Automotive News

Brexit Concerns for Van Operators
- 22 February 2018
Brexit Concerns for Van Operators
The Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer is an independent sample of 2,000 van drivers, owners, operators and fleet managers nationwide, conducted every quarter. It was created to give a better understanding of the economic landscape and discover what van owners and drivers need to keep their business moving. The latest survey showed that while Britain's van sector is still more likely to think Brexit will improve the prospects of their business (28%) rather than damage it (20%), the gap between the two is closing. Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: "It is concerning that while confidence is high amongst van owners and operators, the trend is on a decline, and while uncertainty continues to circulate around 'Brexit' and the economy, the knock-on effect on the investment within businesses is potentially stagnant." He went on to point out that their hope is for 'normal service' to be resumed soon.
New MD for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK
- 22 February 2018
New MD for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has announced the appointment of Rob Lindley as its Managing Director. He will step into the role on 16th April 2018. Rob Lindley brings a wealth of industry experience to the role. He began his automotive career with Ford Motor Company in 1989, progressing to Managing Director of both Mazda Motors in the UK and Sales and Marketing Director (Global) for McLaren Automotive. Most recently, he was the Vice President and Managing Director of Harley-Davidson EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). "I am delighted to be joining Mitsubishi Motors in the UK at such an exciting time," he said. "It's exciting both in terms of important new model launches and as the business merges into, and benefits from, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance." He succeeds Lance Bradley who is standing down after 9 years in the role and 18 years in the company to become Vice Chairman.
Fourth-Generation Santa Fe Launched
- 22 February 2018
Fourth-Generation Santa Fe Launched
Hyundai Motor Company has celebrated the world premiere of the fourth-generation Santa Fe in Goyang city, in the northern outskirts of Seoul. The new generation Santa Fe represents Hyundai's ongoing commitment to delivering vehicles that feature world-class innovation and design. "The fourth-generation Santa Fe continues the model's global success story," said Byung Kwon Rim, Executive Vice President at Hyundai Motor Company. "The first Santa Fe is the foundation of Hyundai Motor's SUV heritage." Since the launch of the first Santa Fe in 2000, Hyundai has become an established brand in the SUV segment. This fourth-generation Santa Fe will continue to impress customers with its premium design, spacious interior and its advanced technology. The all-new Santa Fe will start production from the second quarter of 2018 and will go on sale globally throughout this year.
Citroen Wins Order for McCormick Fleet
- 22 February 2018
Citroen Wins Order for McCormick Fleet
McCormick (UK) Ltd, behind well-known brands such as Schwartz, Thai Kitchen and Hammonds of Yorkshire, is continuing to work with Citroen to supply vans for their fleet. Replacing a fleet of Citroen Berlingo Crew vans originally supplied in 2013, they have just ordered 156 Berlingo Crew BlueHDi and 10 Dispatch BlueHDi 120 XL Crew vans, fitted with upgraded Teletrac Navman Smartnav and stolen vehicle tracking system. It is on a three-year full maintenance contract through Alphabet. Tracey Hoare, McCormick UK's Regional Business Controller for the South, said: "The key benefits of the new fleet for us are enhanced safety, flexibility and efficiency for our Merchandising Team. It will also help them with dynamic journey planning." In addition, the Berlingos are equipped with a moveable bulkhead, which gives greater flexibility. The Smartnav system will also give the company the opportunity to look at how they can better manage their geographical coverage.
Holidays on Water, No Need to Gloat
- 20 February 2018
Holidays on Water, No Need to Gloat
If you're interested in the latest holiday experience, then you need to be looking at 'gloating'. These are the romantic or family-friendly luxury stays on boats. This is thanks to bedsonboard.com - the boat accommodation platform that works just like Airbnb. "Gloating is the new glamping," says bedsonboard.com co-founder Tim Ludlow. "Couples can enjoy a romantic stay with waterside views, wood-burning stoves, and a truly unique experience on our boats, making them ideal for special occasions." It is something that families also love, as for the children it is just one big adventure. The holidays often work out cheaper than a hotel, and families get to stay together but have their own private cabins and social living space - with all the mod cons they would expect from an apartment. Since launching in 2015, Beds on Board has grown to more than 30,000 members, with boats available to rent in more than 70 countries - from traditional narrow boats to luxury yachts.
Car Leasing Becoming More Popular
- 20 February 2018
Car Leasing Becoming More Popular
According to a report from new car marketplace ContractHireAndLeasing.com, consumers are continuing to turn their backs on hire purchase in favour of personal leasing. As its Personal Leasing Report 2017: Growth in an Uncertain Market shows, the value of hire purchase agreements fell 9.8% in the 12 months to November 2017. Whereas, personal contract hire, or PCH, which is commonly referred to as leasing, grew 12.7% over the same period. Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at ContractHireAndLeasing.com, said: "Our report confirms that consumers are transitioning away from ownership towards usership - they want access to a new car rather than a commitment to buy it. 2017 represented a milestone in behavioural change as it was the year that the popularity of new car leasing leapfrogged traditional HP."
Half-Term Breakdown Blues
- 13 February 2018
Half-Term Breakdown Blues
While many families will be preparing to hit the roads to make the most of the February half term, national breakdown cover provider Green Flag is warning that a staggering 11 breakdowns per minute are set to occur over the half term period. Overall, data complied by the organisation predicts that around 141,000 drivers will face disruption to their journey, and that is just over the half-term period. The data highlights that that the common culprits are flat or faulty batteries with around 29,000 breakdowns attributed, while they are anticipating around 13,000 tyre-related issues. The figures note that something like 7,000 drivers will experience engine-related problems that will necessitate a call out.
It's All Go for the London Classic Car Show
- 13 February 2018
Its All Go for the London Classic Car Show
The London Classic Car Show is taking place this week, 15-18 February and is billed as even bigger and better. It is the fourth year of the capital's biggest car celebration, and it has expanded to now fill the complete South Hall at the Excel London. There will be displays featuring more than 700 of the world's finest classic cars, and it will include a special collection of Nigel Mansell's racing cars plus a rogue's gallery of getaway cars curated by Philip Glenister, aka DCI Gene Hunt from the television series Life on Mars. This year's eye-catching Grand Avenue parades focuses on 'Specials', a mouth-watering collection of 60 unique street and competition cars renowned for their rarity, curiosity and desirability. Adding extra value, tickets also give access to Historic Motorsport International, a sister show celebrating the UK's leading global position in retro racing and rallying. Full details can be found on the show's official website - thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk.
New Director of Engineering at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
- 13 February 2018
New Director of Engineering at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced the appointment of Dr Mihiar Ayoubi as Director of Engineering. He joins Rolls-Royce from the BMW Group and has over 20 years' experience in a broad range of engineering positions. He holds a Degree and Doctorate in Control Systems Engineering and Applied Artificial Intelligence from the technical University of Darmstadt and he joined BMW Group in 1997. Torsten M??ller-Otv?es, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, "I am delighted to welcome Dr Mihiar Ayoubi as our new Director of Engineering. Mihiar is an exceptionally talented engineer and follows in the esteemed footsteps of the company's founding father and first engineer, Sir Henry Royce." He replaces Dr Philip Koehn who has left the company to pursue other interests and takes up his new position on 1 March 2018.
PEUGEOT'S "GT Line Premium" Trim
- 13 February 2018
PEUGEOTS "GT Line Premium" Trim
PEUGEOT's 3008 SUV and all-new 5008 SUV are set to boast even greater appeal with the introduction of a new 'GT Line Premium' trim on both models. This new venture combines the versatility of the 'GT Line' trim with the luxury of its range-topping 'GT' specification. With diversity of engine choice at the forefront of the 'GT Line Premium', the all-new specification will boast a total of five engines available to spec on the two models. There is also a host of advanced technology features, including PEUGEOT Open and Go, its keyless entry and push button start functionality, a foot-operated smart electric tailgate, and a driver seat multi-point massage function. There is also the breath-taking panoramic opening glass roof flanked by blue ambient lighting and 19" 'Washington' two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels. The new 'GT Line Premium' trim level on the 3008 SUV and all-new 5008 SUV is available to order now.
Suzuki One Day Offer
- 13 February 2018
Suzuki One Day Offer
For one day only, this Saturday 17th February, visitors to any of Suzuki's network of 154 dealers nationwide will be able to take advantage of £500 off the recommended retail price of any new model in the range. Customers can book an appointment to meet with the sales team at their local showroom to discuss their requirements and benefit from this very limited offer which is available to private retail customers only. In addition to the highly attractive discount, existing and prospective Suzuki owners also have access to a range of highly affordable 0% PCP finance packages currently available together with the #SuzukiSaturdays £500 offer. The vehicle will need to be ordered on the day and registered by the 28th February.
Commercial Drivers Worried Over VAAW Attacks
- 08 February 2018
Commercial Drivers Worried Over VAAW Attacks
Over half of commercial drivers are shocked by the increase in frequency of 'Vehicle as a Weapon' or VAAW attacks over the past 18 months. This is according to a new UK survey of commercial fleet employees undertaken by Fleet Source, TFL's primary DCPC training contractor, who recently launched 'Terrorism Risk & Incident Prevention' training for the commercial sector. It revealed that 76% of respondents would like to carry out training to learn about the nature of the threats that they may face. They would like to know the range of safety precautions they should implement to significantly reduce the possibilities of their vehicle being hijacked or stolen and used in a terrorist attack. "Following the recent major VAAW incidents and with the UK being on a severe level of terrorist alert, we wanted to look at the industry's views and opinions on the subject," said Nick Caesari, Managing Director at Fleet Source. The survey also revealed that 'out of city' operators are less concerned (42%) about their vehicles being taken for use in a terror attack than those who frequently drive in the city (64%), when the reality is, they're at the same level of risk.
Road Cyclist's Paradise
- 08 February 2018
Road Cyclists Paradise
Cycology Travel offers bespoke luxury cycling holidays for those with a true passion for the sport. And, this spring will see the London-based company pair up with British performance sportswear brand Ashmei with the aim of redefining luxury cyclo-tourism. Limited to just 12 spots, the exclusive Tramuntana Tour 2018 spring break ride package (5th- 8th April 2018) in Mallorca - the world's greatest cycling destination, will allow cyclists to enjoy a ride experience of a lifetime on the island's most iconic routes ahead of the celebrated Mallorca 312 Sportive. "Mallorca is a road cyclist's paradise," explains Jordi E. Tarrida, General Manager at Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa. "At Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa we are pleased to work with bespoke cycling holidays expert, Cycology, to make sure we provide the facilities that best adapt to each cyclist's needs." This stunning five-star hotel provides unrivalled access to the greatest climbs Mallorca has to offer, including the Puig Major, Sa Calobra and Coll de Soller.
Volvo's XC60 "Best in Class" with NCAP
- 08 February 2018
Volvos XC60 "Best in Class" with NCAP
Volvo Cars' XC60 has been crowned the best-performing large off-roader and the car with the best overall performance of 2017 in the prestigious Euro NCAP 2017 Best in Class safety awards. The XC60 scored a near-perfect 98 per cent in the Adult Occupant category, and in its Large Off-Road class it showed a clear advantage in Safety Assist with a score of 95 per cent. "The new XC60 is one of the safest Volvo cars ever made," said Malin Ekholm, Vice President, Volvo Cars Safety Centre. "It is fully loaded with new technology designed to assist drivers, to help protect vehicle occupants and other road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, plus mitigate collision risks." The results underline Volvo Cars' position as a leader in automotive safety and shows their ongoing commitment to innovating new safety features for their vehicles.
Civility Code Needed According to Survey
- 30 January 2018
Civility Code Needed According to Survey
The latest survey from Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 44% of people would back the introduction of a 'Civility Code' of conduct for motorists. But, it is cyclists, joggers and smokers that were cited as being the top three most discourteous when using public thoroughfares. The survey stated that "as a population, we need to realise that we're part of a system and should apply some sort of process to the way we move amongst each other". Worryingly, 1 in 4 people said they've experienced road rage that left them feeling vulnerable or shaken. Pedestrians cause a considerable share of grief, with a whopping 53% thinking smokers who throw their cigarette butts on the floor should be fined. "Whether it is cyclists and joggers taking responsibility for being more visible or drivers paying more attention to, and acknowledging, other drivers and pedestrians, everyone can do something to make the roads safer, greener and happier places to be," comments Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions.
AA Poll of Drivers
- 30 January 2018
AA Poll of Drivers
According to the latest AA Driving Poll, gloves are the last thing stored in the glove box. Each month the AA work with market research experts Populus to follow the habits of UK drivers. It constitutes the largest dedicated motoring opinion panel in Europe. Of those who have a glovebox, and keep something in it, the most common item stored is the vehicle handbook at 77%. This was followed by a vehicle service history with 49% and a locking wheel nut adaptor, 49%. When it comes to spending money at the petrol station, besides fuel, sweets or chocolates were the most commonly bought item within the last 12 months, with almost half of respondents having done so. And, when asked about recent Government proposals to allow learner drivers to take lessons on motorways, almost half of respondents felt it was a good idea and that in fact, motorway lessons should be compulsory rather than optional.
Mazda UK Performing Well
- 30 January 2018
Mazda UK Performing Well
Mazda UK has 129 dealers and 16 authorised repairers across the UK, and the good news is that their dealers have increased their average profitability by 38% year-on-year. Last year also saw the network achieve a Mazda return on sales percentage of 1.4% - compared to 1% in 2016. "I'm delighted at the performance of our dealer network and their success in 2017," said Peter Allibon, Sales Director Mazda Motors UK. "Particularly when you consider this business achievement comes at a time of reducing retail sales across the whole UK car market and wavering consumer confidence in the face of challenges like Brexit and potential economic uncertainty." In addition to 2017 seeing strong dealer profitability across the network, it's also worth noting that the top 25% of Mazda dealers in the UK achieved just over a 3% return on sales, while the summer 2017 National Franchise Dealer Association survey ranked Mazda in fifth place out of 29 manufacturers.
Free Mileage Tracker App
- 30 January 2018
Free Mileage Tracker App
IN-SYNC Group have just released LOGIT-IN, a mileage tracker that will help the self-employed keep a record of their mileage. The app is designed to link directly with the IN-SYNC Tax Self-Assessment and VAT Return services, completely taking away any the administrative headache that usually comes with claiming at the end of the year. It makes the process fully automated, saving bundles of time and effort and allowing you to track your mileage more accurately than ever before. You can download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and using your smartphone's GPS, it'll track every journey. You simply have to categorise each trip as either 'business' or 'personal' by swiping left or right on the app. It gives the self-employed driver better mileage accuracy, so that claiming at the end of the tax year will benefit you more financially.