Month: March 2013

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CAP suggest that Budget signals reduced risk of new car oversupply in UK

DOWNWARD PRESSURE on Sterling resulting from the 2013 Budget statement could reduce the risk of new car oversupply and prevent a dramatic downturn in residual values, according to CAP.

Fears have been growing since last summer that the Eurozone economic crisis could prompt manufacturers to drive new car supply harder into Britain, pushing registrations back toward historic oversupply levels.

But Chancellor George Osborne’s downgrading of Britain’s economic growth forecast, together with his call to “keep interest rates lower, for longer” can only add to pressure on Sterling in the medium term – potentially making new car business less profitable for most manufacturers.

Pressure on exchange rates, coupled with Osborne’s measures designed to put more money into consumers’ pockets, has led to CAP describing the Budget as “neutral” in terms of its impact on the UK automotive sector.

It means CAP’s senior editor for forecasting, Dylan Setterfield, has not adjusted his view of residual value prospects over the next three years.

The business is therefore retaining its already published forecasts of a short-term reduction in values for 2013 and further limited price falls in 2014/15. Setterfield’s view is based on forecast assumptions of

• Increased new car registrations
• Reducing risk of high volume ‘forced registrations’
• Fluctuations in supply, coupled with ‘steady demand’
Dylan Setterfield said: “From a residual value perspective it is good to have the downside pressure on Sterling increased by the Bank of England and sensible to announce a downgrading of the UK growth forecast to prevent the pound rising.

“For a while last year it seemed there was a real risk of the slump in registrations in Europe forcing manufacturers to drive supply into the relatively strong UK. Experience has shown us that when registrations approach levels we saw in 2005 to 2007, then residual values are severely weakened by eventual oversupply.

“The prospects of that being repeated have been receding since Sterling began weakening in the 2nd half of 2012. Sterling initially weakened further, as an immediate response to the Budget statement, and although it recovered in the following 24 hours it remains at a level which limits manufacturers’ scope for heavy discounting in the UK.

“We will still see forced registrations but the intensity of such activity will be limited to specific manufacturers, rather than an industry-wide trend.

“The Budget can therefore largely be regarded as broadly neutral in terms of its impact on current residual values patterns and those we have previously forecast for the next 3 years.”

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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

Dan Norris-Jones Confirms Full Season Entry In 2013 Ginetta Supercup

Dan Norris-Jones has today committed to a full season entry in the 2013 Michelin Ginetta Supercup championship in a Ginetta G50, with backing from Priocept.

Dan first ventured into Ginetta racing at the final round of the 2012 Ginetta Supercup at Brands Hatch in October, where he secured a second place podium finish in the final race in treacherous wet conditions.

He said; "We enjoyed the competitive racing and general race weekend atmosphere when we competed in Ginetta Supercup at Brands Hatch last year, so decided to put together a campaign for the full championship in 2013.

"Brands Hatch last October was our first competitive drive in a Ginetta but our pace was quite good, in very tricky conditions, so a challenge for the G50 championship has to be the objective for 2013.

"We will aim to achieve consistent results as the year progresses and while we learn some new circuits, and then see where we are in the championship points standings as the season moves towards its conclusion at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in October."

Sponsorship backing for the season is provided by Priocept, an internet technology consulting firm, and the team will compete as Priocept Racing.

The car will be prepared and run by GT4 Motorsport, a race team based at Brands Hatch, along with Jamie Stanley, the 2010 British GT champion in a Ginetta G50, who has been drafted in as team manager and driver coach.

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For more information please contact:

Ruth Harrison
Ginetta PR
T: 0113 385 4165
E: [email protected]

Growing Number Of Motorists Can't Afford Car Insurance

MoneySave Solutions helps car owners on a budget get affordable insurance deals.

According to new research*, 1 in 7 motorists have driven without insurance. Of those, 12% said they can't afford insurance, compared to just 6% this time last year. Leading moneysaving service, MoneySave Solutions, believes these statistics show the real impact on people's lives of the rising cost of motoring. And it is concerned that it may be the case that some consumers already in debt will face higher premiums which may force them to take the difficult decision of not paying for motor insurance. Not only is this illegal, but it leaves them vulnerable to hefty costs if they are involved in an accident.

"It's shocking to see that the number of people who can't afford motor insurance has doubled in the last 12 months," said Matthew McKenning, Director, MoneySave Solutions. "And a further 7% claim they don't understand the importance of insurance and therefore choose not to buy it.

"Our advice is, don't be tempted to cut corners on insurance cover, as it's a false economy that could cost motorists dear. But we understand that people already juggling debts may find it difficult to get an affordable deal. We have access to a panel of insurers to offer competitively priced motor insurance with a range of payment options designed to fit every pocket."

For consumers struggling to make ends meet, it can be tempting to get rid of vital insurance such as car, buildings and home contents. MoneySave Solutions works with a panel of insurers and does the shopping around to find its customers the best deals so they're not tempted to cut corners on insurance cover.

MoneySave searches to find great insurance deals for consumers, protecting them from the unexpected.

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*Moneysupermarket.com – March 2013

For more information please contact:
Wendy Harrison / Louise Fowler / Arran Fano
HSL
T: 020 8977 9132
E: [email protected]

Export boom driving ‘crazy prices’ & used vehicle supply problems in some UK markets, says CAP

DEMAND for used vehicles overseas is leading to cars targeted for export selling for up to twice their UK value or more at auction, say CAP – the independent car information experts.
But the used vehicle export phenomenon is not confined to cars, with CAP’s experts also reporting a constant flow of trucks, trailers, motorcycles and vans abroad as the export trade grows every day.
This trade, supplying almost every continent with used British vehicles, is pushing prices ever higher in the UK and creating shortages of certain models, according to CAP.
CAP researches the values of almost every kind of vehicle in the UK and its experts travel the country daily, researching prices for CAP’s benchmark valuation products. Researchers for Black Book Live – the only independent real-time used car price trending tool in Britain – report daily on the “crazy prices” achieved by cars destined for export to locations as far afield as Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia and even the Falkland Islands.
Recent examples have included a 6 year old Citroen C8 sold for £5,600, which CAP ‘books’ at £2,200 in the UK, a 5 year old Audi A4 selling for £15,400 – more than double it’s UK CAP trade value of £7,175 and a 4 year old Honda Civic diesel which went under the hammer at £20,600 – almost £12,000 more than its usual value at home.
Meanwhile CAP Green Book, the leading trade guide to used motorcycle values, regularly reports on the flow of bikes from Britain to Europe and has been highlighting the impact of this on bike dealers in the UK. Many are now struggling to find enough good used motorcycle stock to satisfy demand at home. In this market, used values are rising almost across the board thanks to the reduction in bike numbers while demand remains high. Following a lull at the end of last year, the faster weakening of sterling this year has reinvigorated demand from Europe and Green Book now also reports an increased flow of used bikes to Malaysia.
CAP Red Book’s expert editors also routinely comment on the number of used trucks and trailers they observe, commonly destined for African countries.
Nor are used vans immune to demand from abroad, with Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinters frequently snapped up by exporters.
However, the ‘crazy prices’ are reserved for cars which are cheaper to run in countries where fuel costs are lower. This means large, petrol-engined ‘executive’ models enjoy especially high demand and some British leasing and vehicle remarketing companies are now cashing in on the phenomenon by cherry-picking suitable cars to specifically offer to exporters. In this case, New Zealand is a particularly profitable market – despite the costs of shipping and the depreciation that occurs while holding the cars on docksides, often for several months.
There are many reasons for the strength of overseas demand, depending on the type of vehicle leaving British shores. The 2011 Japanese tsunami devastated that country’s new car production capacity for months, while writing off an estimated 230,000 used cars and thousands more new cars which were destined for export. The British market has since been helping to make up for that country’s 80% reduction in exports since the 2011 tragedy.
In the truck and trailer market demand is particularly strong from sub-Saharan Africa but buyers from all over the globe are clamouring for tractor units and trailers. Here, overseas buyers have even stopped relying on British export specialists and are travelling to the UK to compete directly with the local traders on a regular basis.
There is even growing demand from eastern European countries for older and damaged cars – especially 4x4s – which are often snapped up for spares and the chance of cheap motoring for residents where the economy is often in even worse shape than Britain’s.
While the export phenomenon is causing supply shortage headaches for dealers and traders in some UK markets, in other

BVRLA Calls For Motoring Agency Merger

The Department for Transport could save money and provide a better service for motorists by merging the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

As part of the reorganisation, the BVRLA believes that DVLA should assume all responsibility for vehicle and driver record-keeping, while VOSA concentrates on enforcement.

This sensible approach would see MOT and commercial vehicle Annual Test data transferred to DVLA, while fines for Vehicle Excise Duty evasion, continuous insurance enforcement and continuous registration would be overseen by VOSA.

A combined agency would be fronted by a single online gateway. For businesses and motorists, this would result in them only having to deal with one online portal whether they were registering a vehicle, taxing it, putting it through an MOT or Annual Test or disposing of it.

"We believe that this root and branch review would deliver real efficiencies for government by streamlining enforcement and back-office systems," said BVRLA legal and policy director Jay Parmar.

"It would foster a more joined-up approach to motoring policies and lead to better sharing of information, while creating a one-stop-shop for motorists and fleet operators."

The BVRLA made its suggestions in its response to a government consultation on the future of the DfT's executive transport agencies, which include the DVLA, VOSA, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and Driver Standards Agency (DSA).

Both VOSA and the DVLA have been tasked with providing more digital and customer-friendly services, improving the testing regime and saving money.
The DVLA is already considering the BVRLA's suggestion for eliminating the need to display a tax disc. VOSA hopes the introduction of privately-run Authorised Testing Facilities will improve the provision of commercial vehicle annual testing, but the BVRLA still believes that the agency needs to go further by accrediting non-VOSA technicians to provide tests.

"There is huge potential for these government agencies to work more efficiently, cut red tape and improve customer service," said Parmar.
"The government is slowly moving in the right direction and we will keep applying pressure to ensure that they deliver."

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About the BVRLA:
he 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.
For more information please contact:
Toby Poston
Head of Communications

E: [email protected]

T: 01494 545700

M: 07979 756533

Search For UK's Best Young Automotive Talent Underway

The search for the UK's best young automotive talent is now underway, with the opening of the Institute of the Motor Industry's (IMI's) SkillAuto competition. Young people will compete in the fields of Autobody, Autopaint and Autotech for a place at the SkillAuto final, which takes place at the Skills Show in November. In 2012 over 100,000 young people visited the Skills Show at the NEC, which provides a platform for the best of the nation's young talent to compete in their chosen fields, as well as giving visitors the chance to have a go at new skills and gain careers information and advice.

The launch of SkillAuto is accompanied by the announcement that Jaguar Land Rover will be hosting the Autotech heats at their state-of-the-art Training Centre in Warwick, and that 3M will be hosting the Autopaint heats at their new facility in Atherstone. To reach the heats, automotive apprentices will compete in online tests to determine who will go forward to the live heats, which take place between April and June.

Eighteen competitors took part in last year's SkillAuto final, with the three gold medal winners being invited by the McLaren Group to visit their Technology Centre in Surrey.

Steve Nash, the IMI's Chief Executive, said: "SkillAuto is a vital tool for placing the spotlight on the importance of skills in the motor industry. The young people that reach the final will represent exactly the high calibre of apprentices the automotive sector is crying out for, as we face the challenges of advancing technology and increasing demands of customers. As such, the winners of SkillAuto will be important role models for future generations of automotive professionals."

SkillAuto is sponsored and made possible by IMI Awards, Würth, Morelli. To find out more about SkillAuto and how to get involved as well as information about career opportunities in the motor industry, please visit www.autocity.org.uk.

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Notes to Editor:

2012 SkillAuto finalists & winners:

AutoBody
Gold: Matthew Quinn, Charles Hurst Accident Repair Centre, County Antrim
Silver: Matthew Bailey, RGM Vehicle Body Repair, Swansea
Bronze: Gerard Brennan, Northern Ireland
Jordan Thomas, TWK Thomas and Sons, Swansea
Lewis Reader, S&F Motors, Rhondda, South Wales
Matthew Jones, Midway Motors, Pembrokeshire
Autopaint
Gold: Gary Greer, John Lennons Accident Repair, Country Tyrone
Silver: Marc Reilly, Nigel Whann ARC, County Antrim
Bronze: Patrick Quinn, Fearghas Quinn Specialists Vehicles, Co. Antrim
Highly Commended: Philip Southwood, Arnold Clark Accident Repair, Altringham
Chris Louca, Cole Coachworks, Hertfordshire
Daniel Coles, Nationwide Crash Repair Centre, Bridgend
Autotech
Gold: Mark Yates, Holdcroft Honda, Stoke on Trent
Silver: Matthew McKeown, Pat Kirk Ltd, Co. Omagh
Bronze: Turlough Lennon, Cotswolds Subaru, Oxfordshire
Daniel Medlar, Clive Atthowe Tuning, Norwich
Gary Brown, Arnold Clark Honda, Fife
Rhys Morris, Nationwide Accident Repairs, Cardiff
About the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI):

The IMI is the professional body for individuals working in the motor industry. Its vision is to ensure that the automotive retail sector has a skilled, competent and professional workforce that is fully equipped to keep pace with the demands of new technology and changing markets while remaining competitive in the global market. The IMI is also the industry's government licensed Sector Skills Council, the ruling body of the Automotive Technician Accreditation and Automotive Management Accreditation schemes, as well as the authoritative source of retail motor industry careers information, standards and qualifications.

Please visit: www.theimi.org.uk to find out more.
Follow us on Twitter: @The_imi
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theimipage

For more information, please contact:

Simon White
PR Manager, IMI
E: [email protected]
T: 01992 51

Jaguar Land Rover to create 700 new jobs at i54 plant

Jaguar Land Rover is to invest a further £150m to double the size of its unfinished engine plant in the West Midlands, creating 700 additional jobs.

The company aims to raise the eventual number of jobs on the i54 business park on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton border to more than 1,400.

The first engines are scheduled to come off the production line in 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover's initial plans set out in 2011 were for a £355m investment and nearly 750 jobs.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which has its headquarters at Gaydon, Warwickshire, said total investment at the i54 site would now be more than £500m.

'New resource'

The company has also announced spending of £2.75bn on further product development.

Executive director Mike Wright said i54 was a major part of the company's long term plans.

"Since the original announcement was made in 2011 we've been able to look at our plans, look at potential for our products around the world and as a result of that analysis we've decided to put even more capacity into the engine manufacturing centre, invest more money and create more jobs," he said.

The firm reported a 30% increase in global sales last year, selling 357,773 vehicles to 177 different countries.

Sales in the Chinese market have risen 80% in the past year, the company said.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the news was a "fantastic boost for manufacturing".

He said: "Having lobbied JLR and the last Labour government to set up a new engine plant in the West Midlands, we're delighted that this state-of-the-art facility is going to be expanded.

"This is a massive vote of confidence in the skills of the UK workforce.

"JLR's investment will generate quality jobs in the West Midlands and is a much-needed shot in the arm for Britain's struggling manufacturing sector."

Ninder Johal from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said the news did not surprise him.

He said: "We've been hearing a lot of positives in the news about all the sales in China and developing economies for Jaguar and it's a boost for the area.

"Jaguar Land Rover didn't come to the Black Country because they felt like it, they came here for a specific reason, the skills are here, the supply chain is here and logistically it's easy to get your products in and out."

Staffordshire County Council is investing £18.5m to build a dedicated road junction on the M54 for access to the plant, which will be matched by investment from Wolverhampton City Council.

A joint statement by the two councils and South Staffordshire Council said it was "excellent news"

It said: "We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover is strengthening its commitment to the i54 South Staffordshire site before construction of the main facility has even been completed.

"Extending the plant will create hundreds of jobs in addition to the 750 that will be created when the advanced engine manufacturing facility is operational – not to mention the thousands more through the supply chain."

Sourced from www.bbc.co.uk

AA Steps Up Guard For Today's New 13 Number Plates

AA patrols will be on heightened alert as new cars with the latest 13 number plates begin to roll off the UK's forecourts. Although a third of AA members said they would think twice about new cars with the 13 number plate, mainly because of sell-on concerns later, UK car sales are resurgent.

Traditionally, some new car owners have to call out the AA on the first day, mainly because they haven't familiarised themselves with new technologies and features on the cars. To make sure drivers don't start to become paranoid about their 13 plates, the AA suggests:
– Don't rush and don't be rushed – even if you're picking the car up just after midnight on Friday with other new owners, make sure the dealer shows you how to operate critical equipment, such as indicators, lights, mirrors, windows, etc.

– Be safe and secure – ask the dealer to show you how the security system works, where the warning lights are and how to deal with a puncture.

– Do it by the book – the manual is essential bed-time reading when you get home. It helps to get the best out of the car, saves money and heads off disaster, particularly with engine fluid maintenance.

Earlier this year, the DVLA considered offering triskaidekaphobic new car buyers continued access to the previous 62 plates (for cars registered new between 1 September 12 and 28 February 13) but then dropped the idea.

The AA survey found that, while a superstitious one in 10 strongly or somewhat believe that buying a new car with an 'unlucky' 13 next March is best avoided, a devil-may-care 66% wouldn't shy away from having plates like MY13 HEX and SP13 OOK.

Those most nervous about driving around on a 13 plate are likely to be older drivers (10%-11%) and blue collar workers.
The biggest hang-up over the 13 plate comes with trying to sell on the car – 4% of the 20,029 survey respondents firmly believe and 25% somewhat believe that this is where the 13-plate hoodoo is most likely to strike. The concern rises to 33% (4% strongly and 29% somewhat) among AA members aged 65 or more, although only 20% (2% strongly and 18% somewhat) of younger drivers, aged 18-24, see it as a problem.

AA members in the West Midlands have the greatest doubt (32%) although, this time, it is the better-off car owners who most (29%) think a 13-plate will come back to haunt them when it comes to getting rid of the car.

"Number plate superstition sounds silly but once they encounter a series of mishaps, new owners may begin to wonder. The flip side is that they drive more carefully and look after the car better," says Edmund King, the AA's president.

"Without the option to extend the previous 62 plate, the only alternatives are to pay out more for a personalised registration or bite the bullet and ride your luck. Of course, you could always carry a Saint Christopher statue**, patron saint of travellers, and not call it Christine after Stephen King's 'possessed' automobile."
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For more information please contact:

AA Public Affairs
T: 01256 493493

Experts fear that ‘triskaidekaphobia’ may strike!

FEARS that motorists will steer clear of this month’s ‘13 plate’ new cars are unfounded, say CAP – the car information experts.

Nor does the company believe superstitious motorists will cause increased depreciation via reduced demand for 13 plate cars by avoiding them in the future used car market.

CAP first flagged the issue of ‘triskaidekaphobia’ – fear of the number 13 – and the car market last summer, when trade talk began to turn to superstitious customers’ potential responses to the March 2013 plate.

Research over recent weeks has revealed an increase in ‘cherished plate’ enquiries for cars registered this month, which CAP believes is partly fuelled by a minority of superstitious motorists.

Motor dealers have also been reporting conversations with customers interested in avoiding a 13 on their registration plates. CAP’s large industry customers – many of whom use CAP to measure and forecast the depreciation on their fleets – have also asked the company’s experts whether a 13 plate will make cars less desirable in the future.

However, the CAP view is that it will have an almost immeasurably small impact on the demand for 13 plate cars as the sight of them on the road becomes increasingly familiar.

CAP will closely monitor the prices achieved in the used market by 13 plate cars as they begin to enter the used market in the months ahead, to see if there is any discernible impact from triskaidekaphobia, using Black Book Live – CAP’s unique ‘real-time’ used car valuation system.

Black Book Live senior editor, Derren Martin, said: “The key thing to remember is that customers make the decision to buy the car first and what appears on the plate is an afterthought.

“For this reason we believe retail sales are not likely to be affected in any significant way – either this month for new cars, or in the future for used cars.

“For fleet and business users, even though they are more likely to be aware of the numbers on the March plate, their car replacements are governed by fleet replacement cycles, which means they have little choice to defer purchases until the next plate.

“We have certainly been receiving anecdotal reports of some motorists expressing reluctance to take a 13 plate and it would also appear that there has been a recent increase in demand for private plates. This will no doubt partly be fuelled by those few retail customers who have realised the 13 plate is coming and are responding to personal superstition.

“There will also undoubtedly be a few people who will see that the numbers ‘1’ and ‘3’ can be spaced to make the plate appear to read as a ‘B’ even though altering the spacing of letters and numbers is illegal.

“But in our view, this is more of a quirky story than a significant issue for motor dealers or other automotive operators. We therefore believe that the value of a 13 plate car will not be adversely affected in the future.

“We will of course monitor the performance of 13 plate cars in the market over the coming months and will report on our findings should evidence emerge to the contrary.”

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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