Fast hands and actions will see VW recover

The vast majority of buyers for fleet companies in the UK believe the Volkswagen emissions scandal will impact on the UK. VW_6185-a passatOf fleet decision makers, 95% believe the US investigation will extend to the UK and 81% expect implications for the UK fleet market.

More than 300 fleet decision makers in the UK took part in the Sewells Research and Insight survey immediately following the news of the scandal on Monday.

More than two thirds (68%) of fleet decision makers believe cars in the UK will be affected and a large number (61%) will expect reimbursement for any resulting recalls in the UK.

The affair has huge signifigance for the fleet sector. Fleets are amongst the most powerful and important buyers in the UK car market. Of the 2.3 million company cars in the UK, 81% currently run on diesel.

Fleet decision makers place great importance on emissions figures, with 90% considering CO2 emissions important and 64% considering NOx emissions important when adding new cars to choice lists. Furthermore, 84% look to manufacturers to cut NOx emissions in their diesel cars.

More than half (54%) of respondents said they are less likely to trust claims made by manufacturers in future. The impact on the VW Group was even more fundamental, with 62% stating they are less likely to trust the manufacturer’s claims.

Of those currently operating VW Group models on their fleet, half (49%) claim they are potentially looking to review VW Group’s position on their fleet’s choice lists.

Three in every four (73%) are looking for reassurance from the VW Group that vehicles on fleet are not affected. Two thirds of all respondents (67%) are now looking to all manufacturers that respective models on their fleet are not affected.

Simon Staplehurst, head of commercial insight at Sewells Research, said: “Fleet operators have a right to ask serious questions of manufacturers when news like this emerges. It’s hard to exaggerate just how important fleets are to manufacturers and how important diesel is to this market. Fleet managers make critical business purchasing decisions on manufacturer claims when it comes to fleets and trust is the bedrock of these relationships and choices.”

Visit the JEEP factory from your phone

150910_Jeep_GSV-Renegade_01Celebrating the first year of Jeep Renegade production with a new virtual factory visit tool, accessible via Google™ Maps. Launched exactly a year ago, the Jeep Renegade was a ground-breaking vehicle for the brand in that it was the brand’s first ever compact SUV and also the first Jeep vehicle built in Europe. Today, more than 135,000 Renegade units have rolled off the Melfi production line in Italy so far, contributing in no small way to the Jeep brand’s continuing growth, having achieved its most successful sales year ever in 2014 with more than one million units sold.

More recently, Jeep has enjoyed its best August sales month ever in North America while in Europe Jeep is the region’s fastest-growing automotive brand so far in 2015, with the new Renegade already established as a best seller in Italy, France and Austria. The second quarter of 2015 was the best sales quarter ever for Jeep in the region with 23,000 sales. The new compact SUV has also notched up several significant awards in Europe, including “New Car of the Year 2015” as voted by Quattroruote readers in Italy; “Best SUV of 2015” according to Spain’s influential Coches.net website and “4×4 of 2015” in France’s “4×4 Magazine”.

To celebrate this important production milestone, the Jeep brand is now opening the virtual doors of the Melfi factory in Basilicata where the first FCA model to be manufactured in collaboration between Italy and the USA is assembled. By searching for “SATA – Società Automobilistica Tecnologie Avanzate S.p.A. – FCA Italy” or just “FCA SATA Melfi” on Google™ Maps, visitors can explore the entire production cycle of one of the most advanced automotive plants in Europe, where almost 8,000 employees and 968 robots produce the Jeep Renegade and FIAT 500X to a silver medal certification standard, according to WCM (World Class Manufacturing), an international methodology for optimizing the manufacturing cycle.

Making the experience as immersive as possible, a total of 3,924 pictures were taken over the course of three days. Stitched together using a special algorithm, which creates an immersive 360° horizontal and 290° vertical environment, these images are used to offer 327 different panoramic viewpoints, each of which consists of 12 HD photos.

Users thus have the possibility of “moving” inside the plant and exploring the details that interest them – with the same intuitive dynamic offered by Google™ Street View – as they travel through the factory’s four productive units: stamping, body-in-white, painting and assembly. They also have the option of in-depth investigation of certain processes via seven 30-second video clips.

The Jeep Renegade is priced from £16,995 OTR with a variety of finance and PCP deals available from £199 per month with a £1,000 Jeep deposit contribution*. More information is available at www.jeep.co.uk

Aston Martin takes the lead

One of Britain’s most revered manufacturers, Aston Martin, will be celebrated in grand style at this autumn’s inaugural Classic & Sports Car – The London Show, with an incredible collection of the luxury brand’s most iconic models.

Headlining the stunning feature will be Aston Martin’s oldest-surviving model – ‘A3’. Dating from 1921 this historic motor car was the fourth of five prototypes built by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin, the original founders of the Aston Martin brand.

It will be just one car in a must-see Aston Martin centerpiece feature at Alexandra Palace, which will also include one of the brand’s newest and most spectacular models, alongside a host of exquisite examples of the brand’s most revered and famous cars.

All will carry incredible stories and offer fascinating snapshots of the development of the Aston Martin brand: ‘A3’ brings a direct link to the dawn of the firm. Donated for the event by the Aston Martin Heritage Trust (AMHT), ‘A3’ has been painstakingly restored over a three-year period, in a project masterminded by the world specialist in pre-war Aston Martin models,
Andy Bell of Ecurie Bertelli.

Built on a Rubery-Owen frame and powered by a 1,486cc monobloc engine, it was fitted with several body styles during its early years. As such, there was much discussion over which bodywork it should be restored with. AMHT decided on a touring version, which was recreated from only old photographs as no original drawings were available. The finished classic was unveiled on 18th April 2009 and has continued to be a halo car for AMHT.aston image

570S

Four years on from its global launch, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) will return to the manicured lawns of the USA’s famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later this month with a selection of distinctive and beautiful commissions.

The bespoke division of McLaren will showcase some of the individualisation options it will make available on the forthcoming new 570S Coupé, the first model to join the McLaren Sports Series. Two examples have been created. The first 570S Coupé ‘by MSO’ features the uniquely formulated Mauvine Blue paint finish coupled with a bespoke interior finished in Carbon Black leather with co-ordinating detailing, carried through from the exterior colour. A second 570S Coupé, finished in Ventura Orange and fitted with a selection of styling details from the MSO Defined range of options, will take up position on the popular Concept Lawn at the event. The highly-prized location has previously played host to the 12C, 12C Spider and, most recently, the McLaren P1™ GTR Design Concept.

The core McLaren range, the Super Series, will be represented by two limited edition models. The 675LT is the lightest and most track-focused, yet road legal, model in the Super Series. Production of the coupé-only model is strictly limited to 500 examples worldwide all of which have now been assigned to customers. With a clear focus on light weight, optimised aerodynamics, increased power, track-focused dynamics and driver engagement, the model re-establishes the ‘Longtail’ heritage. With a top speed of 330km/h (205mph), the 675LT accelerates to 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in 2.9 seconds, and hits 200km/h (124mph) in just 7.9 seconds.

Alongside the most track-focused model in the Super Series will be the even more exclusive 650S Le Mans. Created by MSO to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the now legendary victory at the famous French endurance race, the 650S Le Mans is limited to just 50 examples – all sold – and features design aspects taken from McLaren F1 GTR chassis #01R which took victory two decades ago. A fully functioning roof-mounted ‘snorkel’ air intake, front wing louvres and lightweight alloy wheels are styled around the design of the iconic 1995 racer. In a change to the standard offering, which was finished in Sarthe Grey – inspired by the livery of the race-winning model – the car has been finished in the famous McLaren Orange, originally used by Bruce McLaren on his racers of the 1960s.

Completing the line up of McLaren models on display during the weekend will be a 1996 McLaren F1 GTR. Being displayed by McLaren Automotive, on loan from BMW North America who sponsored the car during its debut season, chassis #17R was campaigned by Team Bigazzi and competed at various races through the season including finishing eighth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In addition to the models on public display, McLaren will also be represented at the RM Auctions sale taking place during the Concours d’Elegance proceedings. The sale will see two of the most exclusive McLaren models ever produced going under the hammer with a McLaren P1™ and the penultimate McLaren F1. The Volcano Red example of the limited edition McLaren P1™ is one of just 375 models, and represents the McLaren Ultimate Series at the pinnacle of the three tier model range. The 1998 McLaren F1, chassis #073, is in a highly sought-after specification with a number of ‘LM’ upgrades.

HISTORY OF McLAREN SPECIAL OPERATIONS
The history of McLaren Special Operations is unique. Officially MSO was launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011 to provide a bespoke personalisation service for McLaren customers. In fact, the origins of MSO date back over 20 years, as the division grew out of the McLaren Customer Care Programme.

The dedicated Customer Care team was set up to service, maintain and personalise the McLaren F1 for owners, and today those duties continue at McLaren through MSO Heritage, which offers unrivalled knowledge and levels of expertise to its discerning clientele. Whether a scheduled service, routine maintenance, or the desire for a re-trimmed interior, repainted exterior and bespoke High Downforce aerodynamic kit, the history and experience held by MSO with the McLaren F1 is unmatched. MSO Heritage also provides a brokerage service for both McLaren F1 and McLaren P1™ models.

Today, in addition to offering an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise on the McLaren F1, MSO provides a unique tailoring service for McLaren customers. This continues to expand and the division embraces an unprecedented period of growth, and MSO Defined and MSO Bespoke outline the levels of work available from McLaren Special Operations.

McLaren Special Operations is able to offer the complete tailoring of any McLaren model. Whether it is a custom paint colour with matching stitching for a 650S, the personalisation of a McLaren F1, a dream to build a one-of-a-kind vehicle using the unique carbon fibre chassis, or a wish to experience the most powerful model ever produced by McLaren, the new McLaren P1™ GTR, McLaren Special Operations can accommodate every customer request.Mclaren usa

McLaren still an exclusive but well formed club

  • McLaren Automotive records second consecutive year of profitability just four years after opening its first retailer
  • 2014 sales increased 18 percent over 2013, another year of growth
  • Already a sustainable business investing in its future and people
  • An expanding range of luxury sports cars designed, engineered and made in the UK…and intending to stay that way
  • More than 1,200 people employed, most in the UK, with 50 percent of parts UK sourced, and 92 percent of output exported

The incredible story of McLaren Automotive continues with the announcement of a second consecutive year of profitability four years since the company opened its first retailer.  The achievement is considered unprecidented in today’s motor industry.  The company has also recorded its fourth year of sales growth and is predicting more following the launch this year of a quartet of new models – two of which are already sold out – and the establishment of a three tier product structure reinforcing its future as a British based manufacturer of luxury sports cars, and only luxury sports cars.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt, in 2014, the company generated an operating profit of £20.8m (2013: £12.4m, + 68 percent) and a profit before tax of £15.0m (2013: £4.5m +233 percent). These profits were generated from turnover that grew from £285.4m in 2013 to £475.5m in 2014.

The company ended 2014 with record sales as it has done every year since it first began producing its current range of cars in 2010.  A total of 1,649 vehicles were delivered to customers around the world, an increase of 18 percent over 2013.  Following the introduction of the 650S in Coupé and Spider form at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show where the two models were launched simultaneously, strong demand for the core McLaren model range saw sales reach 1,401 units.  In addition, 248 examples of the McLaren P1™ (2013: 36) were delivered – around two thirds of car’s total 375 unit production run.

McLaren Automotive has continued to focus on developing new product. During 2014 the Company invested £91.8m in R&D, up from £67m in 2013, which represents almost 20 percent of turnover.  Looking forward, this percentage is expected to be maintained in 2015 as the company continues development of its model range.  Crucial to this is the new Sports Series. The 570S Coupé is the first model and was revealed at the beginning of April 2015 at the New York Auto Show.  This has already been followed by a second, the 540C Coupé, which was launched a few weeks later in Shanghai.  Together they take McLaren into a new segment and put the brand within reach of a whole new audience.

A second body-style will be introduced in 2016 followed by another in 2017, by which time the Sports Series is forecast to more than double the production output of McLaren Automotive to around 4,000 units per annum.  This number, while deliberately small in industry terms, will allow McLaren to thrive and is in line with the wish of its clients that its products should forever remain a rare sight to protect not just the brand’s exclusivity but also the investment of owners.

The core McLaren range, the Super Series, continues to find new audiences.  The track focused 675LT was launched in March at the International Geneva Motor Show.  Limited to just 500 units globally, these all found buyers in just a couple of months.  Production commences in July alongside the 650S Coupé and 650S Spider which is currently the only open roofed, mid-engined sports car available globally that is capable of more than 200mph.

The final and 375th example of the McLaren P1™ is due to be produced later this year.  It sits alongside the track only McLaren P1™ GTR, production of which has just begun, in the third and most exclusive McLaren product tier, the Ultimate Series.  To be produced in even more limited numbers, the McLaren P1™ GTR is a 1,000PS technological showcase for the brand and was displayed in production ready form earlier this year at the International Geneva Motor Show.  Owners will be offered the opportunity to join the McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme which has its first meeting at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, later this year.  From October, the McLaren Production Centre will concentrate on production of the Super Series and new Sports Series, orders for which already take production well into 2016.

RETAIL NETWORK AND REGIONAL SALES SUCCESS

The network of McLaren retailers grew to cover 30 markets with the additions of Chile, Scotland and Thailand. New sales outlets were also opened in existing markets bringing the total number of outlets to 71. More development is planned in 2015.

Growth was recorded across all four of the McLaren regional business units. The Asia-Pacific region saw the biggest rise with sales increasing by 80 percent over 2013 with 11 new retail locations across the region helping to fuel this growth. The North American market remained the largest market for McLaren accounting for more than 30 percent of overall sales, while sales in both Europe and the Middle East grew year-on-year by 10 percent and nine percent respectively.

EMPLOYMENT GROWTH

As well as investing in new products, McLaren Automotive continues to care for another important asset: its people.  The number of employees based across its global facilities increased by 25 percent against 2013 to a total of 1,283 employees.  Of these, 33 percent are employed in engineering.  This is an increase from 2013 reflecting a focus on creating a sustainable future for the brand through the constant development of new and exciting product.  As production rises further, the number of people employed globally by the brand will grow even more.

Commenting on the 2014 year end performance, Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive explained:‘These latest results highlight that McLaren Automotive continues to push boundaries and are testament to the energy and professionalism of the teams in Woking and around the world, including our retail partners and suppliers. We have seen the third consecutive year of growth for the brand, and a second year of profitability, which is a fantastic achievement and perhaps unprecedented in the modern automotive industry.

‘Since the opening of the first retailer in June 2011, McLaren has established a world-class network of retailers, with 14 key locations added in 2014. Add to this a range of groundbreaking models, to which four have already been added this year, and 2015 looks set to bring another strong result for McLaren.’

Ends

    2014 2013 % change
Deliveries to customers Cars 1,649 1,395 18%
Employed People 1,283 1,027 25%
Sales revenue Thousand GBP 475,516 285,426 67%
Operating profit Thousand GBP 20,756 12,375 68%
Operating profit as % of sales % 4.4% 4.3%
Profit before tax Thousand GBP 14,966 4,500 233%
Profit (loss) after tax Thousand GBP 8,487 –      (3,670) 331%
Capitalised development costs Thousand GBP 91,839 66,958 37%
Capitalised investments as a %age of T/O 19.3% 23.5%  76778mclar1

Renault Nissan still happily married

The Renault-Nissan Alliance posted record synergies of €3.80 billion in 2014, up from €2.87 billion the previous year. Purchasing, engineering and manufacturing were the biggest contributors. The launch of the Alliance’s first Common Module Family (CMF) vehicles, as well as the recent convergence of four key units, helped drive synergies all three areas.

Synergies are generated from cost reductions, cost avoidance and revenue increases. Only new synergies (not cumulative) are taken into account each year. Accounting for synergies helps Renault and Nissan determine if they are meeting their performance objectives. More significantly, the net savings and revenue enhancements enable both automakers to offer higher-value vehicles to customers around the world.

“Our Common Module Family system continues to drive synergies in all major areas,from purchasing to vehicle engineering and powertrains,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. “At the same time, the recent convergence of four key functions at Renault and Nissan — Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering & Supply Chain Management, Purchasing and Human Resources — is accelerating the momentum.”

Renault and Nissan converged the four functions on April 1, 2014. While Renault and Nissan remain separate companies, each function is led by a common Alliance executive vice president. Thanks to the convergence, the Alliance expects to overachieve on its goal of generating €4.3 billion in annualized synergies by 2016. That’s up from €1.5 billion in 2009.

Common Module Family (CMF)

Common Module Family is the Alliance’s unique system of modular vehicle architectures and an increasing source of synergies (to see our CMF infographic go toblog.alliance-renault-nissan.com/node/2634/)

CMF enables Renault and Nissan to build a wider range of vehicles from a smaller pool of parts, while at the same time increasing customer choice and quality. Small vehicles are based on CMF-A, while mid-sized vehicles utilize CMF-B, and the largest vehicles use CMF-C/D.

In February 2014, Nissan launched an all-new version of the popular Qashqai crossover in Europe. The Qashqai is built on CMF-C/D and is the third CMF model for Nissan. In 2013, Nissan launched the Rogue SUV in the United States and X-Trail crossover SUV in China. Earlier this year, Renault launched its first CMF vehicles: the New Espace and the Kadjar. Both vehicles are built on CMF-C/D as well.

In 2015, Renault will launch the Kwid in India. The Kwid is the first Alliance car built on the CMF-A architectureand will be produced at the Renault-Nissan plant in Chennai. Datsun will launch a vehicle on the same platform in 2016.

By 2020, the Alliance expects 70 percent of its vehicles to be built on CMF architectures.

Cross production

The cross production of vehicles is also a major driver of manufacturing synergies. Cross production is expected to accelerate across the Alliance following the rollout of the Alliance Production Way (APW) at all plants around the world by the end of 2015. The APW manufacturing system is the result of best practice sharing throughout the organization and allows plants to make better use of their capacity by enabling them to produce both Renault and Nissan vehicles.

In 2014, Nissan began production of the Rogue crossover in Renault’s plant in Busan, South Korean, to meet stronger-than-expected demand in the U.S.

The AVTOVAZ plant in Togliatti, Russia, is the Alliance’s biggest production base in the world with capacity of nearly one million vehicles per year. The plant produces vehicles under four brands – Lada, Renault, Nissan and Datsun. The Alliance owns a majority stake in the joint venture that controls AVTOVAZ, Russia’s largest automaker.

Contribution from other business areas, including sales and marketing

The Alliance is increasingly benefitting from synergies in other areas, such as sales and marketing.

For example, thanks to the Alliance, Renault and Nissan are able to offer customers an extensive range of vehicles around the world. In 2014, the Alliance signed global contracts with several fleet customers, including multinational food-products corporation Danone.

ABOUT THE RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE:

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is a strategic partnership between Paris-based Renault and Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan, which together sell one in 10 cars worldwide. The companies, which have been strategic partners since 1999, sold 8.5 million cars in nearly 200 countries in 2014. The Alliance also operates strategic collaborations with other automakers including Germany’s Daimler, China’s Dongfeng, Mitsubishi Motors and India’s Ashok Leyland. The Alliance has majority stake in the joint venture that owns Russia’s top automaker AVTOVAZ.QQ 2015

Silverstone Classic

This year’s 25th anniversary Silverstone Classic (24-26 July) will celebrate its milestone Silver Jubilee with its widest-ever spectrum of glittering motor sport history.

At one end of the phenomenal panorama the introduction of F1 cars from the turbocharged Senna and Schumacher era brings the story almost up to date. The return of the evocative Pre-War Sports Cars meanwhile will take festival-goers much further back in time to an epoch when the famed Bentley Boys were victorious at Le Mans in the 1920s.

Adventurer and aviator Glen Kidston was one of them and he will be honoured at this year’s Classic. Silverstone will reverberate to the magnificent sound of a huge grid of wonderful cars from that golden age in what promises to be a vastly entertaining Kidston Trophy race on Saturday morning.

Kidston had been torpedoed twice in the same morning when serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy. By the mid 1920s he was a submarine Commander and when not at sea he set records as an aviator, hill climbed, conducted motorcycle speed trials on sand and raced cars, winning the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hour race in the Bentley Speed Six he shared with Woolf Barnato.

Having survived several serious scrapes, Kidston sadly lost his life less than a year later when the de Havilland Puss Moth he was flying broke up in mid-air during a dust storm over the Drakensberg Mountains in southern Africa.

It takes quite a grid to represent such a buccaneering character, but Motor Racing Legends has succeeded, with more than 45 eye-catching entries already received. A full complement of 50 now looks probable for a dazzling 40-minute showdown complete with a mandatory pit-stop and optional driver change.

In a race dedicated to a Bentley Boy you need a Bentley or two. The Classic will have at least nine, including the 4½-litre Le Mans of vintage Bentley guru Stanley Mann plus a pair of 3-litre machines dating back to 1924 – currently the oldest on the near-capacity entry.

At the front of the pack are likely to be the big Invicta S Type of Chris and Nick Ball, the Alta Sports of Gareth Burnett and Richard Evans, and Rudi Friedrichs in the Alvis Speed 20 SA in which he has clocked up more than 150,000 miles, including no fewer than three Peking-Paris rallies. The aluminium Frazer Nash Supersports of Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards is another potential front-runner – it’s one of at least seven Frazer Nashes rolling back the years at the Classic.

What makes the Kidston Trophy special, though, is the wildly diverse sizes and power of the competing machines, the mighty Bentleys dwarfing cars such as the Austin Seven, as the seatbelt-less drivers saw away at the wooden steering wheels and negotiate the modern Grand Prix track on narrow tyres.

The sparkling entry also features a mouth-watering array of nine early Aston Martins plus the three Talbot 105 ‘works’ Fox & Nicholl team cars complete with their famous GO 52, GO 53 and GO 54 registrations. Paul Grist’s wonderful Alfa Romeo 8C 2.9, Richard Pilkington’s Talbot T26, Richard Wilson’s 1935 Squire Short Chassis and Martin Halusa’s gorgeous Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder are other certain crowd-pullers. Halusa is also fielding his iconic Bugatti 35C.

“We’ve been completely blown away by the entry,” admitted Duncan Wiltshire, Motor Racing Legends Chairman. “Clearly this is going to be a very special Silverstone Classic but, even so, the response has been really, really fabulous. The amazing grid has a lovely eclectic feel to it.”

The inaugural Kidston Trophy is just one of the many, many highlights on Saturday’s packed programme. Others include BTCC champions Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden gunning for victory in the fiercely-fought U2TC race for Sixties saloons, the opening FIA Masters Formula One contest for a record field of F1 cars from the DFV era, Group C prototypes racing into the sunset and, of course, rock legends Status Quo performing live. It all adds up to a truly unmissable day of evocative entertainment.

All tickets for the 25th anniversary Silverstone Classic must be purchased in advance. Adult admission starts from £40 and ticket prices include booking fees, parking, infield, grandstands, paddock access, live music – including Status Quo – and the vast majority of the numerous attractions. Full details – together with hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the official website: www.SilverstoneClassic.com.silverstone 1

Auto Express pick Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai has been named Best Crossover for the second year running by leading motoring magazine Auto Express.

The British-built model again took the title for its overall quality, advanced technology and safety features.

It was the fifth major industry honour won by the Qashqai this year and the 15th since the model was launched just over a year ago.

Presenting the award at the Connaught Rooms in London, Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of Auto Express – Britain’s biggest motoring weekly – said: “The Nissan Qashqai remains our pick of an increasingly competitive crossover market by providing exactly what buyers want: space, efficiency, style and technology all at an affordable price. That it’s built in Britain is an added bonus.”

Nissan Motor (GB) Managing Director, James Wright, said: “We are thrilled with this award which recognises both the incredible quality and appeal of the Nissan Qashqai and Nissan’s continued leadership of the crossover sector.

“The fact the Qashqai continues to shine in awards like these despite an increasingly crowded and competitive market place is a huge testament to how much Nissan’s designers and engineers, mostly based here in the UK, raised the bar in its development.”QQ 2015

MG find a different way to drive sales

The newly recruited MG specialists at used car supermarket, CarShop, have proved to be a great addition after only a few months in post.

As part of MG’s dealership expansion, it was announced last year that the marque would join forces with CarShop. MG is currently the only manufacturer offering new cars at the used car retailer. So, in a bid to stand out amongst the used cars and provide customers with in-depth, professional advice, MG specialists were introduced.

There are currently four specialists, one in each of the following CarShop locations; Swindon, Northampton, Norwich and Doncaster. Standing out in their bright red jackets, the specialists have been on hand to advise customers about the MGs. Despite only being in post just under two months, a total of five sales have already been made.

Matthew Cheyne, Head of Marketing for MG, said: “After deciding to form a partnership with CarShop last year, because of the amount of footfall the used car supermarket sees, introducing specialists to help customers was something we were very keen to see happen. Having them in place gives customers an exceptional tailored experience, as well as being on-hand to help them through the buying journey. If customers are considering buying a used car, why not consider buying a brand new car that is potentially not going to cost any more money.”

CarShop are not only equipped to handles sales, but their service centre is also MG approved, so customers can bring their MGs in for approved manufacturer servicing and MOTs.

The new MG6 starts from £13,995 and the MG3 starts from £8,399.

About MG Motor

The iconic British MG brand can trace its history back to 1924 and is world famous for making stylish cars that are fun to drive and own and are sold at remarkably affordable prices. Modern MGs, which are designed, engineered and finally assembled in Longbridge, Birmingham, continue this long and rich MG tradition.

Two cars currently come off the Longbridge assembly lines: the MG6 and the MG3 with several models planned for the immediate and longer-term future.

The MG6 is a medium-sized fastback offering fantastic dynamic handling, high levels of interior comfort and a tremendously spacious cabin area with a cavernous boot. The MG6 won the 2014 Auto Express Driver Power Best Handling Award.

The MG3 is a new generation super-mini which brings fun and style to this sector of the market at very affordable prices. The 1.5-litre petrol-powered car can also be personalised, so owners have the option of giving their car their own style-statement.

MG was voted the third best manufacturer in the UK in the Auto Express Driver Power Awards in 2014. MG was the fastest growing brand in Britain in 2014 as shown by official figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Currently MG has the fastest growing network of dealers in the UK as sales continue to surge.  MG11

BMW graces Silverstone and restoration

Cars International were out testing at Silverstone on Friday, shaking down the Munich based Museum’s 1978 March BMW 782, which has recently undergone a full restoration, before it makes its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. BMW newsCars International, renowned as experts in the sales and preparation of historically important F1 cars, were out in action last Friday at Silverstone circuit to shake down a March BMW 782 F2 car.

The 1978 March BMW 782 is owned by the BMW museum AG, who commissioned Cars International to restore and race prepare the car prior to it being returned to Munich. Having impressed the BMW engineers at the test, the car is now due to run at the forthcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed event, where guest driver Marc Surer who was second in the 1978 F2 Championship is likely to pilot the car up the famous hill.

March Engineering was founded in 1969 by Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd with the intention to build customer cars for F1, F2, F3, Formula Ford and Can-Am whilst running works F1, F2 and F3 teams. March competed with some success in Formula 1 from 1970 to 1977 and in 1978 teamed up with BMW as an engine supplier to enter the F2 European Championships; they couldn’t have had a more successful season. The BMW Junior Team, with drivers Bruno Giacomelli and Marc Surer dominated throughout finishing first and second respectively.

Following the restoration by Cars International at their Hungerford based workshop, Cars International founder and former racer Paul Osborn took to the circuit in the 2.0 litre, 310hp BMW powered car for the test despite torrential rain. He commented “It is perfect, unlike many cars from this era, it feels a part of you. The engine is brilliant. So is the handling, even in the monsoon like conditions… when a car has been restored and rebuilt by World Championship winning Formula 1 engineers, it is as we expected.”