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									Auto Industry Digest                                                           Issue no. 414

This week’s news for company executives                                      March 24, 2011

     This Week’s Briefing                                The Editor’s View

 Budget 2011                               THE Chancellor‟s decision to cut fuel duty by 1p
   - Fuel duty cut by 1p a litre           per litre will grab the national headlines, but in
   - Company car tax to rise               reality fuel prices will remain high and it is a fair
   - AMAP rates up to 45p                  bet that they will continue to accelerate amid the
   - £100m to fill potholes                unrest in the oil producing countries of North
   - VED rate increase                     Africa and the Middle East. Longer term what is
   - NIC the ‘hidden’ tax                  interesting is the plan to ultimately merge income
                                           tax and National Insurance and what that will
 Britain’s largest online used             mean for the taxation of non-cash benefits-in-kind
 car supermarket crashes                   such as company cars and fuel. Equally, the
                                           Chancellor‟s seemingly arbitrary decision to raise
 Government decides not to cut             AMAPs to 45p (from 40p) but not treat Advisory
 drink-drive limit                         Fuel Rates in a similar manner calls for a
 Van values remain strong                  wholesale review of the whole mileage
 despite rising volumes                    reimbursement system. Finally, it seems strange
                                           that the Chancellor increase car fuel benefit scale
 BMW gears up for London                   charges but did not tinker with van benefit-in-kind
 Olympics challenge                        fuel scale charges or van benefit-in-kind tax.
                                           Could this signal that he is leaving the current
 Changes at the top at Toyota              system alone before introducing an emissions-
 and Lexus                                 based tax system in 2012-13?

Budget briefing_______________________________________________

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his second Budget yesterday
(Wednesday) against a background of a shortage of public finance and inflation rising to
4.4% from 4% in January. The Chancellor said he did not need to impose further pain - that
had already been announced in previous Budgets with a number of measures due to come
into place next month - and so focused on a Budget for growth. Below are the headline
announcements impacting on the fleet and motor industry.

Chancellor cuts fuel duty by 1p a litre - but future rises are planned
THE price of fuel reduced by 1p a litre at 6pm on Budget Day (Wednesday, March 23) as the
Chancellor announced an immediate 1p a litre cut.

The move was in response to petrol and diesel prices being at record levels and was in place
of the scheduled inflation plus 1p per litre rise that would have added almost 5p to forecourt

Prior to the announcement, average UK fuel prices were133.59p for a litre of unleaded petrol
and 140.16p for a litre of diesel - up from 116.1p and 116.9p a litre respectively a year ago.

Those figures mean that the price of a litre of unleaded petrol has increased by 15% in the
past 12 months with the price of a litre of diesel increasing by 20%.

However, even with the Government able to claim that it is helping motorists, there is
unlikely to be much respite from the upward trend.

Fuel prices have seemingly risen day-by-day to continually set new record levels, and amid
the unrest in Libya experts have warned that prices will rise even higher if the country‟s oil
infrastructure is damaged by Allied air strikes.

Although Libya only accounts for 2% of the world‟s oil supply, the strength of global
demand means that the market is tight and the prolonged loss of Libyan oil will impact on the
price of crude oil.

Motoring organisations have estimated that the Libyan conflict has already pushed up crude
oil prices to close to $120 a barrel and there are fears that it could reach more than $140 - a
price last season in 2008.

However, the Government has also announced that:
           There will be no further fuel duty increases until January 1, 2012 when a rise
              of 3.02p per litre is planned
           A further fuel duty increase is scheduled for August 1, 2012.

In the meantime the Government has announced that it is to scrap the fuel duty escalator that
was introduced in the 2009 Budget to increase duty by the rate of inflation plus 1p per litre
each year until 2014-15.

In its place will come a fair fuel stabiliser. As part of the fair fuel stabiliser, when oil prices
are high, fuel duty will increase by the rate of inflation only. However, if the oil price falls
below a set trigger price, which has yet to be confirmed, on a sustainable basis the
Government says it will increase duty by the rate of inflation plus 1p per litre annually.

The Government says that it believes a trigger price of $75 per barrel is appropriate. It will
set a final trigger price and mechanism after consulting with the oil and gas companies and
motoring groups.

Duty rates on biodiesel and bioethanoal have also been reduced by 1p per litre with similar
rises to those for unleaded petrol and diesel planned for January 1, 2012. The duty rate
changes similarly apply to natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Company car taxes to increase
COMPANY car benefit-in-kind tax thresholds will tighten by 5 g/km on April 6, 2013 with
the Chancellor confirming already announced thresholds for the next two financial years (see
chart below).

The further tightening of company car tax rates effectively mean that rates for vehicles with
emissions of less than 95 g/km are frozen.

Meanwhile, previously announced changes in company car tax due to come into effect on
April 6, 2011 will see:

      The abolition of the £80,000 price cap on company car list prices for benefit-in-kind
       tax purposes. This will result in significant rises in both benefit-in-kind tax for drivers
       and employers‟ Class 1A National Insurance Contributions.
      The axing of company car tax discounts that currently apply to alternatively-fuelled
       vehicles (electric-petrol hybrids, „Flex-Fuel Vehicles‟, bi-fuels, road fuel gas and
       bioethanol). The only discount that will remain is that for electric cars, which are
       exempt from benefit-in-kind tax for a further four years to April 5, 2015.

G/km of CO2                                                   % of list price

2010/11      2011/12         2012/13         2013/14
120          120             up to 99        up to 95       10
N/A          N/A             100             95             11
N/A          N/A             105             100            12
N/A          N/A             110             105            13
N/A          N/A             115             110            14
130          125             120             115            15
135          130             125             120            16
140          135             130             125            17
145          140             135             130            18
150          145             140             135            19
155          150             145             140            20
160          155             150             145            21
165          160             155             150            22
170          165             160             155            23
175          170             165             160            24
180          175             170             165            25
185          180             175             170            26
190          185             180             175            27
195          190             185             180            28
200          195             190             185            29
205          200             195             190            30
210          205             200             195            31
215          210             205             200            32
220          215             210             205            33
225          220             215             210            34
230          225             220             215            35
     Add 3% for diesels up to a maximum of 35% (2012/13 unconfirmed)
     Benefit-in-kind tax rates for zero emission cars will remain at 0%
     Benefit-in-kind tax rates for ultra-low emission cars (up to 75 g/km) will remain at

AMAPS rise to 45p to offset fuel price rises
THE tax-free mileage reimbursement rate for employees who use their own cars or vans for
business mileage will increase to 45p from 40p for the first 10,000 miles from April 6, 2011.

However, the rate for mileage beyond 10,000 miles will remain at 25p per mile.

In addition to claiming AMAP rates, an allowance for passenger payments currently in place
for employees at 5p per passenger per mile will be extended to volunteers.

Drivers who benefit from ‘free’ fuel face tax rise
EMPLOYEES who are in receipt of company-funded fuel used privately will see their
benefit-in-kind tax bills rise from April 6.

The Chancellor confirmed in the Budget that the fuel benefit charge multiplier will increase
from £18,000 to £18,800, while the van fuel benefit charge - on which tax on „free‟ van fuel
is paid - will remain frozen at £550.
             The van benefit-in-kind tax charge was also frozen for 2011/12 at £3,000.

Vehicle Excise Duty rates up by inflation
ON April 1, 2011, Vehicle Excise Duty rates will increase by the rate of inflation apart from
VED on HGVs, which will be frozen in 2011-12.

Vehicle Excise Duty for cars registered on or after 1 March 2001

VED            CO2            2010-11        2011-12
                                             First       Standard
Band                          standard       year
                                             rate*       rate*
A              Up to 100      0              0           0
B              101-110        20             0           20
C              111-120        30             0           30
D              121-130        90             0           95
E              131-140        110            115         115
F              141-150        125            130         130
G              151-165        155            165         165
H              166-175        180            265         190
I              176-185        200            315         210
J              186-200        235            445         245
K**            201-225        245            580         260
L              226-255        425            790         445
M              Over 255       435            1000        460

 *Alternative fuel discount 2010-11 onwards £10 all cars
** Includes cars emitting over 225 g/km registered before March 23, 2006

Vehicle Excise Duty for light goods vehicles registered on or after March 1, 2001

VED band              Change 2010-11 rate 2011-12 rate
Euro 5 discount rate* +£5    £125         £130
Standard rate         +£10 £200           £210

*for Euro 5 compliant vans registered between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010

Vehicle Excise Duty for private and light goods vehicles registered before March 1, 2001
(pre-graduated VED):

VED band Change 2010-11 rate 2011-12 rate
Up to 1549cc +£5 £125        £130
Over 1549cc +£10 £205        £215

Government finds £100m to fill potholes
THE Government had already announced a £100 million fund to help local authorities repair
Britain‟s potholes roads. In the Budget the Chancellor announced a further £100 million
would be made available.

Businesses face up to NIC rate increases
AMONG other measures already announced but reconfirmed by the Chancellor was the 1%
rise in National Insurance rates for employees and employers from April 6.

That means that employees will pay 12% on earnings (+ a further 2% on weekly earnings
above the upper earning limit of £817). Employers will see their National Insurance
contributions rise from 12.8% to 13.8% including those paid on benefits-in-kind such as
company cars and company-funded fuel used privately.

While fuel prices and the debate over the April 1 fuel duty increase has grabbed the national
headlines, businesses face increases in Class 1A National Insurance contributions as a result
of the April 6 rise in rates from 12.8% to 13.8%.

Although a 0.5% increase from April this year was announced in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report
by the previous Labour administration with a further 0.5% increase announced in the 2009
Pre-Budget Report - all of which was confirmed by the Chancellor in his emergency Budget
last June - there is a widespread belief that some businesses may not have appreciated the full
impact of the rises.

Best practice advice to limit the impact of the NIC rise is to encourage employees to take to
the wheel of less polluting vehicles.

Top tips for tackling the rise in NICs also include:
            Highlighting the benefit-in-kind tax savings to employees of choosing a
                greener vehicle
            Factoring NIC costs into the company‟s fleet policy to ensure the whole life
                cost of each vehicle choice is clearly understood and financially accounted for
            Consider introducing NIC lowering schemes such as salary sacrifice for
                company cars.

Meanwhile, the Office of Tax Simplification in a report published earlier this month called
for the merger of income tax and National Insurance Contributions. This would effectively
take the marginal rate of tax to 32% for lower ratepayers and 52% for higher ratepayers based
on rates applicable in 2011/12.

In relation to employee benefits and expenses the report, called „Review of Tax Reliefs‟,
argues the case for the long-term alignment of the treatment of employee benefits, with
shorter term aims of simplifying many minor benefits with a de minimis limit of £100/£500,
or amending the current £8,500 salary threshold to which tax applies.

What is not clear from the report is the future tax treatment of company cars and company-
provided fuel, which is linked to income tax thresholds.

Generally where benefits are provided by an employer to its employees, the benefit is
subject to income tax on the employee, and Class 1A NICs on the employer as in the case of
company cars and vans and company-provided fuel for private use.

In responding to the report, the Chancellor said that the Government would consult on
merging the operation of income tax and National Insurance. However, he warned: “This
huge task will therefore require a great deal of consultation and take a number of years to

Budget reaction_______________________________________________

Industry leaders give their views on the Chancellor’s statement
John Lewis, chief executive, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said: „As
expected the Chancellor has abandoned April‟s 1p increase in fuel duty, but then surprised
everyone by delaying the inflation increase until next year and reducing duty by 1p. His fair
fuel stabiliser is ingenious, shifting the burden of taxation upstream when crude oil prices
increase. Whether you are a haulier, a fleet manager, a commuter or a just someone trying to
keep your family car on the road, this imaginative tax measure will have an instant impact on
your weekly cash flow. For many it will be more important than all the other tax
announcements put together. However, there is nothing „fair‟ about the government‟s
decision to maintain the 3% diesel surcharge within the company car tax regime. This
discriminatory tax against diesel fuel is totally out-of-date and needs to be abolished. We
would go even further and call for the government to investigate the continuing differential
between diesel and petrol prices at the pumps which is nothing more than exploitation of
business motorists and haulage companies.
The increase in AMAP to 45p is a back-door pay increase for public-sector and other grey
fleet users that will appease unions worried about job cuts and salary freezes. If the price of
fuel has had such an impact on vehicle running costs, why are we not seeing a bigger rise in
Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR)? The government shows how it works out the AFR rate, we now
urge it to do the same for AMAP. The CO2 bandings for company car and benefit-in-kind tax
are seeing a natural downward progression that will maintain the incentive for companies to
green their fleets. However, we would hope to see a return to the three-year view on these,
which is essential for restoring certainty and predictability to organisations‟ fleet decisions.‟

David Brennan, managing director, LeasePlan UK, said: „We welcome the Chancellor‟s
decision to cut fuel duty by 1p per litre as an important first step in addressing the soaring
cost of motoring. Similarly, the abolition of the fuel duty escalator and its replacement by a
„fair fuel stabiliser‟ is indeed fairer to motorists.
Until now, many fleet managers had been in limbo, as benefit-in-kind tax rates were only
confirmed until 2012/13. [But] fleet managers will now be able to plan long-term strategies
that promote environmentally-friendly policies. This can only be a good thing that will
accelerate the take-up of low carbon vehicles. The plan announced to merge income tax and
National Insurance is potentially a positive step to simplify taxation but, as part of the
consultation process, there needs to be an extensive review of how this would impact benefit-
in-kind rates. Overall the picture is more positive today for business drivers and their
employers, and welcome relief after the pain of rising pump prices.‟

Edmund King, AA president, said: „The increased approved mileage rates from 40p to 45p
are long over-due and very helpful. Companies have been insulated against higher fuel costs
while employees, charity workers and midwives using their own cars for work have borne the
burden and in effect taken a pay-cut. A freeze in fuel duty and a 1p cut, rather than the 5p
increase planned, prevents more pain at the pumps and applies a much needed tourniquet to
drivers haemorrhaging money from record pump prices. But, volatile oil prices may once
again drain much of the benefit of the freeze announced today. However, with jittery stock
markets and tensions in North Africa pushing the oil price back into the $115-$120-a-barrel
price range, pressure on pump prices and inflation could grow again.‟

Fleet file_____________________________________________________

Ogilvie Fleet joins forces with Sixt to deliver pan-European leasing
OGILVIE Fleet has signed a co-operation agreement with Sixt Leasing as the German-based
company expands its international mobility service offer to include the UK.

Sixt clients will now have the option to take a product that meets European inter-company
counterpart standards and an individually tailor-made fleet solution. Like Sixt, Ogilvie Fleet
is a leasing company independent of banks or manufacturers.

Sixt says it is developing its international presence continuously because more and more
enterprises need a European-wide mobility solution managed by one supplier.

It is envisaged by both Sixt and Ogilvie Fleet that the continued expansion of many
businesses across Europe will result in an increasing demand for international fleet solutions.

Sixt claims to be the only internationally active mobility service provider which can offer one
direct sourced integrated solution from car hire through to full fleet management. Sixt
Leasing operates in 42 countries world-wide and manages a fleet of around 160,000 vehicles.

Christian C. Rehbein, director international development, Sixt Leasing, said: „For many
companies the UK is an important country in their international expansion. Now Sixt Leasing
is able to offer individual vehicle fleet solutions in the UK to our current European clients.
This is a significant step forward in these relationships.‟

Gordon Stephen, managing director, Ogilvie Fleet, said: „This partnership is groundbreaking
in the UK, not only because of its unique nature, but also as pan-European leasing has
previously been the domain of just a few larger bank or manufacturer owned leasing
companies. As part of the Sixt Leasing international network we are now able to satisfy the
increasing demand for international fleet services of UK companies.‟

Nick Hardy, sales and marketing director, Ogilvie Fleet, which has a fleet of almost 10,000
vehicles on its books, said: „As we continue to develop our business model and take a greater
share of the 50 to 250 fleet sector it became essential to offer a pan-European solution.

„Partnering with Sixt makes perfect sense to both parties as we share common thinking
regarding the need to provide a high quality service and substantial online solutions for our
clients. We now have what we believe is the most unique offering in the UK and throughout
Europe. We already have substantial interest from clients with European operations and I‟m
confident our alliance with Sixt will be a phenomenal success.‟

National Mobile Windscreens expands to meet demand
NATIONAL Mobile Windscreens is expanding its operation and taking on more staff to meet
increased demand for its services as a result of Auto Windscreens going into liquidation last

Bristol-based National Mobile Windscreens has added four additional sites to its national
branch network and recruited 70 experienced technicians mostly from Auto Windscreens.

The company, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, has also increased its fleet of
vehicles which respond to emergency calls.

National Mobile Windscreens, the UK‟s largest independent supplier of automotive glass in
the UK, and the largest member of National Windscreens, now has 114 branches and a
response fleet of 720 providing a 24-hour service.

Martyn Bennett, sales and marketing director of National Mobile Windscreens, said „The
collapse of a major competitor has triggered a big increase in demand for our services.

„We have seen a rush of new business from major motor insurers, fleet operators and private
companies who were previously with Auto Windscreens. We continue to work towards
finding jobs for more of the staff who were made redundant.‟

Northgate trading ahead of plans as hire demand rises
NORTHGATE Vehicle Hire, the UK‟s largest vehicle hire company, says it is trading ahead
of plans.

In a management statement the company told the London Stock Exchange that hire revenue
per rented vehicle had continued to improve, with an increase of about 3% since the
beginning of the financial year.

Vehicle utilisation in the four months to February 28 had averaged 91%, in line with the prior
year period. The company‟s UK fleet size has increased since October 31, 2010 by 1,000
vehicles to 61,700 with 900 additional vehicles on hire compared to February 2010.

Northgate said that the used vehicle market remained strong with residual values per vehicle
at a similar level to the first half of the financial year.

In Spain, the company‟s utilisation rates averaged over 91% in the four months to February
28, a 5% improvement on the same period last year. As planned, the fleet size had decreased
from 45,900 at October 31, 2010 to 43,400 at February 28, said the company.

Hire revenue per vehicle had remained constant for the four months to February 28, while the
Spanish used vehicle market allowed Northgate to maintain utilisation at more than 90% by
disposing of excess stock. Residual values had remained at a similar level to the first half of
the financial year.

The statement concluded: „Despite macroeconomic conditions adversely affecting the UK
and Spanish markets, overall we are trading slightly ahead of our plans. We are making good
progress in the review of our financing facilities; the bank facilities maturing in September
2012. Our net debt continues to reduce with our focus on increasing the Group‟s return on
capital employed through hire rate improvement and internal efficiencies.‟

Vauxhall cuts fleet service booking response times to 20 minutes
RESPONSE times for fleets making service and maintenance bookings with Vauxhall
retailers through the industry standard 1link Service Network e-commerce platform have
been reduced to 20 minutes - with the aim of helping Vauxhall retailers win more business.

The response time is the latest result of an initiative put in place 12 months ago by Vauxhall
and epyx, the company behind 1link Service Network.

A Vauxhall Helpdesk was created at epyx‟s Meriden, Warwickshire, offices with the specific
aim of helping to reduce response times to service bookings, a strategy designed to generate
more servicing work for Vauxhall retailers.

Ken Trinder, head of business development at epyx, explained that the initiative had been
adopted as part of Vauxhall‟s desire to improve that aspect of its service levels to fleets.

He said: „We discussed the issue of booking times with Vauxhall and together we came up
with the idea of a dedicated service to help improve the networks performance.

„Getting a quick response to a booking and meeting the fleet‟s needs in terms of dates and
locations, is vitally important and this service has helped Vauxhall achieve this aim.

„To hit a 20-minute average across a network of more than 400 Vauxhall retailers is an
excellent achievement. There is no doubt that this has brought more service and repair work
into the network.‟

Currently, a number of major manufacturers are working with epyx to increase the amount of
work that proactively enters their franchise networks through 1link, explained Trinder.

He said: „Vauxhall has been at the cutting edge of this kind of initiative but other
manufacturers are following suit. Raising service levels in this way is now a proven route for
franchise dealers to win more fleet servicing business.‟

Lex takes wraps off ‘The Green’
LEX Autolease has taken the wraps off „The Green‟ - a free to access web-based portal that
boasts a library of tools for firms looking to bring down fuel, carbon dioxide emissions and
associated fleet costs.

Mark Chessman, commercial director with responsibility for sustainability at Lex Autolease,
said: „It will soon be a routine procedure for firms to demand that suppliers have sustainable
practices in order that they do business together. „The Green‟ is a helpful way to begin that
journey, while benefitting from the cost savings it will deliver along the way.

„Fuel is an issue that never seems to go away, but a significant amount of the business cost is
avoidable if you can get to grips with consumption and emissions levels.‟

Lex Autolease says „The Green‟ - an animated portal based around a community of buildings
including a garage, library, cinema and forest - is the „perfect green business guide to
lowering fleet costs‟.

The library contains a portfolio of white papers produced by the company‟s in-house
consultancy team, covering topics such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

The garage highlights a range of products and policies firms can adopt to stem the flow of
emissions leakage from their business, while the cinema showcases a series of podcasts
delivered by industry experts.

Finally, a section called the forest details Lex Autolease‟s own commitment to sustainability,
including the sponsorship of a planting scheme for 120,000 trees.

„The Green‟ can be accessed at:

Hippowaste outsources vehicle management to Fleet Technique
WASTE management solutions company Hippowaste, the company behind the pioneering
big yellow Hippobag, has outsourced the management of its commercial vehicle fleet to Fleet
Technique, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northgate Plc.

Hippowaste is the trading name for Waste Management Systems Ltd, a national provider of
innovative and integrated waste management solutions to retail and business customers.

Headquartered in Portsmouth, Hippowaste runs a fleet of 38 HGVs and four light commercial
vehicles from a nationwide depot network.

Previously, the vehicles were managed in-house, however, Hippowaste‟s appointment last
year of Iain Hayes as operations manager, led to the introduction of Fleet Technique.

Fleet Dynamix is Fleet Technique‟s own web-based in-house developed software, which is
the hub from which customers can select the range of services they require. Hippowaste is
using Fleet Technique for:
            Fleet administration including Road Fund Licence and fines management
            HGV scheduling for legal events and compliance requirements
            Vehicle maintenance authorisation and cost control
            The provision of reports and consultancy services

Hayes said: „The one-stop shop approach we have taken now with Fleet Technique gives
Hippowaste a complete overview of every aspect of its fleet and that will improve our cost
focus and enable the benchmarking of all vehicles.

„The offering from Fleet Technique was totally flexible meaning we could utilise any number
of services from its fleet management portfolio.

„Now with a centralised approach to our fleet management, Fleet Technique is able to
provide a full suite of management information together with consultancy advice in helping
Hippowaste to drive down fleet operating costs.‟

He added: „Fleet Technique was a supplier to the company I was employed at prior to me
joining Hippowaste and I had no hesitation in turning to the business to deliver a range of
fleet management services.‟

Ford Galaxy takes starring role on minicab fleet
EUROPE‟S largest private hire firm, Addison Lee, has taken delivery of the first of the 1,200
Ford Galaxy Multi Purpose Vehicles which will join its fleet this year.

It is the largest single-year order that Addison Lee has ever placed with Ford. By November
the firm‟s 2,500-strong minicab fleet will be 100% Ford.
The Galaxy models - all diesel, all automatic and all black - will be delivered at the rate of
around 28 a week over the coming months.

Addison Lee fleet manager Rob Daniels said: „We spent three months assessing vehicles and
talking to manufacturers; the Ford Galaxy emerged as the best package for us on many levels,
not only financially. It is safe, offers low emissions and is economical to run.‟

The firm has cut emissions per journey by more than 17% since 2002 and is working on a
further 6% year-on-year reduction.

The company is the only member of 190 businesses in the Green500 to achieve the highest
„Diamond‟ status for reducing carbon emissions and has won numerous awards for its
programme to reduce its environmental impact.

Enterprise becomes business road safety champion
A TARGET of zero accidents has been set by Enterprise Managed Services, one of the UK‟s
largest employers which has already cut vehicle-related road incident claims by almost

The savings, which amount to a 12% reduction in overall claims costs and a 13% (more than
£100) reduction in costs per vehicle follow Enterprise‟s increased focus on at-work driving
safety with the launch of its Road Risk Steering Committee (RRSC).

The RRSC, which was introduced in 2009, set an initial target of a 15% reduction in vehicle-
related incidents across Enterprise‟s area of operations with the implementation of a wide
range of measures.

Some initiatives such as improved incident reporting and investigation are already reaping
rewards while others, such as the introduction of telematics systems and the fitment of more
vehicle speed limiters, have still to be introduced.

It is that comprehensive programme of occupational road risk management, which involves
all the company‟s 13,000 employees working across 170 sites in the UK that has seen
Enterprise join the Driving for Better Business campaign as a business champion.

Enterprise is the UK‟s largest dedicated maintenance service provider to the public sector and
utility industry. 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

On joining the RoadSafe-managed campaign, Alison Moriarty, Enterprise‟s health and safety
manager, said: „We are delighted that the measures we have already taken to protect our
employees and all other road users have been recognised in this way. Most of our 13,000
employees drive as part of their work role or in a private capacity.

„Enterprise believes that the most important lesson to be learned from its experience in
managing the safety of employees who drive for work, is that it is vital not to look at road
safety in isolation from the way the company manages other health and safety issues.

„There must be a holistic approach to safe systems of work and a vehicle must be looked at in
the same way as any other workplace.
„Most companies place a high priority on the health and safety of their employees and most
will have robust systems and procedures already in place to manage them. It makes sense,
therefore, to use this existing framework to develop road safety management systems.‟

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

Enterprise‟s Target Zero initiative encourages employees to avoid unsafe acts and unsafe
conditions - rule breaking and violations - which are the triggers which ultimately give rise to
accidents and incidents within the workplace. But it also supports them in achieving the aim
through a variety of policies and procedures.

A key objective of Target Zero is to be proactive by preventing accidents and incidents
occurring within the workplace, rather than reactive to their occurrence. Crucially, therefore,
Target Zero encourages the participation of all staff which includes a depot-based Worker
Involvement in Safety and Health (WISH) Suggestion Scheme

Moriarty said: „Enterprise recognised that unless it provided employees with the tools to
control the risks associated with its diverse operations effectively, the management would not
be able to prevent accidents and incidents. Target Zero therefore covers all aspects of
Enterprise‟s activities, including driving.

„Enterprise believes that the costs of being proactive are significantly less than those of
dealing with accidents and incidents once they occurred. In addition, it was better not to have
to correct the factors that gave rise to an employee or member of the public being injured and
deal with the associated costs of doing this, both from a business point of view and from a
publicity perspective.‟

Ford and BMW scoop fleet industry’s top awards
THE Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max were voted the best new company cars of 2010 at a
ceremony attended by almost 1,300 fleet industry representatives.

The annual Fleet News Awards witnessed BMW crowned as the Fleet Manufacturer of the
Year in another headline award voted for by readers of the trade publication.

The ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, also saw BMW pick up four other
awards, while the C-Max and Grand C-Max scooped the award for Best People Carrier.

Cars were judged on a range of criteria, including operating costs (depreciation, fuel,
servicing, maintenance and repair, lease rates, tax liability), suitability for their use as
business cars and the level of support from the manufacturers and their corporate sales teams.

The Volkswagen Polo and Golf retained the Best Small Car and Best Lower Medium Car
won last year, while the Skoda Superb also won its Best Upper Medium Car category for the
second year running.

Other winners included the BMW 3 Series (Best Premium Car), BMW 5 Series (Best
Boardroom Car), BMW 5 Series Touring (Best Estate Car), and BMW X3 (Best SUV), while
the Kia Sportage came top in the new Best Crossover category.

Meanwhile, Peugeot was given the award for Green Manufacturer of the Year, while Renault
was judged the Most Improved Fleet Manufacturer of the Year.

A panel made up of fleet industry experts as well as senior members of the Fleet News
editorial team were involved in the lengthy judging process, chaired by former Society of
Motor Manufacturers and Traders‟ chief executive Christopher Macgowan and audited by

New Company Car of the Year and Fleet Manufacturer of the Year Awards were voted on by
fleet operator readers of Fleet News.

In the supplier awards there was a double triumph for Arval which won both the Leasing
Company of the Year Award and that for new product or service. The Fleet Supplier of the
Year Award went to the AA.

Other supplier award winners were: Environment, The Miles Consultancy; customer service,
LeasePlan; safety award, Peak Performance; short-term rental company of the year, Hertz;

Fleet award winners: Fleet Initiative of the Year, Balfour Beatty; Fleet of the Year - under
250 Vehicles, The Independent Group; Fleet of the Year - 251-500 Vehicles, Iron Mountain;
Fleet of the Year, 501-1,000 Vehicles, Kelly Communications; Fleet of the Year, 1,000+
Vehicles, Johnson & Johnson. The Fleet Manager of the Year was Val South, of Xerox.

In addition, long-servicing IBM fleet chief Phil Redman, who is also a director of ACFO, was
inducted into the Fleet News Hall of Fame.

Last chance to enter Fleet Safety Forum Awards
THE deadline for entries to the Fleet Safety Forum Awards for Excellence has been extended
to next Friday (April 1) due to the level of last minute interest.

Organisations that have worked to improve fleet safety are being urged to enter the annual
awards, organised by Brake, the road safety charity, which will be presented at a gala dinner
at Alton Towers, Staffordshire on Thursday, June 9.

Now in their 11th year, and sponsored by fleet and fuel management company Arval, the
awards recognise the achievements of those working to help reduce the number of costly, and
in many cases fatal, road crashes involving at-work drivers.

Entries across 10 categories are invited from organisations running any type of fleet, and
from companies that provide products or services to fleets, who have worked to improve
safety. Further details are available at

Model update________________________________________________

Completion of Mini E trial paves way for BMW EV in 2013
THE MINI E UK field trial which has been researching and analysing the use of fully electric
Minis on UK roads since December 2009 - and has involved corporate as well as private
drivers - finished on Friday (March 18).

40 „pioneers‟, who were the second set of participants in the trial handed back their Mini Es
with their feedback being incorporated into the ongoing development and refinement of

parent company BMW Group‟s first purpose built production car, the Megacity Vehicle
BMW i3, due for launch in 2013.

During the UK trial the Mini E was tested on British roads by a mixture of 80 private,
corporate and public sector drivers. Between them they covered over a quarter of a million

The final results of the Mini E UK study will be released this summer, however results from
the first three months of the trial (December 2009-February 2010) have already been
analysed and the key findings were:
              Mini E usage differs only marginally from a control group of conventional car
                 drivers in terms of average journey distance, daily mileage and frequency of
              Before the trials began, users expected limitations in terms of range and
                 charging times. In practice these have only proved to be barriers in a very few
                 specific cases.
              Users felt reassured that both the Mini E itself and the charging process were
                 completely safe.
              There was a very strong feeling from both private and fleet users that
                 renewable energy should play an important role in future electricity
                 generation. There was also a strong feeling that the battery of an electric
                 vehicle (EV) should be charged using renewables to optimise the ecological
                 advantages of an EV.
              Users reported a need for more interior space for journeys requiring more
                 passengers and more storage capacity.
              Users felt strongly that public charging facilities for EVs were desirable and
                 even essential. However, at the same time, the majority claimed that they
                 coped without public charging facilities.

In summary, users said they liked Mini E‟s lack of noise, the convenience of home charging,
low off peak power charges, not having to go to a petrol station and queue, driving a zero
emissions vehicle, the model‟s acceleration characteristics and regenerative braking.

Drawbacks included current mileage range for certain journeys, limited carrying capacity and
sub-optimal car performance during the extremely cold weather conditions in December 2009
and January 2010.

During everyday usage, the Mini E can travel around 100-120 miles on a single charge,
depending on driving style and conditions. It can sprint from 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds and has
an electronically-limited top speed of 95 mph.

Nissan begins deliveries of 100% electric Leaf to British customers
ALL of Nissan‟s electric vehicle dealerships across the UK started customer deliveries this
week of the Leaf family car.

Radio DJ Mark Goodier and electronics engineer Richard Todd were the first to take delivery
of their cars on Monday (March 21) at Glyn Hopkin Nissan in Waltham Abbey,

The Leaf has a range of 100 miles. The Nissan Leaf is currently built in Japan, but will be
manufactured at Nissan‟s plant in Sunderland from 2013.

A comprehensive charging network is currently under development in the UK and Nissan‟s
network of electric vehicle dealers - currently 26 sites across the country - will be equipped
with a quick charger, which will charge the battery from zero up to 80% capacity in under 30

Across the UK there are programmes under way to install around 9,000 charge points by

Kia goes ‘green’ with Optima and Venga models
KIA is to expand its „green‟ car portfolio in the UK with a hybrid version of its Optima
executive model and an all-electric Venga small MPV.

Both are currently under development in South Korea and the Optima hybrid will be the first
to arrive, possibly late next year.

The new Optima range, which replaces the Magentis, is being launched in the UK later this
year. Kia UK is currently deciding whether to take both the 2.0 litre petrol and 2.0 litre diesel
engines rather than going for diesel only.

The hybrid model is now being rolled out in the United States with a market-specific 2.4 litre
petrol engine and 30kw electric motor. A 2.0 litre petrol engine is under development which
will be used in the Optima in Korea and Europe.

Engineers in South Korea say the hybrid will be the most economical car in the large D

Kia‟s first all-electric car will be the Venga. The company currently has 250 of the models
undergoing evaluation in Korea and senior research engineer C Y Jeong said a small
production run of about 2,000 cars would start next year followed by volume production from

The Venga electric car will then go on sale in markets around the world, including the UK.

Jeong told Headlineauto that the car would have a range of around 90 miles and its 60kw
electric motor would take six hours to charge - although a fast charge could be carried out in
25 minutes.

He added that Kia also planned to start marketing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015,
in line with a number of other manufacturers.

UK’s first road-legal electric 4x4 launched
THE first electric utility vehicle to combine 4x4 off-road performance and road-legal driving
has been launched.

The Tomberlin VANISH, from ePower Trucks, is claimed to be the UK‟s only all-electric
4x4 that can be driven on the road as well as off it. The VANISH is designed for game
reserves and estates management among other uses.

With flat torque, the VANISH is capable of 50 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 25
mph. It comes with multi-speed forward and reverse speed transmission, can tow up to 682
kg (1,500 lbs) and carry two people plus a 227 kg (500 lb) payload. It costs from 3p per mile
to run on electricity, depending on drive conditions.
Designed for marshland and bog conditions, the VANISH has a sealed battery pack and drive
train, which keeps on working even when the vehicle is fully submersed in water.

The VANISH is available now from ePower Trucks, with prices starting from £10,995 on the
road, plus VAT.

Mobile computing solutions to be integrated into Vauxhall dashboard
VAUXHALL is taking its technology offerings to the next level, by offering fleet customers
the option of a built-in Panasonic Toughbook in its Astra model.

The Toughbook CF-19, market-leading, rotating screen, convertible notebook, is claimed to
set a benchmark in rugged mobile computing, is aimed at field-based professionals and uses
WiFi and 3G broadband to enable users to share information rapidly with staff back at the
main office.

The custom Astra was launched last week at Millbrook, and is primarily aimed at those in the
police service. Amongst invitees to the Millbrook launch were fleet managers from the UK
police authorities, as well as those from service and maintenance companies.

Dick Ellam, Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager, said: „The Astra has long-since been a
trusted model within the police, which is why we have opted to make this feature available.

„Toughbook rugged mobile computers are already in use by several police services across the
country, and are proving to be a revolutionary resource to police; at a time when spending
cuts are rife, a device that enables the force to save time and money will be invaluable.‟

Previously, logging a crime report was a lengthy process and would usually start with a home
visit. The officer would then have to take notes in a notebook and then write up a crime
report. Typically, the report would then be faxed back to the office to a crime input team who
would then have to type it up. This system was not only lengthy, but also prone to errors in
typing and reading faxes.

The Toughbook eliminates these problems with police describing it as one of the greatest
innovations since the two-way radio.

Ellam said: „The Toughbook enables the police force to operate a mobile office system.
Before, built-in Toughbook systems were available, an officer would have to spend about a
third of his or her time in the office.‟

The Toughbook fits into a docking station, which is mounted in the glove box of the Astra.
The Toughbook can be removed and this allows the laptop screen to be viewed in both
upright and downward positions.

When out on the road, officers can use it to access the same systems that are available in the
office, so they can be alerted to incidents as soon as they are reported, and can therefore
respond in the quickest time possible.

The Toughbook is linked to an 8.4-inch high resolution touch screen positioned in the Astra

Peugeot 207 is Europe’s most reliable car
THE Peugeot 207 is Europe‟s most reliable car, according to an analysis of than 20,000 live
policies on European cars aged three to seven years by Warranty Direct for its Reliability
Index website (

The diminutive French hatchback is dependable, with only one in 17 breaking down in an
average year. At the other end of the scale, 47% of the Mercedes SL models covered by
Warranty Direct recorded a fault, with 36% of those suspension-related.

Fiat‟s Panda is the second most reliable, with only 14% of owners likely to have to pay for
repairs, followed by another Peugeot, the 206 CC, which, as well as needing relatively little
attention, is also cheap to repair when it does go wrong, costing on average £185 to put

The Renault Clio is the cheapest to repair at £173 on average, while the most expensive
single claim among the bottom five cars was £7,239 for a BMW 7-Series fault.

To measure a car‟s overall reliability and running costs, Warranty Direct‟s Reliability Index
reviews rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost to calculate its rating.

The top 10 most reliable European cars as measured by Warranty Direct are:
                                    Reliability Index Incident Average Repair
   Make             Model
                                    Rating            Rate     Cost (£)
1 Peugeot           207 (06-)       22                6%       331.92
2 Fiat              Panda (04-)     28                14%      195.95
3 Peugeot           206 CC (00-07) 32                 17%      185.40
4 Volkswagen        Polo (05-)      35                18%      190.48
5 Renault           Clio (05-)      36                21%      173.40
6 Volkswagen        Beetle (99-)    39                20%      198.25
7 Smart             Forfour (04-07) 48                25%      194.67
8 Volvo             S40 (04-)       51                23%      223.13
9 Peugeot           107 (05-)       54                21%      248.46
10 Mercedes-Benz SLK (96-04)        55                18%      296.73

The five least reliable European cars are:
                                        Reliability Index      Incident   Average Repair
  Make              Model
                                        Rating                 Rate       Cost (£)
1 Mercedes-Benz SL (02-)                349                    47%        742.10
2 Land Rover        Range Rover (02-) 264                      53%        499.43
3 Renault           Espace (02-)        264                    54%        491.26
4 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (06-)           239                    47%        505.22
5 BMW               7 Series (01-08)    232                    45%        514.40

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher, said: „Some people might be
surprised to see Fiat and Peugeot claiming the top three positions, but the data doesn‟t lie -
these cars are very dependable.

„Running a car is a costly business, particularly when a car moves into its fourth and fifth
year, when most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. Anything that gives a
little extra peace of mind, like getting further warranty cover or simply doing research about
the car, is worthwhile.‟

Manufacturer news___________________________________________

Nissan says ‘no impact on vehicle supplies’ from Japan disaster
NISSAN says it does not anticipate any short-term impact on sales or vehicle availability in
Europe as a result of this month‟s disaster in Japan.

Manufacturers have been issuing regular updates over the past week on how vehicle
production in Japan and component supplies for their plants in Japan and other countries,
including the UK, will be hit as a result of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Nissan says it is not anticipating any impact in the short term on its European plants including
its factory in Sunderland due to:
              A strong European manufacturing footprint, which supplies around 80% of
                vehicles sold in the region
              Having sufficient vehicle supply to maintain sales and customer deliveries for
                at least six weeks
              Having adequate supplies already en-route to Europe to continue production

However, the manufacturer admits that due to supply disruption in Japan, it does anticipate
some impact in the medium term but says that it is too soon to determine the extent of that

Meanwhile, Suzuki says that the disaster has not resulted in any damage to its manufacturing
plants and shipping ports.

However, Suzuki does use some suppliers and subcontract facilities that are located within
the affected area, and the extent of the damage to those facilities is still being assessed.

However, production suspension in Japan announced last week (Digest: March 17) by
Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota have been extended for at least a further few days.

But it is not just Japanese manufacturers that are affected by the disaster as European
producers Renault and Opel/Vauxhall are cutting some production due to a shortage of parts
from Japan.

The stoppages, which were announced on Friday (March 18) were among the first to be
revealed by manufacturers outside Japan, as automakers and other industries with complex
supply chains face disruption caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has said that it is „worried‟ about its supply of Japanese-built
gearboxes caused by disruptions to power supply at its plants.

BMW gears up for Olympics challenge
THE 2012 London Olympics is one of the biggest challenges facing BMW, says UK boss
Tim Abbott.

Speaking at the launch of the 6 Series Convertible - the day after the 500-day countdown to
next year‟s Olympics started - he told Headlineauto: „Everyone is looking for banana skins
and we must make sure we avoid them.‟

The company will have 4,000 Minis and BMWs at the Games; the fleet will also include
motorbikes and bicycles. But only a few hundred of the cars will be electric, despite pressure
from London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The electric vehicle infrastructure wasn‟t in place with fewer than 300 recharging points
available at a time that the city had promised to have more than 1,500 installed, explained

With cars expected to be in use for up to 18 hours a day, it was imperative that the electric
vehicles had time to be recharged, he said.

Although final details are still in the planning stage, BMW and Mini expect to produce
Olympic special editions that should find a ready market when the Games finish, helping to
offset BMW‟s costs.

The Olympics also puts BMW in touch with a new customer base and Abbott is keen to work
with dealers to see how to maximise their involvement.

BMW won the Olympics contract because it showed a commitment to sustainability and low
emissions. Abbott said: „We‟ve won the Dow Jones sustainability index for the sixth
consecutive year and we have a fleet average of 120 g/km. The Olympics gives us a chance to
show where the industry and BMW is heading.‟

Suzuki boosts business offering with new contract hire programme
SUZUKI has given its corporate sales business a boost with the launch of Suzuki Contract

The new scheme is in addition to Suzuki‟s fleet and business user programme and enables all
150 Suzuki main dealers to provide existing and prospective fleet, business and professional
customers with contract hire quotations that can be tailored to their individual requirements.

Rental contracts are available either with or without maintenance. If „with maintenance‟
package is the preferred option, Suzuki Contract Hire includes:
            All routine servicing and mechanical repairs
            Replacement of batteries and exhaust systems
            A „no quibble‟ tyre replacement policy (subject to normal exclusion clauses) -
               replacement tyres will only be re-charged in the event of theft, loss,
               vandalism, neglect, abuse or persistent damage
            Full breakdown assistance run by the AA.

Ian Price, general sales manager for Suzuki GB, said: „The launch of the new scheme allows
us to reach even more customers than before, further developing our presence in the
important fleet and business sectors.‟

Audi A8 prototype gets next-generation broadband technology
AUDI has unveiled a new A8 long wheelbase prototype model that showcases pioneering
long-term evolution (LTE) broadband technology, which is claimed to be the future of mobile
communication technology

LTE technology offers data transfer speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is similar to a fixed-line
broadband connection.

This means passengers in the prototype can use the LTE broadband connection to stream
music, high-definition videos and other data on up to six computer or mobile phone devices
with ease. Current 3G connections can only offer data transfer speeds of around 14.4Mbps.

Developed in collaboration with communications pioneer Alcatel-Lucent, the car‟s mobile
broadband connection is a fourth generation (4G) technology that is hotly-tipped to replace
the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and the Universal Mobile
Telecommunications Standard (UMTS) systems that underpin 3G.

LTE allows data to be transferred faster than conventional 3G-technology and modern digital
subscriber line (DSL) connections - wired landline broadband. LTE can also cope with large
numbers of users streaming data, even at peak times, because of its extra bandwidth.

With its quick connection speeds, LTE technology offers more dynamic and reliable internet
access, particularly when large amounts of data need to be uploaded or downloaded.

„We will use LTE technology to extend our advantage in automotive networking and further
consolidate the Audi connect strategy,‟ said Michael Dick, Audi board member for technical

Audi announced that LTE technology would be used in cars by early 2011 at the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year.

Residual value update_________________________________________

Autoquake goes into administration
AUTOQUAKE, which bills itself as the UK‟s largest online used car supermarket and
offered ex-fleet vehicles for sale, has gone into administration.

A statement on the company‟s website says Matthew Bond and Jason Godefroy of insolvency
experts MCR have been appointed joint administrators.

The company has effectively ceased trading with the statement saying: „The joint
administrators are not accepting any reservations or deposits with respect to the vehicles
shown on this website. The website is currently operational for demonstration purposes only.‟

The statement adds that anyone interested in purchasing any of the assets of the company
including the company‟s domain name and e-commerce platform should contact MCR. No
further details are currently available.

The business was launched in 2005 and 12 months ago it announced the successful raising of
a further £6 million to fund future developments.

The company was being funded by leading venture capital companies Accel Partners,
Highland Capital Partners and Kreos Capital.

Van values remain strong despite rising volumes
DEMAND continues to keep values relatively firm in the used commercial vehicle market,
despite volumes rising sharply, according to the latest BCA analysis.

Average values fell by £76 (1.8%) in February while sold volumes increased by nearly 13%
over the same period, following a near 50% increase between December and January.
Average monthly values have broadly remained between £4,000 and £4,200 since the
summer of last year.

Performance against CAP dropped by less than a point to 98.78%, down from the 99.46%
achieved across the board in January.

Year-on-year, February was down a significant £439 (10.5%) when compared to the same
month last year - which was the second highest monthly average price on record.

Fleet and lease LCV values fell back by £186 (3.8%) to £4,599, effectively losing half the
gains made in January when values climbed sharply. However, taken in the context of a
market that saw sold volumes increase by some 18%, it is apparent that there is plenty of
demand for stock, says BCA.

As with last month, year-on-year values are adrift (by £527 or 10.3%) as the market was
reaching its peak a year ago. Fleet vans averaged 98.15% of CAP in February, nearly a point
behind the January average.

In contrast, there continued to be significant value growth in the part-exchange sector, which
climbed sharply for the second month running, following a six-month period where values
had moved little.

Values rose by £113 to reach £2,565 - an increase of 4.6% - and the highest value recorded
since April of last year. CAP comparisons improved again to reach 101.09%, although year-
on-year values were behind by £254 or 9% - February 2010 remains the highest monthly
value ever recorded in this sector.

Nearly-new volumes remain very low and fell back for the second month running. Values
also fell - by £60 to £10,344 in February, although performance against CAP improved again,
reaching 104.73% - a 1.5 point increase over January.

Duncan Ward BCA‟s general manager - commercial vehicles, said: „Demand held up well in
February following the strong start to the year. Overall the market seemed pretty confident,
although there were patches when buyers seemed to turn off. There are still issues relating to
poor stock mix resulting from an influx of vans from business failures and liquidations, often
in poor condition or non-retail colours and with a low specification and that is likely to
continue in the months ahead.

„Although it is early days in the wake of the „11‟ plates, the corporate buyers have been
active and we should expect to see de-fleet volumes ramp up and possibly some more price
pressure in the fleet/lease used van sector.‟

Ward added: „The overall economic picture remains fairly depressed, however, and small
business confidence is reported as low. A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters of
small businesses are unlikely to add to their workforce this year, while even more are
concerned about access to bank lending to fund growth.‟

He concluded: „High fuel prices are contributing to the rising inflation, as well as the knock-
on affect of rising costs across all areas of business. It means small businesses and solus
traders are likely to be looking to reduce their costs going forward - considering these sectors
are the biggest buyers of used vans this could have a significant impact on demand as the
year rolls on.‟

CD Auction Group rings up success with BT Fleet
THE strong start to the year for CD Auction Group has been confirmed with a 100% sales
conversion for major vendor, BT Fleet.

The online sale of both cars and light commercial vehicles also resulted in all vehicles selling
at over 100% of CAP „clean‟ value.

The success of the sale underlines the growing importance of online auctions in the vehicle
defleet and remarketing industry, said the CD Auction Group, which claims to have seen
demand for all vehicles at record levels since the beginning of the year, leading to fast stock
turn and rising values.

„We have had around 30% more buyers looking for cars in the first few weeks of the year
than before Christmas,”‟ said Roger Woodward, CD Auction Group managing director. „The
bidding on this sale was frantic, especially towards the end, and it is reflected in the
outstanding values achieved. The demand for the good quality vans was fantastic.‟

Highlights of the sale included diesel hatchback and estates reaching around 110% of CAP
„clean‟ while some of the light commercial vehicles reached over 130% of CAP „clean‟.

Zenon Witkowski, head of vehicle sales for BT Fleet, said: „It is clear that the use on online
auctions is going to grow as more businesses recognise the benefits of fast stock turn, high
sales values and reduced carbon footprint.‟

Woodward added: „The 100% success of this sale for BT Fleet just shows how confident
buyers are about bidding online, especially if they have seen comprehensive condition reports
and high quality digital photographs of the product.‟

Manheim to open Italy’s first ever dedicated auction centre
MANHEIM is to open a new purpose-built auction centre near Milan, believed to be the first
dedicated vehicle auction facility in Italy.

The new two-lane auction centre, located near Malpensa Airport, will host a regular
programme of auctions starting in April.

The investment has been made in response to the growing demand for professional auctions
and specialist remarketing services in the country.

Manheim Italy‟s current customers include BMW, Avis, Maggiore Rental, GE Fleet,
Volkswagen Financial Services and Unicredit.

The site will be equipped with Simulcast technology, ensuring that each auction gets online
buyer exposure throughout continental Europe.

As the world‟s largest automotive services company, Manheim sees this latest investment as
a key piece of the jigsaw in creating a broad range of remarketing and retail support services
in continental Europe.

Car auctions have been established in continental Europe for several years and, whilst
processing a small percentage of the overall wholesale market compared with the UK and the
United States, are growing in popularity in Italy. However in Italy they operate exclusively
for trade markets with no private buyers allowed access into the auctions.
Politics and regulation_________________________________________

Government decides not to cut drink-drive limit
THE Government has decided against cutting the drink-drive limit, but has announced a
range of measures aimed at targeting the number of people who drink and drug-drive.

The package of measures was announced by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and form
the Government‟s response to the North Report on Drink and Drug Driving, which was
published last year.

Improved testing equipment to detect drink and drug drivers will be given the green light and
key changes made to streamline enforcement of both offences.

The Government will also examine the case for a new specific drug-driving offence -
alongside the existing one - which would remove the need for the police to prove impairment
on a case-by-case basis where a specified drug has been detected.

The Government says that instead of cutting the prescribed alcohol limit for driving it will
focus instead on improving enforcement and education to tackle the drink and drug drivers
who put lives at risk.

Hammond said: „Drink and drug driving are serious offences and we are determined to ensure
they are detected and punished effectively.

„It is just as dangerous to drive impaired by drugs as alcohol so we need to send a clear
message that drug-drivers are as likely to be caught as drink-drivers and that drug-driving is
as socially unacceptable as drink-driving has become. That is why we will approve drug-
testing devices and change the law to speed up the testing process, ensuring the police can
bring drug drivers to justice.

„The number of drink-driving deaths has fallen by more than 75% since 1979. But drink-
driving still kills hundreds of people so we need to take tough action against the small
minority of drivers who flagrantly ignore the limit. Their behaviour is entrenched and after
careful consideration we have concluded that improving enforcement is likely to have more
impact on these dangerous people than lowering the limit.

„We are therefore taking forward a package of measures which will streamline enforcement,
helping the police to target these most dangerous offenders and protect law-abiding road

On drink-driving the Government will:
           Revoke the right for people whose evidential breath test result is less than 40%
              over the limit to opt for a blood test (the „statutory option‟). It is believed that
              the length of time it can take to organise a blood test can mean that drivers
              who were over the limit when breath tested at the roadside have fallen below
              the limit by the time their blood sample is taken.
           Introduce a more robust drink-drive rehabilitation scheme, so that drink-
              drivers who are substantially in excess of the limit can take remedial training
              and a linked driving assessment before recovering their licence.
           Approve portable evidential breath testing equipment for the police which will
              speed up the testing process and free up police time.

              Close a loophole used by high risk offenders to delay their medical
              Streamline the procedure for testing drink-drivers in hospital.

On drug driving the Government will:
           Approve preliminary drug-testing equipment - initially for use in police
              stations, and at the roadside as soon as possible. The Home Office is currently
              testing six drug-testing devices and hopes to be able to take decisions on type-
              approval by the end of June.
           Allow custody nurses to advise the police whether or not a suspected driver
              has a condition that may be due to a drug. This will remove the need to call
              out police doctors and so speed up the testing process - ensuring that drug
              drivers do not escape punishment because a doctor is not available and also
              freeing up police time.
           Examine the case for a new specific drug driving offence - alongside the
              existing one - which would remove the need for the police to prove
              impairment on a case-by-case basis where a specified drug has been detected.

The AA said that as the evidential test would be conducted much sooner after drinking, there
would be less time for the body to filter out alcohol and reduce the reading. As a result, the
Government had in effect created a reduction in the legal drink-drive limit.

However, road safety charity Brake said it was „bitterly disappointed‟ that the Government
had failed to listen to the evidence showing that lowering the drink-drive limit and
implementing random breath testing would be effective in cutting casualties.

Brake advocates a drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml blood (currently 80mg/100ml blood)
- a „zero tolerance‟ approach that it says would send out a clear message that it‟s none for the

General motor industry news___________________________________

New car prices continue to rise
THE average price of new cars increased for the second month in a row in February, this time
by 0.21% or £59 from £28,096 to £28,155.00, according to new analysis by DrivenDate.

Since March 1 last year the average price of a new car has increased by 3.82% or £1,037.01
from £27,177.99.

DrivenData‟s New Car Price Index is calculated from the retail prices of every car model
currently sold in the UK.

People on the move____________________________________________

Senior management changes at Toyota GB
TOYOTA GB has announced changes to its senior management structure designed to bring
greater empowerment and faster decision making.

On Friday (April 1) Belinda Poole, director, Lexus Division, will move to Toyota Motor
Europe‟s (TME) head office in Brussels. She will be succeeded by Richard Balshaw,
currently director sales Toyota.

On July 1, John Thomson, director marketing Toyota, will take on a new assignment with
Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.

At the same time as those moves are happening, Toyota GB is making changes to its senior
management structure and streamlining the sales and marketing area by removing the
positions of director sales Toyota and director marketing.

A new position of general manager sales operations Toyota is being established which will sit
alongside the existing positions of general manager vehicle marketing, general manager
marketing communications, general manager network development and general manager fleet
and remarketing. All of those roles will report directly to Matt Harrison, commercial director

Toyota managing director Jon Williams said: „These changes are part of our ongoing efforts
to develop a leaner and more efficient customer focused. We are taking this opportunity to
increase our speed of decision making and to improve the empowerment of the organisation.‟

Simultaneously, Toyota has overhauled its European operation with president Didier Leroy
also becoming chief executive and chief regional officer.

The Financial Times reported (Tuesday, March 22) that the motor manufacturer was
devolving more decision-making away from Japan as part of a new „global vision‟ aimed at
resetting priorities after a damaging crisis that saw the company recall millions of vehicles
worldwide, including in the UK.

Stracke to head up GM in Europe as Reilly steps aside
GENERAL Motors has announced that Karl-Friedrich Stracke will succeed Nick Reilly as
CEO of Opel/Vauxhall with effect from April 1.

Stracke will also be nominated to be chairman of the management board of Adam Opel AG.

Reilly will continue as the head of GM‟s European operations and will be nominated to chair
the Opel supervisory board.

In his capacity as CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, Stracke will report to Reilly. Walter Borst,
president and CEO GM Asset Management and current supervisory board chairman,
continues to serve as a regular member of the supervisory board.

Stracke (55) is a 32-year veteran of General Motors who has led global vehicle engineering
for the last year and a half.

In addition to serving on the Opel supervisory board, Reilly will also oversee Chevrolet and
Cadillac in Europe. Reilly joined GM Europe in November 2009 after running GM‟s
International Operations based in China for three years and is a former Vauxhall chief.

Stracke will be replaced by John Calabrese, executive director Global Vehicle Engineering.
Calabrese joined GM in 1981. Since then he has held several key leadership positions in
GM‟s global engineering operations.

Volvo appoints new CEO
OLOF Persson (46) has been appointed as the president and chief executive officer of the
Volvo Group when Leif Johansson, as announced previously, retires.

The appointment of Persson, currently president of Volvo Construction Equipment, takes
effect on September 1.

As of May 1, Persson will become executive vice president and deputy CEO and work in
parallel with Johansson.

Manheim Auctions strengthens Glasgow management team
MANHEIM Remarketing has strengthened the management team at its Glasgow auction
centre with the appointment of Martin Gray as sales manager and Stephanie Benton as branch
dealer manager.

Gray joins Manheim following a career that includes roles in retail sales at a Peugeot dealer,
as a regional corporate sales manager for Mercedes-Benz UK responsible for fleet customers
in Scotland and the NW of England and as corporate sales manager for the Scottish-based
Mercedes-Benz retailer, John R. Weir. For the past 12 months he has been fleet solutions
manager for Glasgow leasing company Fleet Alliance.

Benton first joined Manheim in 2003, initially as an account manager in dealer sales and then
as Skoda support manager before she was employed by Skoda UK as used car supply
manager. She returns to Manheim after two years as general manager of Wilsons Auctions in

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Published by AWD Communications Ltd                                    


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