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March 2013

The magazine of the Scottish Motor Trade Association

Issue 2

welcome Welcome to the 2nd issue of our Scottish Motor Trade Association Magazine, which we have renamed “Motor Trade Matters”.

We visit Central Car Auctions, to find out how their recent investment and refurbishment has changed how they do business.

This is a new initiative by the SMTA, and has grown by 4 pages since the last edition. We anticipate that it will grow further in future months and would welcome your input, whether you have a story to tell or have opinion on our content.

We also speak to a tax specialist, Justine Riccomini, about how the new Real Time Information requirement affects the way you report to the Inland Revenue starting this April.

We like to feature businesses that are being innovative and are successful, and this month we have been speaking to Graham and June at Kinghorn Bodyshop about the issues of recruiting, training and keeping talented people and we’ve also discussed keeping customers with Alec Campbell at North Road Garage in Kelty, Fife.

As usual we hope to inform, please let us know if you have any topics you would like us to cover. Contact 0131 331 5510 TO ADVERTISE IN MOTORING MATTERS CONTACT CAROL MCCOLGAN AT NEON MARKETING. 07827 974393 or 01506 845349.

Why use social media? In the first of a series of marketing articles, Carol McColgan shares her thoughts on why you should use Social media as part of your marketing mix. For many Companies the whole social media phenomenon is a bit baffling. Why do it? How do I do it? What’s the point? This month I want to talk about why it is important and how you can set about putting it in place. At this stage I could quote a whole load of statistics illustrating why your Company should use social media. I will choose only three. • • • •

80% of active internet users visit social networks and blogs. 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand Source: Both,Twitter The numbers of facebook unique users in the UK last March was 25 million. Source: facebook.

Social Media is not necessarily about making that sale today or tomorrow, it is a long term relationship building exercise. You build an online personality for your Company that people like and respect. When they are next in the market for the product or service that you provide you will be in prime position for their purchase consideration. You can inform and entertain people via facebook, and the more entertaining the posts the more they will be liked and shared, thus reaching friends of your likers, and a much wider audience.

Good examples of facebook postings specifically for car dealers include vehicle handovers, new product launches and the latest from the Motor Shows. If you haven’t already embarked on your social media strategy then you are a little behind the pace. For Franchised dealers Social Media minimum levels of marketing and standards are already creeping in. For example Toyota, who are now asking each dealer to participate in three types of Social Media and to have a Social Media Governance document in place. There are a number of ways to introduce social media into your Company. You can ask a member of staff who has experience of it to handle it for you, however, make sure you have access in case that person leaves. You can bring in a Company to set it up and come in and train your staff. Alternately you can hand the job to an agency to manage for you. Either way – ignore it at your peril! Carol McColgan is a Motor Industry Marketing Specialist and provides both training and Social Media postings for Companies. Contact 07827 974393.

‘Promotion is everything’ SMTA (Trading Partners) Ltd is the Scottish Motor Trade Associations’ buying group for participating members. We use the collective buying power of our members to gain preferential rates and promotions on a wide range of motor trade products and services. Our objective is to make a real positive difference to our members’ profitability and bring them a range of products and services at rates they could not achieve individually. We have recently experienced an increase in usage of Trading Partners with January 2013 seeing the highest usage since we started 5 years ago. We currently offer a range that includes; · Tyres · Tyre recycling · Oils and Lubricants · Waste oil disposal · Number Plates · Car Valeting equipment · Engine flushes etc · Stationery · Water · Workshop Clothing · Garage Equipment This month (April 2013) will see new promotional offers from three of our suppliers; Stapletons Tyre Services, Scottish Fuels and Safetykleen.

We are now heavily promoting Trading Partners through this magazine, both direct field sales calls and mail shots, the SMTA Bulletin and through our soon to be launched new web pages. This level of activity will help us to increase the usage of the buying group which in turn will help us to get even better pricing and promotional activity on these products and services for our members. If you are yet to use this service call Kate on 0131 331 5510, it’s free to SMTA members, and register to join. Once you have joined the buying group you can take advantage of the discounted pricing and or just the promotional offers, there is no minimum limit. If you can find the product or service elsewhere at a lower price, you are free to do so. You are not compelled to make all or any of your purchases through the group. If you do find better pricing on the products or services Trading Partners provides, then tell us and we can do something about it . You can find out more about the buying group by contacting David Innes on 0131 331 5510.

SCOTLAND Andrew McIntosh has 15 years industry experience, ten with Northridge. He has operational responsibility for clients from the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, across the Central Belt and into the Highlands.

OUR TEAM HAS IT COVERED Cairngorms to Cairnryan, count on our team to have your motor finance covered. We’ve brought it all together - innovative products developed for the prime market, strong, secure reputation as part of Bank of Ireland UK, and a long-term approach designed to grow your business – all delivered by the best team around.

Unique to Northridge: our Target 365 online proposal system, making it easy to capture valuable data quickly. And our Joint Venture Product, a first in this industry, with true, highly competitive ‘money cost’ base rates, to help clients deliver better value to their customers. Says Scotland Regional Manager, Andrew McIntosh, “The Northridge name began in Edinburgh in 1999, so a significant slice of our overall market share comes through Scotland. So while we are looking to maintain growth, It is vitally important that we continue to deliver for our loyal supporters.” It’s not just the quality of our service you can count on, but our people too. Talk to Andrew. Call 07736 900573

Marketing help for the Motor Trade Whether its online or offline, from marketing planning to full execution, contact Neon for ideas and help. We’re Motor Trade specialists who speak in plain English. Whatever your situation, Neon can help

CREATIVE MARKETING LTD Contact Carol McColgan 07827 974393 01506 845349

Long Term Investments Kinghorn Bodyshop would be nothing without our highly trained and talented technicians.” Graham is familiar with the benefits and the risks of taking on new staff; “We need skilled people in our business and the best way of recruiting that talent is to develop it ourselves. We currently have two 3rd Year apprentices with two more who have just finished their training. We are working closely with Fraser Miller of the SMTA to help organise our Apprentice Training programme, when we take on board two new 1st year apprentices. . But keeping that talent and investment is not easy.”

“The only way of maintaining and growing your profits is by investing in your company, equipment and, most importantly, your staff.” Kinghorn Bodyshop was founded by Graham and June Kinghorn in 1985. Based in Blackburn just seven miles west of Aberdeen they specialise in bodyshop, accident repair and improvement services to a wide range of prestige and performance marques. They have earned a reputation for high quality work and first rate customer service, but this comes with a challenge; June clearly identifies the biggest issue they face; “It’s is finding and keeping talent! Skilled metal workers and skilled trades in general are in great demand in the North East due to the requirements of the oil and gas sector. Competing for the talent we need with businesses in the oil and gas sector is a challenge, so the people we recruit and then develop must have a real passion for cars. We can’t stress enough that

Graham and June are committed to delivering quality services to their customers and this, coupled with the continuous investment in training, equipment and technology allows their team to provide the highest quality of work. This commitment to quality is central to their businesses ability to keep the staff they need. June is convinced of the importance of maintaining this approach; “You’ve got to keep up with technology, make sure that your team are all properly trained and that they can confidently work with the most up to date methods and tools. We also have the added advantage that our team get to work on some great cars and interesting projects. They moved into their purpose built facility in the year 2000 and it is a clear indicator of the high standards that they deliver. They have won manufacturers approvals from Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Honda and have been an Approved Body Repairer for Porsche Centre Aberdeen for the past 16 years. Graham is proud

of the recognition they have achieved and the benefits it provides; “One of the current concerns for many vehicle repairers is some insurance companies pushing the hourly rates and repair standards down. This has happened for the past 30 years, but with vehicles being more technical and complex now, it does feel as though we are not getting the rates that we deserve. We are proud to be able to offer the most sophisticated bodyshop facilities in the North East of Scotland. The latest hi-tech equipment coupled with the expertise of a fully trained work force that guarantees our customers a first class service. We excel at maintaining that ‘good as new’ look to our customers pride and joy whatever that requires.” The range of additional services Kinghorn Bodyshop offers to their customers includes; Air Conditioning servicing, Alloy Wheel Refurbishment, Windscreen Replacement, Wheel Alignment, Fitment of Styling Equipment, Tyres, Cabriolet Roof Refurbishment, Paintless Dent Removal, Superior Waxing/Paint Protection and Leather Refurbishment. “The apprentice training programme we run along with further staff training at Kinghorn Bodyshop

means that our team are confident and competent to work on highly valuable vehicles. Our skilled Technicians are all trained to NVQ standard. Our Panel Technicians are Weld Accredited to BS status (BS4872) and one of our Panel Technicians has just gained his Aluminium Welding Certification which is an intense four day course. The Paint Technicians use the latest environmental compliant coatings and are trained to achieve the paint manufacturer’s exacting standards. This investment in our team is central to achieving customer satisfaction and therefore our business success!” The SMTA can support Motor Trade businesses with the development of their staff and whether you’re thinking about Apprentice Training, have someone you’re looking to start or just want a bit more information you can give Fraser Miller a call on 0131-331-5510 and he’ll be pleased to help.



Having heard about the dramatic makeover completed at the Central Car Auctions in December of last year, we sent our reporter Carol McColgan to Glasgow to meet Colin Murchie, CCA Marketing Manager, for a guided tour of their facilities just off the M8 at Baillieston.

REVAMP First impressions were very good, with a dramatic auction hall makeover in red, white and black. The CCA site has been completely remodelled and this includes structural changes as well as cosmetic. Two auctions take place in their twin auction rooms, which sit side by side separated by a floor-to-ceiling glass partition and each with its own auctioneer. The showroom is heated, and is now Scotland’s largest indoor auction. If you have not visited CCA for a while, you will definitely be impressed!

TWIN AUCTIONS We asked Colin about the rationale behind the “twin auction”. Colin told us, “One of the main reason for this is that it reduces the length of day for everyone, dealers included. It was not unknown for us to finish an auction at 11pm due to the sheer volume of vehicles, whereas now we are usually finished by 5pm with the same volume going through the auction. The auctions are also separated by price with one auction for vehicles £3,000 and below, and the second auction catering for vehicles above £3,000. This means that buyers can concentrate on their particular price range, or indeed, bid in both auctions at the same time.”

BUSY WITH BUYERS. We were in attendance at 12 noon, when the showroom

was getting very busy and a steady stream of vehicles were snaking their way into the bidding areas (as if) on a continual conveyor belt. We discovered that buyers were not only coming from all four corners of Scotland but also visiting regularly from across the UK, particularly Newcastle, Yorkshire and the North West of England. We wondered why they didn’t attend auctions closer to home and the answer lies in the sheer volume of vehicles going through the CCA, an amazing 1400 a week, and in the range and choice available. Said Colin,”You could say the automotive trade see us as their one stop shop for buying, selling and, where required, collecting and delivering vehicle stock.”

WHY BUY AT CCA? We asked Colin why dealers would want to buy at CCA. The range and volume are obvious answers, but on top of that it is a pleasant environment, and customers have the bonus of twin auctions and less time spent at the auctions. CCA’s technology is also bang up to date with stock continually updated in real time on their web site and their mobile App. They also offer a 10th indemnity free to trader’s which has proved a popular loyalty scheme. You don’t even need to attend. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday you can connect to the LIVEBID system where you view videos of the vehicles coming into the auction and can bid remotely in real time. As if that wasn’t enough, you can ProxyLIVEBID 24 hours in advance if you are busy at the time of the auction.

WHY SELL AT CCA? The number of visitors at CCA means that you have a higher chance of selling your vehicle first time around and getting a good return. Vehicles can come off the transporters and be in the auction within an hour. Many main dealers sell here, in fact every Monday is “Main Agent Monday” , a dealer only day, with over 400 top quality vehicles from Scotland’s leading franchised dealer groups including Arnold Clark, Parks Motor Group, Phoenix, Eastern Western, Henry’s, SDM, Peter Vardy, John Clark and many others.

Lasting impressions . CCA are a Company on a mission – to continually evolve and improve the auction process. They are certainly achieving that, with a quicker process and better environment for their customers. Before “Bidding” them farewell this reporter retired to the café area to test the goods on offer. They were, as expected, top notch! Central Car Auctions can be found at Baillieston, off the M8 at Junctions 8/9, Glasgow G69 6BL or call their Sales Team directly on 0141 773 6000.

A New Take on Employment: Taxes and HR Justine Riccomini, partner at llp considers numerous important issues currently facing employers. With the advent of Real Time Information which starts in April 2013 and must include all employers by October 2013, there has never been a better time for employers to look at their employment taxes and HR. There are two strands HMRC compliance/cost savings and HR impact - including retention, engagement and job satisfaction. I want to make sure my clients are benefiting in both areas. With that in mind, consider, if you will, the following topical points and ask yourself whether you have them covered. If you do, congratulations! If not, there may be areas where you need help.

Employment Taxes

Human Resources

Real Time Information - Is your business ready? The way in

Real Time Information - have you involved your employees in the process? Employers need to ensure the information they submit to HMRC is correct and on time. All employees need to be aware of their responsibility to provide their employer with accurate personal information - name, address, NINO (where applicable). This information has to be obtained for all new employees to demonstrate eligibility to work in the UK, but for existing employees, checks will need to be made. RTI ties in directly with Universal Credit (UC) so employees need to know what is happening as they will be assessed directly for UC based on the information supplied by employers under RTI.

which employers report PAYE and NIC, changes permanently from April 2013. All employers need to be RTI compliant and start reporting in real time. It is taking employers a couple of months to get ready and all small and medium employers have to be enrolled by April. There are penalties for getting it wrong and HMRC have said they will check up on employers who submit incorrect returns. Instead of doing one return each year (P35), employers will have to do a Full Payment Submission (FPS) return on or before the date their employees are paid in each pay period, as well as a monthly Extra Payment Submission (EPS) to account for adjustments which need to be made to the monthly PAYE/NIC remittances because of elements such as Statutory Sick Pay, student loans, Construction Industry Scheme deductions etc. This will incur a lot of extra work and admin costs. Pensions Auto-Enrolment - between 2012 and 2017 all employers will be obliged to make available a workplace pension for their employees, starting with larger employers first. Have you considered the additional cost of doing this and how it will impact your working capital? Have you considered using salary exchange as a means of saving National Insurance contributions? Will you offer a workplace pension in lieu of a pay rise?

‘Greening’ your fleet - for motor trade businesses, making today’s fleets attractive to employers should involve lower CO2 and alternative technologies, car pooling/sharing arrangements and other cost savings such as salary exchange for company cars. Are vans more tax efficient? Care should be taken with the

Pensions Auto-Enrolment - Have you carried out a survey of your employees to find out how many of them will be likely to take up a workplace pension? Have you considered whether your existing pension scheme is good value for money? Whilst surveying your employees, why not ask them a few other questions as well, to understand how engaged your workforce is with the objectives and ambitions of the business? Do you understand the rules, especially that it’s illegal to induce your employees to opt out of a workplace pension?

‘Greening’ your fleet - Is the HR manager involved in the provision of the fleet as a key benefit in kind with the fleet manager? Have the employees been asked whether the provision of a company car is still a desirable benefit for them? Is the provision of fuel for private motoring still a viable option?

HMRC side and expert advice taken. Employing “consultants” or “freelancers” - HMRC are always looking at this area. Just because you (or the individual worker) want them to be treated as self-employed doesn’t mean to say they are self employed for tax purposes. Each case should be examined on its merits to ensure you can defend the decision

Employing “consultants” or “freelancers” - Self-employed workers who suddenly believe they should have been treated as employees all along are every employer’s worst nightmare. Ensure you are on the right side of the law and avoid tribunal by taking expert advice.

later on.

Justine can be contacted on is an independent, ethical, niche consultancy specialising in employment tax and HR advice for employers and employees throughout the UK in all sectors – large and small, public and private. For further information see our list of services at

“I don’t think most members of the SMTA know what they could be getting from their membership or just how valuable it can be!” Alec and Caroline Campbell established North Road Garage in Kelty, Fife in 1990. They and their team of 14 members of staff offer a complete dealer service supported by a fully up to date workshop facility. All their cars are inspected by a qualified mechanic in accordance with Fife Trading Standards regulations and are supplied with a full MOT and a 12 month parts and labour warranty included in the price.

servicing, keeping customers up to date on progress and informed about expected costs all goes towards developing our reputation for trust and honesty. That is what has kept us going in this difficult market.”

Alec is keen to stress his membership of the SMTA is based on hard commercial thinking;

“The level of cover with the Scotsure product is good and helps us make the sale - because I’ve got confidence in the experience my customers have if they make a claim on the warranty. Without a doubt Scotsure helps me to keep our reputation where it needs to be, that and the SMTA badge above our door.”

“I am an SMTA member because I am kept informed about what is going on in the trade in Scotland. Most members don’t recognise the range of products and services available to them, for example the MOT QC programme we use ensures that we always adhere to VOSA’s standards, which is essential to keeping our good reputation.” Scotsure MBI Limited is the vehicle warranty provider that is wholly owned by the SMTA and Alex is very familiar with their products and services; “We have been using Scotsure Warranties for over 20 years and we know the team very well. I use them because you can pick up the phone, they know you, they know the vehicles and you can get the claim number there and then, no fuss. Every other provider it’s a fight and with Scotsure you are talking to someone in Scotland, it’s just so much easier.” At any one time Alec and Caroline will have 50 plus quality used cars available having their own workshop facilities and time served team gives them confidence about the vehicles the sell. “We have a lot of repeat customers, people I have dealt with for years. They come back because they trust the service we provide and in the current economic conditions that’s very important! When asked what are the greatest challenges his business is facing right now Alec’s answer is very clear; “It’s finding new customers! Getting new stock is not easy with prices still very tough and showing no sign of reducing - but getting and keeping customers is the only way of coping with the current market situation. Our reputation is the reason that we are still successful; treating customers with total respect is how we work. Carrying out the best standards of

Providing warranties for their cars is an important part of maintaining customer trust for Alec and the Scotsure product suits his operation;

Are you taking full advantage? How much could your business gain? ▲

Our Buying Group, available only to members, provides reduced pricing on a number of Motor Trade products. SMTA membership could provide significant savings for your business.

We provide Credit and Debit Card Services that could cut your transaction cost significantly, whatever the size of your business.

The exclusive to members Motor Trade Insurance offer brings an experienced team, familiar with motor trade requirements, who can assess your requirements and deliver reduced charges and improved benefits.

One of our most valuable services is MOT Support and Representation. We provide direct support to members who experience a challenge from VOSA. Our team is experienced at working with VOSA and our in-depth knowledge helps to ensure the most positive outcomes possible are achieved.

We can also help to ensure you consistently comply with testing requirements through our MOT QC Programme. VOSA already recognise businesses that are using our programme as worthy of credit in their assessments.

The SMTA Apprentice Training Services provide structured courses and ensures that your business gains people with the expertise needed for successful operations. We can manage all of your apprentice training needs.

Our Waste Management provider provides substantial discounts exclusively to our members. There are options to pick standard or specifically tailored solutions to deal with your waste and deliver income to your business.

The Conciliation and Arbitration service available and free to members means that when and if things go wrong you know you have the support you need to resolve disputes as positively as possible.

Support is also available through our HR/Employment and Health & Safety Advice that can reduce the risks and costs associated with providing a satisfactory working environment.

Members can also benefit from our Technical Support Bulletin & Helpline with unlimited access provided at preferential rates through a dedicated specialist service.

contact us

0131 331 5510




Tel: 0141 773 6000

Junction 8 & 9 off the M8, Baillieston, Glasgow G69 6BL Smartphone scan this QR code and be amazed where it takes you

Auctions every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Motor Trade Matters  

Magazine of the Scottish Motor Trade Association

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