Lookers has said that the launch of a recruitment drive to take on largest-ever intake of apprentices in 2021 is a sign of its “confidence and ambition for the future”.
In a statement published on November 11, the group said that a wide range of technology, manufacturing, and customer-facing roles would be filled in the latest enrolment of an apprentice scheme which has attracted 700 new recruits over the past three years. Lookers’ chief retail operations officer, Duncan McPhee, said: “Lookers is committed to apprenticeships as part of our continued investment to attract bright, young and ambitious talent into the business.
“We are delighted to offer 180 apprenticeship roles across the country, providing young people with the opportunity to build their confidence, skills, and experience in a dynamic and continually evolving industry.”
Matt Clay, Lookers’ group qualifications manager, who runs the group’s apprenticeships programme, said: “It’s a testament to the success of our investment in new talent for both Lookers and our apprentices that we’ve been able to offer an increased number of roles this year.
“Not only do our apprenticeships enable us to help meet the future demands of our customers, we have also encouraged more young, talented women to join the business through this route.
“We are proud to have led the development of an industry-wide Female Apprenticeship Network to help inspire the next generation of female leaders in the automotive industry. Encouraging greater diversity in our next generation of talent is a priority for Lookers.”
Halla Abdulhadi, a Lookers apprentice based at West London Jaguar Land Rover, said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship at Lookers, the level of support and training available has been brilliant and everyone in the Company has been really welcoming and supportive.
“Joining the Female Apprenticeship Network is a great opportunity to learn more about the future of the industry and inspire other young women apprentices. This programme is an incredible opportunity to develop your skills and start your career in a fast-paced industry which is innovating every day and I would encourage everyone to apply.”
The second lockdown in England has sparked an instant increase in car-buying and selling online. According to data released by the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk showed an immediate response from motorists looking for a new car and dealers desperate to keep selling cars by supplying the site with stock.
In the first seven days of England’s new lockdown BuyaCar.co.uk reported increases for every measure of interest in car buying or selling through its platform. Changes included;
- a 120% increase in cars reserved for purchase
- an 81% rise in applications to finance a car purchase
- a 31% increase on the normal rate of motorists signing up for a BuyaCar account
- a 9% increase in traffic to BuyaCar.co.uk
- 1,100 cars added to available stock.
BuyaCar says that the rush to buy and sell cars online reflects a confident market held back only by coronavirus restriction measures. When Britain’s nationwide lockdown ended in the summer an unprecedented increase in consumer demand saw all car sellers struggling to keep up. The market only began to settle back to more typical levels of activity in October, but the announcement of a second lockdown for England has again boosted the online market.
Retail pricing over the last week has shown minimal movement as the market appears to hold its breath, Cazana has said.
It said that this temporary pause was to be expected, although the challenges experienced first time round in relation to online selling have been resolved by a number of dealers making moves to implement online sales during the first lockdown. Retail pricing is down by -0.06% overall for the the second week running.
The largest move in pricing terms was seen in the Old Car profile with a drop of -0.84%. Retail price moves in this profile have been volatile for the last three weeks switching between increase and decrease week on week. The overall market representation for this profile has also dropped by 2.48% and under normal circumstances where market representation drops one might expect to see prices increase.
This instability is likely due to reduced consumer demand and some unpredictability around individual vehicle supply.
Cazana has said that it is evident from the whole market data that there has not been any immediate drop in retail price.
The number of public electric vehicle charging devices has increased 18% in the UK over the past year to 19,487. The figure is included in the latest Electric Vehicle Charging Device Statistics report produced by the Department for Transport, which says that, of these, 3,530 were rapid devices. This is an increase of nearly 10 times since 2015.
The DfT report says there is an uneven geographical distribution of charging devices within the UK. London has the highest level of charging device provision per 100,000 of population with 63, while Northern Ireland is lowest with 17. The UK average is 29 per 100,000 people. Some UK local authorities have bid for Government funding for charging devices, and others have not.
The report says most of the provision of charge points has been market led, with individual charging networks and other businesses such as hotels choosing where to install devices.
Suzuki GB is handing a bonus of up to £10,000 to its franchised car dealers as a reward for their efforts to adapt to trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to AM on Friday 6 November, the brand’s managing director, Dale Wyatt, revealed that a sliding scale of payments had been mapped out in order to reward those who had worked hardest to drive online sales and digital engagement with customers.
It comes as the brand reinstated support measures it was quick to introduce in the first coronavirus lockdown period, between March and June, in response to showroom closures forced by ‘Lockdown 2’ in England.
Wyatt, who described his rapid response dealer support measures in the first lockdown as “a bit Heath Robinson”, said: “Our retailers have worked extremely hard to evolve to the situation and we want to protect them from the impact of more lockdown restrictions as well as we can.