BMW Group UK sales outperform the market in 2011
12 January 2012
BMW's sales in the corporate sector rose to record levels in 2011 with an increase of 10% over 2010 volumes against a rise of just 4% in overall fleet sales.
Overall it reported a rise of 8.78% in its 2011 sales increasing from 153,312 to 166,780 vehicles compared to 2010, and against a market which has seen overall sales fall by just over 4%. BMW Group market share for the year increased to a record 8.59%. The Group has seen sales in December of 11,813 vehicles, a decrease of 2.74% from the 12,147 vehicles sold in the same period in 2010. The overall market fell by 4% in December.
"We have seen strong sales growth from BMW Group in the UK this year with sales exceeding 166,000 vehicles. BMW has not only secured its position as the UK's top premium brand in 2011 but has also recorded its second highest ever sales result in the UK," said Tim Abbott, managing director of BMW Group UK. "Both BMW and Mini brands have outperformed the market and in particular we have seen significant growth coming from the company car market where BMW saw sales increase by 10% to a new record level. Driven by particularly strong demand for the BMW 5 Series, there has also been considerable incremental growth from the latest X3 and X1 ranges. Mini has also achieved record UK sales and market share thanks to strong performances from the MINI Countryman and the new Mini Coupé. Although the 2012 outlook is challenging, we are going into the year with the youngest product portfolio in the premium sector and we remain cautiously optimistic.”
Ford closes its centenary year as UK market leader
12 January 2012
Ford secured 15% of the UK's total 2011 market, selling 265,894 cars in the UK last year, down from 280,364 in 2010, during an intensely competitive trading period.
Ford Fiesta was the UK car sales leader again in 2011, having taken the position from the Ford Focus in 2009, with 96,112 registrations. In its launch year, the new Ford Focus increased sales from 77,804 to 81,832, compared with 2010, and the new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX combined to more than double sales from 8,357 to 18,925, compared with full year 2010 C-MAX sales.
Meanwhile, the Transit helped account for a significant growth in Ford CV sales in 2011, totalling 71,607, up from 62,308 in 2010. Ford Transit sales alone were up from 46,300 in 2010 to 56,363 in 2011, representative of sales increases across the whole Ford CV range in 2011. Apart from Transit, Ford Fiesta Van, Ford Transit Connect and Ford Ranger all increased sales.
Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain managing director, said: "Ford's 2011 sales performance benefitted from a combination of our best-ever range of vehicles, advanced technology engines, including the new low-CO2 EcoBoost engines, and the unrivalled strength of our dealer network. More people choose Ford over any other vehicle brand in the UK and as we face economic uncertainty and intense competition in 2012 we will look to satisfy the needs of our private and business customers through the introduction of a number of new models and technologies, starting with the launch of the new Ford Ranger and the introduction of the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in Ford Focus."
Renault announces model and dealer cull
21 December 2011
Renault is to restructure its business in the UK, dropping a number of models and reducing its dealer network by around one third over the next 12 months.
It also aims to reduce its reliance on less profitable elements of the fleet market such as daily rental and Motability. The move is aimed at returning the French carmaker's UK operations to profitability without the need to be propped up by headquarters, and strengthening the brand in the country. From the beginning of February next year Renault will discontinue the Kangoo car, Modus, Wind Roadster, Laguna and Espace while the network will be reduced by the end of 2012 from 190 to around 135.
Managing director Thierry Sybord said that dealers were given the news at the end of last week and while reaction has been mixed, it is mostly positive. "There is a general feeling that something needed to be done," he said.
Renault UK is also taking a number of measures to improve brand perception and residual values. Sybord revealed 2012 will be a "transition" year with the gradual introduction of its zero emissions models, culminating in the Zoe at the end of the year. Also arriving at around the same time will be the fourth generation Clio, historically a successful car for Renault in the UK, and the launch of the Dacia brand.
All dealers will sell the Dacia Duster and new generation Sandero models when they arrive around November. Sybord said: "During 2012 we plan to move the Renault brand up in terms of customer perception and bring in Dacia below it. Our electric vehicles, or Z.E. brand, will form a halo above."
Z.E. models will be the Kangoo Van, Twizy, Fluence and Zoe. Asked if the large models, Laguna and Espace, will eventually be reintroduced, Sybord said: "We will have to wait and see. It is difficult to compete in the D-segment against Ford and Vauxhall so a Laguna in the future will have to offer something very different. I think that we can expect something very different with the next generation Espace and that will be worth looking at."
The half billion cost of going backwards
21 December 2011
Travelling in reverse gear causes £409 million each year in vehicle damage, according to new research by Accident Exchange.
Almost 200,000 reversing accidents occur annually, report the accident management specialists, equivalent to more than 500 each day, with an average repair cost of £2,123. As the busiest shopping days of the year arrive, drivers are being advised to take care in congested car parks, the location of most reverse-related damage. In the majority of incidents, the ‘at fault’ driver collided with the innocent party’s stationary vehicle – usually in a car park – or was reversing from a driveway or narrow side road.
The Accident Exchange study suggests that reversing cars cause almost 8% of total vehicle accidents in the UK, which results in nearly half a billion pounds of damage, excluding the wider costs associated with the involvement of emergency services or lost labour hours. There were an estimated 2.5 million accidents in 2010 on UK roads and Department for Transport figures show that failing to check for another vehicle is the most frequently reported contributory factor (38%) to accidents.
Beware bogus car hire deals, says BVRLA
20 December 2011
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is warning customers to take extra care when confronted with cheap deals for Christmas car hire on the Internet or in the press.
Festive season travellers were caught out by bogus car hire companies this time last year, handing over deposits of hundreds of pounds for cars that never materialised. The BVRLA believes that similar scams are being planned this year and has already made contact with Police and Trading Standards over one potential threat.
“These companies offer unbeatable prices and free delivery – but they really are too good to be true,” says BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis. “Unfortunately it is very easy for fraudsters to build a simple website and set up a call centre to pass themselves off as legitimate businesses. These sham operators are damaging the reputation of car rental. We are working with the authorities to help stamp them out.”
In the meantime, the BVRLA is offering five simple tips for customers looking for safe and hassle-free car or van rental.
1.Only use a BVRLA member. Seeing our logo on the front desk or website is a sign that you are dealing with a reputable company that has been vetted and operates to a professional code of conduct. You will also be able to use our conciliation service in the event of any dispute.
2.Never hand over cash. Most reputable rental companies will only want to accept credit/debit card payment
3.Make sure the company is operating from a bona fide commercial premises, not a PO Box or virtual office, no matter how prestigious the location sounds
4.Make sure the company actually owns and operates the cars it is offering - all BVRLA members operate their own rental fleet
5.Remember, if the price or service being offered seems too good to be true, it probably is and you may well end up out of pocket and disappointed!