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.
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 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."
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 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."
A rare 1954 Jaguar XK120 in barn-find condition is set to get classic car collectors bidding when it goes to auction this month with The Market, the original online classic car auction house. Residing on a farm in Wales for the past 50 years as an ongoing restoration project, the classic Jaguar is one of just 151 right hand drive, fixed-head coupe models made for the UK market, of which around 57 are believed to exist today. Presented in partially-built yet largely complete condition, the car is for sale from its second owner. It has its original chassis and engine for an auction estimate of £25,000 to £35,000. A certificate from Jaguar Heritage which accompanies the car confirms that it was manufactured on 16th March 1954 and distributed by Byatts of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, originally finished in Birch Grey with a grey leather interior. Potential buyers looking to purchase a car with The Market pay only what they bid with no additional fees or commission. The auction will run online only and begin on 20th November, closing at 8pm on 27th November.
Maxxis Tyres, a global tyre manufacturer of a range of bicycle, motorcycle, car and light truck tyres, has recently taken delivery of a fleet of 12 all-new PEUGEOT 508s for use by the company's UK field sales team. The new fleet includes a mix of Allure and GT Line Fastback models. Standard safety equipment for all models includes: PEUGEOT Connect SOS and Assistance, Advanced Automatic Emergency braking, Distance Alert and Active Lane Keeping Assistance with road edge detection, Active Blind Spot Detection and PEUGEOT Smartbeam Assistance. Maxxis Tyres chose the all-new PEUGEOT 508 because it met the company's requirements for fuel economy, low emissions, comfort, suitability for work and home use and attention to design detail. The cars are all being supplied through John Grose PEUGEOT Ipswich.
Combining the results of intensive customer research and Aston Martin's expertise in hand-crafted interiors, the luxury British marque has released the first image showcasing the finely crafted cabin of the Aston Martin DBX. DBX has been designed inside out to ensure owners feel instantly at home from the moment they enter the spacious cabin. They have used a bespoke chassis allowing them to tailor the interior space to the specific needs of DBX's customers. Over six months were spent solely focused on defining the position of the driver within the vehicle. Fundamentally, DBX offers a cabin that gives the driver an instant and relaxed confidence, yet offers the promise of dynamic performance to reward the most discerning driver. The landmark model's Recommended Retail Price has been confirmed at £158,000.
Vauxhall Motors is fielding two pre-1905 cars from its Heritage Collection in this year's Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Both cars were built in the first two years of Vauxhall's existence, when its manufacturing base was in the eponymous South London suburb, and it was becoming established as one of the most prestigious car brands in the early twentieth century. The younger of the two cars, a 6HP Light Car, registered JNM 400, has entered the Run at least 64 times, according to Vauxhall's records. The 1903 5HP Light Car, registered BS 8213, is the world's oldest surviving four-seat Vauxhall, and the 45th car built by the company. It was originally delivered to a Dumbarton shipbuilder at a cost of £154 3s 3d. Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, starts at Hyde Park this year on Sunday, November 3. A total of 418 vehicles have entered this year's Run.
Suzuki is helping buyers of its RM-Z450 prepare for the 2020 motocross season by reducing the price of its MX1 machine by £750 until the end of the year. It means the championship-winning bike now comes with an RRP of £6,249. The RM-Z450 - which won the British Motocross Championship in 2018 - benefitted from an all-new chassis last season; a new frame and swingarm reduced weight and improved cornering performance, thanks also to new suspension from Showa. A heavily-revised engine boosted peak power and gave it more midrange, while electronics come in the form of the latest generation holeshot assist and Suzuki's advanced traction management system.