One-in-five new car buyers are reporting an increase in their vehicle budget as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to the latest market intelligence from What Car? 20% of new car buyers said their budget has gone up as a result of the lockdown, with 12.50% of those with a higher budget now looking to purchase “a more premium” brand than before.
However, it also found 37.5% of all new car buyers say they are delaying their purchase in the hopes the Government introduces purchase incentives as a recovery measure from COVID-19.
Auto dealer Vertu Motors said 'strong' demand for new cars following the reopening of its English dealerships helped them to register a £9million profit in June.
Sales of the Gateshead-based firm's new retail cars rose by almost 1 per cent last month compared to June 2019 as the UK car market began a tentative restart following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
The company said demand might have been boosted by consumers saving more money during the lockdown period, the decline in public transport use and because Britons are planning to take more domestic holidays. June trading was stronger than we had expected,' said the company's chief executive Robert Forrester.
'I would like to thank the team for their hard work and enthusiasm as well as for their efforts to ensure the dealership environments remain safe for customers and colleagues.'
Adjusted profits before tax climbed to £9million from a £14.2million loss in the previous three months. Forrester said the business was helped by having a 'much stronger cash position' than expected.
The AIM-listed group benefited to the tune of £4.2million from either furlough money or rates relief last month while also administering extensive efficiency savings.
This includes a fully 'paperless' vehicle sales process which allows patrons to sign for a motor vehicle by text message and a 'buy online, reserve it now' function.
Marshall Motor Holdings has completed the acquisition of Jardine Motor Group’s Volkswagen dealership in Aylesbury.
The deal forms part of Marshall’s December 2019 acquisition of eight VW locations from Jardine and cements the AM100 2019’s seventh-placed retail group as the UK’s largest Volkswagen Group retailer.
Marshall’s December acquisitions included Jardine's Harlow, Letchworth, Loughton, Milton Keynes and St Albans VW sites, together with a Volkswagen commercial vehicle franchise and body shop in Loughton and a Skoda passenger car franchise in Milton Keynes.
The Aylesbury site’s completion was delayed due to property aspects of the asset and the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown period.
The group said in a statement issued to AM that it would retain all 38 colleagues to Marshall Motor Group effective immediately.
Marshall now has 15 passenger VW car retailers and six commercial vehicle dealers, alongside 12 Skoda dealerships, 10 Audi dealerships, three Seat dealerships and six VW Trade Parts Specialist (TPS) centres.
TrustFord, the factory owned dealer group, has signed a ‘significant’ fleet deal with supermarket group ASDA. The group is flagging up the deal as a success in a very difficult fleet market. According to the latest SMMT figures fleet car sales were down -45.2% to 69,498 units as businesses paused purchasing amid expenditure reviews.
Vehicle delivery started with the first of the newly fitted out commercial vehicles being handed over at ASDA’s Lancaster Superstore.
The TrustFord team has worked with the ASDA fleet team over a period of time on the detailed specification, delivery and mobile support service for their fleet order.
The new more generous scheme, called the prime à la conversion pour remplacer un véhicule by the government – prime à la casse by nearly everyone else – will run until December 1. Buyers of certain very low-emission cars can get a state payout of up to €7,000, while buyers of petrol or diesel cars can now also receive up to €3,000, if they and the vehicles meet criteria. A grant of €2,000 can be obtained towards a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) with a range of more than 50km, a CO2 level of between 21 and 50 g/km, and a price of €50,000 or less. For a new electric car, the existing €5,000 conversion premium can be combined with the €7,000 bonus, giving a total of €12,000 for some.
Some people see a plug-in hybrid vehicle as a ‘stepping stone’ to all-electric motoring. A chance to test the viability of life with an electric car before going ‘all in’. Volvo agrees. It has now started referring to plug-in hybrids as ‘part-time electric cars’ – vehicles that ‘pave the way’ for a fully electric future. This news comes as Volvo launches a range of new features for its Volvo On Call smartphone app. The aim: to encourage drivers to charge and drive fully electric as often as possible. Using the app, drivers can see how far they have driven in all-electric mode, along with their electricity and fuel consumption. Crucially, the app will also reveal how much has been saved by driving in electric mode.
“Just like a step counter helps people exercise more, I believe that by giving people better insight into their driving patterns, it will help them to drive in a more sustainable way,” said Björn Annwall, head of EMEA at Volvo Cars. “We see plug-in hybrids as ‘part-time electric cars’ that encourage changes in people’s behaviour and help pave the way for a transition towards fully electric cars.”
Auto Trader is poised to launch its Auto Trader Highly Rated 2020 accreditation programme in a bid to help car retailers showcase their exceptional customer service. Retailers across the UK who have been consistently recognised by their customers as providing an outstanding experience by rating them highly on Auto Trader will receive a collection of Highly Rated assets, including stickers and digital logos to promote their excellence across their physical and digital showrooms. Businesses meeting the scheme’s criteria will also have a Highly Rated logo added to their Auto Trader profile page.
The merger between car manufacturers PSA and FCA will create a new OEM super group that will be named Stellantis, the two businesses have revealed. The French and Italian carmakers revealed the new corporate name in a joint statement which described the move as “a major step” towards the completion of the 50:50 merger first announced in December last year. It said that the word ‘Stellantis’ is rooted in the Latin verb “stello”, meaning “to brighten with stars” and draws inspiration from the “ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures”. Combined, FCA and PSA sold 775,000 trucks and vans last year, equating to a 34% share of the market. The consumer title also said that FCA shareholders, who are expecting a £5bn dividend once the merger is done, presented another potential hurdle following a £5.7bn government-approved bailout of the OEM.