Auto Retail Agenda: 13 January 2020

  12 January 2020




Vertu grows with Hyundai

Vertu has opened two new Hyundai dealerships in the North East in the past week. One franchise takes over Vertu’s former Infiniti showroom in Silverlink, Newcastle and the second will operate as a satellitein Morpeth, business alongside the group’s Ford dealership.

Speaking exclusively to Auto Retail Agenda, Vertu CEO, Robert Forrester, said: “The two new additions represent a £300,000 investment and makes us the largest Hyundai retailer.”

Vertu now has 10 Hyundai franchises and overtakes Motorline which has nine.


Sherwin joins Williams as non-exec

Former Vertu finance director Michael Sherwin has been appointed non-executive director at Williams Motor Co. Sherwin joined the Bolton-based company, which saw 2018 profit before tax rise 134% to £6.1m, in October, after retiring from Vertu at the end of March 2019.

Sherwin’s appointment grows Williams’ board to five: MD Guy Adams, group head of development Alexandra Cook, director John Dunning and Chairman Margaret Orton-Williams.


Mitchells is Renault dealer of the year – again

Mitchells of Norfolk has been named Renault dealer of the year for the third year running. The three-site group sells twice as many Renault as the national average, but dealer principal Matt Huke-Jenner said it wasn’t simply overall sales that was behind the victory. Renault’s UK average new car customer satisfaction is 85%; Mitchell’s score, he revealed is 97%.


MG on track to meet retailer target

MG head of sales and marketing Dan Gregarious says the brand will meet its target of 120 sites by the middle of the year. Advanced talks are underway with regional dealer groups – “a mixture of existing MG franchises and new partners who will open at least two MG dealerships.” Speaking to Auto Retail Agenda, Mr Gregarious cited Stoneacre Group, which started with one MG site and now has four, and Howards Group, which opened two retailers in December.


Sign up to the first Auto Retail Live of 2020

If you want to get 2020 off to a flying start and make sure the first quarter goes to plan and targets are met, tune in to the next Auto Retail Live Quarterly Briefing on 6 February. Our panel of experts, including Darren Ardron, Managing Director of Perrys, Peter Haynes, Managing Director of Howards Motor Group, and Catherine Faiers, Chief Operating Officer at AutoTrader, discuss how 2020 has started and what it will take to succeed in the first quarter of the year and beyond.




Byton to shake up US franchise dealers

Startup electric car company Byton plans to circumnavigate the established US franchised dealer system by taking online sales from physical stores. America has strong franchise protection laws but CEO Daniel Kirchert believes it is “technically legal” to sign up retail partners to take negotiation-free orders online. “It is something new and different”. The Byton M-Byte will launch in 2021 and there are eventually plans to sell in Europe.


Warren Henry Miami is JLR’s biggest

Warren Henry Auto Group’s new North Miami HQ is home to the largest Jaguar Land Rover retailer in America, alongside Infiniti and Koenigsegg. The 800,000 sq ft site has 82 service bays, 2,000 parking spaces and a rooftop with panoramic views that’s available for private events. The site also contains the largest electric vehicle charging facility in the US.




Closing prices on 10 January 2020 and weekly change

Halfords to issue trading update this week

Auto Trader Group 566.2p (-23.0p)

Cambria 70.0p (n/c)

Caffyns 400.0p (n/c)

Halfords 142.0p (-25.8p)

Inchcape 698.5p (-15.5p)

Lookers 59.4p (+3.6p)

Marshall Motor Holdings 155.0p (+0.5p)

Motorpoint 277.0p (-17.0p)

Pendragon 12.52p (-0.08p)

Vertu 37.25p (+0.25p)




BMW X1 xDrive25e, plug-in hybrid with 35-mile electric range, ordering now open from £38,200 with deliveries from March

Renault E-Tech, new hybrid tech coming this summer to the Clio and, in plug-in hybrid guise, the Captur and Megane

Revised Volkswagen Up, first UK VW to wear the firm’s redesigned logo, prices from £12,440 with the reintroduced Up GTI costing from £15,895



Monday, UK balance of trade

Wednesday, FCA motor finance consultation deadline, consumer price index and retail price index

Friday, retail sales




Cut in interest rates growing more likely?

The case for cutting interest rates from 0.75% to 0.5% is “a close call” and an influential member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee would vote for it if data shows there hasn’t been a post-election boost to the economy. Gertjan Vlieghe is described as an influential MPC member and told the Financial Times the next few MPC meetings “are absolutely live”. The nine-member MPC voted 7-2 against cutting rates in December.


Interest rates to be ‘lower for longer’

The Bank of England might create an extra stimulus in the economy by delaying interest rate rises until inflation is well above target. The current target is 2%; it is currently 1.5%. The BoE forecasts that slow UK growth (Q3 2019 was the slowest rate since 2010) will pick up thanks to factors such as greater clarity on Brexit but outgoing governor Mark Carney added “this is not, of course, assured”.


Start your free 14 day trial

Get free access to our Bulletin, Agenda & Profit for 14 days.

After 14 days we will auto bill your credit or debit card unless the order is cancelled.

    As an auto retail executive you need insightful and unique industry intelligence to boost your business potential. Here’s a taste of what Auto Retail Network has to offer:

    • Get informed and boost your business potential
    • More than 1,200 fellow executives have joined us
      since launch
    • Independent, carefully crafted, unique content relevant to you and your business
    • Develop a greater awareness of market trends and opportunities
    • Access to a wide range of materials whenever, wherever and however you want it
    • Significant discounts on ARN events, reports and
      other publications