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Posted: Tue, 17/04/2018 - 11:40

According to Thatcham Research, the Volvo XC90 is the safest car ever tested, with zero recorded fatalities.

Since the Volvo XC90 went on sale in 2002 it has sold over 50,000 vehicles, yet not a single person or passenger has been killed while in the vehicle.

One reason for the Volvo’s safety is that it was an early leader in the use of camera and radar systems to warn drivers about hazards on the road. These systems automatically bring the car to a stop if it gets too close to another vehicle.

Apart from its safety benefits, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) could also bring cheaper insurance premiums.

Using lasers, cameras or radar, the car will detect an impending collision, and give the driver a warning. If he or she doesn’t act, the car will brake automatically. Thatcham Research calls AEB the most significant development since the safety belt.

AEB has been shown to reduce such collisions by 38%, according to research by the safety organisation Euro NCAP. By cutting the number of accidents, it is possible that the cost of insuring a car with AEB could also come down.

Posted: Mon, 16/04/2018 - 11:49

Volvo Trucks has introduced its first all-electric truck, the Volvo FL Electric.

The first trucks in the new FL Electric range are entering regular operation with two customers in Gothenburg, with series production of the new model starting in Europe next year.

"We are immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic. With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports," said Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks.

The manufacturer is offering holistic solutions to suit the needs of individual customers with regards to range, load capacity and driving cycles.

The Volvo FL Electric has a GVW of 16-tonnes and its motor develops 425Nm of torque.

It can operate for a range of 185 miles on a full charge and can be recharged in one hour using a fast charger

Posted: Thu, 12/04/2018 - 10:34

Used car values continue to rise at auction, up 1.7% in March compared to February. Year on year are ahead 9.2% to £9,68, the second highest on record.

Stuart Pearson BCA MD UK Remarketing said: “Buyer demand was strong in March, resulting in average values reaching record levels and excellent conversion rates around the 24-strong BCA network.


Reflecting seasonal patterns, we saw greater volumes from both fleet and lease and dealer part-exchange sources and this uplift is likely to continue in the weeks ahead.

“With Easter now behind us, we expect demand to be maintained well into April as professional buyers compete for stock.

Posted: Tue, 10/04/2018 - 10:38

A Servicing Stop survey has revealed 64% of motorists are now more likely to head online to buy their new or used car. Automotive specific sites such as Autotrader pull 40% of the custom, while 16% head to Gumtree and Ebay, according to the survey of 1,006 consumers. A further 8% will look on Facebook and Twitter for their next vehicle. However, one-in-three car buyers will still consider shopping at a showroom, with almost half of those surveyed claiming it is the safest and most trusted place to buy a car.

Servicing Stop's chief executive and founder, Oly Richmond said: “Motorists are driving a hard bargain online, opting for cheap and quick deals on a new set of wheels over the traditional process of visiting a showroom.

“There’s always been a risk involved in buying a second-hand vehicle but it seems drivers are increasingly willing to take the risk, aware of the consequences and buy online - it’s great to see drivers presented with more diversity in terms of their buying options but it’s a surprise to see so many motorists buying online but still holding faith in the showrooms.”

Posted: Tue, 03/04/2018 - 14:43

Nissan has outlined its target to sell one million electrified vehicles annually by 2022.

The aspiration was announced as part of the Japanese brand’s MOVE to 2022 midterm plan, which includes evolving autonomous driving systems and improving vehicle connectivity.

“Our product and technology strategy is dedicated to positioning Nissan to lead the automotive, technology and business evolution. Our efforts are focused on delivering Nissan Intelligent Mobility, encompassing the three core elements of electrification, autonomous drive, connectivity and new mobility services,” said Philippe Klein, Nissan’s chief planning officer.

Nissan will develop eight new pure electric vehicles between now and 2022, it will also launch new electric car brands in China and a new electric mini-vehicle for the Japanese market.

Infiniti models will be launched with electrified powertrains by 2021 too and Nissan will offer 20 models globally with ProPilot autonomous driving technology by 2022.

Posted: Thu, 29/03/2018 - 11:30

Figures from the SMMT show that the UK saw a 34.8% increase in electric and hybrid vehicle registrations in 2017. Aimed at meeting demand for technicians skilled in the assistance of Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles at the roadside, Allianz Worldwide Partners, in partnership with the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI), is setting a new industry standard for training and awareness.

A total of 119,821 alternative fuel vehicles were registered in the UK in 2017, up from 88,881 in 2016, with the sector accounting for one in every 21 new cars. Anticipating increased demand for highly qualified, specialist engineers, the Allianz Worldwide Partners network of dedicated manufacturer technicians, along with its fleet of Multi-Technicians, are working to achieve a Level 4 accreditation in Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles, with the IMI acting as the awarding body.

Skill requirements include identifying AC and DC voltages, as well as high voltage symbols, cabling and components, during maintenance and repair. Following procedures is a key skill, along with safe working practices engaging with Electric, Hybrid and PHEV vehicles that require assistance and advising others when a vehicle is in a ‘safe condition’ to carry out maintenance or repair.

Posted: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 14:36

The average franchised car dealer missed out on £429 million of aftersales income by selling just 53% of urgently required work, according to the findings of autoVHC’s annual aftersales report.

According to the vehicle health check provider’s data, the UK’s franchised dealers are continuing to miss out on significant aftersales revenue opportunities due to a failure to secure maintenance work identified during the service process.

On average, workshops in the sector missed out on as much as £429 million in 2017, it said, having managed to sell only 53% of red work.

Chris Saunders, business unit director at autoVHC, said: “This continued trend of missed sales opportunities is worrying, particularly as many dealerships are now relying on aftersales revenue to offset any losses associated with the recent dip in new car sales. Clearly, there are failings in the way technicians are communicating with motorists, and these need to be addressed as a priority.

Red work is identified as faults that if not addressed pose a serious safety risk and in many cases will mean the owner will be breaking the law if they continue to drive the vehicle.

The data gathered by autoVHC, which sampled 500 UK dealers in 2017, revealed the average UK dealer failed to sell £87,600 worth of urgently required work over the twelve-month period.

Across the sample group this equated to £43.8 million worth of lost sales, meaning a total lost sales figure of £429 million across the UK’s 4,900-strong franchised dealer network.


Posted: Mon, 26/03/2018 - 14:49

Diesel vehicles accounted for 53% of online used car searches via Auto Trader but the fuel type failed to keep pace with petrol powered alternatives 10% year-on-year price rise in February.

The online classifieds specialist saw the popularity of diesel cars remain flat last month, according to its online search data, but a price rise of 3% (£476) for diesel – to £14,400 – meant that petrol powered cars ultimately made the larger gains in value, rising £1,105 to £10,733.

Overall, the average price of a used car rose 6% on a like-for-like basis to £12,768, which reflected the growth in prices recorded in January.

Posted: Wed, 21/03/2018 - 11:08

British motorists are happy to pay more to use a garage they trust than get the work done cheaper elsewhere, according to research.

The AA-Populus poll of 17,000 motorsist added that a further 23% of drivers claim they would go out of their way to visit an accredited garage.


Motorists concerns surrounding car maintenance were apparent in the survey's findings, with 7% of respondents stating that they had been overcharged for work on their car, while 5% were surprised when they had to pay for what they saw as unnecessary repairs as 7% were stung by unexpected charges.

However, only 10% of drivers have proactively shopped around for better deals.

The number of clued-up drivers (14%) would check the estimate using a price guide, which outweighs the 9% that have no idea about how much a car service costs.


AA Garage Guide director, Olli Astley, advisied motorists to "check reviews online before visiting a garage", stating that "this will allow you to easily assess its reputation".

He also advised potential customers to use the ‘Guide Price’ tool on the AA Garage Guide, which allows users to compare services at different garages.

Posted: Mon, 19/03/2018 - 09:41

The average price of a used car reached its second-highest level on record for remarketing specialist BCA as demand remained high across its 24 auctions centres and online platform during February.

BCA’s monthly Pulse report revealed that average used car values rose by 2% month on month and by 7.6% year-on-year to £672 as they reached £9,498 last month.


Values rose for fleet and lease, dealer part-exchange and nearly-new vehicles with the average age and mileage of vehicles continuing to reduce.

Stuart Pearson, BCA’s managing director of UK remarketing, said: “February was another strong month in the remarketing sector and BCA saw competitive bidding across the board from high value prestige stock to older, higher mileage budget vehicles. 

“The arctic blast of weather had no impact on trading, with professional buyers switching to our Live Online platform if travel was difficult.