Month: February 2013

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VOSA Needs More Resources say BVRLA

The Vehicle Operator and Services Agency needs to be given dedicated resources to meet the looming enforcement challenges associated with the HGV Road User Levy and the increased privatisation of the HGV annual testing network.

Giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee earlier this week, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association said that VOSA must be given a dedicated enforcement budget to tackle the threat of foreign hauliers trying to evade the new road user levy due for introduction in 2014.

"The current £200 on-the-spot fine for non-payment of the levy is too low and will encourage many foreign hauliers to take a risk by not paying the daily, weekly or monthly charge," said BVRLA director of legal and policy Jay Parmar.

"VOSA is going to have its work cut out ensuring that they don't get away with it and the agency will require the means to operate a robust enforcement strategy."

The BVRLA also told MPs that VOSA would need more resources to sustain an efficient, nationwide network of independent Authorised Testing Facilities. The agency wants 75% of HGV annual tests to be carried out in ATFs by 2014, but the BVRLA believes this can only be achieved if VOSA starts accrediting independent vehicle testers that work for the ATF owner. By employing multi-skilled staff, ATF's will be able to operate flexible and efficient testing services without compromising their ongoing maintenance work.

"Existing VOSA testers could then be re-deployed to audit the work of these new independent testers and ensure that HGV roadworthiness standards are enforced," said Parmar.

"The independent MOT testing regime has stood the test of time, and BVRLA proposals would bring HGVs into line with this successful model.

"Some people have raised concerns about having vehicles maintained and tested at the same site, but we are confident that ATF operators would not jeopardise their status by cutting corners on testing."

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About the BVRLA:

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is the national trade body for companies engaged in the leasing and rental of cars and commercial vehicles. Its members provide short-term rental, contract hire and fleet management services to corporate users and consumers. They operate a combined fleet of around 2.75 million cars, vans and trucks, buying nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK. Through its members and their customers, the BVRLA represents the interests of more than two million business car drivers and the millions of people who use a rental vehicle each year. As well as lobbying the government on key issues affecting the sector, the BVRLA regulates its members through a mandatory code of conduct.

www.bvrla.co.uk

For more information please contact:

Toby Poston
Head of Communications

E: toby@bvrla.co.uk

T: 01494 545700

M: 07979 756533

Dorchester Nissan salesman aiming for 7,000 sales

Dorchester Nissan’s 67-year old Bill Board has sold 6,650 vehicles in his 36-year career in the motor trade and is aiming to hit 7,000 before he turns 70.

Board has kept a full record of every deal he’s ever done, stretching right back to a second-hand VW Golf sold to a local church canon on Valentine’s Day 1977.

Board said: “On my first day in the job my boss told me to get myself a ledger and keep a thorough record of every vehicle I sold.

“I guess I just never got out of the habit and I’ve now got a big pile of books at home, listing the full details of every deal I’ve ever done.

“There are probably lots of people out there who’ve sold more cars than me, but I doubt they can say exactly what they sold, when and to who.”

After several years working on a farm and in electrical retail, Board made the move into the motor trade with Dorchester Austin Rover dealer Wadham Stringer during the recession of 1977 and he’s never looked back.

The dealership has changed hands and moved premises several times since – eventually becoming Dorchester Nissan in 2004 – but throughout Bill has remained focused on selling cars.

He enjoyed his best ever year in 1988, selling 301 cars, including 64 in August. These days, he only works four days a week, but he still managed to register an impressive 134 sales last year.

So what’s the secret of his success?

“I just try to be myself, be friendly and be honest,” said Board.

He added: “When I first started in the trade everyone preached about the Pendle system – an American way of selling cars – but I didn’t get along with it.

“When I ditched the system and just started being myself, that’s when I began selling.”

Tony Jordan, dealer principal at Dorchester Nissan’s Millers Close showroom, said: “Bill’s an absolute phenomenon and a force of nature.

“He’s such a gentleman and genuinely nice bloke that people instantly warm to him and trust him. He’s an absolute asset to the dealership and I’ve got no doubt he’ll hit the 7,000 mark before long."

Ref: AM-Online – www.am-online.com

To discuss staff solutions for your business contact Richard Lebeter now at rl@jgauk.com

Dealer staff confidence underperforms against other sectors

Confidence in the workplace is essential in boosting output and the automotive sector is under performing in comparison to other sectors, according to research from iOpener Institute.

iOpener Institute conducted 18,000 management interviews across business sectors assessing the identifiable key components of ‘happiness’ at work:– positive factors such as recognition, respect, and time on task; as well as negative indicators such as likelihood of leaving or sick days off.

One of the main elements of happiness at work is confidence; confident employees believe that they can handle tasks and, as a result, get 35% more work done than their more insecure colleagues.

The results show the automotive industry’s employees are 14% less confident than the average.

Trust between employee and organisation is another core element of well-being, and another area where the automotive industry is falling short (16% less trustful than average).

Distrustful employees feel that decisions made are unjust or that they don’t trust the company to protect their interests and treat them fairly.

The result of this is a significant impact on productivity. Figures show that workers in the automotive industry spend 5% less time on task and 3% less time engaged, when compared with their counterparts in other industries.

Some players in the automotive sector are proof of the link between well-being and productivity.

Sytner Group rose to an impressive third spot in the Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in 2012, with employees citing strong leadership, plenty of opportunities and the ability to make a valuable contribution to the company .

The company points to a direct correlation between the happiness of their employees and a 75% increase in profitability achieved between 2008 and 2009 , in the midst of the recession.

But how can other companies follow this example and promote well-being amongst their staff?

Jessica Pryce- Jones is joint founder and partner of the iOpener institute for People & Performance, said: “A few industry players are already exploiting the link between happiness and productivity, but as a whole, the automotive sector’s performance is significantly below par.

“If companies are to make the most of the green shoots of recovery, improving the well-being staff is something that they cannot afford to ignore.”

Pryce suggested five key drivers of productivity in the dealership, which will make workers happier and propel performance:

Effort: This involves providing staff with clear goals, and precise and well-articulated objectives that lead to those goals.

Short-term motivation: Good organisations encourage motivation by helping partners and staff own issues and take responsibility, at a level that fits with an individual’s skills, strengths and expertise levels.

Culture: Performance and happiness at work are both boosted when people feel they fit within their organisational culture. Firms can address this by being as transparent as possible about why decisions are made and why resources are allocated in the way they are.

Long-term engagement: This is about commitment, the long-term engagement between employee and employer. Dealers need to regularly and convincingly communicate the practice’s corporate strategy, along with tangible proof of how that strategy is being implemented.

Self-belief: If staff are not confident, they won’t make decisions, take risks, or invest in development. Confidence is the gateway to productivity and our data shows that a primary indicator of confidence is that things get done.

Ref: AM-Online – www.am-online.com

To discuss your confidential, pro-active recruitment plans contact Richard Lebeter now at rl@jgauk.com

Placement Fees Are Cheap When You Look At Them This Way

Employers seldom complain about the services of headhunters, it’s the headhunters’ fee that has become their pain point.

A few months ago I was attending a seminar with about 35 business owners and HR professionals. The topic of the presentation was “How to Recruit like a Headhunter” and during the presentation the following statement was made; “If you are not using headhunters as your primary recruitment weapon, then you are not hiring the best talent in-the-market”

One individual took offense to that particular statement and became very irate. He stood up, pointed his finger and said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about because we hired some pretty good people, and they are working out just fine. And we didn’t use headhunters.”

Without any hesitation, here’s how the presenter responded:

Sir, you are absolutely correct. You really don’t need headhunters to hire the best talent on-the-market. However, what would you say was the difference between the best talent in-the-market and the best talent on-the-market?

I watched his eyes roll as he struggled to find a good answer. Without waiting for his response, the audience were asked if anyone knew the difference. What was heard were a number of resume related answers such as: the ones with the best resumes; or, the ones presently work for the big brand name organizations; or, the ones that were educated at the most prestigious universities.

Mine hosts reply was that they were all very good answers, but they were not the number one answer. The number one answer is the best talent in-the-market are most likely those individuals who are not actively searching for a job.

Passive v. Active

Why?

It has been my experience that to be wooed by a competitor is the expectation of top talent. They don’t get excited just because a job matching their skills and experience was advertised; they have to be strategically motivated, and sold on that particular job opportunity.

So, if you are not using headhunters, then you are hiring the best talent from among only the individuals actively looking for a new job. And, there is a significant difference in the caliber of talent when you compare those actively looking to those not actively looking for a new job.

If all headhunters charge the same placement fee, does it mean that they all provide the same level of service? No, but that is the perception. Nothing will change until we change something and that perception is a good place to start.

Ken Forrester is managing director of A.W. Forrester Co., a national search firm (954-722-7554) that specializes in employee benefits consulting, health insurance brokerage, and sales. He started his recruitment career in 1990 and is responsible for completing search assignments for senior management positions while developing and mentoring junior associates.

Ref: Fordyceletter – www.fordyceletter.com

For confident, productive and profitable staff contact Richard Lebeter now at rl@jgauk.com

'Famous Five' Inducted Into The 2013 Motor Sport Magazine Hall Of Fame

26 Feb 13
– Niki Lauda, Damon Hill OBE, Graham Hill OBE, Colin Chapman CBE and Tom Kristensen
join Motor Sport's honours list.

For the first time in the history of the event, Motor Sport magazine held their annual Hall of Fame evening at the Royal Opera House, in Covent Garden, London (Monday 25 February) and honoured five 'racing greats' at this exclusive awards ceremony.

The Paul Hamlyn Hall was graced with some of the biggest names to have worked and raced in F1®, and this year's awards went to the highly deserving line-up of Niki Lauda, Damon Hill OBE, Graham Hill OBE, Colin Chapman CBE and eight-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.
It was a night to remember, particularly for the F1® fraternity. Three-time FIA Formula One World Championship® winner, Niki Lauda, receiving his award from Jack Heuer and Piero Ferrari, said, "I am very delighted and highly honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
British driver and 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship® winner, Damon Hill OBE, commented, "Motor Sport magazine's Hall of Fame is already a highly prestigious institution. I know the entire Hill family is delighted to have not one but TWO family members inducted at once. It's another Hill first! And with a third racing Hill, in Josh, on stage to honour his grandfather, our cup of recognition will have spilled over by the end of the evening."

Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin, paid tribute to his father, saying, "The Chapman family is proud that Colin Chapman's achievements continue to be recognised and celebrated. We salute the hundreds of Team Lotus personnel whose ability and dedication enabled him to achieve so much."

Danish racing driver Tom Kristensen, said, "It's a great honour for me to receive this prestigious award from a magazine that is known around the world. Sportscar endurance racing is a 'team' sport and I have been very fortunate to drive for the very best teams and to share a car with fantastic co-drivers and so in this respect, this award is for them just as much as me.

"I've had fantastic times with these two drivers here tonight, Allan [McNish] and Dindo [Capello], both on and off the track. Of course Audi Sport Team Joest has given us the car, engineers, technicians and strategy, everything that has combined to enable us to achieve our success.

"It would be remiss of me not to mention my father, Carl Erik, who gave me the encouragement and advice at the beginning of my career. I owe him, and of course my lovely family, absolutely everything."

The first exclusive coverage of the Motor Sport magazine awards will be shown on Sky Sports F1® HD on Friday 01 March at 16:30hrs, as part of the hour-long F1® Show which will also cover the final pre-season test. In addition, this much awaited programme is scheduled for repeats during the subsequent week.

At Motor Sport's fourth annual Hall of Fame, held in association with Audi UK, a unique charity auction took place courtesy of Bonhams and on behalf of the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust. Motor Sport magazine is delighted to have raised over £92,000 for this worthy cause and thanks all of the prize donators and successful bidders.

Adding to the atmosphere and elegance of the evening, personalities such as Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Jody Scheckter, John Watson MBE, Jackie Oliver, Martin Brundle, Stefano Domenicali, David Richards CBE, Allan McNish, Steve Parrish and many others from the world of motor racing attended. TAG Heuer is proud to have continued their affiliation with the awards, the brand celebrating another milestone in its long association with motor racing – the 50th anniversary of the iconic Carrera watch – famously named after the legendary Carrera Panamericana Rally.

– Exclusive coverage, from the Royal Opera House, to be shown by Sky Sports F1® HD on Friday 01 March at 16:30hrs

For mo

Jon Bulloch joins CAP as National Sector Manager – Manufacturers

CAP HAS APPOINTED Jon Bulloch to the key sales role of National Sector Manager – Manufacturers.

The appointment is part of CAP’s on-going strategic investment in the development of OEM-specific data, insight and decision-support tools. This approach has seen the scope of key sales roles at CAP broaden beyond a commercial and financial remit to encompass input into the creation of new tools and services for CAP’s customers.

The manufacturer sector is a key area of focus for CAP and the business has a strong track record in delivering a range of products and services there, ranging from new model launch reports to seamless web services offering vehicle comparators and consumer valuations.

Jon Bulloch joins CAP from Renault, where he gained a strong understanding of the growing challenges faced by vehicle manufacturers in today’s new and used vehicle marketplaces. Over 8 years at Renault he managed used vehicle remarketing and residual value management processes for the brand and also focused on business management, sales process, commercial analysis and customer experience.

CAP Sales Director Rob Powis said: “We are delighted Jon is bringing his wealth of real-world experience to CAP because this is more than a sales role. Our investment in high calibre people like Jon is all about putting the customer at the heart of everything we do because their success is key to our own future growth.

Jon Bulloch said: “CAP is underpinned by strong investment and a real commitment to the customer. As a former CAP customer myself, I know the strengths of its existing products and services and I’m delighted to have joined a business with advanced plans to bring fresh solutions to the manufacturer sector.”

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For further information contact Mike Hind, Communications Manager, CAP on 0113 222 2044 / 07710 152030
Follow MikeH_CAP on Twitter
Find Mike Hind on Linked In http://uk.linkedin.com/in/mikehind

How to tick an employer’s wish list during a job interview

There may list 30+ competencies but bosses only really look for half a dozen in your interview.
Have tyou ever been mystified by the feedback you got from interviews. ‘They tell me I’m not quite what they’re looking for but I read all the job documents backwards and there’s nothing listed I can’t handle. What else can I do to get the job offer?’ you ask.

You may believe that you are preparing thoroughly, looking carefully at the advertisement and job description but you could do more.
Average candidates make broad claims but stronger candidates match their personal evidence point-by-point against the requirements of the job, giving great examples packed with hard evidence.
You could shrug your shoulders and say that in a tough market, employer screening is going to be something of a lottery. That ignores the fact that well-prepared candidates are getting good job offers. What’s their secret?

They have worked out the difference between the employer’s long stated list of requirements and the real shopping list – the things that really matter.

A job interview will probably cover about 20 topics in any depth, providing only a sampling of your CV material, and possibly no more than 75 per cent of the elements listed in a job description.

Some of these topics may find you unprepared because they have either not been flagged up at all or seem to be marginal to the job. Often you’ve given insufficient weighting to the issues that really count.

What employers will rarely acknowledge is that most interview decisions are made around half a dozen pieces of evidence. These deal-breakers may only be touched upon in documentation, but they matter. Moving towards a job offer means learning how to read the clues you’re being given.

You only start to do this when you ask questions of people who understand the role, organisation and sector. What problems does the job solve? What do success and failure look like in the role?

Your best means of discovery is initially asking people closest to the hiring process, i.e your recruitment consultant who will have taken a detailed job brief from the client.
After that, and if possible talk to former employees or contractors, anyone who knows something about the organisation. You need to know; What kind of people shine in the workforce? What is the employer most worried about in terms of hiring the wrong person for the role?

Look at details of jobs and projects on the employer’s website. Translate your experience into language that the employer will recognise. If your work history or qualifications don’t match perfectly, prepare clear explanations.

A good Recruitment Consultant can help you in this important task of decoding. Don’t take anything at face value. If an employer claims to be recruiting against 30 competencies, they won’t be – somewhere in the interviewer’s mind will be half a dozen things that really matter.

If you’ve got an interview, you’re over halfway to getting the job, so ask, probe, decode – do everything you can to find out the real wish list. Then don’t go home until you’ve delivered your half dozen best-matched pieces of evidence.

John Lees advises you how to shine.
John Lees is author of Job Interviews: Top Answers To Tough Questions and runs regular career workshops. Visit johnleescareers.com for details.

4x4s were by far the most popular cars on Britain's forecourts in January

Glass's, the definitive source of valuations for the used car industry, has published a league table of the fastest selling used cars. 4x4s were by far the most popular cars on Britain's forecourts in January, which is not surprising when you consider the cold spell that has been sweeping the country.

The league provides insight gleaned from GlassNet Radar, the company's spot pricing system that provides up-to-the-minute pricing around the country. It is based around 300 vehicle models and looks at average selling times for used cars, or to be more specific, the number of days cars tend to stay on the forecourt.

The Lexus RX 400h came in first last month with an impressive average of only 26 days to sell, followed by the Land Rover Discovery at 32 days and the Jaguar XK at almost 34 days. Land Rover takes up four of the top ten spots.

Richard Parkin, Director of Valuations and Analysis at Glass's, reflects on whether this state of the nation ranking is what we would expect at this time of year.

"It's not surprising that six out of the top ten cars are 4x4s. In fact it's largely typical of this time of year. Glass's data over the last four weeks has seen this to be the best-selling car segment. When the weather gets bad car buyers dash for the nearest four wheel drive, so dealers can expect them to fly off the forecourts. "

The average selling days for all cars on the list is 49, with the slowest movers at the bottom being the Delta and Ypsilon from Chrysler, taking on average over 100 days to sell. Parkin notes "the vehicles are relatively unknown in their respective segments, which are also those that Chrysler has not traditionally been associated with in the UK. The public just don't know about them, so their slow sales velocity is unsurprising."

"It will be interesting to see how things change on a month by month basis. Watch this space."

Retail used car demand on the rise as dealer stock levels hover around 80%

RETAIL DEMAND for used cars is stronger than at any time since September last year, according to CAP Automotive, the car information experts.
Research for CAP Black Book Live – the only independent real-time guide to used car trade values – reveals a number of increasingly positive market indicators since the start of 2013.
These range from the mood and buying activity at auctions to consumer retail demand on the forecourt.
But dealers are still reporting difficulty in sourcing good quality used car stock for retail following the reduction in new car registrations of recent years. And that problem may worsen as increasing numbers of poor condition cars with high mileage continue returning to the market.
Coupled with dealer caution over becoming over-stocked, this shortage of ‘prime’ retail stock is keeping forecourts only around 80% full.
Black Book Live – which tracks market prices in real time – has been reporting general stability in trade values.
Derren Martin, Senior Editor for CAP Black Book Live, said: “We are seeing what we describe as a good ‘buzz’ around the auction halls, with plenty of appetite from dealers for the best quality stock – when they can find it.
“Some auction sales have seen conversion rates up to 20% better than during the same period last year and the dealers we speak to are generally happy with the level of retail interest they are seeing.
“We keep a close watch on the market every day and there have been some signs that increased short term rental business for some model ranges is starting to bring higher volumes into the marketplace. When that happens, prices tend to reduce but at the moment stability is the watchword in the current trade market.”
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For further information contact Mike Hind, Communications Manager – CAP Automotive
Tel: 0113 222 2044 / 07710 152030
Twitter – @MikeH_CAP

Dealers urged to make better use of online toolsto help boost the quality of leads generated by their websites

Dealers can make better use of tools like live chat, online finance calculators and integrated credit checking to help boost the quality of leads generated by their websites.

That’s the view of motor technology specialist iVendi which said dealers should be working to improve the quality of customer leads generated from websites.

iVendi director James Tew said: “You could generate hundreds of thousands of visits but few could be serious, or you could be selling very few cars from online leads but only because you sales team is poor at converting.

“There is only one sensible way of measuring the success of a web site and that is to work out how many serious leads that it generates, ones that you believe you have a good chance of turning into sales.

“There are a range of newer tools that can help here – from live chat to online finance calculators and now integrated credit checking – and these will gradually bring the customer closer to the all-important step of giving you their name and contact details.”