Pendragon appoints former Mercedes USA president and CEO Dietmar Exler – AM Online

Pendragon has appointed former Mercedes-Benz USA president and chief executive Dietmar Exler as a non-executive director.

The move follows the February appointment of new chief executive and interim executive chairman, Bill Berman, and last month’s addition of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) divisional director and former chief operating officer of Opus Energy, Nikki Flanders, as a non-executive director.

Exler officially took office at the AM100 car retail group yesterday (April 20) and will serve on its Nomination Committee, Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee.

Commenting on his appointment, Berman said: “I welcome and look forward to working with Dietmar on the Pendragon Board.

“I am confident that his considerable experience from his professional and business life will provide a positive contribution as we further strengthen our Board in challenging and uncertain times.”…

ULEZ changes way two-thirds of Londoners travel, finds Bikesure

Around two-thirds (65%) of Londoners have changed the way they travel after the introduction of the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), a survey by Bikesure has found.

This figure includes both those people who changed vehicles after the ULEZ came into operation on April 8 last year and those who use a different mode of transport.

Drivers who use vehicles which do not meet set emissions standards (Euro 4 for petrol engines, Euro 6 for diesel engines) in the ULEZ must pay a daily charge of £12.50 or risk a fine of £160.

In March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ULEZ charges were lifted to allow key workers to travel more easily.

The motorbike insurer interviewed 2,000 people as part of its ULEZ Survey 2020 report, and found car drivers were the least likely to have changed their mode of transport.

According to the research, 65% of car drivers changed their mode of transport once the ULEZ was introduced. This compares to 81% of van drivers, 81% of motorcyclists and 87% of scooter drivers.

Of those who changed their usual mode of transport, 64% now use public transport, 44% walk, 23% now use a low-emission car, 20% use a low-emission motorcycle or scooter/moped, and 15% use a bicycle.

Vertu staff to donate the cost of their haircuts to NHS charities

Staff at Vertu dealerships are donating the cost of their haircuts to NHS charities.

As part of the #HaircutsforHeroes campaign the staff are giving all the money they would normally pay for a cut and blow-dry, shampoo and set, colour or even a beard trim to support the work of NHS Charities Together.

Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, said: “Our colleagues are embracing this fundraising and having some fun giving themselves or members of their household a new look.

“NHS staff and volunteers are doing the most amazing work right now in caring for COVID-19 patients.

“We wanted to show our respect and gratitude as they work tirelessly in the face of the virus. It is our turn to make sure we look after them, to ensure they can keep doing their vital work.

“With hairdressers and barbers temporarily closed during this unprecedented time we are asking our colleagues in Leeds to chop, snip, trim or dye their hair or beard to help raise vital funds to support our NHS.

“They can then share before and after pictures on social media and challenge their colleagues and friends to do the same.”

Vertu Motors has also kept most service departments across the Group open to ensure that key workers and vehicles critical to the country during the pandemic can continue their vital work.

Anyone classed by the government as a keyworker, or vehicles such as utilities, emergency services and food and necessary goods distributors will be able to access servicing and repairs.

Where possible this will be extended to vulnerable people who need to stay mobile.

Robust hygiene and social distancing procedures remain in place to protect customers and colleagues, which include thoroughly cleaning the control surfaces of all vehicles before and after handover.

Nissan dealers to loan vehicles to NHS workers for free during Coronavirus pandemic – AM Online

Nissan dealers will loan more than 100 free cars to NHS workers in need of mobility during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The vehicles are those typically used as demonstrators or courtesy cars and include Micra, Juke, Qashqai and all-electric Leaf.

More than 30 dealer sites are taking part in the initiative, which has been coordinated by Nissan GB to support frontline health workers.

The vehicles will include complimentary insurance and roadside assistance. Only fuel or charging costs will need to be covered by the recipient. For insurance cover, the NHS worker has to be over 25 with no more than six points on their license.

For those NHS workers offered a Nissan Leaf, the dealer will provide free access to their charging facility.

NHS workers are asked to register their interest in receiving a free Nissan loan vehicle via an online registration form hosted on the Nissan UK website.

Their details will be relayed to their local dealer who will be in contact to arrange the vehicle loan.

For more information or to apply, visit:

Stoneacre directors to take ‘no salary’ until profitability returns – AM Online

Stoneacre Motor Group's directors will forego their salaries after taking the decision to furlough 3,000 employees due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – vowing not to take a wage until the business “returns to profitability”.

The South Yorkshire-based AM100 car retail group revealed in a statement issued to AM this morning (April 23) that it took into account its workforce’s “worries” and “concern” in the current lockdown period and had put its ambitious growth plans on hold.

And, after taking advantage of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) by placing most on furlough, the Stoneacre said that its directors had “taken the decision to take no salary whatsoever until the company has returned to profitability”.

It said that the move had been made “out of respect to our furloughed staff”.

Stoneacre Motor Group has seen massive growth over the last decade, with revenues having increased from £166 million to over £1 billion and profit before tax (PBT) from £4m to £17m.