UK new car registrations declined for the first month of 2018, as the year gets off to a shaky start following the first annual drop in figures for six years during 2017. The figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that in January, 163,615 vehicles were driven off the country’s forecourts, a fall of 5.3% compared with the same month last year. This represents the 10th consecutive month of decline in the country’s market. Demand fell across all sectors of the industry, with business registrations down 29.7%, fleet purchases falling 1.8% and private sales dropping 9.5%. Meanwhile, continuing trends seen towards the end of the year, the SUV market was the only vehicle segment to register growth, with demand up 6.6% and a market share of 20.2%
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has been made aware of a new advertising scam that is targeting independent workshops. Members have notified the industry body about phone calls received, claiming to be from a local newspaper, asking if they would like to place a low cost advert (around £25) as an offer in conjunction with the RMI. Callers apparently know a lot about the business they are targeting, including staff names and other trade associations they belong to. In addition, the scam is only contacting garages that have already placed newspaper adverts. The caller is encouraging businesses to secure their advertising place by paying for it over the phone but attempts to take a large amount, in some cases up to £5,000, from the account. The banks have been able to bl
The UK has seen investment in its automotive industry halve since the country voted to leave the European Union, new figures reveal. As the process continues, there are still no answers as to how the country will trade with Europe. Any deal that does not offer free trade routes would see World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs introduced, which could mean a 10% charge on every product that enters and exits the country. During 2017, investment in the UK industry fell by 33.7%, according to new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This equates to £1.1 billion (€1.25 billion) put into the country’s various vehicle manufacturing plants and development centres, down from £1.7 billion (€1.9 billion) in 2016, and £2.5 billion (€2.85 billion) in 2015.
New research has shown that since the Apprenticeship Levy was launched in April 2017, the total number of starts across all industry sectors has dropped by 61%. This figure also includes a fall of 15% in the automotive industry alone. Such a drop has, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), caused confusion amongst employers about the new processes, along with reluctance by smaller businesses to take on what they see as an increased administrative burden in the move from older apprenticeship frameworks to the newer models that the levy introduces. When introduced, the Apprenticeship Levy was set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s annual payroll. However, only those with a payroll over £3 million would have to make the contribution. Those who do not pay will instea
A UK study has found that used diesel vehicles are less reliable and more expensive to fix than their petrol counterparts. The report by warranty provider Motoreasy analysed 30,000 three to eight-year-old vehicles over a 12-month period and found that diesel models broke down three times more on average. As the diesel market drops in the UK, buyers are moving to the used market to purchase the technology, partially due to older vehicle excise duty (VED) rates remaining favourable. Drivers of diesels are also likely to pay bigger repair bills, partially due to the complexity of the engine and its components compared to petrol vehicles. The average engine repair bill for a diesel was £517 compared with £433 for a petrol vehicle, a difference of 20%. Duncan McClure Fisher, the fo
New driver assistance technology is aiding road safety in the UK, as research shows that seven in ten new vehicles are sold with systems that mitigate driver errors and prevent accidents. Latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics shows that around 66.8% of new cars are offered with at least one self-activating safety system, either as standard or as an optional extra. Nearly 1.8 million new vehicles a year are now available with collision warning systems alone, up 20% on the previous year. This is just one of a raft of technologies now in showrooms, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), parking assistance, adaptive cruise control and overtaking (or blind spot) sensors. AEB, for example, which automatically applies the brakes ...
Standard Motor Products Europe (SMPE) has secured the rights to supply its engine management programme under the Lucas brand. Under the new licence agreement, SMPE will develop and grow the Lucas brand in all mainland European countries, as well as non-aligned Scandinavian and Balkan states. The Lucas brand will also reach the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Russia. The new-look Lucas product line-up will feature key engine management ranges including ignition coils, cam/crank sensors, air mass meters, lead sets, coolant temp sensors and oil pressure switches, engineered by SMPE in the UK. SMPE were also the principal suppliers of Lucas branded engine management during the 1990s, which included caps, rotor arms, contact sets and condensers. Richard Morley, SMPE...
The UK Government has decided against changing the first MOT date of new vehicles to four years after sale, following the outcome of a public consultation. Announced in the Budget of 2015, the move would have seen the current first MOT date of three years after registration pushed back by a further year. The announcement caused consternation within the aftermarket, with motoring bodies the RMI, GEA and IAAF amongst others reforming the Automotive Aftermarket Liaison Group (AALG) and launching the proMOTe campaign. The government has now published its response, in which it states that following comments from the sector and public, it will be abandoning its plans and instead keep the status quo. According to the document, a clear majority of responses favoured no change from the...
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will introduce a new MOT inspection manual to back-up changes in the test to be introduced in May 2018. The new draft manual covers class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles and must be used by garages from 20 May 2018. A new manual for class 1 and 2 vehicles is currently being put together by the agency but is not yet ready for release. The new manual highlights a number of changes that garages need to be aware of. New defect categorisations include dangerous, major and minor defects, the latter of which must be identified and recorded, with the vehicle owner being advised to repair. The exact method of inspection will only be recorded where there’s a specific need, for example, brake performance testing or emissions. The DVSA advises test
The UK new car market declined in 2017, with annual registrations falling for the first time in six years, according to new figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Sales in December fell by 14.4%, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline in the country. Over the 12 months, 2,540,617 units were registered, a fall of 5.7% compared to a record year in 2016. However, despite the decline, which was also down on 2015’s figures, the total is still the third highest in a decade. While sales of petrol vehicles rose over the year, with a 2.7% increase, this was not enough to offset a drastic drop in the sale of diesel vehicles, which ended 2017 down by 17.1%. The SMMT attributes this collapse to the anti-diesel rhetoric passed onto the public by me