SECOND ANNUAL INDUSTRY REPORT ABOUT USED CAR DEALERS PUBLISHED
The One Voice Report by CarGurus, now in its second year, looks at a host of topics relating to car dealerships. These include profitability, digital retailing trends, stock location, speed of sale and lead management.
Addressing used car profitability, just over 50% of all dealers reported margins were down in 2019. However, franchised retailers outperformed their independent counterparts. 51.1% of independents reported a fall in margins last year compared to 44.2% of franchised businesses.
At the other end of the spectrum, only 20% of independent retailers said margins were up on the previous year; for franchised operators, this figure was significantly better at 28.4%. Blame for the downward trend in 2019 was firmly directed at Brexit and political uncertainty with almost two-thirds of retailers reporting Brexit had a negative impact on the market.
FORD EMOJI JACKET HELPS DRIVERS AND CYCLISTS COMMUNICATE
With busier roads than ever, drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians are all vying for space. This has resulted in more than 2,000 cyclists being killed on roads in Europe each year. To improve communication between road users, Ford has developed the 'Emoji Jacket'.
"Emojis have become a fundamental part of how we use language," says Emoji expert Dr. Neil Cohn PhD. "This jacket allows riders to express their feelings and creates an important emotional link between them and other road users"
This prototype jacket was created by Ford in partnership with industrial design specialists Designworks as part of their ongoing 'Share the Road' campaign. The jacket allows the wearer to effectively communicate their emotions to other road users around them by using emoji icons.
The Share the Road campaign underlines Ford's belief that enabling more people to cycle safely, especially for short journeys, benefits everyone. Believing that by fostering harmony between road users, raising awareness, and increasing conversations between them, our roads can become a better and more accepting environment for all.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER'S NEW SHAPE-SHIFTING SEAT KEEPS YOU WALKING
Jaguar Land Rover is developing the seat of the future. The 'morphable' seat uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you're walking.
The pioneering shape-shifting system being trialled by Jaguar Land Rover's Body Interiors Research division, is designed to improve customer wellbeing by tackling the health risks of sitting down for too long.
By simulating the rhythm of walking, a movement known as pelvic oscillation, the technology can help mitigate against the health risks of sitting down for too long on extended journeys with UK drivers covering an average of 146 miles every week.
Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: "The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe."
Deathly Silent Cars Made Safer with Aftermarket Product
New research shows millions of Brits could benefit by switching to an electric vehicle - but a road safety expert warns many are still 'silent killers'. Vehicle safety expert Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE, of Brigade Electronics, says drivers thinking of making the change must be aware of how dangerously quiet the cars can be.
Chris, who introduced the reversing alarm to the UK back in 1976, says the popularity of electric vehicles is soaring - and with good reason. He added: "The best EVs can now cover more than 200 miles on a single charge, the cost benefits are tangible, and the environmental impact is profound. But drivers must be wary of their safety limitations."
In a bid to tackle the issue, Brigade has developed an aftermarket solution - the Quiet Vehicle Sounder. It is designed to save lives by producing a distinctive sound. It is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down.
FORD SCORES UNIQUE INTERNATIONAL VAN OF THE YEAR 2020 AWARD
Ford of Europe scored a unique 1-2 in the International Van of the Year Award 2020 competition. It secured the prestigious title for the sixth occasion, with its range of Transit Custom Hybrids, comprising the Plug-In Hybrid and EcoBlue Hybrid models.
Voted by a select panel of European Commercial Vehicle editors and expert journalists from 25 countries, the new Ford Transit Custom Hybrids won the election comprehensively, scoring 97 points, with its nearest challenger (coincidently from its own stable) the new Ford Transit EcoBlue Hybrid in second place on 54 points.
Hans Schep, General Manager Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe commented: "We are very proud that the IVOTY jury has singled out our Transit Custom Hybrid range for this prestigious award. Van operators need practical and efficient electrified vehicles that are tailored to their business needs, and our new Hybrid Transits offer a range of solutions to suit different customer use cases."