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www.am-online.com July 2014 £8.00

FA C E T O FA C E / P 3 6

AUTOMOTIVE MANAGEMENT

Pentagon’s Trevor Reeve on the vital role of training in his expansion plan

THE PEOPLE ISSUE STARTS PAGE 23

POWER TO YOUR PEOPLE

How to recruit, train and retain the best staff for your business

PERFORMANCE / P23

RECRUITMENT / P30

S TA F F L O YA LT Y / P 4 3

Does your staff measure up on the sales experience?

How dealers can pick the best talent in a crowded market

Read our experts’ advice to cut costly employee turnover


This conference aims to deliver easily digestible ‘chunks’ whilst also throwing a few curved balls to help dealers maintain their momentum and avoid becoming bogged down in the sheer volume of information, innovation and options available in the digital sphere. As well as marketing and social media, the conference looks at the wider aspect of digital including latest technology, data and security.

DIGITAL DEALER c onf EREncE

SAVE THE DATE: 4 September 2014 The Heritage Motor centre, Gaydon Headline sponsor

Masterclass sponsors:

for further details, please visit: www.amdigitaldealer.co.uk


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OUR EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS

Booming car markets make the right people more vital than ever ith the recession moving farther into the distance and the car markets at full strength, the motor retail industry appears to be putting renewed focus on the skills and rewards of its workforce. Through the economic downturn, a continual complaint from dealer group leaders was the sector’s inability to attract and retain high-calibre fresh talent. With the job market steadily improving, there’s now even more pressure on dealers to compete effectively for the best recruits. Our insight on page 30 examines some of the efforts being made. Arguably more important is a dealer’s need to keep their existing staff performing well and feeling rewarded. Our Pentagon Group interview on page 36 acknowledges this need, with Trevor Reeve investing in developing his staff to be ready for tomorrow’s challenges. His emphasis on people is shared by Peter Vardy and Marshall Motor Group, which reveal on page 48 how they’re both setting industry-leading standards for rewards and recognition. As consumers become ever more engaged with digital channels, people can still make the difference in motor retail.

W

The AM editorial team

Jay Nagley A former business analyst with Porsche GB, he now runs Redspy Automotive, offering insight and analysis into motor retail trends. On Page 26, he examines how 10-year-old demand props up residual values on new cars. Philip Nothard He is retail and consumer valuations editor at CAP, which he joined in 2010 after two decades working in motor retail, culminating in running dealerships for European Motor Holdings, Lythgoe Motor Group and Arnold Clark. In this issue (p29), he looks at the reasons behind the renewed market optimism reported by used car traders. Professor Jim Saker As director of the Centre of Automotive Management at Loughborough University’s Business School, Saker is a key figure behind the drive for management recognition and skills in the motor retail sector. This month (p47), he suggests that dealers will get more from their employees if they leave some things to their own initiative.

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Ezine Jeremy Bennett Editor

Tim Rose Managing editor

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Monday, July 14 am-online.com July 2014 3


In this issue July 2014 36

23

FACE TO FACE PENTAGON GROUP’S TREVOR REEVE

THE PEOPLE ISSUE: STARTS ON PAGE 23

Your news

6

News digest This month’s round-up includes good results for Marshall and Caffyns, dealer profitability remains strong and the servicing cost gap with independents narrows.

Market intelligence

12 14 17

20

New car registrations

Economic indicators The Bank of England warns interest rates may rise soon and productivity is 16% below where it should be.

.

Your feedback

22

AM poll Readers give their opinion on whether improved car markets will lead to more dealership acquisitions.

May’s 7.7% registrations rise is the 27th month of consecutive growth, breaking a record set in the 1980s.

Analysis

Used car values

23

Wholesale used car values rose 5.2% in May, but volumes were down 5% month-on month.

THE PEOPLE ISSUE

Finance Suppliers outline the benefits available from finance tools, which can extend the time consumers spend on your websites.

4 July 2014 am-online.com

29

26

How does your staff measure up? Dealers expect a consistent level of customer service from their staff and have a growing toolkit to ensure it is delivered. Plus, how do your staff evaluations compare with Google’s?

Gravity-defying RVs Jay Nagley on how 10-year-old car demand props up new car residuals.

Used car confidence boost CAP’s Philip Nothard examines the reasons behind the renewed market optimism reported by used car traders.

Insight

30 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

32 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

36 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

Hiring the best talent

Dealers need to do more to secure the highest-quality candidates, including embracing online recruitment tools and looking beyond the industry.

The supplier’s view

Job Co-Op Automotive sales director Derek Webb explains why dealers must move beyond sales targets to hire the best people.

Face to face: Pentagon Group

Chairman and chief executive Trevor Reeve details how a focus on his staff and investment in the Pentagon Training Academy are preparing the AM100 group for acquisitions.


For the latest motor retail industry news, visit am-online.com Sign up to get AM news daily by email: am-online.com/newsletter

58

53

NISSAN X-TRAIL THIRD GENERATION GOES DUAL-PURPOSE

DMS AND THE CLOUD IS EXTERNAL HOSTING RIGHT FOR YOUR DMS? Greater value for customers

THE SUPPLIER’S VIEW: “WE’VE HAD OCCASIONS WHERE PEOPLE IN THIS INDUSTRY HAVE BEEN MADE TO SING OR TO DO IMPRESSIONS OF A CHICKEN”

32

43 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

47 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

48 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

51 THE PEOPLE ISSUE

53

Boost your staff retention

Dealer HR experts and training providers share their tips on how to stem the high staff turnover in motor retail.

View from the business school Dealers will get more from their employees if they leave some things up to their own initiative, writes Prof Jim Saker.

AM People conference

Advice and case studies on creating a people culture, measuring the return on your training investment and how to attract young people and graduates to the motor retail sector.

Meet ‘self-service’ expectations

Better dealer experience

Cost-saving potential

Protecting business

Showroom

58

Nissan X-Trail

60

Mitsubishi ASX

61

Seat Leon SE 1.6 TDI

62

Mazda6 Tourer

The third-generation X-Trail will target families as well as 4x4 fans.

Four months into our long-term test, we are struggling to get near the manufacturer’s fuel efficiency figures.

A stress-free repair experience is a fitting end to our long-term test.

Mazda UK is equipping its dealers with a system to help target their marketing.

AM Executive Breakfast Lecturer and author James Bannerman on the benefits of allowing your staff time to think creatively.

DMS and cloud computing

How dealers can gain from adopting an external solution for their dealership management systems.

Coming soon

66

In the next issue of AM Face to face with HR Owen marketing and customer director Chris Harris; the 21st-century marketing toolkit; and the Jeep Cherokee reviewed.

DEALERS AND SUPPLIERS IN THIS ISSUE: ADP...................................................................54 Alex F Noble & Son........................................7 Alphera Financial Services .......................18 ASE ......................................................................6 Auto Trader....................................................25 BCA....................................................................14 Birketts...............................................................7 Black Horse....................................................12 Blackshaws ...................................................54 Brian Leighton .................................................9 BTC ...................................................................44 Caffyns ...............................................................7 Cambria Automobiles .........................23, 53 Citroën ................................................................7 Close Motor Finance....................................18 Codeweavers..................................................17 DCML ..................................................................9 Donalds Motor Group....................................7 Douglas Stafford..........................................23 Emac .................................................................17 FLA .............................................................18, 19 Google..............................................................25 GoThinkBig.....................................................50 Hyundai UK....................................................44 Independent Garages Association..........49 Institute of the Motor Industry ..44, 49, 50 Ivendi.................................................................17 Jaguar Land Rover.......................................10 Jardine Motors Group...................................6 Jeep .....................................................................7 Job Co-op Automotive .........................31, 32 Knight Frank.....................................................7 Manheim.....................................................7, 14 Marshall Motor Group ...........................6, 48 Martins Group..................................................9 Mercedes-Benz...............................................7 Motoring.co.uk ...............................................10 Pentagon Group ...........................................36 Penton.................................................................9 Peter Vardy .....................................................49 Romford Mazda............................................44 RRG Group ........................................................6 RTS ...................................................................43 SMMT................................................................12 Steele Dixon...................................................30 Steven Eagell....................................................9 Swansway Garages ......................10, 30, 43 Talent Q ...........................................................24 Tesla....................................................................9 Trust Ford...................................................6, 30 Unity Automotive..........................................43 Vauxhall...........................................................50 Vertu Motors .............................................9, 24 Volkswagen.......................................................7 Warranty Direct...............................................9 Wilson And Co ..............................................43

am-online.com July 2014 5


market intelligence 14

Used car values

the latest data on nearly new, ex-fleet and part-exchange car values from the Uk’s main auctions.

17

the news in depth

20

Finance

Suppliers reveal the benefits available from finance tools, which can extend a consumer’s online visit.

economic indicators

a selection of the key national statistics that will help Uk motor retailers to refine their business opportunities.

new car Market

New car growth streak breaks 1980s record may registrations rise of 7.7% marks 27th month of consecutive growth need to know n May total hits 194,032 units n More than one million cars registered since start of 2014 By Tom Seymour k new car registrations increased by 7.7% to 194,032 units in may, the 27th consecutive month of growth – breaking a record set in the 1980s. this year’s may result outperformed the past 10 years and registrations for 2014 to date have passed the one million mark, rising 11.6% to 1,058,974 units, according to figures from the Society of motor manufacturers and traders (Smmt). the corporate market accounted for the highest proportion of growth, with business registrations up 26.8% in may to 7,619 units, while fleet

U

registrations were up 6.5% to 95,702 units. Private registrations mirrored the month’s growth with a 7.7% increase to 90,711 units. sMMt chief executive Mike hawes put the growth down to increasingly confident consumers who have been drawn to new products and competitive finance offers. the Smmt is forecasting an overall rise of 6% in new car registrations this year, but warns that the coming months could see some levelling off in growth rates as underlying demand stabilises. chris sutton, Black horse managing director, said: “if the positive momentum in new car sales continues, it looks like we are set for a strong Q2 in the motor industry as this month’s figures show consumer demand for new cars remains unabated, albeit we may not see the same pace of growth that we have witnessed in recent months.”

Five longest periods oF consecUtive g r o w t h i n U k n e w c a r r e g i s t r at i o n s

scotland leads the growth the Scottish market accounted for the highest proportion of growth in may, with a 15.76% increase in registrations to 17,800 units. Wales followed with a 12.5% increase to 6,966 units and then northern ireland with a 12.42%

volUMe split

May 2014 2013 % change Mkt share ‘14 Mkt share ‘13 Year-to-date 2014 2013 % change Mkt share ‘14 Mkt share ‘13

Total 194,032 180,111 7.7%

Total 1,058,974 948,666 11.6%

12 July 2014 am-online.com

Diesel 99,580 91,577 8.7% 51.3% 50.8% Diesel 525,462 466,074 12.7% 49.6% 49.1%

Petrol 91,008 86,535 5.2% 46.9% 48.0% Petrol 514,335 470,296 9.4% 48.6% 49.6%

AFV 3,444 1,999 72.3% 1.8% 1.1% AFV 19,177 12,296 56.0% 1.8% 1.3%

Private 90,711 84,201 7.7% 46.8% 46.7% Private 522,150 460,557 13.4% 49.3% 48.5%

Fleet 95,702 89,899 6.5% 49.3% 49.9% Fleet 488,129 447,666 9.0% 46.1% 47.2%

Business 7,619 6,011 26.8% 3.9% 3.3% Business 48,695 40,443 20.4% 4.6% 4.3%

increase to 4,762 units. england was the largest part of the market at 163,585 units, with a slightly slower rate of growth at 6.76%. Buying trends the Smmt has looked at buying trends over the past 10 years and concluded that motorists are demanding ever-increasing levels of style, comfort and functionality. in the decade from 2004 to 2013, the number of cars registered with alloy wheels as standard jumped from 65% to 87.1%, while air conditioning was standard on 95.4% of cars in 2013, compared with just 75.3% in 2004. reflecting the intensifying demand for in-car connectivity, registrations of cars with mP3 capability as standard increased from 83.3% of the market to 95.7% in four years between 2010 and 2013. n read cap’s philip nothard on why the used car retail market is also on fire: page 29.


market intelligence New car registrations n e w c a r r e g i s t r at i o n s

10 -Y e a r M a r k e t t r e n d s ava i l a B l e : w w w.am-online.com/ami

May Marque Ford Vauxhall Volkswagen Audi BMW nissan Mercedes-Benz Peugeot Toyota Citroën Škoda Hyundai Kia Fiat renault Seat Land rover Honda Mini Volvo Suzuki Mazda Dacia Jaguar Mitsubishi Lexus Porsche Alfa romeo Smart Jeep Subaru MG Chrysler SsangYong Abarth Maserati Bentley Chevrolet Aston Martin Infiniti Lotus Perodua Mia Proton Saab Other British Other Imports Total

2014

% market share 23,459 12.09 21,961 11.32 19,151 9.87 13,534 6.98 11,649 6.00 10,151 5.23 10,131 5.22 8,066 4.16 7,644 3.94 6,610 3.41 6,339 3.27 6,309 3.25 6,015 3.10 4,865 2.51 4,677 2.41 4,607 2.37 4,513 2.33 3,809 1.96 3,184 1.64 3,137 1.62 2,695 1.39 2,523 1.30 2,245 1.16 1,351 0.70 1,082 0.56 824 0.42 820 0.42 434 0.22 403 0.21 357 0.18 271 0.14 241 0.12 128 0.07 125 0.06 117 0.06 113 0.06 103 0.05 90 0.05 73 0.04 43 0.02 17 0.01 3 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 98 0.05 65 0.03 194,032

7

Year-to-date 2013 25,674 20,898 16,370 12,265 10,736 9,045 8,391 7,903 6,321 7,184 5,469 6,230 5,604 4,442 3,088 3,884 3,826 3,579 4,080 2,323 2,444 2,321 1,171 1,259 687 606 837 411 553 108 138 13 286 44 109 35 101 1,341 76 38 22 15 0 0 0 78 106 180,111

% market share 14.25 11.60 9.09 6.81 5.96 5.02 4.66 4.39 3.51 3.99 3.04 3.46 3.11 2.47 1.71 2.16 2.12 1.99 2.27 1.29 1.36 1.29 0.65 0.70 0.38 0.34 0.46 0.23 0.31 0.06 0.08 0.01 0.16 0.02 0.06 0.02 0.06 0.74 0.04 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.06

% change -8.63 5.09 16.99 10.35 8.50 12.23 20.74 2.06 20.93 -7.99 15.91 1.27 7.33 9.52 51.46 18.61 17.96 6.43 -21.96 35.04 10.27 8.70 91.72 7.31 57.50 35.97 -2.03 5.60 -27.12 230.56 96.38 1,753.85 -55.24 184.09 7.34 222.86 1.98 -93.29 -3.95 13.16 -22.73 -80.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 25.64 -38.68 7.73

2014

% market share 144,178 13.61 113,305 10.70 92,012 8.69 70,258 6.63 60,070 5.67 57,405 5.42 52,666 4.97 47,744 4.51 42,214 3.99 36,816 3.48 32,699 3.09 35,534 3.36 33,589 3.17 28,407 2.68 25,787 2.44 22,267 2.10 25,992 2.45 25,117 2.37 15,943 1.51 15,935 1.50 16,408 1.55 17,187 1.62 11,045 1.04 8,034 0.76 4,734 0.45 4,555 0.43 3,874 0.37 2,387 0.23 2,060 0.19 1,276 0.12 1,070 0.10 1,008 0.10 872 0.08 638 0.06 651 0.06 430 0.04 683 0.06 2,736 0.26 388 0.04 181 0.02 73 0.01 19 0.00 5 0.00 1 0.00 1 0.00 370 0.03 350 0.03 1,058,974

2013 132,199 107,770 81,726 61,350 50,924 51,059 45,024 46,366 38,886 35,898 26,023 31,988 30,436 23,713 15,874 18,324 26,074 24,765 19,364 13,653 14,081 13,164 5,165 7,317 4,618 3,376 3,232 2,342 2,419 755 925 107 1,148 255 588 139 480 5,465 433 226 80 137 0 15 3 365 415 948,666

% market share 13.94 11.36 8.61 6.47 5.37 5.38 4.75 4.89 4.10 3.78 2.74 3.37 3.21 2.50 1.67 1.93 2.75 2.61 2.04 1.44 1.48 1.39 0.54 0.77 0.49 0.36 0.34 0.25 0.25 0.08 0.10 0.01 0.12 0.03 0.06 0.01 0.05 0.58 0.05 0.02 0.01 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.04

% change 9.06 5.14 12.59 14.52 17.96 12.43 16.97 2.97 8.56 2.56 25.65 11.09 10.36 19.80 62.45 21.52 -0.31 1.42 -17.67 16.71 16.53 30.56 113.84 9.80 2.51 34.92 19.86 1.92 -14.84 69.01 15.68 842.06 -24.04 150.20 10.71 209.35 42.29 -49.94 -10.39 -19.91 -8.75 -86.13 0.00 -93.33 -66.67 1.37 -15.66 11.63

Biggest growers Y e a r t o d at e

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

BrAnD MG Maserati SsangYong Dacia Jeep Renault Bentley Lexus Mazda Škoda

YTD (%) 842.06 209.35 150.20 113.84 69.01 62.45 42.29 34.92 30.56 25.65

Bentley is proving it pays to have wealthy parents. as part of vw group, it keeps rolling out exclusive editions and with the compelling offers of vw Financial services behind it, the crewe-based luxury car maker is winning a fair share of extra sales in 2014. contrast that with aston Martin, its rival British-built supercar brand. despite the economic recovery, the gaydonbased firm, whose latest launch is the vanquish volante [below), has seen a 10.4% decline in its Uk registrations. demand is growing overseas, however.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

BrAnD Lotus Aston Martin Smart Mini Infiniti Chrysler Chevrolet Saab Perodua Proton

YTD (%) -8.75 -10.39 -14.84 -17.67 -19.91 -24.04 -49.94 -66.67 -86.13 -93.33

Biggest Fa l l er s Y e a r t o d at e

9 am-online.com July 2014 13


INSIGHT AM/IMI People Conference TH PEOPEL ISSUE E

Building on your people power Advice and case studies on creating a people culture, measuring the return on your training investment and attracting young people and graduates to a professionalised motor retail sector

Read extended versions of these reports online at: am-online.com/ people

HOW TO CREATE A PEOPLE CULTURE

NEED TO KNOW ■ Marshall spends £691 per employee annually on training, development and rewards ■ Marshall scored 55% in its first Great Place to Work survey in 2008, but scored 77% last year Daksh Gupta, Marshall Motor Group chief executive Transforming a regional business into a national company can only succeed if its people are genuinely at its heart, according to Daksh Gupta, chief executive of Marshall Motor Group. To get there, Marshall has a ‘discretionary spend’ of £1.53 million or £691

48 July 2014 am-online.com

per employee each year on staff training, development and rewards. That expenditure is translating into success, with Marshall’s operating profits up by 75% to £11.8m in 2013. Return on capital employed (ROCE) was at 18.3% in 2013. “Since 2008, our turnover has grown from £250m to over £1 billion. This hasn’t been achieved just though acquisition as our organic turnover per site has moved from £9.7m to £17m over that period,” said Gupta. “The only way to achieve such success is with the highest levels of engagement with employees.” Marshall went from having 41 dealerships, exiting 23 sites, to becoming a national player with 70 retailers from Cumbria and Scarborough in the north to Plymouth in the south. Employee numbers increased 275%, from 800 to 2,200, between 2008 and 2014. Gupta said: “72% of our portfolio

“One of the first things we did was send employees who had been with us for five years a bottle of champagne” is less than five years old as we have bought and sold more than 70 businesses since 2008. We have acquired businesses from 12 different companies, almost of all of which were lossmaking, so the people challenge has been significant.” Employee turnover has remained at about 25%. Marshall introduced a Great Place to Work survey in 2008 and the first score was 55% with a 47% participation rate. By acting on the feedback, 2013’s survey scored 77%, with a 91% participation rate. “We had some very loyal employees,

but never recognised them until they had worked for us for 30 years,” said Gupta. “One of the first things we did was send employees who had been with us for five years, champagne and for those who went on to work with us for 10, 15, 20 and 25 years, we arrange a weekend away with their partner. “We also introduced the Marshall CEO Awards. Any employee can nominate a colleague and eight winners receive a weekend away. We send around 40 colleagues twice a year to all sorts of locations like Moscow, Iceland and Croatia.”


NAtIoNAl AccrEdItAtIoN

NEEd to kNow n four in five delegates want motor industry professionals to be licensed n only 15% of industry managers are formally qualified Steve Nash, chief executive, ImI Four in five delegates at the AM/ IMI People Conference voted in a poll for motor industry professionals to be licensed. Steve Nash said this is an issue about professional versus non-professional. “Those who get it understand you need to invest in people. The true downgrading of our sector is by people who don’t want to invest in people and professionalism,” he said. Nash said the UK motor industry spends £100million a year on training, of which £40m is on non-technical training including management development. He asked if this was a good use of resources and whether it was a sound investment. The IMI has worked hard to establish industry-wide accreditation, through Automotive Technician

“The true downgrading of our sector is by people who don’t want to invest in people”

Accreditation, Automotive Management Accreditation, and a publicly searchable professional register of 40,000 qualified people. Such initiatives enable consumers to have more confidence in accredited motor industry workers, and also help dealers to employ skilled people rather than take a gamble. Nash said there are good natural operators in motor retail, but it raises the question of how much better they could be after training for a professional accreditation. Less than 1% of the skills and competence–based training is attended by dealer principals. That has to be addressed, said Nash. In addition, only 15% of industry managers are formally qualified. He said the IMI has a role to play in attracting talent to dealerships. Its website includes a World of Work section, which explains and promotes the job roles within dealerships. An equally important role is to provide educators with a better message than the one they’ve always received. IMI has curriculum-orientated lesson plans and practical tools available for teachers, and Nash is involved in judging school projects. A big problem is in getting teachers and parents to aspire to their children working in the sector and the IMI is working on sector-wide recognition and defined career paths that demonstrate why a motor industry career is an alternative to higher education. Nash said in other sectors, 58% of starters are graduates on average. In the motor industry, it’s 17%. That reflects a traditional meritocracy in the industry, he said, where the likes of Trevor Finn started out as an apprentice and now run a huge group. But there’s a danger in a lack of change.

PEtEr VArdy: thE AcAdEmy routE

NEEd to kNow n Peter Vardy Academy gives all managers one day’s training a month on leadership skills n All new employees go through a three-day induction course Elaine Ashworth, Peter Vardy Academy director In its drive to create the ‘best place to work’, Scottish dealer group Peter Vardy is confident the company will become ‘the John Lewis of automotive retail’. As winners of this year’s AM Award for Best Training Programme, Peter Vardy’s academy director Elaine Ashworth told delegates the group’s focus on its staff has contributed to it surpassing its business plan objectives by 30% and a return on sales of almost 3%. More importantly, the group boasts 85% retention within its core sites and gained 10 percentage points in 2013 over the previous year’s training score in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, with 71%. Peter Vardy has 12 dealerships and

“New employees are surprised that we encourage them to participate in the local community”

800 employees. At the heart of its strategy is the Peter Vardy Academy, which has been running for two years. All managers receive one day’s training a month on leadership skills and operational issues. The academy also provides structured training for all other employees, including customer service workshops. Peter Vardy incorporates a number of other initiatives including allocating a ‘buddy’ for new starters. All employees go through a three-day induction course. Day one focuses on Peter Vardy’s vision and values, day two is dedicated to customer experience, and the third day enables new recruits to ‘give something back’ to the community by working as a volunteer for the day. Ashworth said: “We have had people work in food banks and other local charities or with community agencies and it has proved to be one of the most successful policies we have introduced. “New employees are surprised that we encourage them to participate in the local community this way and they wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity, with many continuing to undertake voluntary roles long afterwards. It fully underpins the Peter Vardy ethos and we think it is one of the defining characteristics of the business.” Other initiatives include its ‘rookie academy’ which was established to encourage recruits from outside the industry and includes an intensive four-month programme. Running in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University, it leads to an executive certificate in professional selling. “It may sound a bit clichéd, but at Peter Vardy we genuinely care about the people who work for us and the customers who buy from us,” said Ashworth.

VIEw from thE INdEPENdENtS

NEEd to kNow n training and legislation are among independents’ main concerns n IGA trained more than 3,000 mechanics in hybrid safety Stuart James, Independent Garage Association director The increasing presence of a more professional co-sponsors:

independent sector will help raise the perception of automotive retail as a whole, according to the Independent Garage Association (IGA). Stuart James said: “The big ‘ticket’ items for the independent sector are undoubtedly training, particularly technical development, access to manufacturer’s technical information and legislation, especially legal and health and safety regulations. “The sector is a sleeping giant, which is now awakening and adding its voice to the development of automotive retail. By so doing, we are adding

gravitas to the movement to further professionalise the industry.” James said one of the misconceptions is that the independent sector is reluctant to invest in training. However, the IGA launched its hybrid safety awareness training scheme 18 months ago and it has trained more than 3,000 mechanics from 1,500 businesses. A large proportion of its members, who took part in an IGA survey, also employ an apprentice (38%), reflecting the sector’s commitment to developing young talent, and 56% said they

would take on an apprentice if there was more support from the organisation particularly in negotiating the legislative process and helping to recruit the right person for the job. “Anecdotal evidence from our members suggests school leavers are receiving limited and even inaccurate information about apprenticeships in the independent sector and that is something we as an organisation need to tackle if we are going to help our members recruit high calibre school leavers for apprenticeship positions,” said James.

am-online.com July 2014 49


INSIGHT AM/IMI People Conference

VAuxhAll: thE ImPortANcE of PEoPlE for A BESt-SEllING BrANd

NEEd to kNow n only 18% of retail managers have a level 3 qualification, compared with 45% in other sectors n dealers must do more to communicate benefits of a career in the motor industry chris roberts, retail network development director, Vauxhall When Chris Roberts rejoined Vauxhall after six

years running Thurlby Motors, he noticed gaps in the skill set of the managers. Only 18% had gained a Level 3 qualification, compared with 45% in other sectors. “To get the best out of our industry and our people, we’ve got to derive management skills and push those forward as a collaborative group.” Such changes include developing line management at dealer level and attracting talented young people fresh out of schools and colleges. Roberts said one challenge is dealers feel reticent about manufacturer training. Often it creates a spike in performance immediately after-

trAINING rEturN oN INVEStmENt

NEEd to kNow n ImI’s research identifies return on training investment n Apprentices cover costs of training in 18-24 months dr Paul Spear, return on investment manager, Institute of the motor Industry It is possible to achieve a high return on investment (ROI) from targeted training, but non-targeted training that merely ticks boxes will not give good results, said Dr Paul Spear. “Skills development is a proven route towards improving efficiency and productivity,” he said. “It’s about thinking way into the future and developing individuals.” The IMI’s research shows training can really make a difference and it has created an ROI calculator hosted on its website at theimi.org.uk/roi About 68-70% of businesses believe training had no impact on profitability, said Spear. However, the problem is if you don’t measure it you can’t see it.

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“Average retail margins in motor retail are very thin, around 3%, and to invest in training there needs to be a high degree of certainty that you’ll get some kind of return.” The ROI research looked into leadership development and apprenticeships. For the former, the IMI looked at two managers from Scottish franchised dealer John Clark Motor Group, who undertook an AMA (automotive management accreditation) assessment. From project-based management training, designed to fill an identified knowledge gap, they achieved an ROI of 184% and 212%. In another case, a Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles service team manager transformed the business through a management accreditation and achieved 100% ROI on training. Spear surveyed 13 graduates of Loughborough University’s BSc degree in automotive management. All benefitted significantly, and most got their next position as a result. From studying results of 30 apprentices in several companies over two years, the study demonstrated that an apprentice can deliver an ROI of 150-300% net of employer costs. After 18-24 months, apprentices will have covered their costs.

wards that tails away. In recognition of this, Vauxhall has mapped its current training against the AMA (automotive management accreditation). It starts with AMA Trait psychometric analysis, to identify a manager’s competence and identify any training gaps. Training to fill that gap takes out cost and is more effective, said Roberts. The goal is to improve the customer experience, enable staff to sell value in the product rather than just negotiate on price, and create a happy workforce that’s been managed and motivated correctly so it will deal with customers more professionally.

Salespeople, service advisers and business managers are going through it, and next year it will be rolled out to general managers. Roberts said the motor industry must do more to encourage schools and parents to push children towards it. It needs to get the message out that the industry is about technology – sales teams explaining infotainment, aftersales using diagnostics and management control systems. To achieve this, Vauxhall has piloted an apprenticeship ‘toolbox’ that dealers can take to schools and colleges, or invite them into their dealerships, to explain what the industry is about.

how to thINk BIG

NEEd to kNow n lack of contacts ‘is keeping young people out of motor trade’ n GothinkBig aims to see more than 50% of businesses in every region offering work experience tokunbo Ajasaoluwa, head of GothinkBig Thousands of young people in the UK have a passion for motoring, but struggle to find a way into the sector. Motoring was identified as one of nine passion points by 18-30-yearolds, alongside others such as fashion, music and technology, by an initiative called GoThinkBig (www.gothinkbig. co.uk), launched by AM’s parent company, Bauer, in October 2012. This free online hub was created with O2 in response to record numbers of UK youth unemployment as a means to bridge the gap between the millions of young people Bauer reaches via its brands and employers. Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, head of GoThinkBig (GTB), said: “Among the

biggest hurdles for young people looking for experience or employment is the lack of insight or opportunity. They may have a considerable passion for motoring, but don’t have a clue how to work on the sales or service side of a car brand. “Their contact networks are limited; no one in their family has experience, so the dream never becomes reality.” GTB found contact-building was hampered by the fact that in only two UK regions more than 50% of businesses publicly offer work experience. Working to address this, AjasaOluwa said every time a dealer had an opportunity available, GTB would work to match up a young person. His ambition is to see more than 50% of businesses in every region offering work experience within the next 15 months. Ajasa-Oluwa said 40% of GTB’s users had identified motoring as a passion. But only 8% had looked into getting experience in the sector. “The ambition among young people is there to get into motoring. Our role is to pull together the opportunities that are relevant to your business and uncover talent – for free.” n for more information, email: tokunbo@gothinkbig.co.uk

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SHOWROOM 60

mitsubishi asx

Four months into our long-term test, we’re finding the ASX offers great value but suffers at the fuel pump.

tHe cars driving your business

61

seat leon 1.6tdi

A stress-free accident repair experience to fix a mystery car park scrape is a fitting end to our Leon test.

62

mazda6 tourer

Mazda UK is equipping its dealer network with a new system to help them target their marketing for cars such as the Mazda6.

F i r s t d r i v e : n i s s a n x -t r a i l - o n s a l e J u ly 1 8

Broader appeal as X-Trail goes dual-purpose The old model had a dedicated following, but Nissan’s new version is targeting families as well as 4x4 diehards

By Tim Rose issan knows it has significant brand equity in its X-Trail model range. Its two previous generations of the 4x4 have created quite a dedicated following, with some 53,000 still on the road in the UK. Nevertheless, after the Europe-wide success of crossover models such as its Juke and Qashqai, the Japanese carmaker acknowledges there’s a bigger prize to be won by broadening the X-Trail’s appeal. This has fuelled its desire for the new version to fulfil a dual purpose – serving as its midsized SUV with 4x4 capability for those who want it, and offering a family-friendly seven-seater that fills the gap left by the recently discarded Qashqai+2. Nissan GB expects its first full-year UK sales to be about 8,000 and passing 10,000 units thereafter, more than double the peak of the old model. The company car user is a prime target – only about 40% of new X-Trail sales will be to private buyers, with fleets, userchoosers and Motability taking the rest. Business leasing deals

N

58 July 2014 am-online.com

“I like the result and I’m confident it will bring more people into the brand” Jim wright, nissan gb

are already available offering the car for monthly payments below £350 excluding VAT. nissan motor gb managing director Jim wright said: “We kept the nameplate after a survey showed this model to be among the best recognised of our products, but we had to respond to the fact that the X-Trail was becoming an increasingly niche car.” Some 40% of SUVs/crossovers sold in the UK now are 2WD. The plan was to retain the model range’s 4x4 heritage and build on Nissan’s crossover expertise to redefine C-segment crossover conventions. “The decision was taken to develop the concept to have a broader appeal. I like the result and I’m confident it will bring more people into the brand,” said Wright. The new Nissan X-Trail has abandoned its predecessor’s upright styling and go-anywhere focus and followed the lead of the smaller, road-biased Qashqai. Exterior and interior styling and quality is much improved and there’s more than enough space for adults in the back row thanks to seats


F o r m o r e r e v i e w s v i s i t: w w w . a m - o n l i n e . c o m / r o a d t e s t s

s p ec i F i c at i o n

a 550-litre boot and an optional third row of fold-out seats will appeal to families

Price £22,995 - £31,695 Engine 1.6-litre diesel: 128bhp Performance 0-62mph 10.5 secs, top speed 117mph Transmission 6sp man, CVT auto Efficiency 129-139g/km CO2 RV 3yr/30k TBC Rivals Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Kuga

wHat your customers will be reading about tHe x-trail auto express on first impressions, the x-trail makes a great case for itself as a family-mover. thanks to an all-new platform co-developed with renault, the x-trail has the most legroom in its class, and the rear doors open outward by more than 80 degrees.

exterior and interior styling is much improved

entry-level models get electronic parking brake, cruise control, bluetooth and air conditioning mounted on runners. An optional, electric-powered tailgate gives access to a 550-litre boot and, for an extra £700, buyers can specify a third row of fold-out seats, perfectly suited for carrying their children’s friends. All three seat rows are mounted ‘theatre style’ to give better visibility. Such thoughtful touches give the X-Trail added practicality that very few rivals this size can match. With a starting price of £22,995, it is £2,600 cheaper than its predecessor but £1,755 more than the old Qashqai+2. The engine range is simple – a single 1.6-litre 128bhp turbodiesel which manages 57.6mpg, according to the claimed figures. A 160bhp turbocharged petrol model will be added in 2015. Two-wheel drive is standard, but there is an electronic lockable all-wheel drive option available on all four trim grades for a £1,700 premium. A CVT auto transmission is an option on the 2WD cars. The specification of entry-level X-Trail Visia models, expected to be in least demand, includes 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, electronic parking brake, cruise

control, Bluetooth and air-conditioning. A £495 Smart Vision Pack adds more safety technology, including front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and forward emergency braking. Move up a grade to Acenta and customers will get dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, a sunroof and leather steering wheel. The higher-spec N-Tec or Tekna models are expected to be the bigger sellers, taking a combined 74% of X-Trail orders, according to Nissan GB’s forecast. N-Tec’s equipment includes roof rails, 19in alloys, digital radio, 360-degree parking cameras and Nissan Connect, a 7in touchscreen interface that controls navigation and entertainment systems, as well as allows occupants to access apps and social media on the move. The Tekna adds further luxuries, including heated leather seats, LED headlamps and an automatic parking system. With such levels of equipment, functionality and value, the new X-Trail should compete strongly against its rivals and prove itself a useful addition to any Nissan dealer’s stock.

Honest JoHn the x-trail is not quite as practical as a traditional suv, but it’s got more style and should prove to be more capable thanks to the option of all-wheel drive, seven seats and a reasonable 2,000kg braked towing weight. some might think it’s too similar to the Qashqai to spend the extra money on, but it’s certainly worth a look if you demand a comfortable, easy-to-drive car with plenty of space.

57.6mpg claimed fuel economy from the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine

10,000

nissan’s expected annual registrations for the new x-trail after the first year

am-online.com July 2014 59


IN AUGUST’S ISSUE

C O N TA C T U S

PUBLISHED JULY 25

AM, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA Email: AM@bauermedia.co.uk If you or someone you know are aged 16-24 and are interested in work experience opportunities at Bauer Media go to www.gothinkbig.co.uk Editor Jeremy Bennett 01733 468261 Managing editor Tim Rose 01733 468266 Brand content manager Tom Seymour 01733 468343 Industry editor Tony Willard AM production Head of publishing Luke Neal 01733 468262 Production editor Finbarr O’Reilly 01733 468267 Contributors Jay Nagley, Prof Jim Saker, Philip Nothard, Steve Johnson, Chris Lowndes

FACE TO FACE:

HR Owen

Chris Harris, marketing and customer director, reveals why he is building world-class customer communications into every part of the luxury dealer group.

A 21st-century marketing toolkit

Balance your marketing We examine how essential online content and social media really are and ask if they detract from traditional activities such as customer events and outbound calls?

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Accident Exchange.............................21 Admark..................................................65 Autos on show.Tv ................................42 Barclays Partner Finance................27 BCA .........................................................56

66 July 2014 am-online.com

AM publishing Managing director Tim Lucas 01733 468340 Office manager Vicky Meadows 01733 468319 Group managing director Rob Munro-Hall Chief executive officer Paul Keenan Subscriptions 01635 588494. Annual UK subscription £99, two years £168, three years £238. Overseas one year/12 issues £149, two years £253, three years £358.

The latest technology, products and channels to support dealers’ new and used car marketing and longer-term CRM strategy.

4 64 65 65

AM advertising Commercial director Sarah Crown 01733 366466 Group advertisement manager Sheryl Graham 01733 366467 Project managers Leanne Patterson 01733 468332 Kerry Unwin 01733 468327 Angela Price Lucy Peacock 01733 468338 Account managers Sara Donald 01733 366474 Richard Kerr 01733 366473 Kelly Crown 01733 366364 Recruitment enquiries Richard Kerr 01733 366473

Jeep Cherokee Jeep launches phase two of its turnaround with its new volume leader, the Cherokee. Has the brand improved quality and refinement enough to take on rivals in the segment?

Chris Eastwood Automotive ...........64 Dealer Management Services........55 Denison Automotive ..........................57 Gemini Computer Systems ............55 Glass’s Information Services .........34 Heritage Automotive .........................64 IMI............................................................45 Infomedia ................................................8

iVendi......................................................46 JCT600 ..................................................63 Lloyds Banking Group ......................16 Loughborough University ................42 Manheim Retail Services.............2, 15 Mapfre Abraxas..................................39 Marketing Delivery ............................54 Mercedes-Benz UK............................64

AM is published 12 times a year by Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 2RF. Registered number 01176085. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any form in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publisher. All material published remains the copyright of Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. We reserve the right to edit letters, copy or images submitted to the magazine without further consent. The submission of material to Bauer Media whether unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish in the magazine, including any licensed editions throughout the world. Any fees paid in the UK include remuneration for any use in any other licensed editions. We cannot accept any responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, images or materials lost or damaged in the post. Whilst every reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions nor do we accept any liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, resulting from the use of the magazine. Printing: Headley Brothers Ltd, Kent

Northridge Finance............................28 Paragon Automotive..........................11 Perrys Motor Sales ..........................65 Supagard...............................................56 Symco Training....................................22 Trader Publishing........................52, 68 Trusted Dealers ..................................10 Wilcomatic ............................................57

AM - Automotive Management magazine July 2014 preview  

A selection of pages from the July 2014 'people issue' of AM - Automotive Management magazine - news, insight and best practice information...

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