Automotive News

Mike Johnstone Joins Volvo
- 22 August 2017
Mike Johnstone Joins Volvo
Volvo Car UK has appointed Mike Johnstone as Marketing Strategy Director with immediate effect. During his time in the industry, Mike has worked in a number of key marketing and sales roles, most recently as International Director of Marketing for Harley-Davidson. Commenting on his appointment, Mike said: "I'm thrilled to be joining Volvo at such an exciting time for the company. With Volvo's incredible new range of premium cars - and with more desirable products just around the corner - now is the perfect time to help the company market these cars to a new, wider audience." In his new role, Mike take responsibility for developing and implementing an integrated marketing strategy to help support Volvo's ambitious growth targets.
Kawasaki's Motorcycles
- 22 August 2017
Kawasakis Motorcycles
Kawasaki's range of motorcycles has something to suit everyone. They have over 20 models in the current line-up and they are offering a number of finance deals to encourage buyers to buy and ride a 67-plate registration motorcycle. The new Ninja ZX-10R and ZX10RR has been tested, refined and approved by Double World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea. And the ZZR1400 has beautifully matched up Kawasaki's top-rated engineering with the rider's desire for ultimate performance. Visit www.kawasaki.co.uk to see the full range or to locate your nearest dealer.
Jaguar XK120 Restored
- 22 August 2017
Jaguar XK120 Restored
A 1954 Jaguar XK120 that features unique bodywork by famed Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina was seen at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California, USA over the weekend. It could be the rarest Jaguar ever. The full nut and bolt restoration took 6,725 hours by world-class specialists Classic Motor Cars. In 2015, CMC purchased the car from a German gentleman who had owned it since 1978 but without ever restoring it. CMC took on the challenge and have restored every nut and bolt of the vehicle. David Barzilay, Chairman of CMC's operating board, said: "Some of the original parts were impossible to find so we had to remake items such as the bumpers and chrome work by hand from photographs." The full body restoration included a complete new front end, new rear quarter panels, inner arch panels, boot floor, sills and door skins as well as a full chassis repair and repaint. Part that were remade included the front and rear bumpers, 80% of the original chrome work, rear screen and screen surround, along with a full interior re-trim. There's a video featuring this rare Jaguar at: https://youtu.be/mGR6J9we3yQ
The Bodyshop Awards
- 22 August 2017
The Bodyshop Awards
The Bodyshop Awards recognizes the skills of all those who work within the vehicle repair industry. And it's good news for Nationwide, who have four finalists in this year's event. Just one is Ryan Sutherland from NCRC Edinburgh, who has been named as a finalist in the Panel Apprentice of the Year Award. Ryan, who joined Nationwide in 2015 said: "I feel like all my hard work is paying off. I have been supported well throughout it all and all the Nationwiders I have worked with have taught me the skills I needed to get to where I am today!" Ryan's General Manager, Jim Anderson, is extremely proud of what he has achieved. "Ryan is hard working, uses his initiative and always gets his head down and gets on with the job in hand. He is a real asset to the team." All the finalists will attend the event at the Birmingham Metropole on 29th September to enjoy the evening and hopefully pick up an award!
Notable Date in Ford History
- 18 August 2017
Notable Date in Ford History
Ford offers the best-selling commercial vehicle range in Britain and across Europe. And it all began 100 years ago with launch of their commercial vehicle, the Model TT. The forerunner to today's vans and pickups, in 1917, the Model TT was Ford's first purpose-built one-tonne van. The Model TT was first launched in the U.S, and later built at Ford's Trafford Park factory in Manchester where owners could customise the chassis with a cargo bed "It is amazing that while in some ways today's vans are a million miles from the Model TT in how they have come on, they fundamentally do the same job as they were designed to do 100 years ago - providing a flexible means of keeping businesses on the move," said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. With four commercial vehicles now carrying the iconic Transit nameplate - Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier - as well as the Ranger pickup, 100 years on Ford is still in the forefront of commercial vehicles. In the UK alone, it has maintained market leadership in the commercial vehicle sector for 51 years - ever since the Transit was introduced in 1965. In 2016, Ford recorded its highest-ever year of commercial vehicle sales with 118,000 units.
New Customer Role at Volvo Car UK
- 18 August 2017
New Customer Role at Volvo Car UK
In a newly created role, Volvo Car UK has appointed Nicola Langley as Customer Experience Development Manager. She joins from Onecom, where she was Customer Experience Director. Prior to that, she held customer experience management roles at Vodafone and Virgin Media. "This is an incredibly exciting time to be joining Volvo," said Nicola. "With the brand and its products in the middle of a revolution, there's so much to engage with our customers about." With her background, she brings invaluable non-automotive knowledge and experience to the company where she will be involved in working across the company's training and customer relations departments and the Volvo dealer network to shape the way every customer experiences the brand. David Baddeley, Volvo Car UK's Operations Director, said: "Nicola has a successful history of helping businesses improve their customer experiences, and her perspectives in this respect will be a great benefit for us as we cement our position in the premium car segment."
UK Used Car Sales Down
- 17 August 2017
UK Used Car Sales Down
According to figures released this week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, UK used car sales have declined in the second quarter of 2017. "With used car sales closely mirroring what we see in the new car market, last quarter's decline comes as no surprise," said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. "Looking ahead it is vital that government secures the conditions that will maintain consumer and business confidence if we are to see both markets continue to prosper." Superminis remained the most popular used vehicle type in Q2, with more than 600,000 buyers accounting for a third (32.7%) of the market, followed by small family cars, with almost half a million changing hands. Minis and SUVs were the only two segments to show growth - up 5.7% and 3.5% respectively, echoing the trend in the new car market. With the demand easing over recent months, motorists have a great opportunity to visit their local dealer and negotiate a cracking deal.
Le Mans History
- 17 August 2017
Le Mans History
A book - Le Mans: The Official History 1930-39 has been added to a series of six previous volumes of the Le Mans series by the writer Quentin Spurring. Officially licensed with the ACO, the organisers of the annual Le Mans 24 Hours race, this sumptuous book is the seventh title in this decade-by-decade series and completes coverage of the endurance classic from its very beginning to the end of the 20th century. Quentin Spurring, who has reported from the Le Mans 24 Hours race on 26 occasions, has been editor of the British magazines Competition Car, Autosport, Racecar Engineering and The Paddock. Highly detailed year-by-year treatment of the decade's nine races gives unprecedented depth of information and photographic coverage for each year. It also has data that includes technical regulations, entry lists, circuit changes, full results and category awards. It is complete with 368 pages and over 350 photographs and is now available priced at £60.00.
Driving Test Changes
- 17 August 2017
Driving Test Changes
The recent announcement by the Government that learner drivers will be able to practice on motorways follow on from changes to the actual driving test that come into force on Monday 4 December 2017. There will be four changes to make sure that new drivers have the skills they'll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving. They are: 1. The Independent Driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes. 2. The ability to Follow directions from a Sat Nav. 3. Reversing Manoeuvres - where you'll be asked to either parallel park at the side of the road, park in a bay or reverse on the right-hand side of the road. 4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you're driving. Let's hope that following the Sat Nav directions won't lead to the driver and examiner ending up going the wrong way down a one-way street.
Ford's E-Van
- 17 August 2017
Fords E-Van
Ford's StreetScooter WORK XL, is a new electric van based on a Ford Transit chassis fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain. In a joint project with Deutsche Post DHL, Ford is supplying around 150 vehicles in 2017 for DHL to use in its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. J??rgen Gerdes, Member of the Board of Management Post - eCommerce - Parcel, at Deutsche Post DHL Group, said: "The new StreetScooter WORK XL expands our e-fleet in the commercial vehicle segment. It is the perfect vehicle for parcel deliveries in major cities and large urban areas, and. with this commitment, we are also underlining our claim of being the market leader in green logistics." The WORK XL will have a load volume of 20 cubic metres and provide stowage space for more than 200 parcels. The e-van is fitted with a modular battery system delivering 30 kWh to 90 kWh of power, giving it a range of between 80 km and 200 km. The early build e-vans will be manufactured in the StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. Deutsche Post Deutsche Post DHL, StreetScooter and Ford plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018.
Staycations Proving Popular
- 15 August 2017
Staycations Proving Popular
Latest figures from 'Visit England' shows that British residents took 44.7 million holiday trips in England during 2016, up 2% over the previous year. Over 10.2 million of those or nearly one in four, used caravans, motorhomes or camping as accommodation. According to the National Caravan Club, production of touring caravans was up 13.7% in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, while motorhome registrations rose by 11.3%. Caravan holiday homes are also steadily increasing, with a 5.6% growth in deliveries to holiday park locations between year start and end of June 2017 compared to 2016. "We see a consistently strong market for leisure vehicles, and their continuing appeal as accommodation on a wide range of trips away in both the UK and abroad," says Jenny Summers, Group Marketing Director for the NCC. "The European tourer and motorhome industry is providing innovative and stylish products at competitive prices. These figures also endorse the popularity of staycations in the UK." From January to April 2017, Britons took a record 14.4 million domestic holidays, or 'staycations' within Great Britain: a figure up 3% over the same period last year.
SsangYong's New Rexton
- 15 August 2017
SsangYongs New Rexton
Impressing with its sheer presence and beautifully balanced exterior, the new SsangYong Rexton 4x4 arrives in the UK this autumn. A large D/E-segment four-wheel drive, it offers a prestige cabin for passengers to travel in supreme comfort. Representing a huge step forward in every area - looks and style, interior ambience, structure and safety, performance and technology, this new car stays true to SsangYong's core brand values with extremely competitive pricing from £27,500 on the road. "Following hard on the heels of Tivoli when SsangYong set new standards for value-priced compact SUVs," said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK, the "new Rexton is further evidence of the brand's re-generation after Mahindra made significant investments in the company. It demonstrates the rapid progress being made as a specialist producer of 4x4s and SUVs." As to the future, the company is focused on creating further growth by developing petrol powered, EV and other eco-friendly vehicles.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Sales Increases
- 15 August 2017
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Sales Increases
For Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, 2017 has been a great year so far. They have delivered over a quarter of a million of their vehicles all around the world - 286,800 to be precise. This is an increase of 5.3 per cent compared with the same period last year. "We are very satisfied with the continued good performance of our sales situation," said Bram Schot, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand responsible for Sales and Marketing, "and we would like to thank our customers for their continued confidence in our products." In Western Europe vehicle deliveries increased by 4.3 per cent to 196,600 vehicles of which the German home market accounted for 72,300 vehicles. In Great Britain, the figure was 26,700 vehicles (-2.3 per cent).
Ford GT40 Mark IV Race Car Heritage Version
- 15 August 2017
Ford GT40 Mark IV Race Car Heritage Version
The Ford GT will soon be available in a new limited-edition Heritage theme honouring the GT40 Mark IV race car driven to victory by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt at Le Mans in 1967. "In creating a worthy successor to the '66 Heritage edition, we logically looked at our next historic Le Mans victory with the all-American team of Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "The Ford GT '67 Heritage edition pays homage to that win, with a modern take on one of the most important vehicles in Ford's storied history of racing." Each '67 Heritage edition car also features a unique serialised identification plate, plus exposed matte carbon fibre door sills, air register pods and centre console. The car can be viewed at FordGT.com.
MG Motor UK and the Car Dealer Power Survey
- 10 August 2017
MG Motor UK and the Car Dealer Power Survey
MG Motor UK has entered in the top 25 in the Car Dealer Power Survey, the annual list of the top performing automotive manufacturers as ranked by their own dealer network. It has outperformed significantly larger brands, such as Jaguar and MINI. The debut ranking is further affirmation that MG is now one of the UK's fastest-growing car brands. Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK, said: "We may be a much smaller team compared to other brands in the market, but we pour a lot of dedication and hard work into what we do in order to consistently punch above our weight. It's great to see this effort pay off in terms of dealer and customer satisfaction." With a programme of inspiring new model launches, investment in state-of-the-art vehicle and powertrain technology, and global design capability based in the UK, it's easy to see why dealers rank the brand so highly. The brand is set to roll out its all-new Compact SUV, the MG XS, at the tail end of 2017.
New TVR to Celebrate 70th Anniversary
- 10 August 2017
New TVR to Celebrate 70th Anniversary
In the year that sees TVR celebrate its 70th anniversary, the company will proudly reveal a new sports car to the public at the Goodwood Revival on 8, 9 and 10 September. It takes engineering excellence to a new level for the iconic manufacturer. The new TVR promises uncompromised quality, precisely engineered for performance, safety, reliability and efficient manufacturing. The new cars will be assembled by hand with exacting quality standards. Founded in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson, the company first developed its own chassis in 1949. Various model launches followed, including the iconic Grantura and the legendary V8 Griffith, which won acclaim during the 1950s and 1960s. Les Edgar, chairman of TVR says: "On the 70th birthday of our marque, we are entering a new era with a precisely engineered car that delivers exhilarating performance on road and track, as well as everything discerning customers expect of a car intended for everyday use." There are a limited number of the Launch Edition vehicles still available for purchase, but they are limited, so move fast if you want a slice of real British motor history.
BMW Group UK New Lower Emissions Allowance Scheme
- 10 August 2017
BMW Group UK New Lower Emissions Allowance Scheme
BMW Group UK have just launch of a new Lower Emissions Allowance scheme that offers an additional £2,000 off all new BMW and MINI vehicles with emissions of 130g/km or less. To qualify a prospective customer will need to trade in a diesel-powered Euro-4 standard or older vehicle, of any brand, and their chosen replacement car must be either an all-electric car, plug-in hybrid or a Euro 6-standard vehicle with CO2 emissions of 130g/km or less (NEDC). Graeme Grieve, CEO of BMW Group UK, said: "BMW offers the widest range of low emission vehicles of any manufacturer. We know in the early phases that people still need some incentive to make the jump to fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles and that is why we are delighted to announce this new allowance." The BMW Group Lower Emissions Allowance includes progressive vehicles in the range such as the BMW i3, i8 and MINI Countryman PHEV and will start with immediate effect, initially running until 31 December, 2017.
Nissan Micra Personalisation
- 10 August 2017
Nissan Micra Personalisation
Nissan retailers are reporting higher-than-expected demand for personalisation options on the all-new Nissan Micra. Customer research amongst the first buyers of new Micra reveals that for 60% the number one reason for buying the car is its dynamic and expressive styling. But, approximately one in four are choosing to enhance the car's expressive design with additional exterior and interior parts. There are more than 100 combinations are available, for both the exterior and interior of the Micra and in a variety of vibrant colours. Bespoke components include exclusive bumper finishers, body side mouldings, 17-inch alloy wheels, door mirror caps and high-quality decals applied to the bonnet and roof. Helen Perry, General Manager, Small Cars, Nissan Europe, commented: "The personalisation program for the all-new Nissan Micra was created to allow customers to express their individual character and design flair when their buy their car. Feedback from retailers has highlighted that the mix of fantastic choice and affordability for personalisation means it's more popular than we expected."
Mini in the Park Festival this Sunday
- 08 August 2017
Mini in the Park Festival this Sunday
Fans of Britain's favourite small car have a lot to look forward to at this year's Mini in the Park, which takes place at the Santa Pod raceway, Bedfordshire this Sunday, August 13th. As well as live action, including the Adrenaline Tour live action stunt show, there will be live demonstrations from the famous 'Turbonator' Jet Mini and a Mini-only 'Run what Ya Brung' on Santa Pod's famous drag strip. One of the highlights of this year's show will be the MITP Pride of Ownership display. Visitors will also have the chance to enter a competition to win a classic Mini, sponsored by specialist insurers Carole Nash. The 1996 Mini Equinox is one of only 750 ever made, and has a distinctive 'Moon and Stars' interior theme. Non-club members will also be able to enjoy the show, with a special Mini-only parking area reserved for their prized cars, a special award for the best 'non-club' Mini attending the event and the famous drag strip open to non-club members as well.
Isuzu D-Max Double Cabs Offers
- 08 August 2017
Isuzu D-Max Double Cabs Offers
There are now three incredible offers on original Isuzu D-Max Double Cabs for you to look over, and for a limited time only, every one of them will have an additional free metallic paint finish included. The Isuzu D-Max offers superior ride quality, an efficient 1.9-litre engine and a tough and practical demeanor, and now you can drive away in a Utah from under £200 per month on Business Contract Hire, a Yukon from under £190 per month on Business Contract Hire, or take your pick with our 0% APR flexible finance offer on both vehicles.
Sandown Mercedes-Benz and Maxoptra Software
- 08 August 2017
Sandown Mercedes-Benz and Maxoptra Software
Maxoptra's dynamic multi-drop route planning software is helping Sandown Mercedes-Benz plan and complete deliveries of spare parts to garages across the south of England. Operating from a centralised hub in Basingstoke, the Mercedes-Benz dealership offers trade customers two deliveries a day and completes in excess of 1,000 deliveries a week. "In 2016, we opened our trade hub, centralising the supply of parts to trade customers," commented Charlotte Grummitt, Key Account Manager at Sandown Mercedes-Benz. "This created better parts availability, and allowed us to make more frequent deliveries, therefore improving our service." Sandown Mercedes-Benz now operates a team of ten delivery drivers from Basingstoke, in addition to dealership based drivers and advisors. Using Maxoptra, the daily order list is processed according to the number of drivers available and the hours they have available to drive.
The Ford QVM Scheme
- 08 August 2017
The Ford QVM Scheme
Ford's Qualified Vehicle Modifier programme or QVM, is a new scheme to ensure the quality of converted vehicles on offer from the manufacturer is kept to a high and safe standard. Those now approved to be on the scheme will take a basic Ford vehicle and convert them to such things as refrigerated load carriers and tipper trucks to wheelchair-accessible people carriers. The scheme will give users a quality assurance that comes as standard too. "The introduction of more QVM converters will give buyers the peace of mind that the specialist they are buying from is accredited by Ford," said Dave Petts, Ford Transit product manager. "The Transit range now offers customers an even wider choice of vehicles to meet their individual business needs." The first seven QVM converters have been announced as: Allied Vehicles, CoTrim Conversions, CPD Bodies, GM Coachworks, McElmeel Mobility Services, Paneltex and VFS. All Ford QVM converters have to meet the highest standards in manufacture and quality control, with each area being regularly assessed by Ford.
New Colour Schemes for the Versys 650
- 02 August 2017
New Colour Schemes for the Versys 650
As the cafe culture market continues to thrive, a host of colour updates will be available across a wide range of Kawasaki machines for 2018; including the popular Vulcan S, Versys 650, Z1000 and Z1000SX. With its burgeoning accessory range and the prospect of "Edition" models being unveiled later on in the pre-season, the Versys 650 will continue to be a machine of great interest in Kawasaki showrooms. Now with three colour options there will be yet more focus on the popular and adaptable Versys 650. The Pearl Blizzard White and Metallic Spark Black option reflects the current fashion for white motorcycles as well as cars while the Candy Lime Green and Metallic Spark Black model is sure to be a hit with committed Kawasaki fans. The third option is bound to create conversation and stimulate interest adorned as it is in Metallic Matte Covert Green and Metallic Spark Black. "We regard the Versys 650 as a core machine in the mid-capacity sector," stated Morihiro Ikoma, Director of Kawasaki Motors Europe. "With continuing demand each year from European riders and Kawasaki dealers, we are delighted to showcase the new model colours for the incoming season."
Aston Martin Appoints New Chief Engineer, Powertrain
- 02 August 2017
Aston Martin Appoints New Chief Engineer, Powertrain
Aston Martin has announced the appointment of Joerg Ross as Chief Engineer, Powertrain. He joins Aston Martin from Maserati where he served as Head of Advanced Powertrain. On his appointment, Joerg Ross said: "I'm delighted to be joining Aston Martin at what is an exciting time for the brand. The company is at a significant point in its history, with the recent announcement of its first all-electric car the RapidE. I'm excited to play a part in developing Aston Martin's future vehicle strategy." Ross has spent more than 25 years in the automotive industry and held senior management positions at IAV, Scuderia Ferrari F1 and Ford as well as his most recent position at Maserati. He will now be responsible for the development of Aston Martin's engines, transmissions and electrification, and will be based at the company's headquarters at Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Accreditation for IAM RoadSmart
- 02 August 2017
Accreditation for IAM RoadSmart
IAM RoadSmart, the UK's biggest road safety charity, operates a Road Traffic Safety Management System that covers the field of promoting road traffic safety. It also includes the provision of road traffic safety training, assessment and testing to both organisations and individuals. And it has had its accreditation to the ISO 39001 Road Traffic Safety management standard renewed. Already IAM RoadSmart has achieved ISO 9001 and 14001. Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: "Getting ISO 39001 is a major achievement for us; it shows we are serious about ensuring quality and high standards in the area of road safety provision and training. It signals what we are to our customers, and shows we are an organisation they can rely on and can be trusted." According the Lloyds Register, achieving ISO 39001 proves a company meets safety and social responsibility targets through increased awareness of the legal and best practice issues concerning road traffic safety.
The New Citroen C3 Aircross Compact SUV
- 01 August 2017
The New Citroen C3 Aircross Compact SUV
The new Citroen C3 Aircross Compact SUV is available to order in the UK now before it officially goes 'on sale' on 1 November 2017. Pricing starts from just £13,995 OTR. Set to shake-up the market with its highly customisable character, there are 85 personalisation combinations, the new C3 Aircross marks the beginning of Citroen's SUV offensive in Europe as it enters the increasingly popular B-SUV segment. It has a distinctive SUV design, introducing a number of new technologies to the Citroen range including Wireless Smartphone Charging and Grip Control with Hill Descent Assist, voice controlled 3D navigation, keyless entry and start, a reversing camera, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. It also has a generous legroom in the front and rear, as well as an exceptional modular boot space with a volume of up to 520-litres. Available in three highly specified trim levels Touch, Feel and Flair, New C3 Aircross is enhanced by efficient, high-performance PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines, as well as the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.
'Regulating Automated Driving' White Paper
- 01 August 2017
Regulating Automated Driving White Paper
British Insurers have today highlighted the potential dangers of 'autonomous ambiguity', as vehicles with different levels of autonomy, or driverless technology, increasingly become a feature of UK roads. They say that a clear distinction between "Assisted" and "Automated" systems is fundamental. Peter Shaw, Thatcham Research CEO comments, "Vehicles with intermediate systems that offer assisted driving still require immediate driver intervention if the car cannot deal with a situation. Systems like these are fast emerging and unless clearly regulated, could convince drivers that their car is more capable than it actually is." He feels that the risk of autonomous ambiguity could result in a short-term increase in crashes. This has led to the Automated Driving Insurer Group (ADIG), led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in collaboration with Thatcham Research, to release a white paper setting out the latest position of UK insurers entitled 'Regulating Automated Driving'. David Williams, ADIG Chairman and Head of Underwriting at AXA said: "Autonomous Vehicles will make our roads much safer, but inappropriate use or marketing of intermediate technology could confuse road users and cause unnecessary accidents. Clarity over system capability and commitment to share vehicle data with insurers will help public confidence, and help rather than hinder development in this area."
Opel and Vauxhall Join PSA
- 01 August 2017
Opel and Vauxhall Join PSA
The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has now been finalized. It sees four new members joining the leadership team as Opel and Vauxhall are to be operated as true iconic German and British brands. "It is a historic day," said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. "We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany?? available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020." The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent's second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets. As already assured when the contract was signed in March, all employee codetermination rights will remain unchanged. A new performance plan is to be presented in 100 days: to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026
CarFest North this Weekend
- 26 July 2017
CarFest North this Weekend
CarFest North, the brainchild of Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, takes place this weekend, July 28 to 30 at Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire with fun for the whole family. Honda will be marking the silver anniversary of its Fireblade and Type R with a special procession of heritage two and four wheeled icons in the hill climb. Visitors can also get involved with the anniversary by designing a car or a bike for the future with the winner taking home £200 worth of toy vouchers. The focus this year is on its all-terrain vehicles or ATVs. So there are events for the 12-15 age group giving them the inside line on throttle control, slaloming, overcoming obstacles and balance, while the over 18s can try the full-size two-passenger Pioneer. Under 12-year-olds can enjoy Catching Miimo, a fun game which sees children throwing sponge balls on to moving robotic lawnmowers and there's a ride-on lawnmower challenge, named Mower Mayhem for 16-year-olds and above. CarFest South will take place over the August bank holiday weekend of August 25 to 27 at the home of ex-Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter, at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire.
The Mini is Going Electric
- 26 July 2017
The Mini is Going Electric
The BMW Group announced that the new battery-electric MINI will be a variant of the brand's core 3-door Hatch model, going into production in 2019. This is part of the manufacturer's strategy that all their brands and model be electrified, with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being offered in addition to the combustion engine option. Today, the BMW Group offers the widest range of electrified vehicles of any car manufacturer in the world, with nine models already on the market. By 2025, the BMW Group expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15-25% of sales. The new, fully-electric MINI is one of a series of electrified models to be launched by the BMW and MINI brands in the coming years. The battery electric MINI's electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group's e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3-door Hatch.
Dacia Partners Wheelchair Rugby League
- 26 July 2017
Dacia Partners Wheelchair Rugby League
Dacia has announced that as part of their sponsorship of English Rugby League, they are the principal supporting partner of England Wheelchair Rugby League. The new agreement will see the car brand appearing on the team shirts for the 2017 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup which started on the 20th July. "In only our second year of supporting Rugby League, we're very proud to be involved with all levels and formats of the game," said Ed Preston, Dacia Brand Communications Manager. "There's a great community and open-toi-all spirit in the game which we really identify with and the wheelchair version of the game really embodies this. It's accessible to all, with mixed gender teams representing their country at the highest level." As well as its support of the England Wheelchair Rugby League team, Dacia is also the official car partner of the RFL, which includes title sponsorship of the Dacia World Club Series and Dacia Magic Weekend.
Audi at the Spa 24 Hours
- 24 July 2017
Audi at the Spa 24 Hours
For many drivers, the race track at Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most beautiful in the world. And this weekend will see it host the Spa 24 Hours event. Audi will be fighting for its fourth overall victory with a total of ten Audi R8 LMS, four factory-supported race cars and six more with Audi customers at the wheel competing. The track runs for just on 7km through the Ardennes forest with a thrilling combination of differences in elevation, extremely fast sections and slower corners that is fascinating for fans and drivers. "We are well prepared for the racing competition of a total of eleven automotive brands," says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. "Many of our drivers have already won titles or endurance races with the Audi R8 LMS, the last of which being the 24 hours on the N??rburgring. Our teams and drivers will again this year pull out all the stops for victory in Spa." The event is a season highlight in GT3 racing; with 66 competitors from eleven brands.
Honda Supports Farm Safety Week
- 24 July 2017
Honda Supports Farm Safety Week
It's Farm Safety Week this week from the 24th through to the 28th July. And Honda (UK) is helping out with a month-long initiative offering a complimentary Rider Safety Pack. The pack, worth £60, consists of a helmet and pair of gloves and is available on all new Honda ATV or Pioneer side-by-side models registered between 24th July and 24th August 2017. Steve Morris, Head of Power Products for Honda (UK) said: "As the UK's leading manufacturer of ATVs we take our commitment to safe and responsible usage incredibly seriously. We are delighted to be supporting the vital work of the wider industry by doing our bit to help promote farm safety." He points out that it's down to the user to take some very simple steps to ensure that they stay safe such as wearing a helmet and gloves, having some rider training and keeping their machine well maintained. This offer is part of Honda's commitment to safety as seen with their free EASI (European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute) training on all purchases of an ATV or SxS that has been in place since 2005. The EASI courses aim to improve operator skills, safety levels and awareness of the capabilities of ATV and SxS products.
Continental Tyre Group Ltd New Communications Officer
- 24 July 2017
Continental Tyre Group Ltd New Communications Officer
Continental Tyre Group Ltd has announced its new Communications Officer Sam Kelly. Sam recently graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Communication and Media. He will be offering internal and external communications support for the UK and Ireland. Talking about the role at Continental, Sam said; "The automotive industry has always appealed to me. After my year in industry, it became apparent this would be my industry of choice after my degree. Continental is a perfect fit and I can't wait to get involved in all the role has to offer." Communications and Automotive Partnership Manager, Mark Griffiths added; "Sam joins Continental Tyres at an exciting time as we focus on our Vision Zero initiative. Sam will be supporting all internal and external communications and I'm looking forward to working with him to support media enquiries."
Land Rover Supports Young Farmers
- 24 July 2017
Land Rover Supports Young Farmers
For the fourth year running, Land Rover has teamed up with The Prince's Countryside Fund to award five entrepreneurial young people with a year's loan of a Land Rover Discovery. The winners are selected for their stand-out business plans, passion and dedication to making a difference in their local community. They are: Falmouth-based, Jenny Dunstan, founder of Jenny's Beef Ltd; Lucy and Chris Williams, who are setting up a Scottish tea company, Tulloch Tea; organic dairy farmer, Claire Howlett, from Bromyard; suckler cow farmer James Speers, who is president of the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster; and finally, Lindale-based David Corrie-Close who, with his wife Bekka, has recently established the Horned Beef Company. Scott Dicken, Marketing Director, Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: "We are pleased to be able to once again support five more young farmers through our bursary with The Prince's Countryside Fund. These young people are great advocates of the farming industry and their passion and dedication is a pleasure to see."
The Quarrymen's Salute to John and Paul
- 24 July 2017
The Quarrymens Salute to John and Paul
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is bringing John Lennon's Original Quarrymen to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, on Saturday the 11th November at Birmingham's NEC. Celebrating the day that John Lennon first met schoolboy Paul McCartney, they are recreating The Quarrymen, playing from the back of a flatbed lorry during a village fete in Liverpool on the 6th July 1957. FBHVC Chairman David Whale explains: "The idea for this recreation of what might be called the birth of the Beatles, came to us when we found an old black and white photograph of a skiffle group playing on the back of a 50's lorry in a carnival." 60 years on, the band are still playing. It was in 1997 that the group reformed and over the past two decades, they have performed around the world and released three CDs plus a DVD. The current line-up of John Lennon's Original Quarrymen consists of the drummer Colin Hanton, guitarist and banjoist Rod Davis, Len Garry on guitar and lead vocals, John Duff Lowe on piano and Chas Newby on bass.
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
- 24 July 2017
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
The new Mercedes X-Class SUV will seamlessly fit into the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. It unites the typical traits of a pickup - robustness, functionality, strength and off-road capabilities - with the classical characteristics of a real Mercedes - design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety. There are three trim parts for the cockpit, that provide the widest choice of materials and colours in this vehicle segment. And customers can add a styling bar, side bar, canopy, various covers as well as numerous cargo and off-road solutions - all developed and designed by Mercedes. There will be a choice of four and six-cylinder engine and a top-of-the-range V6 diesel (190kW/258hp) will be released mid-2018 occupying a leading position in the segment. It will have the engageable 4MATIC all-wheel drive with low-range gearing and optional differential lock on the rear axle masters any terrain, along with Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, among others. The market launch for the Mercedes X-Class in Europe begins in November 2017.