Month: November 2011

Home / 2011 / November

CURRENT MOTOR TRADE MARKET TRENDS

As 'Euro Gate' rumbles on, the Greek, Italian & Spanish governments have fallen and been replaced, Spain is near the edge interest rate wise, the talk about France is not good and nobody seems sure what's going to come next as we seem to lurch from one crisis to the next. So how's that effecting the Motor Industry ?

Well it looks like the market is continuing to stabilise, new car registrations are up 2.6% against October 2010. Again as with last month the is down with the fleet and business market increasing (7.9% & 9.7%) resulting in an overall increase. However the retail market was only down about half as much as last month so it clearly shows some confidence in retail sales is returning.

The figures are 7% (9,000 vehicles) ahead of the SMMT forecasts putting the market in line for a 1,923,000 end of year figure.

Vans and Trucks continue to lead the way, the October Van market was up 6.7% (18.2% YTD) and Truck registrations are up 33.3% (28.3% YTD). This growth is a cross all weight categories apart from the 2.5t to 3.5t sector. Used Vans are also going from strength to strength with reduced supply and increasing prices.

Used cars are an area with some mixed some views on, the news seems to be contradictory one report says used car prices are up and the next says they are down, people we speak to also say differing things from, "we can't get enough", to "there is no show room traffic" and "we can't sell what we have".

However read the statistics carefully and a positive picture emerges, the headlines say 'Car Values Down' but the detail tells you that vehicles going through auction are on average lower in price as decent 2-4 yr old used car stock dries up due to low new sales 2-4 years ago so there is a higher percentage of older, higher mileage cars going through the ring. Another headline said 'Used car sales down 15%' however journalists being journalists love a negative headline as that was measured September 2011 to October 2010 and its usual for dealers to reduce stocks running up to Christmas so the drop is normal and routine.

So the retail side of the Motor Industry is holding its own but the 'Corporate' side is still very flat with little or no new jobs appearing. Looking on the bright side everything has a beginning and an end and so this unique period economy wise will end at some point.The majority of business's out there have been running understaffed for a couple of years now, this is restricting the ability of business's to transact at existing business levels let alone expand when the economy looks brighter so perhaps it will not take much of an upturn for companies to have to start to recruit in volume again so they and you must be ready and prepared for that to happen. It will one way or another be an interesting 2012.

Honda (UK) has created an exclusive offer for young motocross competitors……….

and its official Buildbase Honda off-road racing team – managed by three-times world champion Dave Thorpe – have teamed up to create an exclusive offer for young motocross competitors with their purchase of a new Honda CRF150RB.

Riders who purchase a new Honda CRF150RB will be automatically entitled to a range of exclusive benefits and have the opportunity to progress their riding skills and confidence, with guidance and support from Dave Thorpe and the Buildbase Honda team, at selected race meetings within the Red Bull Pro National series in the UK.

On event, chief engineers and mechanical staff from the team will be on hand to provide the young Honda competitors with technical support and track analysis, as well as aide with race preparation of their CRF150RB machines competing in the supporting youth classes.

Team Manager, and multiple world champion, Dave Thorpe, will also be on hand to offer expert advice and detailed rider tuition to budding racers and potential British and World champions of the future. At each event, riders will be invited on a track walk with Dave Thorpe and the Buildbase Honda MX riders. They will also be given a private briefing in the Buildbase Honda team truck, by Thorpe himself, on race day.

The Honda CRF150RB is the perfect bike on which develop riding skills and hone racing talent. Riding the four-stroke 150cc machine is also the ideal preparation for those looking to take the step up to bigger capacity four-stroke machines in MX2 and MX1. Now with added support from one of the best teams in the British Championship paddock and personal mentoring from one of the true legends of the sport in Dave Thorpe, owning a Honda CRF150RB means experiencing the complete competitive package and becoming part of the wider Honda team.

For 2012 the CRF150RB is further improved with a new cylinder head with optimised combustion chamber shape and new camshaft for stronger power, torque and drivability across a wide rev range. It also benefits from revised suspension settings with the 37mm inverted Showa front fork and Pro-Link rear suspension system, delivering heightened control and accurate feedback.

Priced at just £3,800 for the 2012 model Honda CRF150RB, this incredible machine represents great value for money and with the added benefits offered by Thorpe and and the Buildbase Honda team, there really is no better package.

Details of Honda’s fantastic off-road range can be found at www.honda.co.uk or by visiting your local dealer. Further information, images, video, news and more about the Buildbase Honda team will be available on www.honda-racing.co.uk in the coming months.

For further information please contact

Honda (UK) – Corporate Affairs Team

Tel: 01753 590372 / 0844 335 6409

Email: [email protected]

THE THINGS WE SEE TOO OFTEN & RECRUITMENT TIPS……

THE THINGS WE SEE TOO OFTEN & RECRUITMENT TIPS

This month I wanted to touch on keeping staff informed and happy. It may seem strange that a Recruiter wants to help to keep your staff happy and therefore stay with you and not move, but our business is all about working with people to improve their business's and help them to find the right staff, not jump on every negative situation that arises.

We have seen a big increase in people coming to us looking for a move where they are clearly concerned the dealerships they work for are about to go under. Now in some cases they may actually be true but the numbers of these types of conversation has to be far in excess of reality.

When I interview people its clear that in many cases its just down to poor communication and out of hand rumours within a business. With all staff worried about their jobs its very very easy to 'set a hare running' as an old boss of mine used to say.

For example, many years ago I worked in a dealership which was part of a group, it was a very good and stable dealership with about 50 staff, the DP had been there for about 10 years, the staff turnover was about 5% and the performance figures were always on or above target. However we were in the middle of a previous recession, there had been rumours of cutbacks at other dealership in the group and being out on a limb location wise we were always a little in the dark compared with some of the other sites.

One day some men in dark suits turned up with tape measures. A few brave people asked the DP who these people were, he brushed it aside and said to let them get on with their job, a few of us Sales Execs got into conversation with the 'suits' to practice our 'qualification techniques' on them but they weren't giving anything away.

The site was an old town centre dealership surrounded by houses, we knew the land which the group owned was most likely worth more for houses than cars, the rumour mill started, the Accountant rang other Accountants in the group and yes they had had visits from the 'suits' as well, the representations to the DP from us all grew firmer but he again brushed us aside.

By this stage staff were getting into a panic, Chinese Whispers were going un-checked and from memory 25% of the staff left within 4 months, sales figures slid and the status quo was broken. It was a great place to work but something changed over that period and afterwards it was never quite the same again, the DP also left under a cloud and another 3 DP's came and went within the next 2 years, I left about 2 years later and it was still not the place it had been.

Now the drop in morale and performance may or may not have been to do with the visit by the 'Men in Black' but it certainly acted as a catalyst and the gaps in the information from above was filled by peoples imaginations and turned into facts. As for the men in dark suits, I found out years later they were from an insurance company, the group had decided to get another buildings insurance quote but didn't want the staff to know in case somebody told the existing insurance company before they had the new quote. That lack of trust cost them many many thousands of pounds profit for nothing, the dealership is still there to this day, the group has expanded and doubled in size and nobody ever needed to have worried about the place closing.

I see the same thing playing out across the region, people are worried about their jobs and in some cases they may be justified but you need to keep talking to them. It may not always be good news but information is everything and people are your only asset.

Happy Hunting

The November edition of our newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of our newsletter, as usual I will try and steer clear of just pushing our services and give you some useful information from around the industry in general.

FEEDBACK

Before I begin I wanted to answer a number of queries I've had regarding unfair dismissal's and how to reduce your exposure to them. An increasing number of people are being taken to court by staff regarding unfair dismissal and a number of people have asked me how to avoid it. There are now available some good packages put together by specialist local solicitors where you can pay a monthly fee and have open access to legal advice, escalation process's and also insure yourselves against both legal fees and pay outs, the monthly fee also allows you to budget and protect your business against unexpected costs. These packages are basically intended to ensure you do it properly in the first place so you don't get sued and if you are to cover you against the costs.

I'll cover this in some more detail in the coming months but in the meantime if anybody wants any further information please give me a call and I'll put you in touch with the right people.

MARKET TRENDS

As I write this I'm watching yet another episode of 'Euro Gate', the Greek PM has just resigned, the Italian PM is close to going and the words 'Italy' and 'contagion' are being used in the same sentence far to often and nobody seems sure what's going to come next as we seem to lurch from one crisis to the next. So how's that effecting the Motor Industry ?

Well it looks like the market is continuing to stabilise, new car registrations are up 2.6% against October 2010. Again as with last month the retail market is down with the fleet and business market increasing (7.9% & 9.7%) resulting in an overall increase. However the retail market was only down about half as much as last month so it clearly shows some confidence in retail sales is returning.

The figures are 7% (9,000 vehicles) ahead of the SMMT forecasts putting the market in line for a 1,923,000 end of year figure.

Vans and Trucks continue to lead the way, the October Van market was up 6.7% (18.2% YTD) and Truck registrations are up 33.3% (28.3% YTD). This growth is a cross all weight categories apart from the 2.5t to 3.5t sector. Used Vans are also going from strength to strength with reduced supply and increasing prices.

Used cars are an area I have some views on, the news seems to be contradictory one report says used car prices are up and the next says they are down, people we speak too also say differing things from we can't get enough to there is no show room traffic and we can't sell what we have. However I think one thing is clear, there are less of them (2-4 year old stock) in the market.

If you follow logic the following should happen:

•The recession reduced lease company/fleet and retail new registrations greatly in 2008/9.
•This means 2-4 year old used car stock in 2011/12 will be in short supply as there are less vehicles to de-fleet.
•80% of 2-3 year old used stock is from leasing companies so it has a big impact.
•With used sales increasing and used stock reducing plus a poor Sept/Oct for new (compared with traditional levels) producing even less decent used stock, used prices are likely to rise further.
•Rising 2-4 yr old used car prices plus good deals from manufacturers on new will mean the cost to change difference between used and new will narrow resulting in better chances for good sales people to convert customers from used to new.

This looks like it will result see some increased showroom traffic and good chance for dealers to increase sales on used and push some of those into new with a lower difference in cost. This has already happened in the LCV world with shortages of decent used and increases in new sales. Now if the Chancellor would only reduce the VAT rate new car sales could really get going a

CAP launches Black Book Mobile for iPhone and Android…..

BENCHMARK used car values are now available electronically on the move with the launch of Black Book Mobile.

Compatible with iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Google Android smartphones, Black Book Mobile offers instant access to the industry’s benchmark trade values anywhere, without the need for internet access.

Offering all of the benefits of the standard printed Black Book, but with the additional flexibility of valuations at more mileage points, Black Book Mobile includes:

• CAP Clean, Average, Below and Retail Valuations for used cars
• Benchmark valuations at six mileage points
• Editorial market commentary by CAP’s Black Book Team
• New Prices
• CAP ID and Insurance group
• Manufacturer, Model, Derivative selection menus
• Access to CAP used car valuations on smartphone with no internet connection

Black Book Mobile differs from CAP’s other mobile used car pricing application, Valuation Anywhere, in that all of the used car valuation data is downloaded straight onto the device once a month, at the same time as the release of the printed book and Windows version.

All data is therefore available without the need for any phone signal or internet connection.

Video demonstrations of the Black Book Mobile system can be viewed at the following locations:

iPhone version: www.cap.co.uk/bbmi.html
Android version: www.cap.co.uk/bbma.html

Both demonstration videos are optimised for viewing on smartphone.

ends