Month: November 2012

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State Of The Art Automotive Training Centre Opened By 3M

Diversified technology company 3M has opened the doors on its new, state-of-the-art training centre in Atherstone, Warwickshire.

Opened by Jim McSheffrey, Managing Director of 3M United Kingdom PLC, the 3M Automotive Refinish Centre (ARC) features a vehicle repair workshop and spray booth, along with various meeting rooms and breakout areas. The centre has also been fitted with dedicated paint mixing and gun cleaning rooms, enabling visitors to get hands-on with 3M's range of paint application systems.

Said Jim: "This is an investment being made by 3M here in the UK to create a modern and up-to-date facility that we can use to show our customers how to get the very best out of 3M products, enabling them to get hands-on with the solutions we offer."
As an accredited QAA training provider with several staff members holding senior level ATA qualifications, 3M is ideally placed to develop solutions and training programmes for bodyshops as Mark Deakin, general sales and marketing manager for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, explains: "With the opening of the ARC we have created a facility which demonstrates our commitment to excellence in the industry and to furthering the skills of bodyshop operatives. The training offered will help bodyshops reach nationally-accredited standards, boosting their efficiency and their competitiveness. The ARC has superb facilities to provide training for bodyshop operatives and managers, our channel partners, paint companies and other industry stakeholders.

"As a leading brand in the refinish market, it is fitting that we are now able to offer the highest standards in training through what we believe will become one of the best automotive refinishing training centres in the UK."

3M is a trademark of 3M Company.


‘Business as usual’ for now – but used car market change is on the way,

…say the experts at CAP Automotive who are warning that market stability during the first half of 2013 will almost certainly be undermined by the on-going level of pre-registration activity as manufacturers continue to drive new car volume in the UK market.
Reporting on market conditions at the end of November, Black Book Live notes that the weekly fluctuations in trade values over the course of the month have largely been in line with typical winter seasonal performance.
Fuelled by a level of retail consumer demand on the forecourt that has remained constant all year, dealer appetite for high quality 3 year old cars in particular is strong. But those ‘ready to retail’ cars are increasingly rare as the market is flooded with ex-fleet cars up to 50 months old and with high mileages. Those cars attract high preparation costs for dealers, which eats too far into margins for comfort.
These factors are reflected in the auction hall where some cars that failed to sell first time are being re-entered anything up to 4 times before an acceptable bid is received.
However, dealers are still buying stock in preparation for the traditional January surge in retail activity, according to Black Book Live.
But there are signs that CAP’s original expectations that trade prices would perform strongly until at least the middle of next year may now have to be revised.
CAP’s Mike Hind said: “Our view now is that the only restrainer on a substantial rise in values during the first part of 2013 is pre-registrations and the pressure on prices created by a super-abundance of late plate cars.
“While we continue to expect prices to rise into January we are no longer as confident as we were that values will continue to increase into the summer.
“This may be good news for hard-pressed dealers but fleet and contract hire disposers – and anyone else selling their cars into the trade – need to be aware that the on-going level of pre-registration activity will inevitably impact throughout the market.
“To put it in plain language, we are fast approaching the point where there is nowhere for late plate values to go without forcing a reduction further down the age bands. Looking at the state of the Eurozone economies, we see little likelihood of the pressure on Britain to soak up this new car supply easing any time soon.
“We are not being alarmist about this, because our view is that manageable levels of pre-registration are a perfectly sensible approach to car retail. Not only does it keep people in work throughout the new car supply chain, but provides consumers with genuine value for money choices.
“Nor do we argue that rising used car trade values are automatically good news because, for dealers and consumers, a rising market simply means a more expensive market.
“But we do believe that price stability is desirable because it makes trading for everybody much smoother and enables a much clearer view of risk for all the businesses, from contract hire operators to insurers and banks, who are exposed to it.
“A rise in the volume of late plate stock is not the end of the world but after the stability of this year a return to the old norms of high depreciation will certainly come as a shock to the system. Suffice to say, this is one area on which we are keeping a very close watch.”
For further information contact Mike Hind, Communications Manager – CAP
Tel: 0113 222 2044 / 07710 152030
Twitter – @MikeH_CAP

How will the Chancellor act as the Motoring tax trap closes in on the Government ?

A TAX TRAP is closing in on the Government as the efficiency of today’s new cars threatens to starve the Treasury of revenue, according to CAP Automotive – the car information experts.
Exclusive analysis by CAP reveals that today’s most popular cars would have delivered 18% less fuel duty and VAT and a massive 58% less in VED revenues over the past 3 years than the equivalent models that were registered in 2009.
It means the Treasury is falling into a tax trap and motorists should pay careful attention to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on December 5 to see if he has found a way to reverse the decline.
The issue stems from the success of vehicle manufacturers in reducing engine CO2 emissions and improving fuel consumption.
CAP’s insight into the performance of new vehicles shines a spotlight on exactly how costly to the Treasury the latest cars potentially are, unless the Chancellor acts to change motoring taxation policy.
As the table below shows, the issue is best illustrated by a side-by-side comparison of the 10 most popular cars registered in September 2012 with their 10 equivalents registered in September 2009
Under the fuel and VED tax regime in place between 2009 and 2012 a basket containing one each of Britain’s 10 most popular cars today would have delivered almost £5,007 less fuel duty and VAT revenue over 36,000 miles than their 10 equivalents registered in September 2009.
And the same vehicles would have cost £2,240 less to tax over 3 years.
Multiply these figures by the number of highly efficient cars that are actually registered and the reduction in revenue runs into hundreds of millions of pounds.
Drilling down to an individual example, this September’s top-selling car – the Ford Fiesta – would have cost £250 less to tax over the period September 2009 to September 2012 and owners would have paid £222 less in fuel duty and VAT than they did in the previous model.
An even more stark example of the pressure on revenues faced by the Treasury is this year’s most popular new Mercedes-Benz C Class. This would have delivered £450 less road fund license revenue over the past 3 years and a massive £1,200 less fuel duty and VAT revenue over 36,000 miles.
This particular example also highlights the impact of a general drift toward diesel, which was prompted by the introduction of CO2-based taxation. The most popular Mercedes C Class in 2009 was a petrol vehicle whereas the best seller this year is a diesel. Because diesels typically emit lower CO2 they are often chosen to reduce tax costs as well as for their fuel economy.
Mark Norman, of CAP Automotive Intelligence Services – which advises major organisations on automotive business strategy – said: “Innovations in engine design together with the Government’s reliance on CO2 emissions as a basis on which to tax vehicles have led to this problem because cars are now using substantially less fuel and emitting less CO2.
“Our analysis shows the scale of the emerging problem and the question now is not whether the Chancellor will act to stem this flow of revenues, but how. Maybe we will learn that, when he makes his Autumn Statement on December 5.
“The only realistic areas he can look at to fully address the problem are; taxing the fuel, taxing the car and taxing road use. However, taxing fuel is partially self-defeating because motorists tend to respond by using less, as we have seen over the past couple of years. Taxing the roads is a political nightmare and there is no reason to think politicians are ready to grasp that nettle.
“There is, of course, already a tax on car ownership called VED but the problem is that by encouraging the take-up of more ‘environmentally friendly’ cars the average VED paid will collapse, as our analysis has shown.
“A more sensible option, perhaps, is that the Chancellor counters the problem of dwindling VED revenues by use of a one-off ‘showroom tax’ to influence take-up of greene

The all important plate-change in September saw the average UK dealer posted a profit of £50,000

In September the average UK dealer posted a profit of £50,000 , according to business specialists ASE.

“This is a very good result and sees the average site £36,000 ahead of the result for the same period in 2011,” said ASE chairman Mike Jones.

Jones said profitability had been driven by increases in new vehicle sales with dealers also keeping a cap on costs.

The performance had been helped by some dealer groups only including volume bonus at the end of the quarter once achieved, rather than “drip feeding” in on a monthly basis expecting to hit the target.

Used vehicle performance has improved compared to 2011, with the fall in the used to new ratio a result of the large increase in average volume of new vehicles sold.

Used vehicle margins are up and are now averaging over £1,000 per unit and over 12%.

“This has been driven by an improvement in focus allied to stability of used car prices with minimal book drops during 2012,” said Jones.

But service performance was difficult with lower volumes passing through the department leading to the ongoing fall in overhead absorbtion.

“Only those dealers who have revolutionised their sales process are managing to reverse this trend,” he said.

“With a fair wind during the final quarter we could end the year with an average return of over 1.0% which will be a great result given the current economic backdrop,” he added.

Sourced: and Motor Trader Magazine which are published by Metropolis International Group Ltd, 140 Wales Farm Road, London, W3 6UG.
Registered in England no. 2916515

Barely Used Scooter Bargains predicted….

In – [the UK’s No.1 motorbike and scooter provenance website] latest Bike Market Overview bulletin its Valuation Team’s expert, Rob Hobson, outlines the most significant trends in the UK market.
Mr Hobson commented: “It’s that frustrating time of year for bikers when the nights are drawing in just as manufacturers unveil their latest models. Many will make their UK debuts at the NEC this month. BMW has its re-designed R1200 GS, pitched against the highly successful Triumph Explorer and a real contender in the new 1190 KTM. Expect the arrival of bigger capacity models from Chinese manufacturers such as Loncin, following their phenomenal growth and acceptance in the lightweight sector.
“As we approach the end of a rain-soaked year, dealers are still reporting ‘fairly decent’ levels of business, leading to some very attractive used options. We predict that used values will drop slightly this month to reflect a general weakening of demand as the weather changes. However, some popular mid-range models – from Yamaha, Suzuki etc – might see bigger drops due to their wide availability and increased competition from new models. In particular, people upgrading to a new adventurer are likely to be moving up from a smaller engined Triumph or similar, generating huge choice in the used 800cc category.
“In the scooter market, more riders continue to opt for the ultra-competitively-priced new Chinese models, forcing down values across the board. There are some real bargains to be had in the run up to Xmas as hard-up scooter riders cash in on their first vehicles, promising themselves an upgrade in the spring.”

For all media enquiries contact Neil Kennett on 07986 921 742.

High-value investment in R&D facilities is paving the way to a prosperous future for UK automotive

UK car manufacturing rose 6.5% in October and was up 9.7% over the year-to-date.

CV output rose 5% over the month but year to date is down 6.1%, according to figures from the SMMT.

“Sustained, high-value investment in R&D, facilities and new products is paving the way to a prosperous future for UK automotive, but there remain significant challenges as European market demand remains weak,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

“It is essential government continues to focus on boosting economic growth and enhancing UK competitiveness.”

John Leech, KPMG UK head of automotive, said: “Despite troubles in Europe still posing a threat to demand, UK car plants are continuing to win market share across Europe and premium automakers are still benefiting from strong demand from the emerging markets.

“We expect to see these trends follow this route over the next few years and therefore expect UK production to continue to grow on average by 9% per annum to 2.2 million vehicles in 2016.

“However, there is an emerging industry issue in the supply-chain around finance.

“Many suppliers are starting to see volumes decline as Eurozone demand crumbles while some suppliers to premium automakers such as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are struggling to raise the finance necessary to invest in tooling for new models” he said.

Major Expansion At's Stockport HQ – the UK’s No.1 vehicle provenance website – has saved millions of people from making an expensive used car mistake. The brand continues to grow strongly and parent company CDL recently announced plans to create 150 new jobs over the next two years.

To accommodate this significant expansion, CDL has acquired a four and a half acre site adjacent to its headquarters in Stockport, Cheshire, and submitted plans for 100,000 sq. ft. of new office space.Work is expected to start on the first phase – a 30,000 sq. ft. scheme – early next year.

Tom Hogg, Managing Director of CDL, commented: “CDL has maintained consistent growth on the back of innovative, robust and powerful software solutions that enable clients to increase their efficiency and profitability. We are seeing significant activity around the fast-growing telematics and mobile sectors, and the time is right to invest in the future. We are delighted to have secured this deal, which will allow us to expand the company further on our existing site with maximum business continuity.”

, Divisional Head at CDL Vehicle Information Services (which owns, added: “All the data that powers our system is collated and processed in Stockport, so having extra capacity there can only be a good thing as we develop the MyCarCheck, MyTextCheck and MyMotorcycleCheck brands. Strata House is a fantastic building with all the latest video conferencing facilities to keep in touch with our call centre team in Glasgow and our valuations team in Skipton. Being right next to ‘the pyramid’ on the M60, it is in a great location too. From the look of the plans, these new facilities will be every bit as impressive.”

Over the last couple of years, and MyTextCheck delivered around 4.5m consumer checks. Parent company CDL performs over 1m vehicle data checks a day for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.

It uses up-to-the-minute information from the Police National Computer (PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB.

Know what you’re getting into:

Dealer Finance Sales Leap in September

This rise in dealer finance sales continued through the September plate-change month with 170,000 new and used cars, worth more than £2bn, bought by consumers using point of sale funding.

The latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), which includes manufacturer-backed low interest deals, show a 34% year on year rise on sales of new car finance and a for new cars and a 1% increase in advances for used cars.

Finance sold in showrooms now funds 69.3% of all consumer new car purchases.

“Car dealerships are offering affordable, flexible and widely accessible finance arrangements across the UK and this has played a key role in sustaining significant lending growth and we expect the trend to continue in the months ahead,” said Paul Harrison, FLA’s head of motor finance.

The total number of cars bought using dealer finance equated to over a third of all new cars registered in September.

For further information and statistics, please click the link below, which will take you to the appropriate article on,11IE8,29PS86,370SS,1

IMI Offers Flexibility With ATA Reaccreditation

When it comes to renewing Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) status after three years, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has introduced a series of update units for individuals, as an alternative to doing a full assessment.
Called ATA Update Modules, the renewal option has been developed to help employers reduce costs whilst maintaining an accredited workforce.

ATA Update Modules related to Autoglazing, Customer Service and Motorcycle are the being launched following the successful introduction of Accident Repair, Light Vehicle and Light Vehicle Inspection modules earlier in the year.

The modular routes have been developed in collaboration with relevant industry stakeholders to ensure they reflect up-to-date job roles and appropriate changes to processes and technology. All routes are 'Quality Assured' by the automotive Awarding Organisation, IMI Awards.

Commenting on the introduction of the ATA Update Modules to provide a flexible approach to keeping staff accredited, Linda Stansfield, the IMI's Chief Operating Officer, said:

"In response to our continuing dialogue with ATA stakeholders, the new update modules have been designed as 'bite-size' assessments, which ensure that individuals can demonstrate their current competence in a cost-effective manner without having to retake the full assessment. The IMI will be offering ATA Update Modules for all other ATA routes in due course."

Additionally, to improve opportunities for individuals to achieve their first ATA, holders of vocational qualifications such as NVQ, SVQ or VCQ, can now gain accreditation by completing the required number of ATA Update Modules within a three-year period.

In readiness for the Government's digital radio switchover in 2015, a new ATA route, Digital Radio Installation Technician, is being launched at the Drive 2 Digital conference in London on the 5 November 2012.
Aimed at specialist auto-electricians and retailers of in-car audio equipment, the new half day assessment at an ATA Approved Centre will measure competence in the installation of digital antennae and DAB adaptor kits, as well as the replacement of DAB head units and fault diagnosis.

The development of these ATA routes forms part of a wider Government sponsored initiative with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to ensure that the current and future skills needs of the sector are met.