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Posted: Tue, 17/07/2018 - 14:55

Ford has officially opened its first 'High Street' new car retail space in Next’s store at the Manchester Arndale Centre as part of an alternative car sales channel developed in partnership with Rockar.

The manufacturer’s Buy Online retail platform went live to car buyers last week and plans for the city centre retail space were realised when the Next facility opened its doors to customers yesterday (July 16).

Ford of Great Britain’s chairman and managing director, Andy Barratt, once again took to his Linkedin account to mark the landmark moment.  

Barratt said: “Another significant day for Ford of Britain, as we open our first Digital Ford Store, based in the Next store in the Manchester Arndale Centre. This is our first store in store globally.

“Outstanding work from both Julie 'Morris and Louise Coates in the Ford team to bring this concept to life.”

He added: “Customers can now elect to purchase in store direct from Ford using our online platform launched last week, and take delivery from a local dealer, or select to be introduced to their local dealer.”

AM exclusively revealed that Rockar planned to partner with Next and an OEM online in early January, following that story with news of Ford’s move into the Manchester Arndale Centre two months later.

The new-look five-car High Street retail space in the newly-refurbished Next store in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre offers shoppers the opportunity to test drive vehicles and new cars can be handed over at the site.

A new Ford team of 15 product experts and support staff has been recruited for Ford with the support of Rockar. The team will not be paid commission for sales.

Ford’s launch of its an online car sales pilot for customers allows them to specify, finance and order a new car for delivery to participating dealers, Ford in Manchester Arndale or to a home address anywhere in the country.

All complementary online offers will be supported by Ford Options, the company’s Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) scheme, and be supported by Ford’s usual warranty and roadside assistance terms.

Speaking to AM earlier this year, Rockar founder Simon Dixon said that Ford’s link-up with Next could pave the way for the introduction of similar retail outlets to more of its 500 UK-wide stores.

He said: “Next has 500 stores across the UK, so the opportunity for us is huge.”


Article sourced from  AM-ONLINE





Posted: Wed, 04/07/2018 - 11:24

Wow what a deal, clearly a company that needs to move some vehicles.  How much is the subsidies going to cost the dealers on this one?

If you are looking to buy a new car this is a great opportunity as a customer to get a great deal and save some money, this should stimulate the market quite a bit.   

Article below, sourced from AM-ONLINE


Renault has announced that between July 3 and October 1 it will offer 0% PCP finance across its entire range, with an additional £1,000 off part exchanges.

The part exchange deal, valid throughout July, applies to the Clio and Captur new EasyLife variants. The offer can be redeemed through a voucher available for download online.

Under the 0% PCP finance offer, the new Clio EasyLife range will be available from £179/month with £179 deposit, while the Captur EasyLife range from £199/month with £199 deposit.

Full list of offers:

  • The Clio Play is available from £13,500 OTR or £179 a month with £179 deposit over 48 months on a 0% Renault Selections PCP.
  • The Clio Iconic TCe 75 is available for £199 a month with £199 deposit with 0% APR over 48 months.
  • The Clio GT Line TCe 90 is £229 a month with £229 deposit with 0% APR over 48 months.
  • The Captur is now priced from £15,300 OTR, an entry price reduction of £315.
  • The Captur Play is £199 a month with £199 deposit with 0% APR over 48
  • The Captur Iconic is available from £16,500 OTR or £229 a month with £229 deposit with 0% APR over 48 months.
  • The Captur GT Line is available from £18,300 OTR or £259 a month with £259 deposit with 0% APR over 48 months.
  • The Mégane Play is £199/month with £3,150 deposit with 0% PCP finance
  • The Mégane Play is available from £17,315 OTR, the Mégane Sport Tourer Play is available from £18,515 OTR, £475 and £335 less respectively than the Expression+ versions they replace. The Mégane Play is £219 a month for 36 months with £3,291 deposit on Renault Selections PCP3.
  • The Mégane Iconic TCe 130 is £219 a month and £3,054 deposit with 0% APR over 36 months.
  • The Mégane GT Line is available from £20,215 OTR, the Mégane Sport Tourer GT Line is available from £21,415 OTR, £575 and £435 less respectively than the previous GT-Line Nav.
  • The Mégane GT Line TCe 130 is £239 a month with £3,777 deposit with 0% APR over 36 months.

Kadjar Dynamique SE Nav is £209/month with £6,698 deposit with 0% PCP





Posted: Mon, 18/06/2018 - 15:46

Volkswagen Group has been fined one billion Euros for cheating diesel emission tests after accepting responsibility for the “diesel crisis” before public prosecutors in Germany.

The fine - equivalent to £880 million - was imposed by the Braunschweig public prosecutor yesterday (June 13) and is one of the highest ever imposed by German authorities against a company.

VW does not plan to appeal the ruling, which came after prosecutors established that the brand had sold more than 10.7 million cars between mid-2007 and 2015 which were fitted with an emissions test defeat device.

“Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it,” Volkswagen Group said in a statement.

“Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step toward the latter being overcome.”

Volkswagen’s fine by German authorities follows a US 4.3 billion dollar plea agreement settled in the US, back in January, to resolve criminal and civil penalties associated with its diesel emissions cheating across the Atlantic.

In total, Volkswagen had set aside a sum of 30 billion dollars to cover fixing cars, buying back cars, clean air fines, penalties and compensation in the US, the BBC reported.

Reuters reported that Munich prosecutors had this week widened an emissions cheating probe into Audi to include chief executive Rupert Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

It said that VW chief executive, Herbert Diess, and the group’s chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch are also still being investigated by Braunschweig prosecutors for suspected market manipulation.

Poetsch, also chief executive of VW’s majority stakeholder Porsche SE (is separately being investigated by prosecutors in Stuttgart over the same suspicions, Reuters reported.  

Source - AM-ONLINE

Posted: Thu, 07/06/2018 - 16:36

Volvo Cars has announced new financial and operational ambitions that will position the company as a leading player in the global automotive business by the middle of the next decade.

On the operational side, it expects to generate half of all sales annually from fully electric cars, one third of all cars sold to be autonomous driving cars and half of all cars it offers to customers from its subscription service.

Volvo Cars expects these initiatives to transform its connection to its customer base, with the aim to build a total of more than five million direct consumer relationships by the middle of the next decade, creating new sources of recurring revenue. This will also offer the company far greater potential to develop connected and other services for customers.

‘Our customers’ expectations are changing rapidly. This means that Volvo Cars is also changing rapidly. These initiatives will help transform Volvo from being purely a car company to being a direct consumer services provider,’ said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

On the financial side, Volvo Cars aims to generate premium-level profitability in line with other premium car makers, driven by increased sales and revenues across all three global sales regions, and a broader range of cars, including sales to the new segment of autonomous ride-hailing companies.

The company’s improved financial performance will also be driven increasingly in the future by industrial synergies generated with its affiliated partner companies.

Volvo Cars expects to benefit from lower procurement costs, shared development costs and economies of scale alongside Polestar, and LYNK & CO, in which Volvo Cars owns a 30% stake.

Source - HERE

Posted: Wed, 06/06/2018 - 17:15

Fun fact: 50% of candidates that we have interviewed or re-engaged with we have secured an interview for. Not bad

Posted: Tue, 29/05/2018 - 11:24

The first Mitsubishi new car sales store in the UK is due to open next month at Intu Lakeside shopping centre.

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK says the new store provides customers with an additional way in which to engage with the Mitsubishi brand and purchase a new vehicle.


The car brand believes the development of the new store concept, which AM understands is the first of potentially 14 such outlets in the longer term, complements Mitsubishi Motors’ traditional dealer network and its Buy Online facility.

The store has been designed by retail design agency, Dalziel & Pow. It said fixtures and fittings have been chosen to reflect the bold, adventurous nature of the SUV-focused brand with the 1,281 sq ft of space split into experience zones.

The store also represents a further evolution in Mitsubishi Motors’ relationship with automotive retail specialists Rockar, with whom they have collaborated closely throughout the project. 

To read the full article and see images of the site click here AM-ONLINE




Posted: Fri, 11/05/2018 - 11:57

The Volkswagen Group has urged motorists to not use the rear-left seatbelt Polo’s and two Seat brands after Finnish magazine finds concerning faults.

The rear-left seatbelt in Volkswagen Polos as well as the Seat Ibiza and Arona have been found to have a potentially dangerous fault, originally reported by Finnish magazine Tekniikan Maailma.


Independent tests by the magazine, which were later confirmed by the manufacturer, found that when driven at speed and all three seat belts are in use, the rear left seatbelt can unexpectedly unfasten.

The Guardian reported that the VW Group said it was aware of the fault and advised owners not to use the middle seatbelt until a solution to the problem is found and a recall can be carried out.

A spokesperson from the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg, Germany told The Guardian: “Based on the analysis made at our factory we have identified the seat belt issue that Tekniikan Maailma has found in the tests.


“At Volkswagen, safety remains a main priority and we immediately reacted to solve the issue. As a consequence, a feasible technical solution has been identified.

“Volkswagen is now waiting for the concerned authorities’ final validation in order to implement it, both on the customers’ cars and on the future series production.”


Article from AM-Online

Posted: Tue, 24/04/2018 - 13:05

Volkswagen reveals its fully-electric super sports car, the I.D. R Pikes Peak.

With 500 kW (680 hp), 650 Nm of torque and weighing less than 1,100 kg, the super sports car will take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA, in June 2018. The goal is to beat the existing record of 8:57.118 minutes for electric cars. To achieve this, the I.D. R Pikes Peak will race 0 to 100 km/h in 2.25 seconds, which is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars.

‘The car looks fantastic and has already been attracting a lot of interest from the media and on social media channels for a few weeks,’ said Jürgen Stackmann, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. ‘This project shows once again that Volkswagen is on the right track with its major E-mobility strategy and the introduction of the I.D. family. The I.D. R Pikes Peak and the start at the most iconic hill climb in the world offers Volkswagen the magnificent opportunity to charge the topic of E-mobility, both emotionally and from a sporting perspective.’

The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two electric engines, generating a system capacity of 500 kW (680 hp). As in production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system. Their power density is the crucial factor for the system when producing high voltage. Unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motorsport engineers was not maximum range, but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit.

Roughly 20% of the electric energy required is generated during the 20-kilometre drive. The key here is energy recovery: when braking, the electric engines convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.

With all of this new and exciting technology making it into vehicles, we are going to need highly skilled people to be able to fix them, mechanically and physically. We are already seeing a demand for EV training within Technicians and rightly so.

Posted: Mon, 23/04/2018 - 15:42

Stephen James BMW has opened the UK’s first ‘BMW Store’ at Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre - with product geniuses and a robot replacing sales executives.

Staffed by a team of eight product geniuses – and with a robot taking on part of the role usually filled by sales executives – the new facility will allow shoppers to take a test drive moments after booking a slot on an interactive touchscreen.

A “Click and Buy iPad wall”, meanwhile, is loaded with pre-configured specifications on a range of BMW vehicles, providing simple access to a wealth of information, and allowing users to progress through to ordering online.

A statement issued by BMW UK said that a robot would also be patrolling the store offering support to customers in place of a traditional sales executive. The statement said: “Pepper the Robot will be on hand to give visitors information about the store, receive customer feedback and even take contact information from customers wishing to continue with a vehicle purchase.”

BMW UK chief executive, Graeme Grieve, said technology-packed store format reflected the values of the BMW brand.

Alongside its high-tech approach, the Bluewater store will carry a rotating selection of three new models on site, beginning with the brand-new BMW X2 20d M Sport, the practical 218d Luxury Gran Tourer and the compact 118i 5-door, allowing customers to get fully hands-on with the BMW range.

Visitors can experience the buzz of scale-model motorsport by trying out the Scalextric track, while existing owners can take advantage of a free coffee in the Isetta Bar by showing their BMW vehicle key.

Posted: Wed, 18/04/2018 - 15:38

According to Reuters, Toyota Motor Corp plans to sell US vehicles that can communicate with one another using short-range wireless technology by 2021.

By the mid-2020s, Toyota plans to adopt the communications systems across all its vehicles in America and hopes other companies will follow its example.

Talking vehicles have been tried by US carmakers for more 10 years. The technology uses short-range communications to spread data up to 300 meters, including location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles. The data is transmitted up to 10 times per second to close vehicles and can identify dangers and provide warnings to avoid accidents.