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Volkswagen re-invents itself

The Business Motoring Week August 24, 2018VOLKSWAGEN is clearly on the road to a new Volkswagen. It wants to put in the past the misdemeanours of ‘dieselgate’ and it’s looking up the road.

And that road is SUV; electric; and connected. Volkswagen calls it ‘We’ – a Volkswagen ecosystem. It’s massively ambitious. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, put it like this:  “We want to reinvent Volkswagen!”

Phew! Hugely ambitious. But who would bet against Volkswagen being able to do this? Not me. Read more about this in Volkswagen outlines Transform 2025+.

Vauxhall_GT X Experimental moving… and so does Vauxhall

It was clearly the week for big statements from car manufacturers. And no more encouraging than this from Vauxhall with a clear vision for what it wants to be in the future under Groupe PSA ownership.

It showed us this concept – called Vauxhall GT X Experimental (above). It’s electric – of course. But encompasses key design elements that we’ll see in the future from Vauxhall.

Mark Adams, who is Vauxhall’s VP of Design had this to say:

“The Vauxhall GT X Experimental embodies the spirit of our core brand values. It’s an approachable concept that people can identify with. It confidently combines a pure and bold design execution with progressive technology that makes life easier. Clearly, this vehicle signals a very exciting future for the brand.”

Find out more here: Concept Vauxhall GT X Experimental unveiled.

The risky business of delivering your parcels

Self employed van courierWho hasn’t had one of those cards stuffed through your letter box saying we tried to deliver…before you get to the front door to open it and find the courier disappearing rapidly down the road?

Couriers of course are under intense pressure to make these deliveries under often exceptionally strenuous circumstances.

But it’s sort of made customer service go mad. Because that isn’t a service. And it’s not good for van drivers either. A study by UCL has found they are significantly at risk of accidents. You’re not surprised? Me neither. The gig economy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. More here: Self-employed van drivers face greater accident risks.

BMW i8Consumers start to go for used EVs

There’s the first sign of a change in sentiment by consumers towards buying used EVs – such as the BMW i8 pictured above. A report from automotive retailer Peter Vardy found that consumers were attracted by the environmental benefits and lower running costs. There are still some fear factors of course: expense, potential vehicle faults and possible battery issues.

However, it’s a significant move in the used buyer’s mindset. For more on this report, go to our new Motor Trade News title and read: Consumers put their faith in used EVs.

Audi on demandAn Audi for a day – or month. You chose

Here’s an exciting new development for small businesses. The opportunity to drive an Audi for just a day, three days, even a month. It’s a new daily rental service called on demand.

Marios Alexandrou Audi A5 Product ManagerIt means you can run around in your used family runabout but jump into a brand new Audi when you need to visit a client. The great thing is that the daily rental amount is all inclusive. Have a look at the scheme for more detail: Audi on demand rental service.

Talking of Audi, I caught up with Audi A5 product manager Marios Alexandrou (left) recently to talk about the A5 Sportback.

I’ve been running this sharp-suited exec – and love it. But I wanted to find out from Marios more about the key points of the car. Read Marios’ comments and my review here.

Audi A5 Sportback front view

Audi A5 Sportback: great looks makes it stand out from the company car crowd, but still perfect for business motoring