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The November edition of our newsletter

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Welcome to the November edition of our newsletter, as usual I will try and steer clear of just pushing our services and give you some useful information from around the industry in general.

FEEDBACK

Before I begin I wanted to answer a number of queries I've had regarding unfair dismissal's and how to reduce your exposure to them. An increasing number of people are being taken to court by staff regarding unfair dismissal and a number of people have asked me how to avoid it. There are now available some good packages put together by specialist local solicitors where you can pay a monthly fee and have open access to legal advice, escalation process's and also insure yourselves against both legal fees and pay outs, the monthly fee also allows you to budget and protect your business against unexpected costs. These packages are basically intended to ensure you do it properly in the first place so you don't get sued and if you are to cover you against the costs.

I'll cover this in some more detail in the coming months but in the meantime if anybody wants any further information please give me a call and I'll put you in touch with the right people.

MARKET TRENDS

As I write this I'm watching yet another episode of 'Euro Gate', the Greek PM has just resigned, the Italian PM is close to going and the words 'Italy' and 'contagion' are being used in the same sentence far to often and nobody seems sure what's going to come next as we seem to lurch from one crisis to the next. So how's that effecting the Motor Industry ?

Well it looks like the market is continuing to stabilise, new car registrations are up 2.6% against October 2010. Again as with last month the retail market is down with the fleet and business market increasing (7.9% & 9.7%) resulting in an overall increase. However the retail market was only down about half as much as last month so it clearly shows some confidence in retail sales is returning.

The figures are 7% (9,000 vehicles) ahead of the SMMT forecasts putting the market in line for a 1,923,000 end of year figure.

Vans and Trucks continue to lead the way, the October Van market was up 6.7% (18.2% YTD) and Truck registrations are up 33.3% (28.3% YTD). This growth is a cross all weight categories apart from the 2.5t to 3.5t sector. Used Vans are also going from strength to strength with reduced supply and increasing prices.

Used cars are an area I have some views on, the news seems to be contradictory one report says used car prices are up and the next says they are down, people we speak too also say differing things from we can't get enough to there is no show room traffic and we can't sell what we have. However I think one thing is clear, there are less of them (2-4 year old stock) in the market.

If you follow logic the following should happen:

•The recession reduced lease company/fleet and retail new registrations greatly in 2008/9.
•This means 2-4 year old used car stock in 2011/12 will be in short supply as there are less vehicles to de-fleet.
•80% of 2-3 year old used stock is from leasing companies so it has a big impact.
•With used sales increasing and used stock reducing plus a poor Sept/Oct for new (compared with traditional levels) producing even less decent used stock, used prices are likely to rise further.
•Rising 2-4 yr old used car prices plus good deals from manufacturers on new will mean the cost to change difference between used and new will narrow resulting in better chances for good sales people to convert customers from used to new.

This looks like it will result see some increased showroom traffic and good chance for dealers to increase sales on used and push some of those into new with a lower difference in cost. This has already happened in the LCV world with shortages of decent used and increases in new sales. Now if the Chancellor would only reduce the VAT rate new car sales could really get going a