Progress Goes into Administration

Sad news in these difficult times, but I’ve just been told that Progress Group have gone into administration. https://www.progresssuzuki.co.uk/ I hope that everyone affected finds a new job quickly.

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Record Sales for Rolls Royce

Record Sales for Rolls Royce in 2019 with unit sales of 5,152. This is the highest number of cars that the company has ever sold in it’s entire 116 year history, with the US being the strongest market, closely followed by China. Torsten Müller-Otvös, the chief executive, told the BBC that “We are not really in the car business – we are in the luxury […]

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Mystery Shopper is set to Close

Mystery Shopper is set to Close

Douglas Stafford Partnership Mystery Shopper is set to close in the new year. Whilst this might be good news for salespeople, it’s not good news for the employees of the long standing business, as there are some 50 job losses as a result of the decision to cease trading. The full story can be found on AM Online here. I remember being mystery shopped at […]

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Vantage Group Management Buyout

Vantage Group Management Buyout

Vantage Group Management Buyout It’s been reported that the Chairman, Finance Director and Operations Director of Vantage Group, a 24 strong dealer group, have initiated a buyout of the business from founder Mark Robinson. The trio of directors (Phil White, Tim Swindin and Andrew Mallory) will be taking over the business when Robinson leaves at the end of the year. One thing about the motor […]

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10,000 job cuts at Daimler

10,000 job cuts at Daimler Daimler has announced plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide as it invests billions in electric cars. Daimler, the  owner of Mercedes-Benz cars and also makes lorries, vans and buses, said on Friday it planned to cut thousands of jobs by the end of 2022, but later made it clear the toll would be higher. Personnel chief, Wilfried Porth, […]

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New CarShop for Bristol

New Car Shop for Bristol Sytner, the parent company of the CarShop, will open it’s 10th site this weekend in Bristol and will be creating 65 new jobs in sales, service and management. Leo Nelson, marketing and digital director at CarShop said: “We are delighted to announce a new store in Bristol, and proud to be generating exciting new career opportunities to residents of the […]

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Motorpoint Profits Down 18%

Motorpoint Profits Down 18%. For the six months to 30 September the car retailer posted £534 million in revenue, 1% higher than the same period last year, while pre-tax profit dropped 18% to £9.4 million. The latter was hit by overheads which were £2 million higher than last year. Meanwhile, founder David Shelton will retire as a non-executive director at the end of December. He […]

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Audi Job Cuts

Audi Job Cuts Audi is set to cut up to 9,500 jobs at its German factories by 2025 in order to save €6bn (£5.1bn) to invest in electric cars and digital technology. Audi has said that the job cuts are part of its mission to “become lean and fit for the future”, but would be balanced out by other plans to hire 2,000 workers in […]

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Caffyns Profit Slumps

Shares in Caffyns reversed 17% to 345p today after the Eastbourne-based motor retailer reported a collapse in first half profits. Founded over 150 years ago, Caffyns has successfully traded through many an economic cycle, but hasn’t been able to swerve the short term supply challenges and Brexit-related uncertainties that continue to hurt the automotive retail sector. PROFITS SKID LOWER For the first half of the year […]

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New Tesla Cyber Truck

The New Tesla Cyber Truck has been unveiled by Elon Musk in Los Angeles. There was some embarrassment when the armoured windows shattered after having a metal ball thrown at them, but when the top 3 selling cars in America are pick-ups any serious player in that market needs to be selling one. Not sure about the styling personally, but electric vehicles are becoming more […]

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Sytner VW

Sytner VW

Sytner VW reduces representation in the North West. Sytner is selling 4 of it’s Volkswagen dealerships in the North West to Johnsons and closing 1 other site. This represents a third of the brand in the group. The dealerships sold to Johnsons Cars are at Liverpool, Warrington, Stafford and Stoke-On-Trent. Sytner will be shutting the Volkswagen dealership in Halifax at the end of this month, […]

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Norwich KIA Lifetime Achievement

Norwich KIA Lifetime Achievement

Norwich KIA Lifetime Achievement Grant Long, General Manager of NMG Kia in Norwich, has accepted a 20 year Lifetime Achievement award from Kia Motors. I had the pleasure of working with Grant many years ago, and he was one of the nicest people I ever worked with. He taught me many of the basics of selling with a great deal of patience and humour – […]

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FCA Investigating Lookers

FCA Investigating Lookers

FCA Investigating Lookers – The Financial Conduct Authority has begun its investigation into Lookers sales processes first announced in June 2019. The London-listed group, also announced that chief executive Andy Bruce and chief operating officer Nigel McMinn are both stepping down from the board. This will be an interesting indicator of how the FCA intends to operate when looking at the retail automotive sector, and […]

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Dealership Embezzled

Dealership Embezzled

Evans Halshaw Ford Dealership Embezzled by Accounts Assistant. Andrea Gibson, who embezzled more than £248,000 from the Glasgow Ford dealership, blamed her brother’s gambling debt for her actions. Gibson, 31, stole the money over a 3-year period while an accounts assistant at the dealership, and was only caught when she went on maternity leave. The mother-of-one manipulated financial systems to cover 45 transactions made to […]

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Inchcape Sells it’s Fleet Business

Inchcape Sells it’s Fleet Business

INCHCAPE sells it’s Fleet business (IFS) to Toyota Fleet Mobility in a £100m deal. The sale follows the recent disposal of its less productive dealerships in the UK, and retail-only disposals in Australia and China. Inchcape has decided to focus on its core distribution operations and says disposals made to date have successfully streamlined the group. Full story here…

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New Commercial Vehicle Director for Vertu

New Commercial Vehicle Director for Vertu

Vertu Motors has appointed the former managing director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK, Simon Elliott, as its new commercial vehicle director. Vertu issued a statement that his initial emphasis will be on the Vans Direct business that they acquired in January 2019 and on the Group’s Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle operations. Full story on AM Online

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Ever wondered how secure your password is?

Have you ever wondered how secure your password is? I thought my passwords were pretty secure until last week when I found that email was being sent from my email address purporting to be from me – apologies if you received one! My youngest son is studying Computer Science at University, so he was my first port of call. I had assumed that my email […]

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Jennings Ford to Close

Jennings Ford to Close

Lookers have announced the closure of their Stockton-on-Tees Ford dealership. This follows the closures announced earlier this year of 4 other Jennings sites – Mazda in Sunderland and Middlesborough as well as Kia Sunderland and SEAT Middlesborough. The full story can be found on the Car Dealer website.

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Pendragon Redundancies?

Pendragon Redundancies?

According to Automotive Management there may be significant redundancies on the way at Pendragon. The full article can be read here but the gist appears to be that they’re not selling enough cars. The key piece of information reported on seems to be that a statement was issued via the London Stock Exchange, stating that “£11.9m losses incurred by the Car Store division in 2018 […]

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Arbury Group Profits Increase

Arbury Group Profits Increase

Arbury Group Profits Increase by 50% to £3 million for 2018. The 11 dealership group, which includes Peugeot, Nissan, Skoda, Citroën, Fiat, Abarth and SEAT, sold 9,300 vehicles during the year and increased turnover by 13%. The Arbury Motor Group Board said: “The directors are delighted with the exceptional full-year result, which is the best in the group’s 19-year history. The relationship held with all of […]

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Hatfield’s increases Sales and Profit

Hatfield’s increases Sales and Profit

Hatfield’s group, established in the 1920s, has reported “very respectable” vehicle sales in its latest accounts, increasing turnover to nearly £300m. Led by managing director Gareth Williams, the group is now one of the largest independent Jaguar dealer groups in the UK, operating dealerships across Yorkshire, the North West and Midlands, selling Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands and employing more than 300 staff. With […]

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Sir Michael Marshall Dies at 87

Sir Michael Marshall Dies at 87

Sir Michael Marshall has died at the age of 87 whilst on holiday in Spain. I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Michael on a number of occasions whilst working for Marshall’s, and always found him to be a charming man who really loved the business and valued the people that worked there. He was a shrewd businessman who recognised that a company was shaped […]

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What is “Retail portfolio optimisation”?

What is “Retail portfolio optimisation”?

Inchcape’s latest interim trading statement contains the line “RETAIL OPTIMISATION IN-LINE WITH STRATEGIC FOCUS” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I thinks it means, “we’ve sold some dealerships because they’re not making much money”? There’s been some great examples of “corporate speak” in the last few weeks from within the industry 🙂 You can download the report here 

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CDK goes open API

CDK goes open API

CDK Global (Kerridge to you and me!) has opened up its platform to software developers wanting to integrate applications with its system. The CDKI Open API Platform will allow the integration of 3rd party applications with the CDK DMS – presumably this will apply to Rev 8 as well as Drive. “What’s an API?” I hear you say! It stands for Application Programming Interface, and […]

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Latest News in the Motor Industry!

Latest News in the Motor Industry!

Latest edition of our news round up from around the trade. Click here to open the edition

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Pendragon Loses it’s Chief Executive

Pendragon Loses it’s Chief Executive

Pendragon has lost it’s Chief Executive, Mark Herbert, after less than 3 months. This story passed me by, probably due to the blizzard of Brexit news that dominates the news, but I’m not really surprised following the rather bizarre announcement that they were looking at “self-help opportunities” to help turn around their fortunes. It appears that there may have been some disagreement at a senior […]

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Latest News in the Automotive Sector

Latest News in the Automotive Sector

All the latest news on one page! Click here to open the paper

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New Sales Director for Hyundai UK

New Sales Director for Hyundai UK

HYUNDAI has appointed Rob Turnbull as its new UK Sales Director. Turnbull, who worked for the BMW Group since 2000 (most recently ashead of sales at Mini) , will report directly to Ashley Andrew, Managing Director. An accountant by trade, Turnbull has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive, sales and retail sectors, having worked in senior roles across the BMW Group. He […]

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BMW Smart Glasses

BMW Smart Glasses

BMW mechanics are going high-tech. BMW has announced that it has added smart glasses to the tool kit for it’s technicians in order to reduce the time a car spends in the workshop, and make its service centres more efficient. The technology will be fully implemented at all participating dealerships by the end of June 2019 – in the US. Full story here  

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Pendragon’s share price falls 20% 

Pendragon’s share price falls 20% 

Pendragon is aiming to “refocus” its Car Store used car supermarket strategy as it seeks out “opportunities for self-help”, whatever “self-help opportunities” means. An operational business review predicted that the group would make a significant loss in the first half of 2019, with  a small loss in underlying pre-tax profits for 2019 as a whole. The company has found that accelerated losses from the Car […]

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