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www.am-online.com April 2014 £8.00

A N A LY S I S : S E AT U K / P 2 9

AUTOMOTIVE MANAGEMENT

It’s growing fast, but does the Spanish brand really love its dealers?

S P E C I A L R E P O R T: C O N S U M E R C R E D I T R E G U L A T I O N S / P 3 5

CAN YOU AFFORD TO GAMBLE WITH THE FCA? New consumer credit regulations come into force on April 1. Are your dealerships ready?

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M A S E R AT I G H I B L I / P 74

Italian luxury brand sets its sights on corporate sales

SERVICE PL ANS/ P53

Manufacturers’ opportunity to sell servicing to fleets

FACE T O FACE / P 5 6

How Marshall Motor Group adds value the internet can’t beat

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Customer Service, Retention & Digital Integration Tackling the threats and challenges head-on to future-proof your aftersales business

The aftersales department is the frontrunner in the battle for customer retention in a climate where vehicles are serviced and repaired on fewer occasions and the migration from the franchised sector to independents and fast fits continues unabated. But the increase in new car registrations throughout 2013, which saw private registrations soar, will almost certainly stimulate service work throughout 2014. But no workshop can survive on service work alone so this year’s AM Aftersales Conference focuses on the threats and the opportunities to ensure your aftersales business remains in the very best of health.

The jam-packed agenda will also address:- Retaining customers in the network - Persuading lapsed customers to return - Staying ahead in a fastpaced digital world - How to challenge the independents - Ways to win back customers of older vehicles - How the right technology can drive a business forward - Creating a fully rounded customer experience

In association with

Masterclass sponsor:

Tuesday 8 April 2014 NEW VENUE: Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park, OX7 5UF To book your place visit: www.aftersalesconference.co.uk or contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133 or email emma-louise.kinnaird@bauermedia.co.uk


WELCOME

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How has the FCA ‘seismic shift’ affected your business?

T

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he transition of consumer credit regulation to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been described as a seismic shift for the motor industry. Motor finance houses need dealers to embrace this regulation and work within it, because there are grave consequences for those that don’t. It’s the reason for our special report on consumer credit regulations, starting on p35. We’ve aimed to give an overview of the regulatory changes and we would love your feedback on how your teams and processes are adapting to the new rules. Email am@bauermedia.co.uk with your thoughts. One motor retailer that has been adapting its processes in other areas recently is Marshall Motor Group. On p56, its chief executive, Daksh Gupta, reveals changes to its operations and sales processes that cater for today’s well-informed car buyer. He aims to ensure consumers still have a reason to want the Marshall experience. Creating that reason to visit is an essential point. Most car buyers still need to conclude their customer journey at the dealership. As more and more of the traditional process finds its way online, it is the personal experience that must be promoted.

OUR EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS 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 (p33), he looks at how carmakers and their stronger franchised networks will put a squeeze on the independents. Jay Nagley A former business analyst with Porsche GB, he now runs Redspy Automotive, offering insight and analysis into motor retail trends. This month (p32), he looks at how certain brands have become too reliant on small cars. 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 (p59), he finds a common trait shared by the recent AM Awards-winning retailers.

The AM editorial team Email: am@bauermedia.co.uk Website: www.am-online.com

Jeremy Bennett Editor

Tim Rose Managing editor

Tom Seymour Content manager

am-online.com April 2014 5


In this issue April 2014 35

FCA SPECIAL REPORT AM’S GUIDE TO THE NEW CONSUMER CREDIT REGULATIONS

Your news

9

News digest

This month’s round-up includes Lookers’ takeover of Colborne, Inchcape’s growth and Land Rover tops the most valued franchises.

Market intelligence

15 18 21

24

Used car values

Used values likely to remain fairly stable until the summer despite rising volumes.

Finance

New consumer credit regulations in force from April 1 may bring unforeseen benefits to dealers as well as customers due to more transparency.

6 April 2014 am-online.com

Indications are that the recovery will strengthen, but the Budget warns of more austerity.

33

Stock forecasts

The growth in PCPs and the new car boom may hurt independents, says CAP’s Philip Nothard.

Your feedback

FCA special report

27

35

New car registrations

SMMT data shows the new car market has grown 17.4% during two years of rising confidence.

Economic indicators

Have your say

AM readers overwhelmingly believe The Sun’s launch into used car classifieds is a positive step.

Analysis

29 Seat turns up the heat

With Volkswagen’s support, the Spanish brand is winning more customers and transforming its retail network.

32

Little cars, large problems Jay Nagley on whether certain manufacturers will be able to escape the small car ghetto they have driven into.

Can you afford to gamble with the FCA?

New consumer credit regulations come into force on April 1. Stay clear of the Financial Conduct Authority’s bite with our special report.

Insight

53 Service plans

Fleets offer dealers and manufacturers an opportunity to increase their service plan sales.

56

Face to face: Marshall Motor Group

The focus is on the experience now Marshall’s expansion drive is over.


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

DEALERS AND SUPPLIERS IN THIS ISSUE:

29 ANALYSIS SEAT TURNS UP THE HEAT

56 FACE TO FACE MARSHALL MOTOR GROUP’S DAKSH GUPTA

59

View from the business school

63

AM Digital Marketing Conference

Award-winning dealers share a common trait – they are willing to take a risk.

Experts share advice on all aspects of digital marketing.

67

70

MASERATI GHIBLI CHASING COMPANY CAR DRIVERS

76 Volvo D4 Drive-E

The first in a new family of superefficient engines that Volvo hopes will help to boost demand.

77 Mitsubishi ASX

AM welcomes its latest longterm test car and learns almost one in five orders will be an automatic.

Warranty

78 Seat Leon 1.6TDI

Marketplace

Tourer 79 Mazda6

74

Suppliers offer support and training to ensure dealers sell their products within the law. The best tactics to use when a customer leaves you with an oddball car in part-exchange.

Showroom

74 Maserati Ghibli

The Italian luxury brand adds a diesel to its range to target sales in the corporate sector.

It’s a hard-working hatchback for AM and equally hard-working for Seat’s marketing department. The large estate car and its Skyactiv technology have played a central role in Mazda’s reversal of fortunes.

Coming soon 82

In May’s issue

The dealers and manufacturers who’ll come under the spotlight in the next issue of AM.

ABI......................................................................50 Alfa Romeo......................................................10 Allianz................................................................67 Alphera Financial Services....................... 38 Anthony Betts Motor Group.......................67 ASE.....................................................................10 Auto Trader..............................................63, 70 Autoprotect..................................................... 68 Barclays............................................................15 BCA.....................................................................18 Black Horse.....................................................22 BMW.................................................................. 53 CAP.....................................................................70 Citroën...............................................................10 Codeweavers...................................................22 Colborne Garages...........................................9 Deltapoint.........................................................65 DSG Financial Services...............................22 Emac................................................................. 53 Environment Agency...................................54 Epyx....................................................................10 Financial Conduct Authority................21, 35 FLA.................................................................... 23 Google...............................................................64 Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance...21, 40 ICDP....................................................................70 Inchcape..............................................................9 iVendi..................................................................70 Lex Autolease................................................53 Lings...................................................................70 Lookers...............................................................9 Manheim...........................................................18 Mapfre Abraxas.............................................50 Mapfre Warranty...........................................67 Marshall Motor Group.................................56 Mercedes-Benz..............................................10 Mitsubishi........................................................54 MotoNovo Finance.........................................21 NAMA.................................................................18 NFDA....................................................10, 38, 50 Nissan................................................................10 Peugeot.............................................................10 Porsche Cars..................................................10 PwC....................................................................15 Revolutions..................................................... 68 RRG Group.........................................................9 Seat.....................................................................29 SMMT..........................................................10, 15 Spire Automotive.............................................9 The Car Finance Company........................40 Vauxhall.............................................................10 Vertu Motors.....................................................9 Warranty Direct.............................................67 Warrantywise................................................ 68 WMS.................................................................. 68

am-online.com April 2014 7


MARKET INTELLIGENCE 18

Used car values

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

21

Finance

New rules for consumer credit provision under the FCA will be a seismic shift for motor retail, say suppliers.

THE NEWS IN DEPTH

24

Economic indicators

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

NEW CAR MARKET

Registrations rise for 24th consecutive month New car registrations rose 17.4% during two years of returning economic confidence

100% 97.2% 80% 60%

49.2%

40%

31.7% 16.4% 20.0%

20%

VOLUME SPLIT

February Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business 2014 68,736 33,094 34,430 1,212 29,887 37,029 1,820 2013 66,749 32,327 33,588 834 29,277 35,759 1,713 % change 3.0% 2.4% 2.5% 45.3% 2.1% 3.6% 6.2% Mkt share ‘14 48.1% 50.1% 1.8% 43.5% 53.9% 2.6% Mkt share ‘13 48.4% 50.3% 1.2% 43.9% 53.6% 2.6% Year-to-date Total Diesel Petrol AFV Private Fleet Business 2014 223,298 112,553 106,674 4,071 101,298 112,238 9,762 2013 210,392 105,166 102,105 3,121 90,338 110,976 9,078 % change 6.1% 7.0% 4.5% 30.4% 12.1% 1.1% 7.5% Mkt share ‘14 50.4% 47.8% 1.8% 45.4% 50.3% 4.4% Mkt share ‘13 50.0% 48.5% 1.5% 42.9% 52.7% 4.3%

Total

MPV

Dual Purpose

Sports

Luxury

Executive

Upper Medium

20%

Lower Medium

0%

17.4%

8.4% 6.8% -18.5% -1.0% Supermini

G

By Tim Rose rowth in February’s new car market has marked a full two-year period of increased new car registrations in the UK. During the past 24 months, new car registrations have risen by 17.4%. In February the market was 3% up year on year, almost 2,000 extra cars, two thirds of which were in the fleet market. “The 3% rise in February new car registrations marks two full years of continuous month-onmonth growth; a real endorsement of consumer confidence and the attractiveness of the new car

% C H A N G E I N N E W C A R R E G I S T R AT I O N S B Y S E G M E N T, F E B 2 0 1 2 T O F E B 2 0 1 4 (ROLLING YEAR)

Mini

n 68,736 registrations in February n Market up 3% year-on-year n March ‘will accelerate demand’

market,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “While February is typically a quieter month ahead of the March registration plate change, we expect the arrival of the new 14-plate and increasing economic confidence to maintain a steady rate of growth.” SUVs and MPVs have recorded above-average growth over the past two years, and city cars have almost doubled in volume. In February, the Ford Fiesta remained the most registered new car, ahead of the Vauxhall Corsa, Astra and Ford Focus. The top 10 for volume also included the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which outperformed its rival BMW 3 Series. Phil Harrold, automotive partner at PwC, said: “The continued rise of new UK registrations in February reflects the increasing confidence in the economy among consumers coupled with

% change

NEED TO KNOW

manufacturer incentives which continue at high levels. The real test will come as the European car industry gets its capacity in line with current demand and the need for incentives recedes. However, offsetting this will be the spate of new vehicle launches this year.” Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “Falling inflation, the strong housing market and possible wage increases are fuelling consumer confidence and helping to drive new car sales. We’ve seen growth every month for two years, and March’s all-important plate change is sure to keep demand accelerating, before the market starts to level out.”

am-online.com April 2014 15


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 A T: w w w . a m - o n l i n e . c o m / a m i

February Marque 2014 % market 2013 % market % 2014 share share change BIGGEST GROWERS Y E A R T O D AT E

BRAND YTD (%) 1 Dacia 465.14 2 Infiniti 412.50 3 MG 362.50 4 Lotus 240.00 5 Maserati 140.00 6 Bentley 94.74 7 SsangYong 83.56 8 Jeep 41.75 9 Mazda 31.11 10 Chevrolet 30.10 The smaller brands appear to be playing catch-up in 2014. Leading the field is Dacia, which is doing some clever marketing to demonstrate that its brand value of frugality fits well with Budget talk of austerity. MG is benefiting from strong price positioning, too. The fallers so far this year include a couple of surprises. Alongside the usual suspects are Land Rover, Vauxhall, Jaguar and Nissan. However, all can be expected to give a push to new or revised products in the months to come and regain some lost ground.

BRAND 10 Nissan 9 Honda 8 Jaguar 7 Vauxhall 6 Land Rover 5 Chrysler 4 Alfa Romeo 3 Aston Martin 2 Proton 1 Perodua

YTD (%) -7.49 -7.83 -10.12 -10.97 -11.44 -14.62 -15.33 -50.85 -75.00 -76.74

BIGGEST FA L L ER S Y E A R T O D AT E

16 April 2014 am-online.com

Year-to-date % market 2013 % market % share share change

Ford 9,935 14.45 10,005 14.99 -0.70 31,727 14.21 29,645 14.09 7.02 Vauxhall 9,332 13.58 8,957 13.42 4.19 24,224 10.85 27,210 12.93 -10.97 Volkswagen 5,559 8.09 6,609 9.90 -15.89 19,995 8.95 18,169 8.64 10.05 Audi 4,178 6.08 2,962 4.44 41.05 14,925 6.68 12,810 6.09 16.51 Mercedes-Benz 3,638 5.29 3,382 5.07 7.57 11,430 5.12 10,132 4.82 12.81 Nissan 3,480 5.06 3,796 5.69 -8.32 12,279 5.50 13,273 6.31 -7.49 Peugeot 3,258 4.74 3,689 5.53 -11.68 10,869 4.87 11,403 5.42 -4.68 Hyundai 3,109 4.52 2,966 4.44 4.82 8,173 3.66 7,829 3.72 4.39 CitroĂŤn 3,106 4.52 2,822 4.23 10.06 8,577 3.84 7,581 3.60 13.14 BMW 3,037 4.42 3,276 4.91 -7.30 10,960 4.91 9,555 4.54 14.70 Toyota 2,411 3.51 2,028 3.04 18.89 8,584 3.84 8,140 3.87 5.45 Ĺ koda 2,341 3.41 1,757 2.63 33.24 7,400 3.31 5,793 2.75 27.74 Kia 2,126 3.09 2,123 3.18 0.14 6,821 3.05 6,596 3.14 3.41 Honda 2,023 2.94 1,948 2.92 3.85 5,229 2.34 5,673 2.70 -7.83 Fiat 1,810 2.63 1,506 2.26 20.19 6,033 2.70 4,857 2.31 24.21 Suzuki 1,199 1.74 1,172 1.76 2.30 3,048 1.36 2,867 1.36 6.31 Mazda 1,109 1.61 839 1.26 32.18 3,911 1.75 2,983 1.42 31.11 Renault 1,021 1.49 943 1.41 8.27 3,851 1.72 3,313 1.57 16.24 Mini 979 1.42 1,124 1.68 -12.90 2,998 1.34 2,784 1.32 7.69 Seat 930 1.35 932 1.40 -0.21 4,594 2.06 3,629 1.72 26.59 Volvo 831 1.21 810 1.21 2.59 3,082 1.38 3,190 1.52 -3.39 Land Rover 727 1.06 1,106 1.66 -34.27 5,111 2.29 5,771 2.74 -11.44 Chevrolet 535 0.78 249 0.37 114.86 1,232 0.55 947 0.45 30.10 Dacia 475 0.69 33 0.05 1,339.39 1,848 0.83 327 0.16 465.14 Jaguar 231 0.34 266 0.40 -13.16 1,324 0.59 1,473 0.70 -10.12 Lexus 228 0.33 174 0.26 31.03 898 0.40 711 0.34 26.30 Mitsubishi 199 0.29 380 0.57 -47.63 897 0.40 858 0.41 4.55 Smart 179 0.26 174 0.26 2.87 467 0.21 477 0.23 -2.10 Porsche 155 0.23 119 0.18 30.25 674 0.30 563 0.27 19.72 Alfa Romeo 145 0.21 190 0.28 -23.68 442 0.20 522 0.25 -15.33 Jeep 74 0.11 72 0.11 2.78 275 0.12 194 0.09 41.75 Bentley 67 0.10 34 0.05 97.06 222 0.10 114 0.05 94.74 Chrysler 66 0.10 69 0.10 -4.35 181 0.08 212 0.10 -14.62 MG 47 0.07 9 0.01 422.22 185 0.08 40 0.02 362.50 SsangYong 40 0.06 45 0.07 -11.11 134 0.06 73 0.03 83.56 Subaru 37 0.05 45 0.07 -17.78 165 0.07 150 0.07 10.00 Abarth 32 0.05 29 0.04 10.34 115 0.05 112 0.05 2.68 Maserati 21 0.03 10 0.01 110.00 84 0.04 35 0.02 140.00 Infiniti 16 0.02 0 0.00 0.00 82 0.04 16 0.01 412.50 Aston Martin 8 0.01 18 0.03 -55.56 58 0.03 118 0.06 -50.85 Perodua 2 0.00 20 0.03 -90.00 10 0.00 43 0.02 -76.74 Lotus 1 0.00 1 0.00 0.00 17 0.01 5 0.00 240.00 Mia 0 0.00 0 0.00 0.00 5 0.00 0 0.00 0.00 Proton 0 0.00 2 0.00 -100.00 1 0.00 4 0.00 -75.00 Saab 0 0.00 0 0.00 0.00 0 0.00 1 0.00 -100.00 Other British 30 0.04 44 0.07 -31.82 98 0.04 117 0.06 -16.24 Other imports 9 0.01 14 0.02 -35.71 63 0.03 77 0.04 -18.18 Total 68,736 66,749 2.98 223,298 210,392 6.13


AMi_DPS_FPAD 21/03/2014 16:31 Page 1

AMi is an online tool providing franchised dealers, car brands, suppliers and funders market data, dealer group and manufacturer financial and network information to analyse market performance – and help identify opportunities and threats to support business planning.

i

AMi: answering the k franchised dealers, m FREE TO ALL DEALERS Paid for subscriptions are available for all non-dealers.

On dealers AMI provides understanding of the strategy and comparative performance of individual dealer groups. It enables risk assessment, benchmarking and competitor analysis, as well as insight into the profile and performance of vehicle manufacturers.

Questions that AMi can help answer: The website at www.am-online.com/ami provides benchmarking tools enabling comparisons between franchised dealer groups, as well as market averages across 250 franchised groups. Comparisons of the profile and performance of all the major manufacturers can also be made in relation to brand health and manufacturer franchised network locations using Google Maps, including Street View. Each dealer group and manufacturer also has its own individual profile, containing performance data, history, network and relevant articles from the AM archive. AMi utilises key information from credible providers including Sewell’s, the National Franchised Dealers Association, Experian, AM and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, plus individual vehicle manufacturers ensuring its data is robust and current. And AMi is continuously updated.

NOW

n How does my financial performance compare to other dealers? n Which are the fastest growing dealers? n Which dealer groups’ financial performance could put them under pressure to change their growth plans n Which groups are best targets for my acquisition strategy? n Which dealer groups operate in the same geographic locations as me and with which brands? n How has a dealer group’s representation of a brand changed over time?

On car manufacturers AMi is an analysis and prospecting tool designed to improve franchised network performance through insight and data providing an understanding of dealer groups’ and manufacturers’ networks’ performance, creating opportunities to identify and target new franchises by group, brand and region.

Questions that AMi can help answer:

n Who are the key directors and stakeholders in a dealer group?

n Which brands are growing market share at the fastest rate?

Franchised dealer groups: financial performance

n What is a brand’s long-term performance?

AMi provides more than 30 measures of financial performance from filed annual accounts from the last 12 years for more than 200 dealers groups, updated annually from Companies House records. They include turnover, profit before tax, debt, profit per staff member and per site, operating profit before tax percentage (return on sale), return on capital employed (RoCE %) and gearing, including its constituent elements, capital, debt and equity. You can analyse a dealer group’s performance in isolation or alongside your own, a peer group or a number of sector averages, including the AM100. The information is presented as a graph or in a table. The information can be saved for future reference in ‘My AMi account’ or downloaded into a pdf and spread sheet.

n What is a brand’s geographic representation and how does it compare to its competitors? n What brands do dealers believe represents the greatest profit opportunity? n What are the problem areas for dealers in representing the major brands? n What open points are available for dealers to expand their representation?

Franchised dealers have FREE access to AMi.


AMi_DPS_FPAD 21/03/2014 16:32 Page 2

i

he key questions facing rs, manufacturers and suppliers Examples of financial data available on AMi

The AMi Franchised Dealer Database (FDD) and Independent Dealer Database (IDD)

AMi incorporates the Franchised Dealer Database containing every franchised outlet in the UK.

The average return on capital employed of the top 10 groups in the AM100 2002 – 2012

It is available separately to AMi and through subscription.

The data includes all dealer groups and owner operators, head office address, brands represented and trading location addresses.

The average return on capital employed of the top 10 groups in the AM100 2002 – 2012 The average return on capital employed of the top 10 groups in the AM100 2002 – 2012

Franchised dealer groups: location and brand representation

AM100 average turnover 2002 - 2012

The FDD is available in two versions:

n FDD head offices (1,400 records)

AMi allows you to analyse the geographic locations of all franchised dealerships together with the franchises held at each location.

The location of Macrae & Dick (black pin), Arnold Clark (green) and Phoenix Car Company (red) centres in Stirling and the franchises held

Manufacturers: brand strength

Manufacturer records are checked on a rolling three month basis.

The franchised dealer market has seen 1,000 dealers exit in the last 10 years. Access to the FDD means your company can improve your sales efficiencies through accessing a dynamic database of dealers that are currently trading. The data supports the prospecting and sales functions.

With postcodes for each head office and franchised outlet, AMi uses Google Maps and Street View to show their locations, allowing users to explore sites and the local area ‘up close’.

Examples of information available on AMi:

Telephone numbers and website addresses are included where available.

Acquisition targeting: is this site on major access routes, is vehicle parking adequate and is there room for expansion (map or satellite views available)?

n FDD head offices and every UK franchised location (1,400 plus 7,700 records)

Independent dealer database: AMi includes head office and site location information for 5,000 independent car dealers, updated monthly using Experian data.

For more information contact Sara Donald at sara.donald@bauermedia.co.uk or Richard Kerr at richard.kerr@bauermedia.co.uk

Franchised dealers already signed up for access to AMi

More than 100 dealers have so far registered for free access to AMi.

The AMi intelligence platform allows you to pinpoint franchise dealers, accessing dealer health checks to ensure you have the most up-to-date strategic and financial assessments to support client meetings and prospecting.

They include Inchcape Retail, Sytner, Jardine Motors, Marshall Group, John Clark, Cambria Automobiles, Phoenix Car Company, Swansway Group and Vertu Motors.

Testimonials

Premium brand sales per outlet 2009 - YTD A comparison of Audi (green) and BMW (black) market share 2001 – YTD

Renault (green) and Kia (red) dealership locations with brand details

“AMi is a brilliantly simple way to access all the various data that’s out there for our industry. It’s simple to use and I’ll continue to view the information as and when required.” Neil Crowden, group director, Mitchell Group

“What a great tool. AMi is easy to navigate and very informative. I’ll be utilising it. Well done.” Marc Matthew, chairman, Lifestyle Europe

To get access, register at www.am-online.com/register or email jeremy.bennett@bauermedia.co.uk

AMi is available on subscription to manufacturers and suppliers. For information on costs and packages available email sarah.donald@bauermedia.co.uk or richard.kerr@bauermedia.co.uk


INSIGHT AM Digital Marketing Conference

Sponsored by

Read extended versions of these reports online at: am-online.com/ dmc2014

Learn from the experts Advice and case studies on SEO, data handling, social media and reputation management YOUR WEBSITE IS ‘A DIGITAL FORECOURT’

NEED TO KNOW n Most consumers still browse dealer websites in the evening, outside traditional opening hours n Mystery shop of 2,000 dealers found 50% of online queries went unanswered Nick King, director of market research, Auto Trader UK consumers spend more time browsing websites on mobiles and tablets than on desktop PCs and motor retailers need to ensure their websites are responsive and optimised for all of those devices, Auto Trader market research director Nick King told delegates at the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference. Most consumers still browse websites in the evening, outside typical dealership opening hours.

Live chat is a useful pressure-free tool for dealers to respond quickly to these out-of-hours browsers and studies show one in two live chat enquiries converts into a hot lead. Outside live chat, people making an online enquiry generally expect a response within an hour. But of almost 2,000 dealers King mystery shopped recently, 50% never responded. For those that do respond, dealers need to encourage proper, useful responses that engage the customer even if the car they’ve been looking at has already sold. King said consumers have embraced mobile internet because it’s easy to use and it’s a personalised experience. Dealers’ own social media activity must be engaging and fun. Done well, it can cleverly promote the business. “As car dealers we’re a scary entity to most people. If you can humanise yourselves, make yourselves less scary, you’ll engage consumers through social media,” King said.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE DIGITAL CONSUMER

NEED TO KNOW n A consumer’s first response to any information about any brand is an unconscious, emotional one n Dealers can build up a familiarity with consumers digitally, such as through social media presence Prof James Intriligator, professor of innovation and consumer psychology, Bangor University Big data and the internet are changing how companies need to engage consumers. Prof James Intriligator, professor of innovation and consumer psychology at Bangor University, told the AM & AutoTrader Digital Marketing Conference that consumers are not just focused on the cost of things. The price is still important, but it is more important for dealers to understand the psychology of the process and the emotional connection required. Rather than pushing offers, it is about brand-building, he said, with an aim of shaping the consumer’s mental representation of what you do as a brand. “In consumer psychology, a brand has nothing to do with the logo or product. It’s something that is in the mind of the consumer. In that sense, branding happens everywhere. “It is about every interaction a human will have with you, your dealership, your dealer, your vehicles.” Prof Intriligator pointed out that a consumer’s first response to any

information about any brand is an unconscious, emotional one. Therefore, it is key for motor retailers to gain an emotional engagement with their consumer. Through the digital realm, such as social media presences and understanding big data, dealers can build up a familiarity with consumers. This will help them to develop a liking for the brand – 82% of consumers feel social media is a great place to interact with a brand. Consumers will expect a consistent, deep, brand narrative and personality across all platforms and content. The four key stages are connecting with them, informing them, entertaining them by providing fun content and enabling them to share that content with their friends. “It really is up to you to create the real brand in the minds of your consumers. Everything you do, how responsive you are, how your website is, your social presence, all can build up a brand network that’s more appropriate in your consumers’ heads,” said Prof Intriligator. However, he warned against believing that any attention is good attention. He explained the phenomenon of ‘distractor devaluation’, where if something doesn’t fit with a current task, you will develop a strong emotional dislike of that later. Dealers need to ensure their adverts don’t appear where people wouldn’t want to be thinking about a car, he said. Any digital content or advertisement must have a strong link with the brand, to have branded memorability and be effective. The more brandedly memorable a campaign is, the more it will increase sales.

am-online.com April 2014 63


INSIGHT AM Digital Marketing Conference SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TRENDS AND TIPS

NEED TO KNOW n Social media lets dealers showcase their business culture and differentiate themselves from competitors n Social media strategy must permeate entire company Andrew Lloyd Gordon, social media expert Dealers can use social media channels to differentiate themselves from the competition and to display the culture of their business, social media expert Andrew Lloyd Gordon told AM & AutoTrader’s Digital Marketing Conference 2014. While he says there is a lot of hype about social media, he believes it can be a great business tool and that customers now look for a dealer’s presence on Facebook before they look for a main website. Lloyd Gordon said: “Customers like to see how a company treats its customers and they want to see what the feedback is like and what sort of response they can expect if they do

have a problem.” Dealers at the conference were asked through a live poll (using a dedicated smartphone app) whether or not they thought social media helped to sell cars. An overwhelming 74.7%, of the admittedly digitally minded audience, believe it does. Lloyd Gordon said: “Social media channels are important because they let you showcase your business’s culture and, more importantly, that is an area which helps distinguish you from the competition. “It’s hard to differentiate yourself on your website, but your culture can’t be replicated.” Lloyd Gordon used Sytner’s Facebook page and Perrys’ YouTube channel as good examples of dealers using social media well. Lloyd Gordon suggested having company guidelines that govern what sort of content and behaviour is acceptable and quarterly meetings with the social media ‘champions’ throughout the business. He believes there also needs to be someone within the dealer group that is not involved with operating social media who can analyse and look at the data side of what is and isn’t working.

CASE STUDY – BENFIELD MOTOR GROUP’S DIGITAL JOURNEY

NEED TO KNOW n In-house website development team offers greater flexibility and speed, and accountability n Primary focus of social media is on creating goodwill Mark King, group digital sales & marketing manager, Benfield Motor Group Benfield has had its own in-house website development team since 2011. Headed by Mark King, group digital sales and marketing manager, it consists of a web developer, senior digital marketing executive and a digital marketing executive and is due to expand this year with another web developer and E-CRM specialist being recruited. King told the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference the advantages of an in-house team include flexibility, speed of response, bespoke functionality, a greater understanding of the business and sharing of knowledge, and its ownership of every part of the function and accountability to the group. However, there are disadvantages: resource limitations, a limited knowledge pool being shared, inability to purchase off-the-shelf solutions and a lack of a designer. “One thing I learned from our previous website is that you can’t build a website by committee,” said King. “We had 12 stakeholders within the business all wanting their own agenda stamped on the website. “It just doesn’t work, we’re not following the customer’s require-

ments then, but putting our own first,” he said. One example of the development team’s results is Benfield’s aftersales platform. This allows customers to enter their car’s registration number and receive quotes for a manufacturer service and a Benfield value service, tyres and an MoT price standardised across the group. It includes a simple online booking form and allows the customer to choose add-ons such as air-con service or fuel treatments. King also heads a central support team whose function is to handle all incoming enquiries for sales. It consists of a sales controller, senior sales executive and several sales executives who are incentivised on converting enquiries into appointments and turning those appointments into sales. The benefit is a consistent experience for consumers and King can also measure accurately the cost per enquiry, per appointment, per sale and the return on investment. Monthly best practice meetings are held off-site to generate ideas for the team. These have included a buddy system, whereby one member will cover the other’s leads if they’re away, and critiques of call and email handling. Benfield uses social media because King believes it could ultimately lead to a car sale, but primarily the focus is on creating goodwill and brand awareness. Social media works best when there’s a champion of it in every dealership. Benfield has some where a staff member makes Twitter and Facebook part of their daily routine, and has thousands of followers. At sites where there is less engagement, the followers are far fewer.

LESSONS FROM THE VIRTUAL HIGH STREET

NEED TO KNOW n Dealers need to think about how cars will be sold in the future, not just today n Businesses must think about six screens – desktop, mobile, tablet, TV, wearable tech and car displays Scott Sinclair, industry manager, Google Most dealers struggle to keep up with technological change, according

64 April 2014 am-online.com

to a poll at the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference 2014. Google’s searches on mobile devices will overtake desktop searches by May 4, 2014, 12 billion online videos are uploaded to YouTube every month and 75% of shoppers now expect a personal experience online. Scott Sinclair, an industry manager at Google specialising in digital within the automotive industry, told delegates at the conference that they must think about how buying cars will change in the long term if they are to keep pace. “Fast, unpredictable change is a certainty,” said Sinclair. “Are you

thinking about the experience of buying a car in the future or just what it’s like today?” Dealers were live-polled at the event on three areas: n Is technology an integral part of your strategy for 2014? YES 97.5% n Do you think technology can give you a competitive advantage? YES 98.6% n Is your business equipped to deal with the accelerating pace of technology change? NO 61.8% While dealers may be aware of consumers ‘double screening’, Sinclair said businesses today have to

think about six screens – desktop, mobile, tablet, TV, wearable technology and car infotainment displays. “Businesses that adapt quickly and win the moments that matter will be the ones that can cope the best.” He gave examples outside of the automotive industry. Netflix saw 23% of its customers were watching on a mobile device, so made sure they developed for a mobile audience. Virgin filmed a song and dance routine to bring its inflight safety video alive. Not only has it seen higher engagement from passengers, it’s had nearly nine million views on YouTube.


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WORKSHOP 1: SEARCH TRENDS IN 2014

NEED TO KNOW n Dealers should focus on creating content and sharing it to help improve their search results n Google offers free tools to help with search strategy

PUTTING THE CONTEXT BACK INTO DIGITAL

NEED TO KNOW n 90% of shopping is still offline, according to OfCom n New technology is integrated rather than being disruptive to existing marketing methods Jessica Wilkie, business director, Wunderman Digital advertising agency Wunderman believes marketers should not get carried away with how technology is changing consumer behaviour online. Jessica Wilkie, Wunderman business director, told delegates at AM & Auto Trader’s Digital Marketing Conference 2014 that online shopping has not killed off the High Street yet. Of onsumers that own a smart TV, 77% have not connected it to the internet, 90% of TV viewing is still in real time, according to the Office of National Statistics in January 2014 and 90% of shopping is still offline, according to OfCom figures in 2013. Wilkie said: “As digital marketers, I think we need to take a step back. Consumer behaviour has already adapted and new technology is integrated rather than being disruptive to existing methods.” This does not mean dealers should ignore digital, but Wilkie believes marketers can get carried away with new technology. “The purchase funnel has changed,” she said. “A brand’s website is one of the most important touchpoints in the customer journey and all consumers are also social sharers now. “There is a clear influence from social media in the final purchase decision. Digital word of mouth is just as valuable as having that in person.”

Berian Reed, head of performance marketing and Anthony Robinson, head of search and social media, Auto Trader Dealers should focus on producing quality content on their websites to satisfy changes to the way Google ranks search results. Berian Reed, Auto Trader head of performance marketing, led a workshop session at the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference 2014. He said: “Google is getting quite intelligent and is now able to interpret complex questions from people to

give the most relevant search results.” Reed urged dealers to use Google Trends and free tools to help them with their search strategy. Antony Robinson, Auto Trader head of search & social media, said dealers should focus on creating content and sharing it to help improve their search results. Robinson said: “From a search engine optimisation perspective, Google is moving away from linkbuilding and the emphasis is on good quality content.”

WORKSHOP 2: DISCOVER THE MISSING LINK IN DIGITAL DATA

NEED TO KNOW n Web data can inform pricing decisions n Stock profiling system offers better ROI Tim Marriott, senior product manager, Deltapoint Data is enabling franchised dealers to better

run their forecourts. The industry is working out how to combine information sources and distil data into useful metrics that help dealers make decisions in buying and selling cars. In an interactive workshop at the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference, Deltapoint’s senior product manager Tim Marriott said metrics from Deltapoint’s i-Control system should generate a higher return on investment from the same marketing spend.

It informs dealers which cars are most in demand from consumers at any point in their marketplace, and helps them price their own stocks, and re-price on a daily or weekly basis to remain competitive and sell while it’s profitable. He added: “Are dealers making the effort to find out why 50% of their marketing doesn’t work? Is it the percentage of marketing that’s wrong, or the percentage of stock that’s not optimal for your market at any given time?”

WORKSHOP 3: INCREASING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT VIA YOUR WEBSITE

NEED TO KNOW n Dealers must find a differentiator for their business n Messages should be tailored to suit different social media Anna Farmery. speaker and writer on leading a social business, Engaging Brand How did washing machine manufacturer Whirlpool top the charts of most downloaded podcasts on Apple’s iTunes? Was it through telling consumers how to work its machines, spin cycles or solve the eternal mystery of the missing sock? No. It provided advice on telling children about their parents’ divorce, how women can check for the symptoms of breast cancer and making family meals for less than $10 under the ‘American Family’ heading. The logic behind the marketing tactic was to position itself as understanding and sympathising with American mothers, so that when she was shopping for a washing machine

she would subconsciously be drawn to Whirlpool. Anna Farmery, founder and managing director of The Engaging Brand, used the case study during an AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference workshop to demonstrate how Whirlpool had gone beyond the traditional marketing technique of pushing product and value to demonstrating it understood how it could stand out from its competitors. She urged dealers to ask themselves to find a differentiator of their business, using ‘family-run’ as an example. “If this is how you believe you stand

out, it should be at the core of everything you do. “Every parent is worried about their child passing their driving test and taking a car out for the first time on their own. So, consider running a clinic on safe driving or the basics of looking after your car.” She also said dealers had been communicating on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, for years. “Your basic message is the same, but in the same way as you tailor the words you use and your tone on radio or in conversation with someone at the bus stop, you tailor it for the different social media.”

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AMPC14_FPED_FPAD 21/03/2014 15:18 Page 1

Are people the key to your success?

Daksh Gupta

Chris Roberts

Steve Nash

Marshall Motor Group

Vauxhall & Opel Ireland

IMI

“People are the most important part of any industry and training them to high level is fundamental to performance. Better trained team members will not only be more efficient, but should also provide higher levels of positive interaction with both customers and colleagues, thereby improving satisfaction levels and job fulfilment.”

he rate of change within organisations today is best described as fast. Legislation around employment and social responsibilities, technology and its effects on sales and operations, and the ability to retain or re-train is never straightforward; nor are there any levels of consistency. This is where the automotive market needs the most advice and help – looking after and developing the right people. Whether you’re an owner driver or part of a larger group, your people matter. The AM & IMI People Conference will cover all the crucial aspects of people management. There is no other event of its kind in the marketplace. There are many training days run by manufacturers and independent organisations, but this conference will be led by the industry number one magazine title, together with the main trade associations and training companies.

T

“There is no other event of its kind in the marketplace.”

quality of the people you employ, and the way you develop and manage them, that makes the difference between success and failure in the retail motor industry. This is recognised within the industry, as is the need to address the crippling industrywide problem of high staff turnover (sales staff in particular).

Tickets from

£149

+VAT

*For IMI members

The most progressive motor retailers are unwilling to rely on manufacturer training/development activities that are seen as benefiting the manufacturer first and foremost. Instead they are looking for activities that are focused on the needs of their own businesses.

Franchised dealers – the core audience for AM events – are having a relatively good time at the moment. Added to that we are seeing a lot of mergers and acquisitions as the sector continues to consolidate. It’s the medium-sized groups that are most affected. They are either getting swallowed up, or they’re getting bigger in which case they are finding they have a need for management skills they’ve not previously needed as a family-run business controlling a small number of sites. There is also a degree of homogenisation going on within the industry – both the cars and the dealerships of the various manufacturers are becoming more alike. What that means is that more than ever it is the

June 12 2014 – The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, W8 4PT (Preceding the AM100 Dinner)

For more information visit: www.ampeopleconference.co.uk or contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 468289 or email emma-louise.kinnaird@bauermedia.co.uk


AMPC14_FPAD(Focus)_FPAD 20/03/2014 15:36 Page 1

Focus on staff to secure your businesses future It is essential the sector maintains a workforce that is competent and has up-to-date skills. Every aspect of a retail automotive business relies on its people, from apprentices to managers and leaders’ succession planning at the top.

June 12 2014 – The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington (Preceding the AM100 Dinner)

The sector already invests significantly in training. However, recruitment and development needs to be more focused, it also needs to provide measured outcomes and avoid duplication. This can be achieved by more engagement with leaders in retail automotive, encouraging them to develop core skills that offer a common currency across the sector and demonstrate a clear career path within their business that will attract the right people.

For more information visit: www.ampeopleconference.co.uk or contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 468289 or email emma-louise.kinnaird@bauermedia.co.uk

Tickets from

£149

+VAT

*For IMI members


SHOWROOM Long-term test

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

M A Z D A 6 T O U R E R 2 . 2 D S E- L N AV

Tourer helps to turn the tide Estate and its Skyactiv technology play a central role in Mazda’s reversal of fortune S P EC I F I C AT I O N Price £23,595 (£24,825 as tested) Engine 2.2 litre turbodiesel; 148bhp Performance 0-62mph 9.2sec, top speed 130mph Transmission 6sp man Efficiency 64.2mpg, 116g/km CO2 RV 3yr/30k 40.2% Start mileage 670 Current mileage 5,595 Key rivals Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia, Škoda Octavia, VW Passat

The Mazda6 Tourer has lived up to expectations with about 2,500 registered since launch

M

By Jeremy Bennett azda is on the up. The slide in registrations that characterised the group’s performance from 2007 was arrested in 2012 and since then, sales have been on the up (2012: 26,183 units, 2013: 31,228). Its market share went from 1.28% in 2012 to 1.38% in 2013 – Mazda currently enjoys 1.75%, its best performance since 2010. The timely release of the latest National Franchised Dealers’ Association Dealer Attitude Survey, which records dealers’ views of their franchised portfolio in the past six months, understandably displays a correlation between registrations and their value in the brand and its potential profitability. Mazda’s brand value is higher than it has been since the summer 2008 survey, as is dealers’ certainty of the franchise’s future profitability. Actual profit return is showing a similar trend, but not as high as it was in the winter 2009/10 survey. So, Skyactiv technology and its foundation in new cars such

as the CX-5 and Mazda6 is proving a boon to dealers. The lean years of little new Mazda product have not seen customers migrate to competitors, never to return. About 2,500 Mazda6 Tourers have been registered since launch, in line with expectations. Mazda6 registrations have an estate-to-saloon mix of 40:60 and more Mazda6s were sold in the retail segment last year than Mondeos and Avensises. The Skyactiv engine advances are central to its appeal. Dealers push the ‘fun to drive’ message, but combined fuel performance is up to 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions are as low as 110g/km. Mazda says it always includes high levels of equipment as standard. With minimal optional extras, customers should be confident in buying a car that has all the equipment they want without any extra cost. To top it all, there is a zero deposit finance offer, with 0% finance, which also includes £1,000 deposit contribution, establishing the Mazda6 as an attractive plate-change proposition.

WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL RE AD ABOUT THE CAR “The tailgate occasionally has trouble closing. This is probably because, unlike the BMW 5 series GT tenet of making it weigh the same as a mammoth, Mazda’s SkyActiv philosophy has made it light. So it needs shutting, rather than merely yelping clear of.” Carmagazine.co.uk “Excellent on the motorway, but we felt it wasn’t quite as fun on back roads as we were expecting.” Expertreviews.co.uk

Guess the car Last month’s mystery car was a 1951 Porsche 356. The winner was Andrew Reeves, Porsche service department manager, Porsche Centre, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

See if you can identify this month’s model for your chance to win a £20 John Lewis voucher. Email am@bauermedia.co.uk with ‘Guess the car’ in the subject line and include your job title and company in your entry. The closing date is April 11, 2014.

am-online.com April 2014 79


IN MAY’S ISSUE

C O N TA C T U S

PUBLISHED APRIL 25

AM, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA Email: AM@bauermedia.co.uk

Analysis: Suzuki

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

Suzuki has been building growth in the UK, with units up 33% last year due to a loyal base of dealers and customers. New models, such as the S-Cross, have secured more volume, but what does the future hold for the brand?

Porsche Macan reviewed

The prestige brand courts new customers with its compact SUV

AM production Head of publishing Luke Neal 01733 468262 Designer Charlotte Boon 01733 468312 Production editor Finbarr O’Reilly 01733 468267

Face to face: Rybrook BMW Simon Birchall, aftersales manager and Rybrook Warwick BMW and AM Award Winner for Excellence in Aftersales, explains how Rybrook is bucking the downward trend for overhead absorption in service departments across the country with a customer-first approach.

Field Managers Mitsubishi Motors is the fastest growing brand in the UK. With sales growth set to continue for the next few years, now is a great time to join us and we are looking to recruit Field Managers to add to our current teams:

Area Managers X 3 We at Mitsubishi work closely with our dealers recognising that our relationship with them is very much a partnership. Your role would be to maintain the partnership while also implementing Mitsubishi’s commercial strategy and achieving the sales targets.

Corporate Sales Managers X 2 Responsible for maintaining existing customer relationships and identifying new opportunities to maximise sales of an evolving product offering.

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Autos on Show.TV.......................11 Autotrade-Mail...........................14 AutoTrader..........................8,26,71 Barclays Partner Finance......2,3 Black Horse.................................20 Car Care Plan.............................69 Close Motor Finance ...............55 EMaC.......................................52,54 Evolution Funding ....................49

Key attributes

FLA.................................................47

For both roles, the ideal candidates will: • Have experience in the retail motor industry gained ideally in a similar role with a vehicle manufacturer or at a senior management level within a motor dealership • Have excellent interpersonal skills • Be an energetic self-starter with a strong desire to achieve sales targets • Have a good working knowledge of Microsoft Oflce products • Have excellent oral and written communication skills

Frontline Solutions .................. 41

Area Manager candidates will also need to demonstrate a sound understanding of dealerships and be able to help drive dealer proltability. Potential territories are Scotland, South West and South East England. Corporate Sales candidates will be covering Central England & Wales and South England. Experience within the Corporate Sales sector at Manufacturer level would be an advantage. If you have these attributes and are looking for your next exciting challenge, apply in writing with full CV to: Jane Russell - HR & Administration Manager, Mitsubishi Motors (The Colt Car Company Ltd), Watermoor, Cirencester GL7 1LF or email recruitment@mitsubishi-cars.co.uk Closing date: Monday 21 April 2014

82 April 2014 am-online.com

Mapfre.....................................28,66 Marsh Finance............................78 Moneyway Finance...................39 MotoNovo Finance.....................51 Motors.co.uk...............................17 Northridge Finance...................45 Paragon Automotive.................13 RAC Cars .......................................4 Sunday Times Driving..............25 Symco Training...........................27 Synergy.........................................19 The Car Finance Company.......... ............................................36,42,43 Trusted Dealers.........................12 Warranty Wise...........................68

Contributors Jay Nagley, Prof Jim Saker, Richard Yarrow, Sarah Tooze, Chris Phillips, Philip Nothard, Chris Lowndes 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 01733 468338 Account managers Sara Donald 01733 366474 Richard Kerr 01733 366473 Recruitment enquiries Richard Kerr 01733 366473 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. 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


AM100-14_FPADv4_Layout 1 17/03/2014 16:06 Page 1

D I N N E R 12th June 2014, The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone will be the guest speaker at the AM100 dinner this year which will be held on June 12 at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. Livingstone served for eight years as the first Mayor of London before defeat to a resurgent Tory party in the irrepressible shape of Boris Johnson. A hard-fought contest to regain his place in City Hall four years later ended again in disappointment. Inexorably linked to London politics, Ken started his career at Lambeth Council. He soon rose through local government ranks to become Leader of the GLC, acquiring considerable notoriety for his left-wing activism on the way, before the institution was abolished by Margaret Thatcher. He then served as MP for Brent East.

During his tenure Ken most notably helped London win the right to host the Olympic Games and introduced the congestion charge. After his second defeat by Boris, Ken announced his intention to retire from the political frontline. The AM100 publication is the annual industry guide to the 100 largest dealer groups in the country, according to their company turnover. In addition, the AM100 provides a detailed analysis of the state of the industry and looks at the key issues facing dealers and their customers.

igious gala dinner on the calendar The most Prest Headline sponsors:

Associate sponsors:

Book your table now at www.am100dinner.co.uk or call Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133 or email: emma-louise.kinnaird@bauermedia.co.uk

AM - Automotive Management magazine April preview  

A selection of pages from AM - Automotive Management - news, insight and best practice information for senior executives in the automotive r...

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