Lookers bounced back in the three months to 30 September with pre-tax profits “significantly ahead” of last year. The uplift largely offset the losses recorded in the first half, which was hit by the lockdown when showrooms closed for business.
On a like for like basis its new car sales outperformed the market, up 27.1% year on year. Like-for-like used unit sales rose 6.2%.
Lookers said it had benefited from strong residual values and growing demand for older cars as consumer stayed away from public transport but said it remained cautious in managing its used car stock. Like-for-like service revenues were up 7.4% year on year.
Marshall Motor Holdings has reforecast its 2020 performance expectations after a “stunning” September of new and used cars sales – targeting a £15m underlying profit before tax. The AM100 PLC has shifted its projections for the year from a break-even position spelled out in its H1 2020 financial results for the period ended June 30 following a plate-change month performance which significantly outperformed the sector.
Marshall reported that it had outstripped all Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) market performance KPIs, with new vehicle sales up by 33.9% - with retail sales up 38.6% - as fleet rose 23.9%, used cars 29.4% and aftersales revenues 21.1% in total terms. In total, the group’s revenues were up 28% year-on-year last month.
Vertu Motors has confirmed that it is in discussions over the acquisition of “a number of BMW dealerships” following speculation that Inchcape is set to sell a number of sites.
In a statement issued via the London Stock Exchange this afternoon Vertu Motors, which currently operates 134 sales and aftersales outlets across the UK, said that it noted the recent press “speculation”, adding that it “confirms, as per the stated strategy of the company, that it is in discussions with a number of parties concerning the acquisition of a number of dealerships, including a small number of BMW dealerships”.
Cambria Automobiles were given an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the automotive retail sector with the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps, during a recent showroom visit. Shapps visited the AM100 PLC’s Hatfield car retail site – which includes Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and McLaren Automotive dealerships – alongside the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE, on Friday (October 9).
Group chief executive Mark Lavery, who has spoken out about the push towards electric vehicles (EV) during 2020, said that he was “grateful” for the chance to speak with the senior Government ministers. He said: “We were grateful for the opportunity to have an open dialogue with two senior members of the Cabinet, to hear about the government’s plans surrounding mobility more broadly and to be able to share some of the challenges that the automotive sector faces relating to more stringent emissions targets and Brexit.”
Leeds Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is no longer required, according to a joint review by Leeds City Council and central government.
According to the council, because of the shift to cleaner vehicles, air pollution in Leeds on key routes is significantly below legal limits and is not likely to exceed them again – even if traffic were to return to ‘normal levels.’
The council has written to the government asking to keep the £6.9m CAZ funding. The money would be used to continue to offer grants to help local businesses switch to cleaner vehicles as well as to provide free licensing costs to drivers of less polluting taxi and private hire vehicles.
Lookers Renault Stockport dealership has reopened after a £3m investment to rebuild the facility following a fire last year.
The £3m investment in the St. Mary’s site has allowed the dealership to return even stronger and offer a significantly enhanced experience for customers and staff through the creation of a state-of-the-art sales and servicing area and a wide range of other upgraded facilities. The site is now seen as the flagship facility in Lookers Renault.
JCT600 is urging automotive sector workers to ditch their cars and battle the winter cold to cover 500 miles in the space of eight weeks as part of a charity fund-raising push for Ben. The automotive benevolent fund issued an appeal to help plug a £1 million funding gap back in July after it was forced to cancel its annual fund-raising ball as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the Bradford-based AM100 car retail group are stepping up to the plate with their JCT600 500-Mile Challenge.