Vertu Motors PLC has upgraded its pre-tax profit forecast for 2021 to £28m to £30m – thanks largely to the ‘exceptional used car market’.
In a trading update issued via the London Stock Exchange on 23 June 23, Vertu said that new and used car supplies remained a concern for the second half of the year, however.
Vertu said that its more positive outlook, just over a month after its year-end results statement of May 12, had resulted from a “a continuation of the strong trading trends witnessed in March and April”.
It said: “In light of the strong trading performance to date, driven largely by the exceptional used car market environment, the board now anticipates that the group's full year adjusted profit before tax will be above current expectations and in the range of £28m - £32m.”
Vertu added: “The board remains confident in the prospects for the group. With its strong asset base, scale, manufacturer relationships, well invested systems including the Click2Drive sales technology platform and experienced leadership team, the board believes that the group is strategically very well placed to capitalise on the changes and opportunities in the UK motor retail sector.”
Ongoing headwinds could yet prove a challenge for the sector in the second half of the year, and Vertu noted the impact of the global semiconductor shortage on new car production and its knock-on impact on the used car market. It also said that further COVID-19 disruption remains a risk.
Marshall Motor Group is issuing its 4,000 staff a one-off cash "loyalty" bonus and a backdated pay review after outperforming the market as it emerged from a COVID-hit 2020.
Marshall has revealed that eligible colleagues – directors are excluded – will receive a bonus equivalent to 1% of their basic salary capped at £500 with nobody receiving less than £200.
Marshall’s employee pay review, meanwhile, will deliver up to 4% increases, backdated to 1 May 2021, it said.
The cost of these measures equates to around 10% of the group’s 2020 profits.
HR director, Jo Moxon, said: “Marshall has a fantastic team and I am extremely privileged and proud to work alongside them. People are at the heart of our business and creating a positive working environment and culture for every colleague has a huge positive impact on our business. The one-off bonus, which Daksh Gupta our CEO announced via video call to colleagues, is recognition and demonstration of our appreciation to our colleagues (and families) for their continued commitment and loyalty to Marshall.”
Disruptors in the used car market face ‘real problems’ due to market shortages.
That’s the view of TrustFord CEO Stuart Foulds who said dealers were holding onto a higher percentage of part-exchanges in the current market.
“In many ways the disrupters who have come into the market have a real problem on their hands trying to find stock. The majority of the dealer groups have closed the door to them retaining their stock and taking advantage of this rising market,” he told Motor Trader.
“Any dealer selling stock to them, frankly, must be crazy given the current situation and the fact they’re trying to eat our lunch,” he added.
Foulds said the used market was being hit as the usual flow of cars from daily rental had dried up in the pandemic.
“Over the past 15 months the car and van rental business ground to a standstill so ex-rental opportunities have all but disappeared especially when the rental companies cannot replace their fleets due to the semi-conductor issue.
“Additionally, all the evidence I’ve seen alongside many of my CEO colleagues is that customers still want to test drive and experience the theatre of collecting their car from the showroom,” he added.
JCT600 has celebrated 75 years in business and estimates that it has sold more than one million vehicles since it was founded.
JCT600 was started as Brooklands Garage, on Sticker Lane, Bradford in 1946 and now has a turnover in excess of £1.3bn and represents 25 car brands.
It is still owned and managed by the Tordoff family, with nine members of the family currently working for the company. Chief executive John Tordoff continues to lead the 2,300-strong team.
To mark the milestone, JCT600 shared a light-hearted short film on its social media channels which looks back at where the company started as well as looking forwards to what happens next.
The business also invited customers, suppliers and colleagues to share birthday messages on social media with the hashtag #JCT600is75 and has also ready received hundreds of good wishes.
In the last 75 years, JCT600 claims to have welcomed more than 20,000 colleagues and ten couples have started married life together, after meeting at JCT600, in the past five years alone.
The group has also provided a vehicle service, MOT or maintenance more than four million times; and delivered aorund 10,000 vehicles to customers’ homes across the UK, travelling more than 500,000 miles in the process.
The total area covered by JCT600’s 54 premises is more than 143 acres - an area equivalent to 71 football pitches.
Hendy Performance in Exeter is set to convert an existing workshop into a new Lotus showroom.
It will also feature other high performance vehicle brands including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes, and others.
It is expected to reach principal completion I’m July.
Mark Busby, commercial director of Hendy Group, said: “We are very excited about opening our third Lotus showroom as we begin to grow our presence in this market segment in the South West.”