimistic’ that the UK will continue to be a key partner of the European Union.’

Ghosn told the BBC: ‘I don’t think today you can talk about any impact before we see what is the new status of the UK. Most of the production out of Sunderland is exported to Europe. So obviously for us, the relationship which is going to prevail between the UK and Europe is very important.’

So even with all the negative forecasting leading into the Referendum,  businesses and consumers are keeping calm, and carrying on as normal.

“Just keep swimming.”

In terms of new car sales last month, England was the only part of the UK with an increase in new car registrations during July 2016 according to figures released by the SMMT. Sizable falls of around 8% in Scotland and Wales was offset by a modest increase of 1,900 vehicles in England, which just about kept the UK sales figures afloat.

New car sales in Scotland were down to 12,471 in July 2016, a fall of just over 8% compared to July 2016, with a similar fall in Northern Ireland’s monthly registration figures to 3,899.

The year-to-date presents a more positive picture with an increase of around three per cent with 1,594,509 registrations. This is up 44,760, but it’s the 56,100 increase from England that keeps the overall number in growth.

This year sees Northern Ireland’s registrations increase by 233 vehicles while those in Wales fell by 100, and Scotland have fallen by 1,473.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling. The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence. With low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers.”

Looking at the graph below it seems everything is starting to settle onto a healthy plateau.

July-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chart

We’ll keep an eye on the months ahead and report the latest figures right here, so please check back soon!


Thank you for reading this JUly 2016 New Car Registrations post on the WAS Blog!

DealerConfNI – The New Trade Show For Used Car Dealers

DealerConfNI – A new trade show offering used car, van, and motorcycle dealers in Northern Ireland the opportunity to network and get expert knowledge from leading motor trade suppliers! Come visit the Hilton Templepatrick Hotel on April 5th 2016 and be a part of this exciting event!

Something new and exciting is coming to Belfast on April 5th, as the very first DealerConfNI takes place at the Hilton Templepatrick Hotel!

Hosted by Used Cars NI and featuring Warranty Administration Services Ltd,  DealerConfNI is a one-day event that brings together a range of industry leading guest speakers to give expert interactive presentations and seminars about the motor trade.

DealerConfNI Logo

Hilton Templepatrick Hotel
Hilton Templepatrick Hotel, Belfast

It also offers used car, van, and motorcycle dealers in Northern Ireland the perfect opportunity to get involved and ask questions, and settle concerns about best practices! Hopefully everyone will drive away having discovered something new, and enjoyed a fun day with like-minded personalities in the motor trade!

DealerConfNI – What’s on?

  • Our very own Steve Robson will be hosting an interactive discussion on all the benefits of a dealer self-funded warranty programme.
  • A foyer packed with exhibitors!
  • Refreshments and light lunch kindly supplied to delegates by Used Cars NI.
  • Damien Doherty from Trading Standards will talk on the Sales of Goods Act and Consumer Rights Act, and your obligations to your customers.
  • Gregory Hunt of Ombudsman Services will be discussing the new Advanced Dispute Resolution initiatives, and what it means to you.
  • CAP/HPI will be giving a presentation on “write-offs, repos, and cons”, explaining what to look our for so that you don’t get stuck with the wrong car – and what to do if you do!
  • Independent expert Graham Filmer will provide a plain English overview of the FCA journey facing dealers.
  • iVendi and event sponsors Moto Novo Finance to discuss the future of searching for cars online, and how finance will change the customer journey.

We will be at DealerConfNI!

Yes, Warranty Administration Services Ltd will be there at DealerConfNI! As well as giving a feature presentation on the benefits of a self-funded warranty over a traditional warranty, we’ll also have a stand where you can find out more about our Crystal Clear Warranty.

Not only do we have free goody bags to give away, but also a few fun activities to try your hand at, and also a fabulous competition where you can win an iPad Mini!

Crystal Clear Warranty Goody Bag
Crystal Clear Warranty Goody Bag!

How do i get involved in the #DealerConfNI conversation?

Using Twitter, tweet away mentioning the official #DealerConfNI hashtag! You can also search on twitter for the same hashtag to see what everyone is talking about!

How do I attend DealerConfNI?

Contact Used Cars NI who are hosting the event on 028 9032 4065, or email info@usedcarsni.com

What is the venue contact details?

Hilton Belfast Templepatrick 
Paradise Walk, Castle Upton Estate,
Templepatrick
BT39 0DD
UK
Telephone: 028 94435500

We really hope to see you there!

Best New Car Sales Figures For January In 11 Years!

UK new car sales kick 2016 off on a high with the best January since 2005.

Latest new car sales figures coming in from the SMMT have revealed 2016 starting on a very positive note for new car sales, which can only be good news for the used car market! I’ll come to that in my next post, but first new car sales.

After a slight slump in the later part of 2015, this January has witnessed the best January for new car sales since 2005 as registrations increased by 2.9% to 169,678 vehicles.

What’s more interesting is the demand for alternatively-fueled vehicles continues to grow in leaps and bounds with January seeing a 32.1% spike bringing the alternative-fueled vehicle market share to 3.6%. Petrol hybrids showed the largest growth – up 44.1%.In this editors eyes that can only be a good thing. Especially after recently sitting in my colleagues hybrid car and being amazed at the quietness and eco-friendliness of the battery powered “silent start” and initial pull off the lights. I’ll totally consider a hybrid for my next purchase! Anyway!Here’s the movers and the shakers on the new car sales front:

  1. Fiesta – 8,353
  2. Qashqai – 4,839
  3. Corsa – 4,803
  4. Focus – 4,285
  5. Golf – 3,813
  6. Juke – 3,446
  7. Polo – 3,298
  8. A3 – 3,227
  9. Astra – 3,185
  10. C-Class – 3,022

It’s worth noting just how well the UK export market is doing. It seems car exports to India have more than trebled in the past 5 years according to data released today ahead of Auto Expo 2016. In 2015, the UK exported 194.5% more cars to the region than in 2010, and 5.4% more than last year, putting India in the UK’s top 10 Asian export markets.

British manufacturers made more cars in 2015 than any year since 2005 when 1,595,697 vehicles were produced.


Thanks for reading this WAS Blog post on new cars sales in January 2016!

New Car Sales Rise In November

The new car market has bounced back following the first dip in sales witnessed during October 2015. November new car registrations returned with a rise of 8% in the month, and 2% compared to the same period last year.

It’s been a funny old few weeks and months of late. A quietness has crept into most forecourts it seems with lower new and used car sales. It’s generally been a quiet period in the UK used car market, but fear not! We all know this time of year can be difficult in the used car trade, however we’re already seeing a turn in the right direction with a rise in sales over November of 178,876 cars, including a 6% rise in alternatively fueled cars bolstering the trend! A total of 2,453,426 cars have been sold in 2015 at the start of December which is a slight, yet always encouraging increase! (Some good old fashioned british optimism there).

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership. We have been expecting a levelling-off in demand for some time now – a development that is being realised following an unprecedented three-and-a-half years of non-stop growth.”


Thank you for reading this November new car registrations post on the WAS Blog!

 

Vauxhall Recalls 220,000 Zafira B Cars Over Fire Concerns

Vauxhall has just announced a recall of 220,000 Zafira B cars over following a number of reported fires.

This news has come only two weeks after more than 130 fires were first reported via a Facebook group. The fires have occurred behind the glove-box, in the heating and ventilation system. Vauxhall advise the model affected is the Zafira B, built between 2005 and 2014. The cars are all right-hand drive, and have manual, or no air conditioning.

The company said faulty repairs to the heating and ventilation system were probably to blame.

The chairman and managing director Rory Harvey, Vauxhall said its initial investigations had shown “improper repair of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse”.

A Facebook group set up by Zafira owners to alert other drivers has attracted more than 12,000 members.

Vauxhall will now send out letters to 220,000 owners, advising them to get in touch with their local dealer. They will be offered a free inspection and repairs.

Drivers are advised not to use the heating or air conditioning system.


Thanks for reading this WAS Blog post on Vauxhall recalling 220,000 Zafira B cars over fire concerns. Image credit Brian Snelson via Flickr.