This week we've curated a selection of the most significant happenings in the automotive world.

Check sales processes ahead of 73-plate boost, warns JudgeService
As the new 73-plate launch approaches, JudgeService, a customer service review specialist, advises franchised dealers to have robust sales processes in place for a potential surge in new car sales. The upcoming September plate-change could witness increased sales, given many customers making their first significant purchase post the cost-of-living crisis. JudgeService emphasizes the importance of reviewing and updating areas to maximize sales opportunities. The study reveals that introducing customers to managers positively influences car purchases. Dealers are also advised to maintain up-to-date online stock and incentivize sales staff for part-exchanges, as consumers often check dealer websites for deals and prefer trading-in and purchasing from the same dealer.

Almost half of vans in West London area will not comply with ULEZ regime
A significant portion of vans in the West London area are expected to fall short of compliance with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regulations, highlighting potential challenges in reducing emissions and improving air quality in the region.

UK lenders face High Court action over overcharging
Three prominent UK motor finance companies, Black Horse, Santander, and MotoNovo Finance, are confronting a class action lawsuit in the High Court. Customers allege they were overcharged on used car loans from 2015 to 2021, with excessive interest totaling nearly £1 billion. The lawsuit asserts that a network agreement between dealerships and finance providers led to higher interest rates for customers, benefiting retailers and brokers through increased commission. The Financial Conduct Authority banned such discretionary commission in 2021. The High Court will determine if the action can proceed.

Tesla’s ‘Master of Coin’ unexpectedly leaves with £130m fortune
Tesla's 39-year-old CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, has unexpectedly left the company after four years, departing with a £130m ($170m) fortune. His departure was announced by the electric car company, but no reason was given. Kirkhorn, who joined Tesla at 26, played a pivotal role in its financial turnaround during challenging periods, and his departure is seen as a blow in the short term. He holds $168m in Tesla stock and options and earned $1.2m in salary during his tenure. Tesla's share price has risen 1,480% over four years, with its market value briefly exceeding $1tn in 2021. Vaibhav Taneja, a former VP of SolarCity, becomes the new CFO.

German Electric Cars Too Expensive, Top Economic Adviser to Berlin Admits
The head of Germany's Council of Economic Experts, Monika Schnitzer, has cautioned that German car manufacturers must take action to lower the cost and enhance the appeal of electric vehicles (EVs) to compete with cheaper Chinese-made cars. Schnitzer emphasized the need for German carmakers to "get their act together" and address consumer preferences. She highlighted that weak demand for EVs from China is impacting Germany's export-driven economy. Some major German car manufacturers have reduced electric vehicle production due to declining consumer demand, posing challenges for the country's export and manufacturing sectors.