Auto Industry Digest Issue no. 418
This week’s news for company executives April 21, 2011
This Week’s Briefing The Editor’s View
THE fact that many local authorities pay mileage
Corporates urged to play key rates well above the tax-free level approved by
role in ‘Decade of Road Safety’ HM Revenue & Customs comes as little surprise.
A report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance merely serves
Fleets face June deadline to meet to confirm the ‘waste’ that is occurring across
new insurance policy rules many - but not all - public sector organisations.
New calls for tougher drink- Three years ago the Office of Government
Commerce published a report examining ‘grey
fleet’ use in the public sector and its conclusions
Row over possible MoT changes were damning in terms of the cost of reimbursing
escalates mileage, environmental impact and duty of care. It
seems that many councils have not taken those
Electric van sale generates findings on board. It is therefore alarming to hear
sparks at BCA suggestions from public sector specialist
Automotive Leasing, as reported by BusinessCar,
Manufacturers make progress to that some organisations could exit current leasing
130 g/km emissions target arrangements in favour of a wholesale ‘grey fleet’
Hertz deal puts B&Q approach to car travel. With the public sector
customers in the driving seat starved of cash and charged with making huge
cuts, such an approach is likely to prove a false
Model update: BMW, Alfa, economy of the highest order. It seems the public
Mazda, Renault, SEAT, Volvo sector still has much to learn from the private
sector.in terms of fleet funding and management.
Local councils ‘waste millions’ on staff mileage rates
CASH-strapped local authorities are collectively paying out more than £427 million in
employee mileage claims with many councils paying significantly above the tax-free rate.
With councils complaining that they are short of cash, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has
discovered that £427 million was paid out in mileage allowances in 2009-10.
It also discovered that many of those councils paid up to 65p a mile to staff using their cars,
which is significantly above HM Revenue & Customs’ tax-free Approved Mileage
Allowance Payment which was increased from 40p to 45p for the first 10,000 business miles
in the March Budget. Above 10,000 business miles the rate has remained unchanged at 25p
Motorists, says the Alliance, are one of the most overtaxed groups in the UK and with eye-
wateringly high fuel bills many taxpayers will be angry that they are subsidising council staff
to claim 25p a mile more than most ordinary private sector workers get
The key findings of the report were:
£427 million was paid out in mileage allowances in 2009-10 by councils to
staff, compared to £402m in 2008-09
Lancashire paid out the most in mileage allowance payments in 2009-10 - a
total of nearly £8.8m
80% of councils paid above the HMRC approved rate of 40p per mile. The
average council rate was 56.45p per mile in 2010-11. Only 80 councils paid
the HMRC rate of 40p in 2010-11
In 2010-11 a driver claiming for 250 miles at the average council rate would
be £41.13 better off than someone paid the HMRC rate
For 500 miles, a driver paid the average council rate would be £82.26 better
For 1,000 miles, a driver paid the average council rate would be £164.52 better
Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It is shocking that the same
councils that are pleading poverty are paying well above the recommended mileage rate.
‘This extra cost on all those journeys makes up a large part of the half a billion pound bill for
taxpayers. Ordinary motorists who are feeling the pinch will be shocked that council staff are
getting such a generous deal for their mileage claims, it simply isn’t fair.’
However, the report also highlights that some authorities have shown that it is possible to
save millions by cutting back to the rate recommended by the taxman. For example, Sandwell
council has brought its mileage rate in line with the HMRC approved rate and calculates that
the move will save it £1m a year.
Sinclair said: ‘This is a quick and painless saving that won’t affect council services and will
ease the burden on households, who’ve seen council tax double in the last decade.
‘Significant and necessary savings must be found across the board, so all local authorities
should drop their payments to HMRC’s recommended rate.’
Many local authorities pay mileage rates that are nationally agreed by Local Government
Employers - the body which represents local authorities on the National Joint Council. These
rates were 65p in 2010-11.
‘Champion’ fleets to drive forward MORR benefits
AN increased drive to raise greater awareness among public, private and voluntary sector
fleets of the business benefits of pro-actively managing occupational road risk is to take place
as the Driving for Better Business campaign moves into a new phase.
The campaign was launched four years ago after the Department for Transport asked
RoadSafe, the automotive industry-backed charity and a leading forum for promoting and
devising solutions to road safety problems, to develop and manage an outreach programme to
deliver a safe-driving message to business.
Since then, the campaign has been endorsed by more than 6,000 businesses and organisations
with almost 60 employers across numerous commercial sectors identified as ‘business
From across the public, private and voluntary sectors, those organisations champion best
practice to their peers at a wide cross section of business meetings and events.
RoadSafe director Adrian Walsh said: ‘The campaign has achieved much because it has
demonstrated that many businesses put safety performance on the road high on their
‘The campaign, particularly through the ‘business champions’ has promoted a very clear
business case that the good management of people delivers improved efficiency, reduces cost
and makes the organisation for which they work safer and more sustainable.
‘In simple terms good management equals increased safety. The campaign is all about the
positivity of managing people so that they perform well when behind the wheel. We want
every employer to understand the benefits of practicing driving for better business.
“There remains a massive opportunity to create a significant community of Driving for Better
Business ‘business champions’.’
Specifically, the campaign has found that the ‘business champions’ gain enormous ‘how to’
benefit by sharing their experiences, initiatives and, at times, frustrations, with each other.
Therefore, the next stage of the campaign, which was revealed at the Spring 2011 Business
Champions’ Seminar, will focus on the development of a variety of mechanisms to enable
businesses to continue to share best practice in the safe-driving at-work arena. The initiatives
The increased promotion by ‘business champions’ to their industry sector
peers, suppliers and customers of safe driving good practice.
The development of a number of benchmarking toolkits that will enable
directors to discover how well they are doing in key management areas within
the at-work driving arena.
A doubling to four a year of the ‘business champions’ meetings, which are key
to networking and the exchanging of ideas.
The development of specific interest groups around key areas that impact on
driving for work including HR issues; Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) -
modern information and communication technology, both at the roadside and
in vehicles that can help change driver behaviour; and sustainable
management. The groups will be supported by regular communications.
Additionally, the campaign has successfully recruited a wide range of partner organisations
of which more than 20 are actively involved in supporting its work including the likes of
Fleet Support Group, IAM Fleet, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Recently GreenRoad, which bills itself as the world’s leader in driver safety and fuel
efficiency, became the first company to sign up as a strategic partner with RoadSafe as it
continues the campaign without financial support from the Department for Transport.
Forthcoming events to be organised by the campaign will include a boardroom briefing event
in June in conjunction with Green Road and a regional ‘business champions’ meeting in
September hosted by Michelin.
The Department for Transport has rated the campaign as ‘beyond expectations’ and as it
enters a new phase, Walsh said: ‘We will continue to work with our ‘business champions’
and partners to design new business support services and campaign messages to promote the
importance of good management at all levels of an organisation in achieving improved
performance and the crucial outcome of improved road safety.’
Corporate sector urged to play key role in ‘Decade of Road Safety’
THE corporate sector has a huge role to play in reducing the number of people killed and
injured on the world’s road in the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which will be launched
The Driving for Better Business campaign, which is managed by RoadSafe, is one of the
influential UK-based supporters of the United Nations-backed initiative, which will be
launched on Wednesday, May 11.
More than 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s road each year - a figure that is higher
than malaria - and that alarming death toll is forecasted to rise to 1.9 million by 2020. In
addition, 50 million people are injured on the world’s roads each year.
The aim of the 2011-2020 Decade of Action for Road Safety is to save five million lives and
prevent 50 million injuries.
Prince Michael of Kent, a patron of the Driving for Better Business campaign, said at its
spring seminar: ‘The corporate sector has an important role to play in achieving the aim of
the Decade of Action by placing the management of drivers high on business agendas.’
The Driving for Better Business campaign has almost 60 ‘business champions’ drawn from
across the private, public and voluntary sectors to promote the message that good
management of at-work drivers makes sound business sense.
The campaign has calculated that if 50% of businesses that currently manage people who
drive at work implemented initiatives similar to those of the ‘business champions’ around
five million lives globally would be saved.
RoadSafe director Adrian Walsh said: ‘There are an estimated up to 150 road deaths and
serious injuries a week resulting from crashes involving at work drivers, and more employees
are killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer
than in any other work-related activity.
‘With up to 30% of all road crashes estimated to be work-related it means that worldwide if
other organisations adopted the safety focus of our ‘business champions then millions of lives
would be saved over the decade and the lives of millions of other people would not be
blighted by injuries caused in road crashes.’
The 11-point United Nations’ declaration supporting the Decade of Action includes
encouraging ‘organisations to contribute actively to improving work-related road safety
through adopting the use of best practices in fleet management’.
Prince Michael presented certificates to four organisations as they became the latest
employers to join the campaign as ‘business champions’. The four organisations, who
received their certificates were:
Enterprise Managed Services, one of the UK’s largest employers, with 13,000
members of staff working across 170 sites. It operates a fleet of more than
5,500 vehicles including around 4,000 commercial vehicles, 1,230 company
cars and more than 400 special duty vehicles such as refuse vehicles.
Additionally, a number of privately owned vehicles are driven on company
Vehicle Leasing and fleet management company ING Car Lease UK, which
manages around 50,000 vehicles on behalf of public and private sector fleets.
About 103 employees drive company cars or pool cars on business trips.
Strategic outsourcing business MITIE, which is based in Bristol, and operates
a fleet that includes more than 3,500 light commercial vehicles, almost 2,300
company cars and 31 HGVs. A further 600 employees drive their own cars on
Mobile resource management specialist Masternaut, which has notched up an
eight-year serious road accident free record. Approximately 100 of the Leeds-
based company’s 150 employees drive their own cars on business trips
collectively travelling some 3.6 million miles a year.
The ‘business champions’ are used by the campaign as advocates to promote the business
benefits of managing work-related road safety.
Company cars to become telematics focus
IN-VEHICLE telematics have increasingly become a ‘must have’ safe driving aid for HGV
and light commercial vehicle fleets and it is predicted that the technology will move rapidly
into company cars.
The return on investment as measured in terms of reduced vehicle operating costs, improved
productivity, safer drivers and improved employer corporate social responsibility were
outlined by Jackie Patterson, sector head for transport and logistics at mobile resource
management specialist Masternaut, at the Driving for Better Business campaign’s Business
Champions’ Spring Seminar.
Among the telematics successes highlighted were:
Romec, a division of Royal Mail and one of the UK’s largest facilities
management companies, which has reduced speeding by 82% and cut road
traffic crashes by 28% after introducing satellite tracking
Travis Perkins, the leading supplier to the UK building and construction
industry, which has reduced HGV turn-around time by half and cut 200
vehicles from its branch network as a result after introducing Masternaut
Patterson said: ‘Efficient organisations can be very safe organisations. We believe the
technology bring benefits to all fleets, including company cars.’
Highlighting three of the key benefits of introducing telematics technology in company cars,
she explained: ‘Employers are more focused on protecting lone workers who drive,
particularly sale personnel who are very vulnerable if they are on their own; business and
private mileage can be reported more accurately; and control over vehicle maintenance can
Approximately 100 of Masternaut’s own employees who drive their own cars on business
trips have had their vehicles equipped with navigation and tracking solutions.
PwC signs first corporate electric car rental deal in London
TWO electric vehicles are to be trialled at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) central London
offices as part of a pioneering new scheme to lower the firm’s overall transport emissions, the
first of its kind for a corporate fleet.
The deal with Hertz, will encourage employees to swap taxi journeys of over six miles with
booking the cars from the firm’s central London offices in Westminster or Southwark.
Bridget Jackson, head of sustainability, PwC, said: ‘The journeys our people take at work in
central London can be to locations with no direct transport link, or involve carrying materials
either too bulky or confidential for public transport. We only need to convert around two of
those journeys a day that currently use cabs, to our new electric vehicles to make this add up
‘It’s a pioneering initiative for PwC and fits our commitment to work with new technologies,
test how they fit in our mix of needs, so we can reduce our overall environmental impact. We
need to understand the day to day reality of working with electric cars, just as we test any
other transport on offer, so we can lower our overall emissions, potentially rolling out the
The two five-door, small hatch cars have a 90-mile range, are 100% electric, and provide a
live member car care support line via the Connect by Hertz in car communications system,
including statistics on emissions and usage.
The cars will be charged at the two PwC offices or via Hertz’s wider network, or Source
London’s network. Employees could also charge them overnight via a three pin socket.
Hertz deal puts B&Q customers in the driving seat for home delivery
CONNECT by Hertz, the rental giant’s car sharing club is to supply 137 vans to B&Q for use
Following a 23-week pilot across seven stores, Connect by Hertz vans is being rolled out to
137 B&Q stores across the UK.
Mark P. Frissora, chief executive officer and chairman of Hertz, said: ‘With a Connect by
Hertz van, customers can shop with ease in the knowledge that they can take their large
purchases directly home with them there and then, rather than worrying about fitting large
items into their car or sitting at home waiting for deliveries.
‘This agreement marks a new era in home delivery, and is just one example of how short term
rentals are revolutionizing the way we move - demonstrating the possibilities Connect by
Hertz can have for consumers, businesses and partners.’
The new agreement gives B&Q customers the option to rent a Connect by Hertz van from a
store’s car park. Priced at £14 an hour, customers can load their shopping into a LWB Ford
Transit Van and take their latest purchases straight home with them. The price covers
insurance, tax, congestion charges and 20 miles of fuel.
Customers simply sign up to Connect by Hertz by using an instant enrolment pack available
from the store. Alternatively, customers can enrol calling UK telephone number +44 207 365
4199, or online at www.diy.com/connectbyhertz.
If a customer finds that a journey is taking longer than anticipated, the rental period can be
extended using a touch pad fitted inside each vehicle.
Katherine Paterson, B&Q’s marketing director, said: ‘By partnering with Connect by Hertz,
we are offering customers a simple and convenient way to take their larger purchases home.
We have had hugely positive feedback from customers following the pilot, and are very
excited to be adding this service to our stores.’
Leasedrive Velo debuts in Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100
THE Leasedrive Velo Group has made its first appearance in the latest The Sunday Times
PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100, now in its 12th year.
It ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over the last three
years of available audited accounts.
The UK’s largest independent privately-owned vehicle management group was ranked
40th. It was the only fleet management company among 19 companies based in the south east
Commercial director Roddy Graham said: ‘Our debut appearance in The Sunday Times PwC
Profit Track 100 recognises the tremendous profitable growth of our company in a tough
economic climate and highly competitive business sector.
‘We have always striven to deliver the highest quality bespoke vehicle management service
and demonstrably provide savings and efficiencies to our clients through investment in
people, world-class fleet management systems and totally-integrated innovative
solutions. Our profitable growth is indicative of our success in achieving these aims.’
‘We have just completed the successful integration of Masterlease UK and will continue
driving our dynamic company forward through sustainable organic growth and strategic
Led by managing director David Bird, profits at the company grew 65% a year, from
£700,000 in 2006 to £3.1m in 2009.
Kwik-Fit appoints dedicated vehicle collection and delivery agents
KWIK-Fit Fleet has extended its vehicle servicing and MoT collection and delivery initiative
and appointed its own dedicated agents to offer an even better service to businesses and their
company car and van drivers.
The collection and delivery service is now available through almost 200 Kwik-Fit centres and
plans are afoot to extend it to in excess of half of the company’s 676 centres by the end of
Meanwhile, the fast-fit giant has appointed its own dedicated collection and delivery agents
for the service, which was originally launched last year at 30 Kwik-Fit centres in Bristol,
West London and South West London and is being provided in partnership with Autoclenz.
Additionally the collection and delivery service has been extended to retail customers at a
cost of £25 including a vehicle wash and vacuum. The service can be booked through the
Kwik-Fit website at www.kwik-fit.com.
The service is said to be proving hugely popular with a near month-on-month doubling in the
number of corporate customers using it since its initial launch in May - a trend expected to
continue as Kwik-Fit expands it over the coming months and client awareness grows.
The service proved a big hit with visitors to last week’s Commercial Vehicle Show at the
NEC, Birmingham, where the electric scooter used by the agents to travel to and from
customers was displayed on Kwik-Fleet Fleet’s stand.
Company car and van collection and delivery was launched to meet demand from Kwik-Fit’s
end-user fleet and contract hire and leasing company customers.
The collection and delivery service is now fully operational within the M25 circle, along the
M4 corridor (Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Reading) and in a number of other major
towns and cities including Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield,
Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and Sheffield.
More towns and cities are being enrolled into offering the collection and delivery service
each month with Glasgow and Liverpool among those next in line.
A total of 22 dedicated vehicle collection and delivery agents already service the almost 200
Kwik-Fit centres currently providing the service and more will be appointed as the network
Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Peter Lambert said: ‘The decision to appoint dedicated
collection and delivery agents who will look after the prompt collection of a vehicle from a
pre-agreed location and return it when the mechanical work has been completed further
improves our customer service and helps to ensure service consistency.
‘When the service was launched drivers were employed on a job-by-job basis, but demand
for the service has been such that we believe employing the agents on a full-time basis will
deliver an even better customer experience.
‘We anticipate recruiting at least a further four or five collection and delivery agents each
month as we roll-out the service, which we anticipate becoming a pre-requisite for fleets.’
Last year, Kwik-Fit Fleet recorded a near 50% increase in the number of fleet MoTs
undertaken when compared with 2009 figures and a 16% rise in fleet car and van servicing.
Lambert said: ‘The phased roll-out of vehicle collection and delivery has delivered
incremental increases in servicing and MoT work since the service was launched.
‘Increasingly company car and van drivers do not have the time to take their vehicle to a
Kwik-Fit centre and then wait while the service and/or MoT is carried out. As the roll out of
the bespoke collection and delivery service continues we anticipate demand for vehicle
servicing and MoTs at Kwik-Fit will increase.
‘Vehicle collection and delivery is now among the menu of services Kwik-Fit provides to
meet the requirements of our corporate clients. Use of the service allows company car and
van drivers to carry on with their work while their vehicle is collected from and then returned
to their location of choice. Vehicle collection and delivery is the future as it improves
customer productivity and minimises disruption during their working day.’
Company car and van drivers can request the collection and delivery service when booking
their vehicle in for a service and/or MoT through Kwik-Fit Fleet’s Tannochside call centre
using a dedicated telephone number, via the industry online 1link service if used by their
contract hire and leasing supplier or online through the Kwik-Fit website.
Kwik-Fit uses a single driver and a small fold-away lightweight electric scooter - an
operation that is significantly more environmentally-friendly than conventional vehicle
collection or delivery which uses two cars and two drivers.
The driver arrives to collect the vehicle on the scooter; folds the scooter into a clean bag and
places it in the boot of the vehicle; and then drives the vehicle to the appropriate Kwik-Fit
centre where the required work will be carried out.
Once the work is completed the collection and delivery driver will carry out a wash and
vacuum - part of the service for company car and van drivers - before returning the vehicle to
the requested location. The driver then removes the scooter from the vehicle and travels to
their next job.
Northgate scores golden hat-trick in RoSPA Health and Safety Awards
NORTHGATE Vehicle Hire, the UK’s largest vehicle rental business, has had its reputation
for promoting health and safety to employees and customers recognised with a Royal Society
for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Gold Award for the third consecutive year.
Darlington-based Northgate Vehicle Hire, which operates a fleet of more than 60,000
vehicles from 62 locations across the UK and the Republic or Ireland and also operates in
Spain, won a RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Gold Award for the first time in 2009
after winning a Silver Award in 2008.
The Award will be presented to the company’s safety and environment manager Colin Gilstin
at a ceremony at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel, National Exhibition Centre, on
Thursday, May 19. The ceremony will take place alongside Safety & Health Expo 2011,
Europe’s leading annual health and safety exhibition.
David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: ‘RoSPA firmly believes that organisations
that have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill
health prevention deserve recognition. Northgate Vehicle Hire has shown that it is committed
to striving for such continuous improvement and we are delighted to honour it through the
presentation of an award.’
Gilstin said: ‘The award is the culmination of yet another year’s tireless efforts to maintain
the highest possible levels of safety across the whole Northgate Group. To win a Gold Award
for the third consecutive year against extremely strict judging criteria is testimony to the
successful implementation of a wide-range of health and safety initiatives to ensure the health
and welfare of all of our 2,000+ employees.’
New health and safety initiatives in the past 12 months have focused on reviewing and
updating policies and procedures and issuing ‘winter driving packs’ to all of the company’s
450+ collection and delivery drivers. The special packs consist of an illuminated warning
triangle, ice scraper, torch, first aid kit and vest together with a Northgate Vehicle Hire
branded carrying case.
The company’s investment in health and safety also sees employees attend a range of courses
to equip them with the necessary safety skills and knowledge for their roles. For example,
Northgate trained around 250 employees last year to a British Safety Council Level One
standard in health and safety meaning more than 1,000 members of staff have attained the
qualification over the past three years. Additionally, 40 managers and senior members of staff
have attended the three-day Level Two course with further training taking place this year.
A further initiative has seen the appointment of safety representatives for each of the
company’s 12 regionally based business units covering UK and Ireland. They act as the
conduit between Mr Gilstin and the company’s head office health and safety department and
staff employed at Northgate Vehicle Hire locations nationwide.
Mr Gilstin said: ‘Constant and consistent communication with employees on all health and
safety issues is vital. The appointment of regional representatives helps to ensure local level
engagement on all health and safety issues.’
Milestone 16,000th maintenance supplier to sign up to 1link
THE number of franchise dealers, independent garages and fast fits signed up to the 1link
Service Network e-commerce platform has passed the16,000 mark.
1link Service Network is the leading service and maintenance e-commerce platform, used by
car and van fleets totalling more than two million vehicles to work with SMR suppliers.
Ken Trinder, head of business development at epyx, the company behind 1link, said:
‘Maintenance suppliers from all sectors of the market - franchise dealers, independent
garages and fast-fits - continue to sign up to the platform at a remarkable rate. We have added
around 1,000 in the last 12 months.
‘For suppliers and fleets, 1link Service Network creates the ability to process SMR work
much faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible while
creating access to potential new customers. These factors are very attractive during tough
Launched in 2003, 1link Service Network provides an online mechanism for authorising and
processing SMR transactions that improves control, accuracy and service levels while
reducing costs for all parties.
Arval cuts company car choice list to sub-130 g/km
OPERATIONAL leasing and fuel management company Arval has cut average carbon
dioxide emissions on its company car fleet to 128 g/km after refreshing its own vehicle
choice list for employees.
As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to limit its environmental impact, Arval’s
fleet and road safety manager worked with the Arval consulting team to set maximum
emission limits for each entitlement band as well as pulling the most efficient vehicles into a
special ‘ECO group’, which is made up of a range of sub-110g/km vehicles, with some
emitting less than 99 g/km.
Cars within the ‘ECO group’ include the BMW 320 Efficient Dynamics, Volkswagen
BlueMotion and Ford ECOnetic models as well as versions of the Mini Cooper and the Audi
A3 1.6 with emissions of 99 g/km. Hybrid models such as the Honda Insight and Toyota
Prius are also featured on the list.
As well as the ‘normal’ tax breaks and reduced running costs that low emitting vehicles
bring, nearly all employees selecting a vehicle from this group receive the incentive of a trade
down allowance from Arval - a monthly payment included within their salary. In fact 25% of
drivers that have taken delivery of a new company car in the last 12 months at Arval have
chosen a vehicle from the ‘ECO group’.
The result is that average fleet emissions have fallen to 128 g/km - 16 g/km below the
average for new car sales in 2010 (144.2 g/km), according to Society of Motor Manufacturers
and Traders figures.
Tracey Scarr, fleet and road safety manager at Arval, said: ‘Our new choice list has proven to
be very successful in influencing the vehicle selection habits of many of our employees and
reducing the average emissions of our fleet.
‘Our whole life cost approach means that the choice list remains broad and we are by no
means forcing drivers to select the greenest vehicles. However, with environmental
performance and costs directly linked, selecting more efficient cars has become a compelling
choice for many Arval employees.’
Public sector fleet software demand increases after Jaama workshop
FLEET management software provider Jaama is seeing a significant increase in public sector
interest in its technology following a special workshop attended by representatives of 15
The Public Sector Fleet Management Software Workshop was held by Jaama in partnership
with Luton Borough Council’s transport department, which is a convert to the company’s
Key2 Vehicle Management system.
The Workshop took place against a background of public sector budgets being under the
microscope amid significant cost-cutting due to the UK’s economic crisis.
Many savvy fleet managers have already realised that sophisticated online fleet management
solutions deliver a cost benefit return within weeks of implementation - but too many
organisations, particularly in the public sector, remain reliant on outdated systems.
Having already launched a ‘spend to save’ initiative targeted at fleet bosses, Jaama organised
the Workshop where the speakers included Council transport manager Don Allison and Rick
Stillman, head of fleet at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, another Key2 user.
Delegates were also able to see the Council’s software system in action as it is keen to share
its processes and ‘lean working principles’ with other public sector organisations.
Jaama managing director Jason Francis said: ‘We have seen significant interest from public
sector organisations in our fleet management software as they realised the many benefits that
could accrue from implementation
‘However, it is clear that many public sector fleets continue to rely on spread sheets or other
means of vehicle record keeping. They also have a history of spending money on attempting
to modernise outdated systems when they would reap significantly enhanced benefits by
installing a new solution fit for the 21st century.
‘But we have testimonials from many public sector organisations including Luton Borough
Council and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which highlight how our software
is helping them to improve the operating efficiency of their fleet vehicles. That is turn has
meant that valuable financial savings can be ploughed into funding frontline services.
‘Delegates attending the workshop were keen to learn bout how both the Council and the
NHS Trust were benefiting from introducing Key2, but also the problems that each other
were encountering in terms of vehicle and plant management.
‘As a result of the seminar we are now working with a number of public sector organisations
to ‘spec’ systems to meet their individual requirements.
‘Those organisations have recognised that if they ‘spend to save’ they will reap significant
cost savings and administration efficiencies. If investment is axed, local authorities will find
they become less efficient and costs will actually escalate.’
Council makes financial savings from tyre contract
BATH and North East Somerset Council have shaved ‘significant amounts’ off the monthly
cost of tyre maintenance and replacement on a 200-strong mixed fleet after taking advantage
of a public sector tyre sourcing initiative via the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
This sees the council benefit from a Michelin-led contract, with all tyre servicing and supply
provided by ATS Euromaster. The fleet includes 50 cars, 100 vans, 30 buses (ranging from
minibuses to 24 seaters) and 25 trucks - including 8X4 hookloaders and the council’s refuse
collection and recycling vehicles.
The tyre budget in 2009 was running at £8-10,000 per month. After moving to the OGC deal
in 2010, the council is benefiting from reductions of nearly 50% in some months and fleet
manager Barry Richards says he is so far delighted with the outcome.
‘It is early days for us on a scheme of this sort but on the strength of what we have seen so far
we’re very pleased,’ he said. ‘If it continues like this we’ll be happy. All local authorities are
working hard to maximise value from their budgets and this scheme has allowed us to do
In addition to fitting Michelin tyres across the fleet, the council also benefits from access to
ATS Euromaster’s mobile fitment service and rapid response breakdown cover, which
guarantees prompt 24/7 assistance in the event of a tyre-related breakdown at the roadside.
Also included in the contract is ATS Euromaster’s Web Reporter service, which provides
secure online access to data including a complete tyre history, measuring the actual tyres
fitted versus brand policy, and tyre spend per vehicle, per vehicle type and across the
fleet. The contract also includes six weekly tyre safety inspections carried out by technicians
utilising ATS Euromaster’s proven Electronic Data Capture (EDC2) system.
TfL fleet to test zero-emission Nissan Leaf
NISSAN has handed over the keys of an electric Nissan Leaf to London Mayor Boris
Johnson just weeks ahead of the launch of the capital’s first city-wide electric vehicle
membership scheme, Source London.
Johnson accepted the keys on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) whose staff will trial the
five-seater, zero-emission car during a month-long loan.
The Mayor is championing electric vehicles through Source London, which will deliver a
new network of integrated electric charge points in the city to accelerate uptake of electric
vehicles and help cement London’s position as the electric vehicle capital of Europe.
The Leaf hatchback joins the permanent fleet of electric cars used by TfL as part of its
commitment to increase the number of zero and low emission vehicles and help improve air
quality in the capital.
Hertz adds electric Mitsubishi city car to UK fleet
HERTZ is to add the Mitsubishi i-MiEV city car to its UK rental fleet and car sharing club,
The rollout has started with two of the electric cars now available for Connect by Hertz
members to zip around London. Hertz plans to add further i-MiEVs to its fleet throughout the
year across the UK.
Customers will be able to charge their vehicles at Hertz charging stations located across the
capital as well as at Heathrow and London City Airport. In addition, customers will have
access to the Source London public charging points which are being rolled out across London
by 2013, as part of the Mayor’s plans for London to become the electric vehicle capital of
The car has a range of more than 90 miles and can be charged up to 80% via a quick charging
unit in 30 minutes or fully charged overnight via a standard three-pin domestic plug socket.
The partnership forms part of the European development of Hertz’s Global Electric Vehicle
Programme, launched in December 2010 with the i-MiEV complementing Hertz’s existing
New report delivers ‘thought-provoking’ insight into large fleet sector
AUTOMOTIVE research company Sewells has released a new report into the fleet market
focused on the large fleet sector.
The ‘Market Dynamics - Large Fleets Report’ looks in detail at the size of the overall fleet
market and provides key figures on the large fleet sector including its size and value
compared to other market sectors.
It also looks at structure of the fleet department and identifies the key stakeholders involved
in decision-making and future drivers in decision-making, including drivers of change and
the impact that could have on suppliers.
In addition, it includes a series of recommendations for suppliers on how to adapt their
strategy to meet the needs of large fleets.
John Maslen, brand director of Sewells, said: ‘This report is designed to provide thought-
provoking insight focused on the large fleet market as a key part of a company’s business
‘As part of the report, we have drawn on insight gained from detailed interviews with fleet
operators on key issues related to their relationships with fleet suppliers.
‘Fleet departments are subject to a huge range of influences, each of which can have a subtle
or dramatic impact on the shape of the fleet. These range from external influences to internal
factors, from taxation to management policy and from technological advances to economic
‘This report will help suppliers gain a new perspective on the fleet market and help them
ensure they are providing the best service levels to their customers.’
Volvo makes major upgrades to V70, XC70 and S80 models
VOLVO has announced a raft of revisions to its V70, XC70 and S80 models which become
the first cars to feature sharpened versions of the five-cylinder D5 and D3 turbo-diesels.
The V70 and S80 also join Volvo’s ultra fuel-efficient DRIVe range, which means Volvo
now offers seven cars producing emissions below 120 g/km.
In the D5 2.4 litre twin-turbo engine Volvo’s engine experts have boosted performance and
torque from 205 bhp/420 Nm to 215 bhp/440 Nm while at the same time reducing fuel
consumption by 8%.
This means that the fuel consumption on the combined cycle of a S80 D5 is now 57.7 mpg
(129 g/km) with manual gearbox and start/stop. The corresponding figures for the automatic
version are 47 mpg (158 g/km). The figures for a V70 are 55 mpg (134 g/km) with the
manual gearbox and 46 mpg with the automatic. Fuel consumption in the XC70 is 50 mpg
(149 g/km) in the FWD version with manual gearbox and 42 mpg (179 g/km) with the
The medium-performance D3 2.0 litre turbo with 163 bhp and 400 Nm of torque was
introduced in the Volvo S60 and V60 in 2010. It is in principle the same engine as the 2.4
litre version, but with a shorter stroke that reduces displacement to 2.0 litres.
The 2.0 litre diesel engine’s driveability is now further improved thanks to fine-tuning of the
turbocharger. The corresponding figures for the D3 engine with manual gearbox are 57.7
mpg (129 g/km) in the S80, 54 mpg (137 g/km) in the V70 and 51 mpg (144 g/km) in the
XC70 (DRIVe version).
All six-speed manual versions also get start/stop, which switches off the engine when the car
is at a standstill. In the autumn the S80 and V70 with D3 engine and automatic transmission
will become available with the start/stop function.
The four-cylinder 1.6 litre diesel fitted to the C30, S40, V50 and most recently in the S60 and
V60 is now available in the V70 and S80.
It is an improvement over the previous DRIVe derivative by offering an increase from 109
bhp to 115 bhp whilst keeping a maximum torque of 270 Nm. The engine is available with a
six-speed manual gearbox and also benefits from start/stop technology which results in fuel
consumption of 62.8 mpg and emissions of 119 g/km for both the V70 and S80.
Interior and exterior changes on the V70, XC70 and S80 include the introduction of the
Volvo Sensus infotainment system, which debuted in the S60 and V60 in 2010.
A new feature is that City Safety is standard in all three models. This system can lessen the
severity of or entirely avoid low-speed rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 30 km/h.
City Safety keeps watch on vehicles in front with the help of a laser sensor built into the
windscreen at the height of the rear-view mirror. The car automatically brakes if the driver
does not respond in time when the car in front slows down or stops - of if the driver is driving
too fast towards a stationary object.
If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 15 km/h, the collision
can be entirely avoided. If the speed difference is between 15-30 km/h, the speed of impact is
reduced to minimise the effects of the collision.
Additionally, Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, already in the S60, V60 and XC60,
is now also available in the V70, XC70 and S80. It is a support function designed to help the
driver detect dangerous situations and it can actively help avoid the nightmare scenario of
hitting a pedestrian.
If all cars had Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, it is estimated that the number of
pedestrian fatalities could be reduced by more than 20%, it is claimed. The reduction in
serious injuries would be almost 30%. In three out of 10 cases, a collision could be entirely
On-the-road prices start from £25,995 for the V70, £25,245 for the S80 and £28,815 for the
New low emission Renault diesel engine to debut in Mégane and Scénic
RENAULT has revealed details of a new flagship engine, the diesel Energy dCi 130, which
will be available primarily in Scénic and then Mégane but will also eventually power other
Developed by Renault, the Energy dCi 130 will also be fitted into the vehicles of Alliance
Developing 130 bhp from a capacity of 1.6 litres, at Renault the engine slots in between the
dCi 110 range (also known as 1.5 dCi) and the dCi 150 to 180 bhp (also known as 2.0 dCi).
The engine is the first in the new generation of ‘Energy’ combustion powertrains. It features a
raft of emission-reducing technologies, which Renault says have never been seen before at
this level of the range.
They include a stop & start system with regenerative braking but also, as a European
premiere, a new EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) cold loop.
Renault says that the powerplant will be the most efficient diesel engine in its category, with
fuel consumption (62.8 mpg on the combined cycle) and emissions (117 g/km) that are 20%
lower than for its predecessor. The engine will gradually replace the current 1.9 litre dCi 130
Like other recent Renault engines, such as the 2.0 dCi and 2.3 dCi, and in line with the
Group’s downsizing strategy, the 1.6 litre Energy dCi 130 replaces an engine of greater
capacity: the 1.9 dCi.
Downsizing involves reducing the cubic capacity of an engine in order to cut fuel
consumption and emissions, while maintaining levels of performance. As a result, the Energy
dCi 130 fits with Renault’s powertrain strategy, which aims to make the Group European
leader for low emissions by 2015.
Thanks to the various innovations, the average emissions of Renault’s European range will
fall from 137 g/km today to less than 120 g/km in 2013 and then, with the electric vehicle, to
100 g/km in 2016.
Alfa 159 range gets new engine and trim revisions
ALFA Romeo has made interior trim and equipment revisions to its 159 range and introduced
a new 136 bhp 2.0 JTDM engine.
The 2.0 JTDM 136 bhp engine is a Euro5 power unit equipped with a variable geometry
turbocharger able to deliver 350 Nm of torque at low engine speeds (1,750 rpm).
The combination delivers emission levels of 134 g/km for the 159 saloon and 137 g/km for
In addition, the Alfa 159 now offers new sports cloth upholstery and sports leather in black or
natural, as well as a cabin environment which now features chrome-plated three-layer
treatment or brush black aluminium inserts on the dashboard, on the mouldings and on the
The revised range features three trim specifications; the entry level Turismo trim is
complemented by two further trim levels; one designed for occupant comfort - Lusso, and the
other dedicated to a sporty feel - TI.
In addition to the 2.0 JTDM 136 bhp engine, the 159 is available powered by 1750 200 bhp
turbo petrol and 2.0 JTDM 170 bhp Euro 5 powerplants.
New Volkswagen Beetle set for 2012 UK arrival
THE next generation Volkswagen Beetle, which was unveiled on the eve of this week’s
Shanghai Auto Show, will go on sale in the UK early in 2012.
The new model moves away from the design of the ‘new Beetle’ of 1998 and instead draws
on cues from the original and Beetle Ragster concept shown at the North American
International Auto Show in Detroit in 2005. As such it’s longer, wider and lower.
The Beetle now measures 4,278 mm in length (+152 mm), 1,808 mm in width (+84 mm) and
1,486 in height (-12 mm). The track width front and rear, as well as the wheelbase at 2,537
mm, are also increased.
The car’s new proportions mean the roof extends back further, the windscreen is shifted back
and the rear section is now more akin to that of the original Beetle. The boot capacity is 310
litres, up from 209 litres in the 1998 model. The Beetle has four seats, with a split-fold rear
seat for added versatility.
Three trim levels will be available - Beetle, Design and Sport. In the UK, a choice of four
engines will be offered: three petrol - a 1.2 litre TSI 105 PS, a 1.4 litre TSI 160 PS and a 2.0
litre TSI 200 PS; and one diesel - a 1.6 litre 105 PS with BlueMotion Technology.
Due to the addition of stop/start and battery regeneration systems the Beetle 1.6 litre 105 PS
is estimated to have a combined fuel consumption of 65.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions
of 112 g/km.
Subaru Legacy range gets a new addition
SUBARU’S Legacy Tourer gets a new addition to the family with the introduction of the new
entry-level ES Nav.
Costing £21,995 on the road, the new ES Nav is powered by a 150 PS 2.0 litre petrol engine
and comes with the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or Lineartronic CVT transmission
as well as Subaru’s permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
A full colour satellite navigation system is fitted as standard with features that include touch
screen control, CD/DVD playback, integrated Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and steering
wheel mounted controls.
Other standard features on the ES Nav model include automatic headlights and windscreen
wipers, remote control central locking, dual zone climate control, one-touch fold down rear
seats, alloy wheels, electrically adjusted driver’s seat and a Thatcham category 1 alarm and
The 150 PS engine produces 196 Nm of torque. The six-speed manual Legacy ES takes 9.8
seconds to 62 mph while maximum speed is 120 mph. It returns 32.8 mpg on the combined
fuel cycle and has emissions of 199 g/km.
The CVT model has a 0-62 mph time of 11.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 120 mph. It
produces 187 g/km and has a combined fuel consumption cycle of 34.9mpg.
BMW 6 series coupé unveiled in China
BMW broke with tradition by launching the convertible version of its third-generation 6
Series some six months ahead of the coupé.
The soft-top went on sale in the UK and Europe in time for spring and it will be autumn
before the hard-top arrives.
Still, it meant a genuine world debut at the Shanghai Auto Show for the coupé which mirrors
the styling and content of the cabrio.
Slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, BMW says that this translates into more
interior space with additional rear legroom. Headroom also has been increased, although the
overall height of the vehicle is slightly lower.
Toyota updates Auris range with new entry model and spec changes
A NEW entry level model leads Toyota’s changes to its Auris range for the 2011 model year,
delivering extra equipment but at no additional cost.
The three and five-door Auris Edition replace the previous T2, available at the same on-the-
road prices but with an improved specification.
Going beyond the specification established in the previous T2 model, the Auris Edition
provides as standard 16-inch alloy wheels, heated, retractable door mirrors that are colour-
matched to the car’s bodywork and similarly colour-keyed door handles.
The three and five-door Edition models are powered by the 1.33 litre VVT-i petrol engine,
with stop & start and six-speed manual transmission.
TR and SR grades have also been revised to offer additional features as standard. New
exterior colours have been introduced, together with new-look interior trim details.
Auris TR, the core model in the range, is newly equipped with rear parking sensors,
Bluetooth with voice control and - on the 1.6 Valvematic - cruise control. A new, sporty
interior trim has been introduced in dark grey with silver detailing, and analogue meters now
feature in the 1.4 D-4D and 1.6 Valvematic versions. On the outside, there are new-design
five-spoke 16-inch alloys and a new metallic colour choice - Deep Titanium.
Auris SR, offered only as a five-door with the 1.6 Valvematic engine and six-speed manual
transmission, also adopts cruise control and Bluetooth as standard for 2011, plus the new
Deep Titanium metallic paint option.
The 2011 Auris range is on sale from May 1 with on-the-road prices starting at £15,225 for
the Edition 1.33 VVT-i 6MT three-door.
SEAT adds new trim level to Ibiza and Leon ranges
SEAT has added a new, high-value trim level to its Ibiza and Leon models. The two models
are the most popular in the manufacturer’s range and the new Copa specification - the
Spanish word for ‘cup’ and pronounced ‘copper’ (as in the metal) - sees the addition of
£1,000 worth of equipment with no recommended retail price rise.
The new trim level is launched in all three Ibiza bodystyles - three-door SC, five-door and ST
estate - in one designation, SE Copa, and with a choice between two of the most popular
engines, 1.4 16v petrol or 1.2 TDI CR turbodiesel.
Adding to the existing SE spec, the models gain: 16-inch Fabula alloy wheels (1.4 only),
climate control (including refrigerated glovebox), rain and light sensors for automatic wipers
and lights, dark tinted rear windows, leather steering wheel and gearknob, auto-dimming rear
view mirror and bespoke Copa upholstery. Ibiza SE Copa prices start at £11,995 for the SC
Leon offers the choice of either the S Copa or SE Copa. The former, based on the entry-level
S trim level, adds: dual-zone climate control, bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, front seat
height and lumbar adjustment, cruise control, bespoke Copa upholstery. The
Leon SE also adds: SEAT media system, rear parking sensors, light and rain sensors, auto-
dimming rear view mirror and bespoke Copa upholstery.
Leon Copa variants are offered with a choice of a 1.2 litre TSI 105 PS turbocharged petrol or
1.6 litre TDI common rail 105 PS turbodiesel. The Leon S Copa 1.2 TSI cost £16,180, while
the Leon SE Copa 1.2 TSI costs £16,940.
Mazda confirms new compact SUV will be called CX-5
MAZDA’S all-new compact crossover SUV, which is scheduled to launch in the UK in 2012,
will be called the CX-5.
The CX-5 is the production model derived from the Mazda Minagi concept car, which made
its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and is also be shown at the New York
International Auto Show which opened yesterday (Wednesday, April 20).
The CX-5 will be the first production vehicle to incorporate Mazda’s ‘Kodo - Soul of
Motion’ design theme that premiered on the Mazda Shinari concept car last year.
When it appears in Mazda showrooms around the world next year, the compact SUV will
feature a full range of the manufacturer’s breakthrough SKYACTIV technologies, including
new-generation engines, transmissions, bodyshell design and chassis engineering.
The CX-5 expands Mazda’s global line-up of crossover SUV vehicles, which also includes
the CX-7 and Mazda CX-9 - depending on individual markets.
In production form, the Mazda CX-5 will make its international debut at this year’s Frankfurt
International Motor Show to be held in Germany in September.
New Citroën DS5 delivers diesel hybrid technology
CITROËN has revealed the third model in its DS line - the DS5, which is the first model
from the French manufacturer to feature HYbrid4 diesel hybrid technology.
The HYbrid4 system delivers 200 bhp, four-wheel drive capability, emission-free electric
power for the city, and an acceleration boost function for the open road - with total emissions
of 99 g/km.
The DS line already includes the DS3 supermini and five-door hatchback DS4. The DS5 is
4.52m long and 1.85m wide and is based on the futuristic C-SportLounge concept making it a
Gran Turismo coupé.
The car made its debut at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show.
Equipment boost for Porsche Cayenne and Panamera
THE Porsche Cayenne and Panamera have gained improvements, additions and new options.
From June production, the Cayenne Diesel receives a second generation engine offering
greater efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, the range of options
for the Panamera Gran Turismo has been expanded, including in-car wireless internet access
for the first time. Prices for all enhancements will be confirmed separately.
The three-litre V6 Diesel engine offered in the Cayenne retains the same bore and
displacement, but now delivers 245 bhp, 5 bhp more than previously. Fuel economy rises to
39 mpg from 38.2 mpg, and emissions have dropped 6 g/km to 189 g/km.
The power increase has had a positive effect on performance. For example, the acceleration
time from 0 - 62 mph has been cut by 0.2 seconds to 7.6 seconds, and top speed is up 2 mph
to 137 mph.
From June 2011 a new wireless internet access is available on the Panamera, allowing
passengers to go on-line while in the car. It is among a wide range of new options available
from the autumn.
Prices for all equipment upgrades and options will be confirmed nearer the June on-sale date.
Manufacturers make progress to 130 g/km European emissions target
ONE third of motor manufacturers are at or near the 2012 European Union’s average
emissions target of 130 g/km.
However, according to new figures from Clean Green Cars, the current rate of improvement
of 3.5% per year means 130 g/km will not be reached until 2013, although the target is for
Four manufacturers are under 130 g/km and five others are between 130 g/km and 131 g/km,
according to Clean Green Cars.
Fiat (117.23 g/km), Citroen (121.37 g/km), Toyota (125 g/km) and Mini (128.19 g/km) are
all below the EU’s official target.
Average carbon dioxide emissions across the total market in the first quarter of 2011 were
140.46 g/km, a 3.54% improvement on Q1 2010 (145.6 g/km).
As the EU target is an industry average, each manufacturer has an individual target based on
the weight of its vehicles.
Only one manufacturer has got significantly under its individual EU target: Lexus is now
11.5 g/km below, with an average figure of 134.8 g/km. All the four manufacturers
mentioned above are all outside their target, although Toyota and Citroen both miss by less
than 1 g/km, says Clean Green Cars.
A manufacturer can have the lowest emissions average, and still be fined for missing its
official target figure, while a higher emissions manufacturer may not be fined.
The manufacturers at the bottom of the table are generally making big strides, says Clean
Porsche is something of a special case, being a maker of specialist sports cars although its
models are generally well below the emissions figures of direct competitors. Land Rover and
Jaguar have high emission figures but have both announced new, more economical models to
go into production later this year.
Jay Nagley, publisher of Clean Green Cars, said: ‘Progress is being made across the board.
The gap between the best performers and the worst is also starting to narrow. However, the
rate of improvement needs to accelerate if the EU target is to be met by 2012.’
Kia wins place on Buying Solutions framework agreement
KIA Motors UK has been awarded a place on the vehicle purchase framework agreement
from Buying Solutions - part of the Efficiency and Reform Group within the Cabinet Office.
It means that Kia vehicles will be available to central government departments and other
public sector bodies such as NHS Trusts and local councils.
With an overall fleet in excess of 100,000 cars across the public sector the framework
agreement, says Kia, gives it ‘a huge opportunity to reach new fleet customers’.
The entire range of Kia vehicles will be made available through Buying Solutions - from the
Picanto city car through to the 4x4 Sorento.
John Hargreaves, head of fleet and remarketing at Kia Motors, said: ‘By working closely with
Buying Solutions, Kia will reach a wider fleet audience within the public sector, and will be
able to offer corporate fleet loans to sector departments.’
Fiat raises Chrysler stake to 30%
FIAT raised its stake in Chrysler from 25% to 30% after fulfilling a further condition
stipulated by the United States Government in the Detroit carmaker’s 2009 restructuring.
Chrysler says it has met the condition by achieving revenues outside North America of more
than $1.5 billion since it emerged from bankruptcy protection, and signing an agreement to
distribute one or more Chrysler models through the bulk of Fiat’s dealers in Brazil - the
carmaker’s second largest market after Italy - and the European Union.
The increase in Fiat’s stake, says the Financial Times, marks another step in its drive to gain
majority control of Chrysler. Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both companies, has said
that his goal is to gain a 51% stake this year ahead of a planned public share offering.
Jeep launches new website
A NEW website, celebrating Jeep’s 70th Anniversary and coinciding with the launch of the
newly redesigned Jeep Compass compact SUV, has been launched by the marque’s UK
The new site - www.jeep.co.uk - heralds the arrival of the all-new premium Jeep Grand
Cherokee 4x4 as the US-built brand seeks to increase its awareness among new and existing
customers in the UK.
Using the site, users will be able to explore the scope and variety of the latest Jeep product
range with 360˚ images of the vehicles, specifications, features and latest finance offers.
Other features include a section to book a test drive, download a brochure, find users’ local
Jeep dealer and locate used car offers.
And the site will link to Jeep UK’s new social media profiles on Facebook, YouTube and
Twitter, where users can find the latest news, pictures, videos and exclusive competitions,
while interacting with Jeep and its army of fans.
IM Group extends relationship with Manheim Retail Services
IM Group has extended its relationship with Manheim Retail Services, signing a three-year
contract to support the Approved Used Car Programmes for Subaru and Isuzu.
The new contract marks the start of a number of Manheim projects for Subaru and Isuzu
dealerships, including a dynamic used car stock locator and an enhanced mobile-enabled
As online consumer focus shifts towards mobile, Manheim Retail Services is developing a
mobile-optimised used car stock locator for launch later in the year, allowing customers
access to Subaru and Isuzu stock 24/7 directly from their mobile phones. Functionality to
showcase up to nine images on both locators means customers will be able to view cars in
more detail, offering a more engaging search experience.
Alan Able, national fleet and used car sales manager, IM Group. Said: ‘Mobile technology is
fast becoming an integral part of daily life and our customers expect to be able to access
Residual value update_________________________________________
E-Van sale generates sparks at BCA
ELECTRIC vans are a rarity in the vehicle remarketing arena, so market watchers were
focused on BCA Blackbushe when a Smith Edison E-van was offered for sale.
The 2008 registered long-wheel base, high roof van in white was based on the Ford Transit
chassis and was entered for sale by a leasing company. It had been used for courier work in
the London are and had covered 14,000 miles from new. Offered with a comprehensive
service history and records of the conversion, the E-Van sold for £10,100 following some
very competitive bidding from buyers in the auction hall and via BCA’s Live Online service.
Duncan Ward, BCA’s general manager, commercial vehicles, said: ‘The widespread interest
this van generated suggests both buyers and sellers are looking very closely at the price
performance of these vehicles.
‘There is undoubtedly a lot of interest in electric power to combat the rising cost of traditional
fuels, with fleets, leasing companies and end users looking for economical and
environmentally-friendly alternatives in the commercial vehicle sector.’
Politics and regulation_________________________________________
Row over possible MoT changes escalates
VEHICLE repair bills will escalate - possibly alongside insurance premium increases -while
death and injury on the roads will increase and thousands of jobs will be lost in garages.
Those are the claims of the Retail Motor Industry Federation as its steps up the battle with the
Department for Transport against possible changes in MoT regulations.
Earlier this month Transport Secretary Philip Hammond claimed that not testing new cars
until they were four years old and then every two years (422), could save motorists £100 and
‘would only lead’ to an extra 30 deaths on the roads each year (Digest: April 14).
Now the RMI has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne calling on him to
Stuart James, RMI director, said: ‘The Government is presenting these changes to consumers
as a chance to save money on their MoT bills. However the savings of as little as £25 a year
on the annual test will only escalate the repair bills that will come with bi-annual testing and
a probable increase in insurance premiums.
’More and more evidence is being produced to show that record levels of cars and vans are
failing their MoTs. Maintenance standards are slipping due to the lack of money car users
currently have at their disposal. This will in turn have a knock on affect on the safety of road
users. This proposal could not come at a worse time for both garage owners and road users.’
Although no formal consultation document on any changes to the current MoT - conducted
once a vehicles reaches three years old and then annually - possible changes have been
suggested once again despite warnings from a study published by the Department in 2008
highlighting that the safety of road users throughout the UK could be seriously undermined if
the current testing system was changed.
John Ball, RMI MoT chairman, said: ‘[That report] stated that such a change to the frequency
of MoT testing could result in 400 extra road deaths a year. However, the Transport Research
Laboratory working on behalf of the Department [has] sent out a report stating that a change
to 422 would ‘only’ see between 16 and 30 extra road deaths a year. Why has there been such
a change in these numbers? We need to know exactly what we are dealing with for the sake
of the public’s safety. We are talking about lives being lost as a result of this move.’
The RMI says that it is ‘very aware’ that such a move would have a major impact on
members both independent and franchise as business levels would be cut significantly
triggering possibly as many 40,000 job losses in the garage industry, according to a report in
The Times (April 18).
The organisation says that it will continue to lobby against the move, which is being driven
by European legislation.
Fleets face June deadline to meet new insurance policy rules
FLEETS should ensure their vehicles are insured and listed on the Motor Insurers’ Bureau
database or they will receive a letter in June, according to the Government’s new regime to
tackle uninsured driving.
Under Continuous Insurance Enforcement it will be an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle,
rather than just to drive when uninsured. The regulations, which have been laid before
Parliament this week, will allow the DVLA to take action against those who ignore warnings
to get their vehicle insured.
Leading fleet management software company Jaama, which provides technology to a number
of small and medium-sized contract hire and leasing companies, has previously said that it is
busy helping them to update their systems.
Historically, organisations have signed a ‘master hire’ agreement with their contract hire and
leasing vehicle provider that includes a commitment to insure.
The offence of keeping a vehicle with no insurance came into force on February 4. However,
the Department for Transport has now announced that it is planned for the first insurance
advisory letters - which warn individuals [registered keepers] that they appear to be uninsured
- to be sent at the end of June following a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the
Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme.
When the authorities run checks on vehicles and discover that a leased vehicle is uninsured it
will be the contract hire company that is targeted.
A number of contract hire and leasing companies have said that they will pay the £100 fine if
they receive a letter as they are the registered keeper. However, as the agreement between
them and their customer includes the provision of insurance they plan to recharge the fine
along with an administration fee.
Additionally, fleet managers, must ensure they provide their insurance policy documentation
to their leasing company provider.
While, outright purchase fleets are the ‘registered keeper’ of vehicles and are therefore not
necessarily facing the same administrative burden, they should ensure that current insurance
documentation is on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), which is managed by the Motor
Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). Information can be checked free at www.askMID.com.
The DVLA will work in partnership with the MIB to identify uninsured vehicles. Under the
Vehicle owners (the registered keepers) will receive a letter telling them that
their car or van appears to be uninsured and warning them that they will be
fined unless they take action.
A failure to insure the vehicle will result in a £100 fine.
If the vehicle remains uninsured - regardless of whether the fine is paid - it
could then be clamped, seized and destroyed.
Vehicles will only be released when the owner provides evidence that the registered keeper is
no longer committing an offence of having no insurance and the person proposing to drive
the vehicle away is insured to do so.
Vehicles with a valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) are not required to be insured.
The MIB says it will help members of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
ease the burden of compliance.
Speaking at a BVRLA seminar earlier this month, representatives from the DVLA and the
MIB said that they would give the industry time to implement the new regulations while also
providing advice and support.
David Hancock, director of enforcement at the DVLA, said that the agency would put the
resources in place to ensure that members of the BVRLA were not victims of any unintended
consequences of compliance.
The new system will put the onus on rental and leasing companies to work with their
customers to help ensure that vehicles are added to the Motor Insurance Database in a timely
manner when they are leased or rented.
Neil Drane, head of database services at the MIB and also speaking at the event promised to
work with his members to come up with a single and efficient method of updating the
‘All our members will comply with the law, but the less administratively burdensome we all
can make it the better,’ said Nora Leggett, the BVRLA's head of member services.
Latest estimates are that around 4% (around 1.4 million) of motorists drive uninsured. The
penalty for driving without insurance is a maximum fine of £5,000 and six-eight penalty
points. Around 242,000 offenders are convicted for uninsured driving every year.
Currently every responsible motorist pays an average £30 each year within their premiums to
cover crashes involving uninsured and untraced drivers. It is also estimated that uninsured
and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 every year.
New calls for tougher drink-driving laws with just 2% of drivers tested
NEW Home Office statistics reveal that the number of breath tests conducted on drivers
suspected of drink-driving in 2009 was 813,288 - 2% of drivers – prompting calls for police
to get tougher.
The data was published as new research from road safety charity Brake and Direct Line
showed that public perceptions of the likelihood of being caught if they risk drink-driving
More than half of drivers (53%) think there is a less than a one in four chance of being caught
if they were to drive while over the limit, while nearly a third (31%) think there is less than a
one in 10 chance of being caught.
During 2009, there were 813,288 breath tests carried out by police forces, a 14%
increase from 711,658 in 2008, according to the Home Office data. The number of positive or
refused tests in 2009 increased by 3% from 91,666 in 2008 to 93,973 in 2009 after a three-
The proportion of tests that were positive or refused in 2009 was 12%, one percentage
point lower than in 2008.
One in six road deaths are caused by drink-drivers. In 2009, the most recent figures available,
there were seven deaths and 28 serious injuries every week in Britain caused by drink drivers
who were over the limit.
Latest figures show that:
An estimated 11,990 reported casualties (5% of all road casualties) occurred
when someone was driving whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
The provisional number of people estimated to have been killed in drink-drive
accidents was 380 in 2009 (17% of all road fatalities), a decrease of 20
fatalities compared to the final 2008 estimate.
The provisional number of killed or seriously injured casualties in 2009 was
1,860, 8% below the final 2008 estimate.
Provisional figures for the number of slight casualties in 2009 fell 8% on 2008
figures, from 10,960 to 10,130.
Last month, the Government announced that it would not lower the drink-drive limit or
introduce random breath-testing. Instead the Government said it would make it easier for the
police to enforce current laws by streamlining breath testing procedures.
While the Government wishes to concentrate on enforcement of current drink-drive limits,
there is evidence that it will become even harder for police to do that, says Brake. In 2010,
Government funding cuts to policing resulted in some police force areas cutting the number
of traffic police by more than half.
Brake wants to see:
Police powers increased to enable targeted, random breath-testing of drivers
without the need to suspect impairment.
Traffic policing to be made a national policing priority, with sufficient
investment to enable a significant increase in numbers of breath-tests.
The drink-drive limit to be reduced to 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood,
effectively a zero-tolerance limit, as any amount of alcohol can impair driving.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s campaigns director, said: ‘The number of breath tests being carried
out is wholly inadequate in providing an effective deterrent and tackling the appalling
number of casualties that continue to result from drink-driving. The Government needs to
urgently strengthen the position on drink-driving before more lives are lost.’
Andy Goldby, director of motor underwriting at Direct Line Insurance, said: ‘Drink-driving is
one of the most serious crimes a driver can commit and one that needs to be tackled with real
conviction. If we are to make any headway into achieving our goal of the safest roads in the
world, we need to ensure that the right laws, limits and learning are in place here in the UK.’
SEAT to expand dealer network
SEAT is continuing to expand its network of UK dealers with plans by early 2012 for it to
increase from 122 outlets to135 sales and service franchises.
With just a handful of open points still remaining across the UK, SEAT’s franchise team says
it is seeing active competition between would-be dealers for the chance to run a dealership.
Key to the brand’s success in attracting new operators, and replacing existing dealers where
necessary, is, says the company, its willingness to engage with a variety of potential partners.
From blue-chip plcs such as Vertu Motors and Sytner through powerful dealer groups such as
Arnold Clark and Snows Motor Group Ltd to successful single-site operators such as
Pembrokeshire-based Gareth Hughes Motors, SEAT says that the network is a broad mix of
thriving business models.
Dealer profitability is improving both through increased turnover - SEAT recorded its best-
ever March with sales of more than 7,200 new cars for a record UK market share of almost
two per cent - and a programme of targeted coaching using acknowledged motor industry
guru Trevor Jones.
SEAT UK national franchise manager Jason Cranswick said: ‘Absorption rates are improving
and an 80% rate as a target should be achievable. More than this, engaging with our network
and sharing best-practice techniques via our networks of area managers are simple but
important methods of supporting and nurturing our dealers.’
General motor industry news___________________________________
BCA owner in possible RAC bid
THE private equity company that owns vehicle auction giant BCA is rumoured to be in the
running to buy roadside breakdown recovery firm RAC, which was recently put up for sale
by insurance giant Aviva.
Clayton Dubilier & Rice, which bought BCA last year and also owns a stake in car rental
firm Hertz, is one of several buyout groups in the running, according to the Daily Express
(Monday, April 18).
First-round offers, which were due earlier this week, are likely to be pitched at about £600
million, valuing the RAC, which contributes about £50m to Aviva, at more than £1 billion
Aviva bought the RAC for £1.1bn in 2005 with a view to boosting profits by selling motor
and home cover to the organisation’s seven million-plus members.
It subsequently offloaded businesses that came with the group, including Auto Windscreens
and the BSM driving school.
Easter congestion forecast as 18m cars take to the roads
THE AA is predicting that the forthcoming Easter Bank Holiday weekend will be the busiest
on the roads for several years.
The motoring organisation is forecasting that 10 million people will go away by car for the
Easter break - with the congestion peak being today (Maundy Thursday) - followed by about
eight million over the Royal Wedding weekend at the end of the month.
Combined with leisure traffic/local trips it means more than 18 million cars over the Easter
weekend and more than 14 million over the following weekend, says the AA, which
estimates that 85% of people plan to stay in the UK rather than travel abroad.
More than 200 cars now exempt from London congestion charge
MOTORISTS who need to drive in to central London but who would prefer not to pay the
£12 per day congestion charge now have a choice of over 200 eco-friendly cars which qualify
for a 100% discount from charge under the Greener Vehicle Discount scheme.
To be exempt from the London Congestion Charge by paying a £10 annual fee to register for
the Greener Vehicle Discount, cars must be Euro5 compliant and have emissions less than or
equal to 100 g/km.
Contract hire and leasing provider AFL has published details on its website -
www.carleasingmadesimple.com – of the list of qualifying vehicles.
Examples of the 215 cars which qualify for the Greener Vehicle Discount scheme include:
Smart ForTwo Coupe, Toyota IQ Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hatchback, Seat Leon Hatchback,
Audi A1 Hatchback, Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi
i-MiEV, Citroen C-Zero, Peugeot iON, Lexus CT Hatchback, Volkswagen Golf and Tesla
AFL director Paul Fagan said: ‘The manufacturers have really responded to the challenge of
producing sub-100g/km cars. Previously the choice of congestion charge exempt cars was
very limited, but now drivers can choose between family cars like the Seat Leon and Ford
Focus, super compact city cars like the Toyota IQ and even high end sport cars such as the
Brits suffer from car alarm ‘apathy’
BRITS are suffering from car alarm ‘apathy’ and have become resistant to the sound,
according to a social experiment conducted in four major cities by the UK’s largest insurer.
And with a bumper batch of Bank Holidays approaching, Aviva is warning motorists to take
extra care of their cars as statistics show there is traditionally a 10% spike in car crime over
the Easter and spring breaks.
Results from the insurer’s social experiment revealed that more than 80% of people totally
fail to register the sound of a car alarm. Moreover, out of 100 passers-by, not one person took
any action when walking past a car with its alarm going off.
The Aviva study involved setting off a car alarm in central areas of London, Cardiff,
Glasgow and Manchester, and monitoring the response of pedestrians. It revealed:
83% of people failed to register any reaction whatsoever when walking past a
car with its alarm sounding
The 17% who acknowledged the alarm did nothing more than briefly glance at
the car as they walked past
Martin Smith, motor claims manager at Aviva, said: ‘Alarms obviously offer a
straightforward method for protecting a car and it’s important that, where possible, cars are
fitted with them, but it’s clear from our research that they have become like urban white noise
- as commonplace as dogs barking, sirens and everyday traffic.’
People on the move____________________________________________
Mazda appoints new fleet chief as Allibon is promoted to sales director
SENIOR management changes at Mazda Motors UK see Peter Allibon appointed as sales
director - after the recent departure of Mark Cameron - and Steve Jelliss taking up the role of
fleet and remarketing director.
Allibon (38) joined Mazda UK in 2008 as fleet and remarketing director and was responsible
for the innovative introduction of the ‘small business fleet’ programme and the development
of fleet-oriented models of future products.
‘Peter was heavily involved in all aspects of dealer financing and in developing our
successful PCP strategy,’ said Jeremy Thomson, managing director, Mazda UK. ‘He has been
a very active participant in dealer forums and dealer talk-backs and already worked closely
with our finance, marketing and aftersales departments as part of his fleet role. Peter takes
over the sales directorship at a challenging but very exciting time for the motor industry in
Prior to coming on board at Mazda, Allibon’s career encompassed periods in banking, Ford
Credit and Mazda Credit - the predecessor to Mazda Financial Services (Santander).
Jelliss moves across from the role of aftersales director which he has held for six years,
turning aftersales into an even more critical component of both the dealer and Mazda
‘Steve has a rich and varied background in the automotive industry which makes him the
right man for this job, at this time,’ said Thomson. ‘His new position at Mazda will give
Steve a tremendous opportunity to not only develop our growing fleet capabilities to the next
level, but also to bring a great aftersales focus to the role, which is a key strength for Mazda
and buying reason for our fleet customers.’
Before joining Mazda as CRM manager in 2004, Jelliss (55) had worked at Ford (in the UK
and Germany), Wunderman Europe (part of WPP), and in the UK telemarketing industry.
KeeResources appoints Fox as business development director
KEERESOURCES, a leading provider of automotive data to vehicle manufacturers, retailers
and the fleet industry, has appointed Debbie Fox as business development director reporting
to sales and marketing director, Mark Fretwell.
Fox has a wealth of automotive experience spanning over 25 years and for the past 10 years
has been specifically working in the automotive intelligence sector. In her new role, she will
be responsible for developing the KWIKvehicledata side of KeeResources.
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