Month: August 2012

Home / 2012 / August

Time to bring pre-registrations ‘out from the cold’, says CAP

PRE-REGISTRATIONS are a lifeline for hard-pressed dealers as well as a benefit for consumers and it is time to bring them out from the cold, according to Philip Nothard of CAP – the used car pricing experts.
Nothard’s call for transparency over pre-registrations follows an investigation at CAP that suggests up to 1 in every 3 recently reported new car sales has typically been registered by dealers themselves.
His research revealed the financial significance of the practice to many large dealer groups in particular, to whom vehicle manufacturers pay large bonuses for registering ‘packs’ of new cars to meet volume targets.
These so-called ‘pack cars’ are generally sold as nearly-new or ex-demonstrators and offer savings to consumers of anywhere up to 40% on the list price of a new car.
For dealers, the practice of ‘tactical registrations’ can be extremely lucrative. Nothard cites the examples of one dealer group offered £500,000 to put more discounted cars on the road this summer, another manufacturer subsidising discounts on new of up to 40% in return for self-registering cars and a dealer group who reported an increase in new cars registered which masked an underlying 6% fall in actual new car sales.
He also identified 80,000 tactical registrations by just 2 dealers in July.
CAP’s research is bound by confidentiality, which means not naming the dealers or manufacturers in question but Nothard argues that it is now time for transparency and to acknowledge the benefits to businesses and consumers that pre-registration brings.
He said: “The pressure on dealers to register new cars, regardless of whether or not there are immediate customers for them, is not universally popular. In fact 70% of dealers we polled said the main ‘winners’ are the manufacturers. But the rest say they could not survive in the current retail environment without that kind of support.
“There are also some risks associated with increasing supply in this way because it can devalue used cars in general, which can be costly for everyone exposed to heavier depreciation.
“But there are some very significant benefits too and strong arguments can be made in support of pre-registration.
“When you consider how many manufacturer and supplier jobs depend on new car production, who would seriously argue that a better option is to lay off hundreds or even thousands of workers and take away the opportunity for a consumer to afford a new car just to keep the registration figures ‘clean’?
“One dealer described the current situation to me as “hiding behind bushes and continually looking over your shoulder whilst registering pre-reg cars for customers, so they can benefit from a discount, and we can make some money”.
“My own view is that this is an already open secret and there is no longer any purpose served by not reporting accurate and honest statistics. The industry can mount strong arguments that not pre-registering cars would hurt many people far more than doing so. It is time for everyone to acknowledge reality.”

For further information contact Mike Hind, Communications Manager – CAP
Tel: 0113 222 2044 / 07710 152030
Twitter – @MikeH_CAP

Get Your Top Off!

Audi Poll Shows Two Thirds Of UK Convertibles Stay Closed

A survey has thrown up some surprising results as German premium brand predicts a late surge in soft-top demand following a patchy summer

Britain might be one of the world's biggest markets for convertible cars, but most owners are proving reluctant to open their soft tops according to a new survey released by Audi.

Conducted in August by the premium car maker, which has four soft-top models in its portfolio, the survey indicates that just under two thirds of Britain's convertible owners (64%) either never or rarely take the roof down.

Almost half of the owners polled (46%) cited exotic looks rather than wind-in-the-hair driving appeal as their primary reason for choosing a soft top, suggesting that it is the cachet of owning an exotic open car that is the motivator rather than the practicality of having an open or closed choice.

The survey also shows that of those who do like to come out from under the canvas, women owners are actually more likely than men to frequently drive in the open air; 39 per cent of the female contingent said they almost always drive with their car open, versus 32 per cent of males, and only 17 per cent claimed that they never drop their roof, compared with 27 per cent in the male camp.

Who is most likely to drive with the top down? By far the largest age group are 25 to 34 year olds, and those living in the East Midlands are well above the national average when it comes to frequent trips open to the elements.

At Audi the UK is the biggest export market in the World for its cabriolets; "Our owners want the choice," explained Audi UK Director Martin Sander. "Drivers in Britain like to know they can drop their roof, especially as the weather here is so changeable. But they also know that even with the roof up, a soft top car still looks out of the ordinary and highly desirable."

"In the wake of the patchy British summer of 2012, waiting times for some convertibles are coming down. Open-top fans may be able to benefit from shorter lead times on models like the A3 and A5 Cabriolets as well as sports cars like the TT Roadster and the R8 Spyder" concluded an Audi Spokesman


July's figures were released earlier this week and Its all up again !!
Well apart from HGV's which after a good run of increases (still up 22% YTD) dropped back 2.2%. New car registrations are up 9.3% and LCV's are up 10.2%.

Car registrations had their fifth monthly rise in a row with July's being the largest increase and the SMMT has revised its full year forecast up to 1.97 million units. The motor trade press has been active with some of the major players airing concerns over self-registrations and how that is effecting the markets and this was joined by a number of other players 'jumping on the band wagon' to add their comments.

Now truth be told I don't personally know how many self-registrations there are but what I do know is this issue has been around for a very long time. I can re-call the same comments back in the late 80's when I was a Sales Manager and then again in the 90's, it was reported that there were so many self-registrations that it would effect new and nearly new car sales, the market would be twisted and we were all going to hell in a hand cart. This rattled on for years with no great effect and I guess it could well be the same this time round.

LCV's have bounced back after a couple of poor months giving them a rolling year which is now on a par with 2011. HGV's have mainly dipped in the rigid market however artic's have achieved sales not seen since 2008, in my view this is a prime example of pent up demand being released.


Andy Norman CAE FIMI
Regional Director
South Midlands, South Wales and The South West of England
John Gibson Associates

Used car values rise 9.7% in July

A shortage of good quality used cars at auction is pushing up prices, according to the latest BCA Pulse report.

The July average value was 9.7% or £547 up on July last year, ex-fleet cars were up 15% and part-exchanges 10.3%.

BCA communications director Tony Gannon said values were rising because of a shortage of good stock.

“It might seem counter-intuitive to report that used values have apparently climbed so sharply year-on-year, despite the continued challenging economic situation and relatively weak retail environment.

“However, supplies reaching the wholesale used car market are quite significantly down on the peak seen four to five years ago. The combination of lower new car sales and the tendency for vehicle owners to extend their replacement cycles simply means less stock is available to be sold.”

Gannon said the combination of lower new car sales and the tendency for vehicle owners to extend their replacement cycles also meant fewer cars to sell.

“The real shortage is of good quality, ready to retail used cars, which is leading to fierce competition and generally rising values for the best examples reaching the remarketing arena,” he added.

BCA said the shortage of stock was a long term issue and would not go away until new car sales picked up. In May BCA reported a shortage of good van stock was driving up prices.

It said dealers were increasingly looking at online routes to increase their stocking options.

Source: 7th Aug 2012 as published by Metropolis International Group Ltd

Keep your interests outside of work relevant on your CV…..

David is not sure whether it’s worth mentioning interests outside work when applying for a job.

‘I’ve been told my hobbies sound boring,’ he says, ‘and I should either leave them out or say something that will capture the interviewer’s attention.’

In the middle of the Olympics, it’s worth thinking about whether you should mention sport, hobbies and other interests on a CV – and what you should say about them at interview. Too many CVs offer the bland combination of ‘reading, travel, eating out’.

Who doesn’t enjoy these things? Beware of saying anything that suggests you are an average candidate with low-impact interests hardly worth a line of print.

So why mention non-work activity at all? Recruiters often talk of wanting to see ‘fully rounded’ candidates who can show they are motivated by things outside work.

These interests can also provide evidence of transferable skills – fundraising shows the ability to handle negotiations and any kind of leadership, even if it’s in a walking group or sports team, demonstrates the ability to manage people.

Excellence in sport will often attract an interviewer’s attention, particularly this summer. But talk about anything where you demonstrate enthusiastic participation.

This is easy where you’ve led or coached a sports team but even with more solitary activities you can talk about organising events, tracking down rare items or interesting people and doing something well.

Too many people mention interests that are no longer valid, or activities they have little enthusiasm for. If you’ve put down reading, what will you say if you’re asked about the best book you’ve read this year? If you’ve mentioned theatre, can you talk about something you’ve seen recently?

Be careful not to list things you did a long time ago – it can imply that your best achievements are in the past.

Whatever interests you list in your CV, apply three filters.

Firstly, are the activities relevant to the job? If the link is obvious, mention it in a covering letter. If this evidence brings out skills such as your ability as an organiser, consider bringing that on to page one of your CV rather than tucking it at the back.

Secondly, list things that an employer wants to see. Mention activities that involve participation and people. If the job requires great communication skills, show where you have used them in and outside of work.

Thirdly, can you talk about what you have done with real enthusiasm? Interviewers listen to the energy of what you say as much as the content.

Showing you are motivated demonstrates how you will hit the ground running. And remember not to pack out the ‘interests’ section of your CV with so many obsessions that you look as if you don’t have room for work in your life.

John Lees’ latest book is Job Inteviews: Top Answers To Tough Questions. See @johnlees careers for details of workshops and free resources

Read more:

Oops! we did it again……

It was great to return from holiday to find the Car Dealer 2012 Recruiter of the Year Trophy and I am indebted to you for reccognising our efforts and making this our second accolade by Car Dealer possible.

At a time when excellence is being recognised for sporting achievement in the Olympics, we have surely demonstrated to all our commitment to a “Gold Standard” putting us head and shoulders above our competitors. Of course there will be the negative cynics who will try to demean this achievement, and I give them the credibility they deserve for their “sour grapes”, but personally I am proud of what we have achieved, proud of all of our people who have achieved it and thank them all for their contribution.

John Gibson