Volkswagen all but made half a million worldwide sales in the first month of 2017. In all, 495,900 vehicles to handed over to customers throughout the world. However, this is a 4.9% fall compared with the previous year. J??rgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, said that the "Volkswagen brand started 2017 successfully. Worldwide deliveries may be slightly below the value for the previous year, but this is solely due to special effects in the major market of China. All the other reported gratifying increases compared with the previous year." In Europe, deliveries rose by 4.7 per cent to 126,700 vehicles. This markets in Spain and Italy were notable for their positive sales. It was sales of the new Tiguan that was the bedrock for this improvement. In VW's home market of Germany, 38,600 vehicles were handed over to customers, corresponding to a slight fall of 5.1 per cent. Volkswagen's cars are present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and the company produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. Currently, 218,000 people work for Volkswagen and they have 7,700 dealerships with 74,000 employees around the world. In 2015, Volkswagen produced about 5.8 million vehicles.
Silverstone Auctions returns to Race Retro to host a two-day Classic Car Sale on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February, in addition to its Competition Car Sale on 24th February, at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Headlining the sale of 95 classics is a UK, right-hand drive 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT featuring the incredibly rare factory fitted flared wheel arches and Campagnolo wheels. Other highlights are a 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP500S, a right-hand drive 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SV finished in the striking combination of Arancio Leonis with an Alcantara interior and a 1956 BMW 502 V8 saloon. "This is our sixth auction at Race Retro and we have another exceptional line-up of cars this year, perhaps our best ever at the event," comments Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions. "We're delighted to be part of the show again and, as always, we have some really unique opportunities for buyers and collectors and some really special cars on offer that rarely come to market." For collectors looking for something a little more unusual, a 1939 4 1/4 Ltr Blown Derby Bentley "Rusty Turner" Special, one of only three that were built will be offered. "We look forward to welcoming visitors at Race Retro to our special sale and we hope to help show-goers leave with their dream classic," concludes Nick Whale. To find out more about Silverstone Auctions Race Retro Classic Car Sale and view the full lot list please visit www.silverstoneauctions.com/race-retro-classic-car-sale-2017.
Honda has recently shown its commitment to the its UK dealerships with a relaunch of its 'Platinum Business Programme'. It is continuing its support by being named as manufacturer sponsor of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's Annual Dinner which is taking place on Thursday 2 March 2017 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Honda will be showcasing a range of its vehicles on this key networking night, and Head of Cars Phil Webb will also be assisting with the presentation of the BVRLA's awards. He said: "2017 is not only a big year for the BVRLA, but it also sees Honda celebrate a major milestone as we launch the all-new Civic and our fleet team continues the expansion of our Platinum Business Programme. That's why it's a perfect time for us to support the fleet industry at the BVRLA Annual Dinner, and we're looking forward to socialising with representatives from the rental and leasing sector and rewarding their hard work." Last year's Annual Dinner brought together more than 950 senior representatives from across the vehicle rental and leasing industry. The awards celebrate the top performers in the BVRLA's training courses, as well as the deserving staff who are often the unsung heroes of the sector. Honda UK joins Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lombard, MS Automotive (London) Ltd and VRS in supporting the BVRLA Annual Dinner.
Exchange and Mart, the online classifieds motoring specialist, has revealed their best family hatchbacks for used car buyers. On the used car market, the family hatchback still delivers good mileage and practicality. According to their expert view, the most affordable family hatchback is the SEAT Leon, while the Honda Civic is noted for its comfort, safety and fuel economy. But it's the VW Golf that delivers a premium feel. It is more stylish, more efficient, more spacious and delivers a dynamic driving experience.
From the spring of 2017, the Skoda Citigo will look and drive a little different. Its new design includes a new front look with a redesigned bonnet, radiator grille, bumpers and fog lights. It will also enjoy a modified instrument cluster design and a new multifunction leather steering wheel. There will be development under the bonnet too, with a choice of two modern three-cylinder petrol engines with 60 PS and 75 PS that have high torque values with low noise levels. And specially designed 15-inch alloy wheels complete the new look. Thanks to its generous wheelbase, the Citigo already has an interior which offers sufficient space for the rear passengers. But, this new Citigo has grown by 34mm to a length of 3,597mm. The 251-litre boot capacity, which becomes 951-litres when the rear seats are folded down, ranks amongst the best in this segment. There is an excellent range of active safety features including the automatic braking function City Safe Drive and the optional Emergency Brake that helps to prevent collisions in urban traffic. The system uses a laser sensor that scans a 10-metre area in front of the vehicle and automatically activates at speeds between 3 and 19 mph. It's all part of ensuring a high level of safety for both drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
Volkswagen are looking to help business fleet managers with the running of their commercial vehicles. It's part of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' "Working With You" commitment which involves each of its 72 Van Centres having a professional Business Development Manager (BDM) on hand to help those buying and managing vehicles. This allows them to concentrate on running their businesses. Introduced to provide assistance to local business owners, the BDMs advise on which vehicle is right for their business needs and help in processing the sale on behalf of the customer. They then go on to deliver help on choosing the most cost effective finance package as well as aftersales support. Business Development Managers spend a lot of their time visiting companies offering a one-to-one service that is specific to their individual business needs. Over the last year, Volkswagen has made a number of significant changes to the way the BDMs operate, as well as introducing new technology to help streamline the processes. Andrea Rigby Carnell, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' Business Development Manager for Breeze Motor Group in Southampton, said: "Our aim is to help make the sales process as easy as possible for our clients. Working hand-in-hand with customers we guide them through the sale process and undertake all of the leg work so that they don't have to. We eliminate the need for them to take time away from work to visit a Van Centre, which allows them to concentrate on running their business." Each BDM will liaise with customers into the future too, ensuring that their ongoing needs and future requirements are fully met. To find your nearest Van Centre and contact your local Business Development Manager, please visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk.
Few performance cars come to define their particular niche in quite the same fashion as the BMW M3. Rivals have come and gone, but the M3 has evolved to represent the benchmark for real world performance. Yes, you could buy a two-seat open-topped sports car that would lap a track quicker, but the M3 is built for everyday use. It's comfortable, reliable and accessible, and above all, rapid. The E30 M3 was first introduced in 1987, BMW needing to build 500 cars for homologation so that it could go toe to toe with the Ford Sierra Cosworth and the Mercedes 190 in the German DTM racing series. It was a markedly different car from a standard 3 Series coupe. In fact, it shared only the roof and its bonnet with its humbler sibling. The engine was rather special too, an overbored 2.3-litre four-cylinder unit with 16 valves. Closer inspection of many of the other parts, from the big 284mm vented front brake discs, to the quicker steering rack and twin-tube gas damper suspension, demonstrated that this was not a rushed job. A dog-leg five-speed Getrag gearbox, a limited slip differential and a bigger fuel tank were all fitted, as were beefier anti roll bars and heftier springs and bushings. By any measure, it was a serious piece of kit. It worked too, destroying all comers in the DTM and provoking pages of rapturous gushings from road testers of the time. A real performance car - par excellence.
With the internet and social media, it may seem that sourcing and buying your new second-hand car can't be much easier now-a-days. But a recent study has shown that most buyers drive away in their new motor as pleased as punch, without taking the time for a few vital safety checks. Research by Kwik Fit, the UK's leading automotive servicing and repair company, reveals that less than half of the 20 million British motorists who bought their current car second-hand, undertook such checks and then many waited for at least six months before even having it serviced. In fact, 1.7 million admitted that even though they had thought about it, after 6 months they still hadn't had their new car serviced at all. Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: "Most of us are excited at the prospect of buying a car, but it would appear from this research that many drivers let their hearts rule their heads and forget to make some of the most obvious checks." What to Check When purchasing a second-hand car, wise buyers will test the condition of the brakes, thoroughly examine the bodywork for knocks and signs of repair, check the depth of tread on the tyres - including the spare, and make sure that all the lights are working. Other things to consider are the conditions of the seats and carpets, which are an indication of the vehicle's age and driven mileage; how clean the engine bay is and any oil leaks under the engine, and don't forget the response of the suspension. Looking through any service history, MOT records - including advisories and the presence of a handbook, will also give a good indication as to the way it has been looked after. This is in addition to database checks to prove the identity of the car. Kwik-fit found that older drivers are more likely to show caution that younger ones when purchasing a car. "It may seem like common sense," added Griggs, "but drivers should not rely on what the seller tells them about the condition of the car, but make sure that they look for themselves." Drivers can find a wide range of advice and tips on car maintenance by visiting kwik-fit.com. For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can also follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.
The Nissan e-NV200 has become Europe's best-selling all-electric van. Sales were up 20% on the previous year, with UK registrations more than doubling since the vehicle's launch in 2014. Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, said, "As more and more businesses focus on reducing their carbon footprint, the need to find zero emissions transport is becoming more important than ever. Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are working towards a sustainable future and our e-NV200 complements our vision perfectly whilst catering to a wide range of customer needs." Electric and zero-emissions vans are expected to see significant growth over the next two years, with plug-in versions of the Renault Master, VW Crafter and Ford Transit already confirmed, along with an improved version of the Renault Kangoo ZE with extended range. The e-NV200 has a five year, 60,000-mile warranty and can cover up to 106 miles on a single charge. The UK is the top market in Europe for the e-NV200, followed closely by Norway and France.
The Mercedes-Benz E 220 d is now available with 4MATIC all-wheel-drive in both their saloon and estate body styles. This is the first time a diesel E-Class has been offered with all-wheel-drive in the UK. It will use the same all-new four-cylinder 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine as the standard rear-wheel-drive E 220 d that produces 194 hp. All new E-Class models come with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox. With a torque split of 45:55 front to rear, the 4MATIC system offers greater traction, driving dynamics and driving stability in all road conditions. The system does this by using sensor data on the wheel speeds, the steering wheel angle and yaw and lateral acceleration. Next-generation driver assistance systems include a Lane Tracking Package that has Passive Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Assist, and the more comprehensive Driving Assistance Plus Package. Prices for the E 220 d 4MATIC saloon start at £38,175, while the estate version costs £40,175.