Arnold Clark posts whopping profit for 2019 as used car sales for the 200-dealer group soar – Car Dealer Magazine

Dealer group Arnold Clark made an impressive £117m profit before tax last year – up £3.5m – its latest accounts reveal. The report submitted to Companies House yesterday shows that the dealer group increased its revenues too – up 5.3 per cent to £4.46bn for 2019. The significant increase in profit was primarily down to the group selling more used cars with strong margins. Arnold Clark sold 256,376 used cars in the year and 63,310 new models – the former was up 7.3 per cent, but new car sales were down 7.4 per cent.

The group said the used car performance was boosted by its ‘Arnold Buys Your Car’ brand which lets consumers sell their cars to the dealer and this ‘strengthened’ supply. The group said 2020 started well, with January and February strong months, but performance has since been ‘adversely impacted’ by the pandemic.

Chief executive and group managing director Eddie Hawthorne said: ‘Covid-19 and its on-going impact dominates our daily lives. ‘The restrictions which the government implemented on the movement of people and trading activity to contain the virus had an immediate adverse impact on economic activity.’

Vertu invests £3.6m in Farnell Land Rover Nelson – Motor Trader

Vertu Motors has pumped £3.6m into the redevelopment of Farnell Land Rover Nelson business on Lomeshaye Business Park. The new building, which replaces the current facility, has been designed in line with Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Arch Concept corporate identity programme. The completed site features a six-vehicle showroom displaying the full Land Rover range, approved-used car display in extended outdoor forecourt, a dedicated handover area, barista bar and a personalisation area where customers are able to adapt the specification and features of their new vehicle.

Additional electric charging points have been installed at the retailer to accommodate recently released electric and plug-in hybrid Jaguar Land Rover models including the Range Rover Evoque PHEV. Alison Reed, head of business at Farnell Land Rover Nelson, said: “The dealership looks amazing now the works have been completed. Our investment is a vote of confidence in the Nelson area, and I believe we will make a significant contribution to the local economy.

Electrified car registrations overtook diesels in Europe for first time – Autocar

Last month was the first time in history that registrations of electric, plug-in and hybrid cars overtook diesel cars across Europe, new figures reveal. Data published by industry analysts JATO Dynamics showed that demand for petrol and diesel cars suffered double-digit percentage drops compared with September 2019, with diesel down to just under 25% of the European market. Petrol cars made up 47% of the market, compared with 59% in the same period last year.

By contrast, registrations of electric, plug-in hybrid and ‘traditional’ hybrid models rose to 25% last month - more than twice the percentage in September 2019. A total of 327,800 units were registered across the month. The overall market posted what JATO Dynamics describes as a “timid” recovery. In total, 1.3 million cars were registered across all 27 nations last month, up just 1% over the same period last year. That’s of little consolation given registrations dropped by 29% during the first nine months of the year.

Swansway Group - wins big at the 13th annual Auto Trader Retailer Awards - ABP

Swansway has been presented the Business Initiative of the Year award at the national Auto Trader Retailer Awards 2020. Based in Crewe, Swansway Group and its accident repair centre has beaten competition from over 13,000 UK automotive retailers to receive the Business Initiative of the Year award at the 13th annual Auto Trader Retailer Awards (…)

Covid fears lead to retail sales slump – The Times

Retail sales fell at their fastest pace in four months in October as people reined in their spending in the face of more coronavirus restrictions, according to a closely watched survey. The CBI’s latest monthly distributive trades survey fell from 11 per cent to -23 per cent in October. Thirty-six per cent of respondents said that sales were up, more than offset by the 59 per cent who reported a slump.

European markets closer to CO2 target as EV registrations increase – Motor Trader

This is a dramatic shift when compared to figures recorded in 2019, it said, with registrations for electrified cars increasing by 67% through September to 1.54 million units. This increase goes some way to explain the double-digit drops seen in demand for petrol and diesel cars, and the increase in market share for EVs from 7.8% in January – September 2019, to 18.1% in January – September 2020.

Geely Group has secured pole position in race for CO2 rankings and smashed its target. Outperforming Toyota – which has traditionally led by brand in the CO2 race – the owner of Volvo (which accounts for 99% of Geely Group’s volume in Europe), Polestar, LEVC and Lotus, met the target by August, four months ahead of the deadline.

Sunak to announce one-year spending plan on November 25 – Reuters

British finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday he would announce a one-year plan for government spending on Nov. 25, which would focus on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and delivering on his plans to protect jobs. “In the current environment its essential that we provide certainty,” Sunak said in a statement. “So we’ll be doing that for departments and all of the nations of the United Kingdom by setting budgets for next year, with a total focus on tackling COVID and delivering our Plan for Jobs.”