Motor industry increases sales forecast for year

October saw the 20th consecutive month of growth in new car registrations, resulting in the SMMT revising its full year forecast to 2.25 million new units.  Ford continues to dominate the league table with the Fiesta selling nearly 105,000 cars so far this year.  Their Focus model is the second best selling vehicle with 76,493 registrations to date, followed by Vauxhall’s Corsa and Astra models.

Grimshaws Vauxhall to sell to Pentagon Motor Group

Alan Grimshaw, Managing Director of Grimshaws Vauxhall has announced his decision to retire and to sell his business to Pentagon Motor Group for an undisclosed sum.  Pentagon will acquire the Vauxhall sites at Prestwich and Eccles that will take their franchised outlets to 25 in total.

Michal Kalina appointed Managing Director of Renault Retail Group

Renault Retail Group has appointed Michal Kalina as its new managing director responsible for the manufacturer owned Renault, Dacia and Nissan sites in the UK. He replaces Len Curran who has been appointed managing director for Renault Retail’s European region.

OFT clears Gilder’s acquisition

The Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) has today cleared the acquisition of Gilder Group Limited by JCT600 Limited.

The OFT was considering whether this purchase had a detrimental impact on competition but has concluded that no lessening of competition has occurred as a result of this deal.

DVLA appoints a new Chief Executive

Oliver Morley has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and will start his new role in November, replacing Malcolm Dawson.

Morley is currently Chief Executive of The National Archives and has previously worked at Thomson Reuters.

New fines introduced for motorists

The police now have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for motoring offenses that previously would have required a court hearing. Fines of £100 and three points can be issued at the road side for a variety of offenses including; driving too close to the vehicle in front, queue jumping and hogging the middle lane of the motorway. Some existing fixed penalties, including using a mobile ‘phone and not wearing a seat belt, have also risen from £60 to £100. These measures should mean the police can now focus on inconsiderate and aggressive drivers and help reduce some of the main frustrations for most responsible drivers.

Paul Willcox appointed as new Managing Director for Volkswagen Group UK

Following the recent announcement that Simon Thomas is taking up a new position in Germany with the Volkswagen Group, it has been announced that Paul Willcox will succeed as Managing Director of the UK operation.  Paul Willcox is currently the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Nissan and will be joining the Volkswagen Group in September.

July car market grows 12.7% but van sales drop 2.6%

The car market for July has risen again for the 17th consecutive month. The SMMT figures report that total new vehicle sales were 162,228 in July, up 12.7% (18,344 units) on the prior year. Year to date the market remains up 10.3% over 2012 at 1,325,851 units to end July. This further increase in growth has resulted in a revised market forecast of 2.216 million units by the year-end.

By contrast the new van sales in July dropped by 2.6% over 2012 to 18,417 units in the month. Year to date remains slightly ahead at 151,594 units, up 1.6% over the prior year. The SMMT are predicting a strong end to the year and are forecasting 291,000 units by year-end.

Truck sales continue to see the effect of the Euro 5/6 transition with new sales up 10.3% in July to 3,794 units. However the year to date market is still down 8.8% over 2012 at 25,114 units.

Audi UK Director to leave

Volkswagen Group UK Limited has announced that Martin Sander, Director of Audi UK, is to leave the business and take up a new position elsewhere in Audi AG, the German parent company, although details have yet to be provided.  This statement comes only a few weeks after the announcement that Simon Thomas is to leave as Group Managing Director.  Martin Sander started with Audi UK in January 2012 so this move marks more significant board room changes within the UK operation.

Skoda opens new site in Harlow with Spire Automotive

The Spire Automotive Limited has added Skoda to its Group by opening a new site in Harlow and will trade as Spirit Skoda.  This brings Spire’s Essex representation to 12 sites now representing Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, BMW, Mini and Peugeot.