Search Results for “carzam” – Car Dealer Magazine https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish The latest in UK motor trade news, covering car dealers, car manufacturers, workshops and more Tue, 08 Nov 2022 12:12:27 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Nov 2: Food inflation at record level; Royal Mail strikes; Sainsbury’s hiring spree; Dacia reintroduces Duster Extreme SE https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/nov-2-food-inflation-at-record-level-royal-mail-strikes-sainsburys-hiring-spree-dacia-reintroduces-duster-extreme-se/273972 Wed, 02 Nov 2022 06:40:30 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=273972

Food inflation soars to record level as energy costs hit producers Food inflation soared to a record 11.6 per cent in October as even basics such as tea bags, milk...

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Food inflation soars to record level as energy costs hit producers

Food inflation soared to a record 11.6 per cent in October as even basics such as tea bags, milk and sugar all saw significant price rises, figures show.

Overall shop prices are now 6.6 per cent higher than they were this time last year – also a record – but food inflation jumped well above September’s 10.6 per cent and the three-month average rate of 9.7 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Fresh food prices are now 13.3 per cent more than last October, up from 12.1 per cent in September. Non-food inflation accelerated to 4.1 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in September.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday woe for shoppers as Royal Mail workers plan strike

Royal Mail workers will stage two 48-hour strikes around Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an escalating row over pay, jobs and conditions.

It announced strikes around Black Friday on November 25 and Cyber Monday on November 28.

The union has withdrawn strikes planned for November 12 and 14, saying it wants to take more ‘proportionate’ action.

Sainsbury’s launches hiring spree for 18,000 Christmas jobs

Sainsbury’s is hiring for 18,000 seasonable jobs to support the retail giant through the busy Christmas period.

The company said it has created 15,000 roles at Sainsbury’s, 2,000 at Argos and 1,000 in its logistics division.

It said the new workers will help across Sainsbury’s and Argos stores to keep shelves stocked, pick items and to pack and deliver online orders. It is also searching for logistics staff to work at warehouses to support increased demand for products.

Morrisons to shut 132 McColl’s stores, with 1,300 jobs at risk

Around 1,300 jobs are at risk at McColl’s after Morrisons revealed proposals to shut 132 loss-making stores in the convenience chain it bought earlier this year.

The supermarket giant sealed a deal to buy its troubled rival for £190m in a rescue deal in May.

Yesterday, Morrisons unveiled plans to overhaul the convenience retailer after competition regulators said last week they were set to clear the takeover.

Government is failing to lead on cutting carbon emissions, say MPs

The government has been accused by MPs of failing to give an effective lead on cutting damaging greenhouse gas emissions, despite having set a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Commons public accounts committee said ‘vague’ guidelines and ‘fragmented’ responsibilities within Whitehall meant fewer than half of all government departments were complying with mandatory reporting requirements on emission levels.

It warned that ‘inconsistent’ reporting of data across the public sector made it difficult to compare performance and risked undermining confidence in reported progress towards the 2050 target.

Labour refers Suella Braverman to financial watchdog over security breach

Embattled home secretary Suella Braverman has been referred to a financial watchdog by Labour over concerns of a breach of insider trading laws.

Shadow city minister Tulip Siddiq has asked the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate the leaking of information that led to Braverman’s resignation.

Rishi Sunak has been under sustained pressure since deciding to reappoint Braverman to the role six days after she was forced out by Liz Truss while she was still prime minister.

Some rail strikes called off after talks

A rail union has called off planned strikes at Network Rail following progress in talks.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) were due to strike on Saturday November 5, Monday November 7 and Wednesday November 9, running alongside industrial action short of a strike.

It has now formally withdrawn notices for all strike action and action short of a strike involving thousands of workers at Network Rail. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is pressing ahead with its strike against Network Rail and a number of train operators on the same days. TSSA members at some train operators will take industrial action between November 5 and 9.

Monty Python inspired Elon Musk’s idea of ‘charging for insults and arguments’

Elon Musk says he took inspiration from Monty Python for ‘charging for insults and arguments’ amid an ongoing backlash from his decisions as the new head of Twitter.

The Tesla boss, who completed his acquisition of the platform last week, reportedly plans to charge verified users to retain their blue tick.

Following outrage stemming from the proposal, Musk has said the monthly charge will be $8 (£4.30) rather than the originally suggested $20 (£17). In a tweet, he shared a link to a Python skit entitled Argument, saying: ‘Totally stole idea of charging for insults & arguments from Monty Python tbh’.


Dacia Duster Extreme SE rear, via PA

Special edition Dacia Duster Extreme SE rejoins crossover’s line-up

Dacia has reintroduced its special-edition Duster Extreme SE to its range.

Standard features include heated front seats, keyless entry, a multi-view camera and eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Extreme SE also benefits from a range of visual changes, including gloss-black 17-inch alloy wheels and orange accents. Prices start from £18,295 and it’s available to order now, with first deliveries planned for the start of 2023.

Tuesday’s stories on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE closed up 91.63 points yesterday to finish on 7,186.16. Meanwhile, the Cac 40 rose by 61.48 points, ending on 6,328.25, the Dax went up 85.00 points to 13,338.74 but the Dow Jones was down 79.75 points at 32,653.20.

Weather outlook

Today will see a wet and windy start for Northern Ireland, with blustery rain spreading across Scotland into Wales and a lot of England in the afternoon with strong gusts, says BBC Weather. Eastern areas will have sunshine.

Rain will probably linger in the south-east for much of Thursday, while for the rest of the UK it’ll be brighter. There’ll be sharp showers in the west, especially in Wales and south-west England.

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Carzam’s founders are owed more than £12m after collapse of online used car firm https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/carzams-founders-are-owed-more-than-12m-after-collapse-of-online-used-car-firm/273941 Tue, 01 Nov 2022 12:31:35 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=273941

Failed online used car business Carzam owes its founders more than £12m. The company – established by Big Motoring World owner Peter Waddell and entrepreneur John Bailey in 2020 with...

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Failed online used car business Carzam owes its founders more than £12m.

The company – established by Big Motoring World owner Peter Waddell and entrepreneur John Bailey in 2020 with an initial £50m investment from them both – went into voluntary receivership on June 1 this year.

Now joint administrators Adam Stephens and Greg Palfrey, of Evelyn Partners LLP (f0rmerly Smith & Williamson LLP), have released a statement of affairs that includes an estimate of Carzam’s total assets and what they’re likely to fetch for creditors.

The statement also lists 48 creditors, including founders Waddell and Bailey, with the total debt coming to just over £18.9m.

Waddell is listed as being personally owed £2m and more than £4m via Peter Waddell Holdco Ltd. Meanwhile, Bailey is owed £6.25m.

Big Motoring World is owed more than £3m.

Other creditors and claimants include Auto Trader – which is owed more than half a million pounds – and Dundee-based vehicle maintenance and repair outfit Carmeleon Arc, which has registered a claim for nearly £650,000.

In full, the creditors/claimants and what they’re owed is as follows:

  • Accident Credit Group – £76,253.28
  • ADZ Creative & Digital Ltd – £10,537.50
  • All Waste Skip Hire Ltd – £2,016.00
  • Allscreens Nationwide Ltd – £15,790.80
  • Alto Automotive Ltd – £1,440.00
  • Amido Ltd – £155,220.00
  • Auto Trader Ltd – £547,717.97
  • Bapchild Motoring World (Kent) Ltd t/a Big Motoring World – £3,162,600.00
  • Blackhorse Finance – £9,844.16
  • Calltracks Ltd – £4,919.20
  • CarGurus Ireland Ltd – £113,400.00
  • Carmeleon Arc Ltd – £643,698.00
  • Cathedral Leasing Ltd – £1,364.91
  • Chambers Talent Ltd – £12,480.00
  • Chipsaway – £144.00
  • ClicknDrive Ltd – £264,615.31
  • Clickthrough Marketing Ltd – £196,499.57
  • Cloud, Voice & Data Ltd – £210,948.32
  • Codeweavers Ltd – £2,430.00
  • Cowan Recovery Ltd – £3,198.29
  • Custom Cars Ltd – £9,827.00
  • Drainmar Ltd – £1,782.00
  • Enochian Ltd – £7,342.92
  • Euro Car Parts Ltd – £2,837.57
  • Forde Recruitment Ltd – £2,250.00
  • Gately plc – £16,794.00
  • GBA Technical Services Ltd – £93,217.63
  • Greengate Garage Ltd – £1,070.00
  • Ivybridge Consulting Ltd – £8,472.37
  • Intertechnic UK Ltd – £6,285.85
  • John Bailey – £6,250,000.00
  • KPMG – £166,192.80
  • Michael Page International Recruitment Ltd – £25,549.10
  • Peter Waddell – £2,000,000.00
  • Peter Waddell Holdco Ltd – £4,147,500.00
  • Pentesec Ltd – £4,140.00
  • PMA Ltd – £3,600.00
  • Prestige Fleet Servicing Ltd – £86,316.59
  • Recruitment Agenda Ltd – £18,000.00
  • Revive Auto Innovations (UK) Ltd – £54,462.00
  • RSK Tyres Ltd – £6,276.00
  • Sector Support Services Ltd – £1,360.80
  • Sensi Labs Ltd – £494,672.52
  • Silk Automotive Ltd – £15,862.43
  • Straight 6ix Autowerkes – £18,391.50
  • Sty.com Ltd – £8,468.20
  • The Yard Creative Ltd – £28,764.00
  • Touch Ups Ltd – £8,910.00

The assets include computer and office equipment, vehicles and cash in the bank, totalling just over £9m.

However, they are only estimated to fetch £418,277 in all.

Waddell quit as director of Carzam in April, a month after ex-Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue left his post as Carzam’s executive chairman just over three months after joining.

Carzam chief executive Kirk O’Callaghan resigned from his post of director soon after.

Pictured at top are Peter Waddell, left, and John Bailey

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Profit falls at used car dealer Big Motoring World as it hunts for more acquisitions https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/profit-falls-at-used-car-dealer-big-motoring-world-as-it-hunts-for-more-acquisitions/272645 Sun, 09 Oct 2022 04:51:02 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=272645

Used car supermarket Big Motoring World is on the hunt for more businesses to snap up as it looks to expand further. Bapchild Motoring World, owned by Peter Waddell, saw...

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Used car supermarket Big Motoring World is on the hunt for more businesses to snap up as it looks to expand further.

Bapchild Motoring World, owned by Peter Waddell, saw revenue grow in 2021 – but profit fell. 

However, it has revealed in its latest accounts posted with Companies House, that it’s on the lookout for ‘further opportunities’ to expand. 

Big Motoring World revenue increased from £304m in 2020 to £370m in 2021.

Some £348m came from car sales, £10.8m from finance commission and £11.5m from warranty sales.

Profit before tax dropped to £6.6m from £8.7m in 2020.

That didn’t stop the group paying out dividends of £9.6m to directors during the year.

During the year, the used car supermarket group bought SW Car Supermarkets in Peterborough for £11.3m and has been busy integrating them into the business.

It has shelled out on renovating and rebranding the sites into Big Motoring World dealerships.

The group now operates from five locations in Kent, North London and Peterborough.

Writing in the annual accounts, just filed at Companies House, Waddell said: ‘Day to day, the business looks to increase its volume and profitability by offering the highest standards and most competitively priced range of stock from its five locations. 

‘Having integrated the two new Peterborough sites into the business it will focus on driving scale efficiencies to enhance the quality of its stock offering. 

‘As well as driving the efficiency arising from its current footprint, the company is actively seeking further opportunities to expand operations beyond its South East base, in order to fully capitalise on its operating facilities and retail expertise.’

The company now has 500 staff spread across its five sites in West Malling and Bluebell Hill, Kent, Werrington and Fengate, Peterborough, and in Enfield, London.

The business also refurbishes cars at its 14-acre bodyshop in Peterborough. 

It was here that Car Dealer visited when Waddell was preparing to launch the now-defunct Carzam online business with John Bailey. You can see the centre in the video above.

Bailey, was a director of Big Motoring World, but resigned at the end of 2021 when the pair split their businesses following the closure of Carzam.

At the balance sheet close, Carzam owed Big £307k.

Waddell was pleased with Big’s performance overall, adding: ‘Given the events and challenges of 2021, the financial position at the year-end is considered highly satisfactory by the directors. 

‘The positive outcome is borne of the underlying financial strength of the business, combined with its ability to rapidly adapt and scale in accordance with the fluctuations in trading during the year. 

‘The company continues to advertise heavily but effectively in order to create greater customer awareness of the company and broaden the location of its customer base.’

Car Dealer reveals the most profitable dealers in its Top 100 list every year. Find out who last year’s winners were here.

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Aug 2: al Qaida leader dead in US strike; Sturgeon is an ‘attention seeker’ says Truss; BA suspends ticket sales; MG teases new sports car https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/aug-2-al-qaida-leader-dead-in-us-strike-sturgeon-is-an-attention-seeker-says-truss-ba-suspends-ticket-sales-mg-teases-new-sports-car/269245 Tue, 02 Aug 2022 05:51:11 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=269245

Mordaunt makes return to Tory leadership contest to back ‘hope’ candidate Truss Penny Mordaunt labelled Liz Truss the ‘hope candidate’ as she made a surprise return to the Tory leadership...

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Mordaunt makes return to Tory leadership contest to back ‘hope’ candidate Truss

Penny Mordaunt labelled Liz Truss the ‘hope candidate’ as she made a surprise return to the Tory leadership race to endorse her former rival.

The trade minister joined forces with Truss little more than a fortnight after allies of the foreign secretary denied involvement in a ‘black ops’ campaign against the Portsmouth North MP.

Her endorsement came on stage at the latest hustings event as postal ballots began dropping on Conservative doormats.

Joe Biden confirms death of al Qaida leader al-Zawahri in US drone strike

US president Joe Biden says ‘justice has been delivered’ as he confirmed al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan.

Biden expressed hope on Monday that the killing of al-Zawahri brings ‘one more measure of closure’ to families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The president said in an address from the White House: ‘He will never again, never again, allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone and we’re going to make sure that nothing else happens. This terrorist leader is no more.’

Nicola Sturgeon is an ‘attention seeker’ best ignored, claims Liz Truss

Liz Truss has claimed it is best to ignore ‘attention seeker’ Nicola Sturgeon.

The Conservative Party leadership candidate criticised Scotland’s first minister before ruling out a second independence referendum.

Truss, speaking at a hustings event in Exeter, referenced growing up in Paisley before saying: “I feel like I’m a child of the union, I really believe we’re a family and we’re better together and I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her.”

Tory members cheered and applauded the comment, with the foreign secretary adding: ‘She’s an attention seeker, that’s what she is.’

British Airways ‘suspends ticket sales for short-haul flights from Heathrow’

British Airways has reportedly suspended selling short-haul flights from Heathrow for at least a week.

Tens of thousands of flights have already been cancelled this summer as the industry struggles to cope with the demand for air travel amid staffing shortages.

The Times reported BA suspended ticket sales for domestic and European services until and including Monday to comply with Heathrow’s cap on passenger numbers, with the airport announcing last month no more than 100,000 daily departing passengers are permitted until September 11. The company earlier responded to Heathrow’s cap on passenger numbers by announcing it would cancel 10,300 flights until October, with one million passengers affected.

 

MG’s upcoming two-seater convertible teased

MG has revealed a new teaser video of an upcoming electric convertible.

Teased via a post to social media, MG accompanied the post with the caption ‘return of the legend’, which suggests that the new model might wear a badge that was used on some of the firm’s classic cars.

In the short clip, we get to see a long, streamlined bonnet and twin ‘rollover’ hoops behind the driver and passenger seats – this vehicle seems to be a strict two-seater. A small ducktail spoiler is also incorporated into the design of the rear of the car, while the lights at the back of the vehicle appear to draw inspiration from the Union Jack flag.

Annual house price growth will slow to five per cent by the end of 2022, Zoopla predicts

House price growth will cool to become more in line with the longer-term average by the end of this year, as mortgage rates rise and home buyers become more cautious, a property website predicts.

The average UK house price has increased by 8.3 per cent annually, pushing the typical property value to £256,000, according to Zoopla’s index for June. This growth was well above the five-year average of 4.3 per cent.

Many recent housing market reports have shown house prices continuing to hit record highs, despite the tough economy.

HSBC hands £1,500 payout to half of employees, but warns over workforce cuts

HSBC will give a one-off payment of £1,500 to about half of its UK staff to support them during the cost-of-living crisis, but bosses have warned of further cuts to the workforce.

The banking giant said the cash boost will go to more junior staff including customer-facing employees in UK branches and contact centres.

It will reach the pockets of around 48 per cent of UK-based employees, which is about 17,000 people. But bosses at HSBC said a cut to its workforce will be ‘inevitable over time’ as it shuts branches and moves to more digital and automated banking services.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Weather outlook

A cloudy start with a few spots of rain which will clear to leave sunny spells later, reports BBC Weather. A breezy day; very warm in the southeast.

Tonight will be very similar to today with variable cloud and clear intervals. A breezy and warm night.

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Carzam ‘was more than £2.4m in the red when it called in administrators’ https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/carzam-was-more-than-2-4m-in-the-red-when-it-called-in-administrators/269214 Mon, 01 Aug 2022 10:50:19 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=269214

Online used car disruptor Carzam was more than £2.4m in debt when it called in administrators, newly published documents reveal. Carzam was placed into voluntary receivership on June 1, and...

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Online used car disruptor Carzam was more than £2.4m in debt when it called in administrators, newly published documents reveal.

Carzam was placed into voluntary receivership on June 1, and a report and statement of proposals uploaded to Companies House on July 29 by Evelyn Partners – formerly Smith & Williamson – show its ‘estimated total deficiency’ on June 1 was £2.439m.

Total unsecured creditor claims are now estimated to be approximately £2,694,326.

But the report starkly states: ‘It is currently expected that realisations will be insufficient in order to make a distribution to unsecured creditors.’ There are no secured creditors.

By June 30, there were 39 interested parties wanting more information about Carzam’s assets, with 14 just interested in Carzam’s vehicles.

Among ex-VAT offers received for assets were £1,050 for the domain name www.carzam.co.uk and £3,000 for that name plus eight other Carzam domain names as well as Carzam’s EU and UK trademark registrations, with the latter offer recommended for acceptance.

Independent agent SIA Group Ingenuity Asset Ltd was instructed by the administrators to help with valuing, marketing and realising Carzam’s assets.

As such, 25 vehicles were sold by Manheim, raising £48,550. Two other vehicles held by Manheim were due to be auctioned on July 28.

Elsewhere, it was stated that vehicle sales by Manheim post-administration raised £48,550.

But 12 vehicles were believed to have been stolen before the administrators were appointed. The administrators are liaising with insurers to find out if a claim can be submitted to go towards the estate’s administration.

An offer of £8,000 plus VAT was made and accepted for a portable building and contents belonging to Carzam that are at its premises in Corby.

As of July 15, a total of £204,820.32 was received from vehicle sales, book debts, cash at bank, warranty refund, pre-paid card refund and gross bank interest, with £38,139.04 being paid out for matters such as direct labour and expenses, leaving a balance of £166,681.28.

The report lays painfully bare the details of Carzam’s demise, revealing that Carzam’s directors first contacted Smith & Williamson in April to discuss Carzam’s trading circumstances, with initial discussions focusing on the financial pressures it was facing.

At a meeting on April 27, the directors said Carzam could only meet its urgent financial obligations thanks to an injection of funds from certain shareholders.

They told Smith & Williamson that Carzam ‘was facing significant pressure from creditors’, meaning it was highly possible that a winding-up petition could be issued against Carzam.

The directors resolved that a financial turnaround wasn’t possible and that it would be in the creditors’ best interests to place Carzam into receivership.

The FCA gave its consent on May 30, and the next day the directors resolved to place it into administration.

The online used car dealership was placed into voluntary administration on June 1, with insolvency practitioners Adam Stephens and Gregory Palfrey from Smith & Williamson appointed as joint administrators.

Trading stopped straight away and most of the employees’ posts were made redundant that same day.

A small number, such as the finance team, were kept on temporarily to help with producing critical financial information, but their roles were made redundant on June 17.

The staff who lost their jobs became ordinary preferential creditors to the sum of £82,820 comprising wage arrears and untaken holiday.

Evelyn anticipates that a dividend will be paid to them, although it’s currently unable to say how much and when.

Among the 37 creditors listed are Auto Trader to the tune of £547,717.97, ClicknDrive (£264,615.31), Cloud, Voice & Data (£210,948.32) and CarGurus Ireland (£113,400).

Blackhorse Finance is also listed as a creditor, being owed £9,844.16, as is RSK Tyres (£6,276).

The total amount of debt in the section for company creditors (employees and directors) is £144,590.89, although no names are given.

Unsecured amounts of some £61,771 are owed to former employees.

Electronic devices belonging to the company such as laptops, mobiles and iPads currently held by ex-employees are to be collected and wiped of their data by Clear IT.

Funds to the tune of £50,251.51 held by warranty company Car Care Plan were deemed to be an asset and requested and received.

Similarly, pre-paid card refunds of £170.96 were received from Soldo Financial Services.

Smith & Williamson was rebranded as Evelyn Partners on June 14, and Evelyn’s proposals will be considered approved subject to receiving votes in favour from creditors by August 9.

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Are buyers really scared to walk into a car dealership? https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/are-buyers-really-scared-to-walk-into-a-car-dealership/268800 Sat, 23 Jul 2022 07:30:59 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=268800

Have you ever thought customers might actually be scared to enter your showroom? I know I haven’t. Dislike, yes – but fear, certainly not. But that’s the opinion of Peugeot...

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Have you ever thought customers might actually be scared to enter your showroom? I know I haven’t. Dislike, yes – but fear, certainly not.

But that’s the opinion of Peugeot UK’s latest MD, Julie David.

In an interview with Car Dealer,  she said she feels ‘sad’ some customers are scared of entering showrooms.

‘I really hope that in my lifetime I will see a change in the way people feel about buying a car,’ she explained.

‘I think it’s so sad that we still have a situation where people fear going into a showroom – they fear the interaction with salespeople.’

I read this and really couldn’t believe it was true. Are potential car buyers really that put off by showrooms that they don’t even want to set foot in them? Or is this a car manufacturer MD softly setting us up for something else?

I think it’s probably more of the latter.

Over the years, I’ve helped many friends and family buy cars in a variety of showrooms.

Some of them would freely admit that they don’t exactly look forward to the experience, but ‘fear’ is such a strong word.

If there’s a sense of trepidation when it comes to starting the journey, it’s surely more down to the complicated nature of the products.

Let’s face it, cars these days aren’t simple.

It was bad enough when you had the choice between petrol and diesel plus a few different trim levels – but these days there’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, battery sizes, public and home charging and lots more to get your head around.

David adds that she’d like to achieve a situation where customers ‘enjoy’ the car-buying experience and don’t feel ‘pressured’.

These are strong words from a manufacturer MD who admits she spent weeks on the road mystery-shopping her own dealers.

What did she experience when she was out there? Quite what did her franchisees say, or do, to make her think that way? It sounds like whatever the experience was, it wasn’t exactly pleasant.

Sweeping statements, though, that customers are scared of dealers don’t really help.

While there might be some where it’s still a battle between salesperson and customer, the majority of sites I’ve ever dealt with have been more helpful than scary.

But then perhaps I’m looking at this from an industry perspective. I’m always going to err on the side of defending the motor trade, so perhaps there’s a little bias there.

Robins & Day Peugeot new look, Dec 2021

Julie David went mystery-shopping at various Peugeot dealerships

Instead, I have to look at the success – or lack thereof – of the alternatives to visiting a showroom.

Online sales may have boomed during the pandemic, but then it was more of a necessity to do a deal than a pure shift in the way people buy cars.

Just look at how it has tailed off since lockdowns became long-forgotten headaches.

Vertu’s Robert Forrester recently admitted just 900 of the tens of thousands of cars he sold last year were pure end-to-end transactions. A tiny fraction.

Then look at how the online ‘disruptors’ are faring.

While there are obviously some people very happy to buy cars purely on the web, it’s not the seismic shift in behaviour that investors in the likes of Cazoo would like.

And that’s not to mention Carzam, the online used car rival that floundered and then flopped.

The latter two are businesses offering the very alternative to the showroom that David says customers want.

The more I think about her comments, the more I think it was a case of positioning ahead of the industry’s shift to agency sales.

It felt more of a justification than a reality.

None of us really knows quite how agency sales – where customers buy on a manufacturer website and dealers hand the cars over – is going to work, but I think it’s clear from these comments that David already thinks it will be better.

I’m afraid I disagree. There’s a reason car dealers have existed for so long and that’s because people like to buy from people – not a chatbot on a faceless website.

This column appears in the latest edition of Car Dealer – issue 173 – which also carries an extended version of the Julie David interview as well as news, views, reviews, features and more. Read it in full below.

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Used car sales for Top 200 most-stocked car dealers fell in June https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/used-car-sales-for-top-200-most-stocked-car-dealers-fell-in-june/268202 Fri, 15 Jul 2022 09:00:48 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=268202

Sales of used cars by the Top 200 most-stocked car dealers fell by more than two per cent last month, latest figures shows. Data compiled for Car Dealer by CarCondor.co.uk...

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Sales of used cars by the Top 200 most-stocked car dealers fell by more than two per cent last month, latest figures shows.

Data compiled for Car Dealer by CarCondor.co.uk reveals that the Top 200 car dealers in the UK sold 159,691 cars in June.

It was a substantial 2.24 per cent fall on May’s 163,358 figure.

Revenue was down too by 3.07 per cent on May. June’s figure totalled £3.25bn compared to May’s 3.35bn.

However, there was a marginal rise in in the number of  cars bought as stock by the Top 200 car dealers.

The month saw 149,301 used cars purchased by dealers to fill out their forecourts – a 0.42 per cent rise on May’s 148,671 but still down on April’s 156,718.

April was already down a considerable 19.22 per cent on March.

Sales were down across the board across all dealer types, with franchise dealers seeing a 2.92 per cent decrease, independents at 3.42 per cent and supermarkets at just 2.63 per cent.

Glasgow-based Arnold Clark remained in pole position in the Top 200 list, with an average of 24,343 used cars on its books – a figure compiled across its franchised and used car sites.

There was also no-change for online used car dealer Cinch as it stayed in second place.

In June, Cinch had an average of 9,618 cars in stock.

The Constellation Automotive Group-owned operation was just ahead of Marshall – which is currently undergoing a £325m buy-out by Constellation – which had an average of 8,167 cars.

Crisis-hit Cazoo moved up three places to fourth, with an average 7,447 cars in stock.

The online outfit overtook the Pendragon-owned Evans Halshaw also remained in fourth place with an average 7,389 cars in stock, and Sytner, with 6,927.

Bristol Street Motors dropped two places to seventh with 6,853 just ahead of Inchcape on 6,296 and CarShop, which is part of the Sytner Group, on 6,099.

Motorpoint (5,387) rounded out the top 10.

The exclusive list can be viewed by members of the Car Dealer website. Sign in with your name and email address to view it instantly, and to access even more used car data about your dealership on the CarCondor.co.uk website.

The best-selling used car, as usual, was the Ford Fiesta, while the fastest-selling used car was the Nissan Note – previously it was the MG 3.

The full 200-strong list can be viewed below. If you’re not a Car Dealer member, sign up now to get immediate access.

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June 27: Ukraine calls for more support; Wimbledon returns; Genesis shows off new electric SUV https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/june-27-ukraine-calls-for-more-support-wimbledon-returns-genesis-shows-off-new-electric-suv/266920 Mon, 27 Jun 2022 05:53:05 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=266920

By-election losses hit hard but Boris Johnson pushes on with long-term plans Boris Johnson has entered a new week hoping to put two tough by-election defeats behind him, as he...

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By-election losses hit hard but Boris Johnson pushes on with long-term plans

Boris Johnson has entered a new week hoping to put two tough by-election defeats behind him, as he seeks to bolster faith in his leadership for the time being – if not into the next decade.

The prime minister is meeting counterparts at the G7 summit in Germany on the latest leg of a series of international gatherings which have kept him out of the UK, as questions loom over his future. An announcement on steel tariffs is also expected in the coming days, which the PM is reportedly plotting to please voters in Labour heartlands.

Johnson has insisted the ‘golden rule’ is to ‘focus on what we are doing’ after raising eyebrows by revealing he has ambitions to remain in office into the 2030s.

Johnson demands action on Ukrainian grain as Zelensky calls for more support

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky will urge leaders of some of the world’s richest countries to do more to support his nation’s fight against Russia.

Zelensky will address Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and other G7 leaders by video link from Kyiv as his country continues to come under attack from Vladimir Putin’s missiles.

In his nightly address on Sunday, he urged the allies to be ‘partners, not observers’ and give his country the ability to defend itself, warning that any delay would be an invitation to Russia to strike again. Johnson will use Monday’s session at the G7 summit in Germany to call for urgent action to help get vital grain supplies out of Ukraine’s blockaded ports to support the country’s economy and alleviate shortages around the world.

Genesis shows off Electrified GV70

Genesis has unveiled the Electrified GV70 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as the SUV goes on show in Europe for the first time.

The third EV to come from new premium brand Genesis – which is owned by the Hyundai Motor Group – the Electrified GV70 uses a powerful dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup that’s capable of producing up to 482bhp, which can result in a 0-60mph of four seconds when put in ‘Boost’ mode.

Providing a range of up to 310 miles, the GV70 also comes with 350kW rapid charging capability, meaning a 10-80 per cent charge can take as little as 18 minutes. Pricing and specification details will be released later.

City of London urged to reconsider plans to demolish historic Barbican buildings

A campaign has been launched urging the City of London Corporation to reconsider its decision to demolish historic buildings, including the Museum of London, in the capital’s Barbican.

The City of London Corporation has submitted plans to demolish Bastion House and the Museum of London, replacing both with a 780,000 square feet office block development and relocating the museum. The Barbican Centre, which was built in the 1970s, is grade two listed but the local authority secured an exemption for the Museum of London and Bastion House in 2019.

However, campaign group Barbican Quarter Action has written an open letter to the corporation urging them to reconsider the plans due to the economic and environmental problems it would create, which include creating a net increase in CO2.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Wimbledon kicks off with full capacity crowds for first time in three years

Wimbledon kicks off on Monday with full-capacity crowds descending on the grand slam tournament in south-west London for the first time in three years.

The 2022 championship marks the first time the grounds will be filled with up to 42,000 people every day since before the coronavirus pandemic.

The queue has returned for the first time since 2019 as spectators from around the world camp out and line up for hours to buy on-the-door tickets every day.

Arts and crafts retailer Hobbycraft to open new stores and create jobs

Arts and crafts retail chain Hobbycraft is to create more stores and jobs after posting a lift in profits for the past year.

The company said its adjusted pre-tax profit for the 2022 financial year was £15m, which marks a growth from £13.8m the previous year. Total revenue also rose 14.8 per cent from £176.9m in 2021 to £203.1m.

Moving into the next financial year, the retailer is set to build three new sites, with stores in Bromborough, Merseyside; Biggleswade, Bedfordshire; and Southend, Essex; creating 40 new retail jobs.

Weather outlook

A cloudy start with scattered showers for much of the UK this morning, reports BBC Weather. These will be confined to the north later on with sunny spells in the south.

Rain will continue to fall in Northern Ireland and Scotland tonight. Dry with patchy cloud elsewhere.

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With Carzam gone and Cazoo in turmoil – why is Cinch being so coy? https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/with-carzam-gone-and-cazoo-in-turmoil-why-is-cinch-being-so-coy/266656 Sat, 25 Jun 2022 08:00:30 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=266656

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear a Cinch advert on the radio I wonder the same thing – just how is it going? The Constellation Automotive...

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I don’t know about you, but every time I hear a Cinch advert on the radio I wonder the same thing – just how is it going?

The Constellation Automotive Group-owned online car sales platform was launched as a rival to Cazoo, but unlike its NYSE-listed cousin we know very little about how it’s getting on. I’d be fascinated to find out.

The revelations from the online used car disruptor world have come thick and fast this month.

First it was Carzam that called time at the bar as it was placed in voluntary receivership just before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

Co-founder Peter Waddell told Car Dealer it had struggled to raise money, especially after the performance of Cazoo and its American forefather Carvana’s share prices tanked.

Investor appetite for the used car disruption model appears to have waned, and where Carzam was hoping to ride the coat-tails of success and suck up venture capitalist cash, it instead slid down the pan as the stock market seemingly lost faith in the model.

Waddell went so far as to outright blame Cazoo for his firm’s failure in an interview with The Times a few days after we first published news of the Carzam administration.

It was the latest in a long line of swipes from the Big Motoring World chief.

Just a few days later, Cazoo outlined its ‘Business Realignment Plan’. A shock document detailed how the firm was shedding 750 jobs, shutting some of its prep and customer centres, slashing its marketing budget and closing its subscription service.

While the job losses were bad enough, the subscription service news was a huge shock.

Cazoo said this was because it was a hugely ‘cash-intensive’ part of its business.

It wasn’t joking. Not only would it be closing down the service to new business, but we assume also writing off the £125m it paid for Drover and Cluno, the latter the German subscription service it snapped up too.

Cazoo boss Alex Chesterman said the group would now be focusing on its core UK used car business and that it was being forced to make these moves mostly because of the economic environment.

Cazoo car handover centre

Cazoo is bringing in a massive cost-cutting programme

Some would argue it’s not just the economy causing the business problems but the very business model itself.

Those people have Vertu’s recent announcement that out of nearly 90,000 used cars sold last year just 900 were purely online still ringing in their ears.

That’s a hearty endorsement for traditional dealerships if ever we’ve heard one.

Honestly, do people really want to buy used cars purely online? Or do they actually just want to do part of the process on the web and still go and see the car in person?

I know I don’t want a purely online experience. I consider myself tech-savvy and buy pretty much everything online, but the last thing I want to do is buy a used car that way.

I bought a car recently and went to the dealer, poked and prodded the vehicle, and sat in it umpteen times before deciding to hand over my cash.

Most importantly, I built a relationship with the salesman, not with some faceless chatbot.

So if Carzam has gone and Cazoo is clearly struggling, it’s really up to Cinch to prove to us that there’s life in the online sales model yet.

The firm still appears to be splashing the cash on marketing and certainly has an impressive number of cars for consumers to choose from – but, most importantly, is it actually making any money? Is it really working?

Finding out is nearly impossible as the secretive firm remains tight-lipped about its performance.

Perhaps, if there really is a success story to be told, it would be shouting about it from the rooftops.

Or is it more a case of sometimes it’s just better to keep quiet when things are tough?

This column appears in issue 172 of Car Dealer, along with news, reviews, features and much more. View it in full below.

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Used car sales for Top 200 most-stocked car dealers rose in May https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/used-car-sales-for-top-200-most-stocked-car-dealers-rose-in-may/266414 Wed, 22 Jun 2022 11:47:06 +0000 https://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/?p=266414

Sales of used cars by the Top 200 most-stocked car dealers jumped by over 3.5 per cent last month, latest figures shows. Data compiled for Car Dealer by CarCondor.co.uk reveals...

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Sales of used cars by the Top 200 most-stocked car dealers jumped by over 3.5 per cent last month, latest figures shows.

Data compiled for Car Dealer by CarCondor.co.uk reveals that the Top 200 car dealers in the UK sold 163,358 cars in May.

It was a substantial 3.53 per cent rise on April’s 157,790.

May was still lower than March 2022’s 172,547 figure, however.

Revenue was up too by 2.38 per cent on April. May’s figure totalled £3.35bn compared to April’s £3.27bn.

May continued the trend for fewer cars bought as stock by the Top 200 car dealers, however, underlining retailers were making stronger margins on less stock.

The month saw 148,671 used cars purchased by dealers to fill out their forecourts – a 5.13 per cent fall on April’s 156,718.

April was already down a considerable 19.22 per cent on March.

Sales were up across the board across all dealer types, with franchise dealers seeing a three per cent increase, independents at 4.85 per cent and supermarkets at just under three per cent.

Glasgow-based Arnold Clark remained in pole position in the Top 200 list, with an average of 26,840 used cars on its books – a figure compiled across its franchised and used car sites.

There was also no-change for online used car dealer Cinch as it stayed in second place.

In May, Cinch had an average of 10,908 cars in stock.

The Constellation Automotive Group-owned operation was just ahead of Marshall – which is currently undergoing a £325m buy-out by Constellation – which had an average of 8,768 cars.

Pendragon-owned Evans Halshaw also remained in fourth place with an average 7,947 cars in stock, while Bristol Street Motors jumped from tenth in April’s list to fifth place in May with 7,831.

Sytner slipped to sixth with an average of 7,674 and Cazoo remained in seventh place with 7,135.

Inchcape (6,625), CarShop (6,485) and Lookers (6,171) rounded out the top 10.

The exclusive list can be viewed by members of the Car Dealer website. Sign in with your name and email address to view it instantly, and to access even more used car data about your dealership on the CarCondor.co.uk website.

The best-selling used car, as usual, was the Ford Fiesta, while the fastest-selling used car was the Nissan Note – previously it was the MG 3.

The full 200-strong list can be viewed below. If you’re not a Car Dealer member, sign up now to get immediate access.

Register or Sign In to view this post

It only takes a few seconds – you'll share your name and email address with us, even if you use Google or Facebook to register – and you'll get instant access to this post

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The post Used car sales for Top 200 most-stocked car dealers rose in May appeared first on Car Dealer Magazine.

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