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The Business Motoring Week, June 22, 2018

In The Business Motoring Week (June 22, 2018) there’s Audi’s new purposeful A1 Sportback, the potential VW/Ford Alliance, a warning that the automotive world will change more in the next 5 years than the last 50, plus milestone for Lex Autolease brokers, petrol car buyers residual value warning and all-electric racing Tesla hits the tracks
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22 June 2018

Audi A1 SportbackBaby Audi goes from cutesy to aggressive

WELL now, what a transformation for Audi’s baby.

The entry point to Audi’s growing range of 55 models has continued unchanged for eight years. But A1 Mk2 is a big change: all low slung, ready-to-go, power-packed performance looks and styling cues from that all-time great, the Audi Quattro.

While lower, it’s also longer: over 4m. The A1 has definitely grown up. And it’s Sportback only. More here on the baby Audi.

Ford Volkswagen AllianceWhat’s behind the potential Volkswagen/Ford alliance?

This was astonishing news earlier this week: Volkswagen and Ford talking openly about how the two companies could work together.


Commercial vehicles seem the first potential JV programme. Ford has real expertise here; meanwhile, Ford has stopped selling saloons (sedans) in the US to concentrate on pick-up trucks and SUVs. And the Volkswagen Group has a brilliant programme of building a base chassis for its brands to build their own designs on.

Meanwhile, Reuters covered the story that Volkswagen Truck & Bus was changing its name to Traton as it eyed a float in order to concentrate on rivalling Volvo and Daimler. It may help VW resources if it didn’t need to concentrate on light commercial vehicle development.

Whatever happens – and, of course, nothing might yet – it’s a brave and progressive discussion the two companies are having. More on this here: Volkswagen and Ford consider alliance to build vans.

Hold on and belt up…

… the auto industry is going to change more in the next five years than the last 50. Whaaaat!

Joern Buss
Joern Buss – Oliver Ryman report author

That’s the conclusion from a fascinating report by global analysts Oliver Wyman as it identifies seven key trends that will fundamentally change the auto industry – and what we drive, what we do and don’t drive, and how we access transport in the future.

Perhaps the potential VW/Ford alliance is one such.

These items were very much under consideration at the Frost & Sullivan conference Intelligent Mobility I attended this week, where we were one of the media partners to the event.

How autonomy and data was going to change our business motoring, particularly as concierge offerings such as Jaguar Land Rover’s Carpe subscription service proliferate.

Similar to subscription services from Volvo and BMW, Carpe is aimed at high-mileage UK drivers who spend many hours a week driving. Carpe allows them to subscribe to driving a brand new Jaguar or Land Rover for 12 months with no deposit.

Carpe JLR subscription service
Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility services arm – called InMotion – has launched Carpe subscription service

There’s no restrictions on mileage and it includes servicing, maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance and delivery. It’s premium though, starting from £910 per month for a standard specification Jaguar E-PACE.

But it’s all part of this rapidly changing automotive landscape. Anyway, belt up and read the Oliver Wyman report here.

Lex Autolease 100,000Lex Autolease brokers hit 100,000

Car leasing has become integral to our business motoring as part of the changing landscape described above. Lex Autolease, which is the UK’s largest leasing company, has just announced that it has surpassed 100,000 vehicles via its introducer broker channel.

It means that broker supplied cars – from all those leasing companies with those great lease deals on the internet, such advertised by members of the Leasing Broker Federation – now take up 25% of Lex Autolease’s total fleet. Congratulations to those brokers – and Steve Cocks the director of the division – for assisting so many businesses to get in a new car or van lease. Read more here.

New Volvo S60A warning if you’re thinking of buying a petrol business car

While the mood of the government has been to brand diesel the dirty boy of the motoring world – while ignoring how clean Euro 6 diesels are – it’s important for you to put such prejudice aside and consider how you plan to use your car. And for what.

If you are a high mileage driver, then diesels make an excellent choice; they give you great fuel efficiency and low operating costs. Lower mileage drivers might be better suited to petrol, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric cars.

However, if you buy your cars new for business motoring, you may want to consider leasing. Because while many assume the blackened name of diesels mean poorer residual values, that doesn’t actually appear to be the case.

Glenn Sturley
Glenn Sturley, VRA: warning on potential RV issues

I was talking to Glenn Sturley, chair of the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) about their recent report stating that we could see an oversupply of petrol cars on the used market.

“The impact is unlikely to be uniform across different sectors of the used market,” Glenn told me this morning. “There has always been healthy demand for petrol superminis, for example, and there is no reason to expect this to change.

“However, a large petrol SUV could be a much tougher sell to the used car buyer because the fuel costs could easily be double that of a diesel equivalent. Also, petrol engines tend not to be as good at taking higher mileages as diesels, so issues with demand may emerge over time.

“Additionally, there remains a question mark over hybrids. Traditional hybrids like the Prius are well-established in the market, have a good track record, and are known to used car buyers.

“However, the sudden growth in plug-in hybrids has been largely powered by company car taxation rules and there may simply be no equivalent degree of enthusiasm among used car buyers when they are defleeted.”

So be warned if you buy petrol of PHEV. You could lose more when you come to re-sell than you might anticipate.

EPCS V2.3 Tesla P100DLElectric racing Tesla makes track debut

End note: I thought you might like to see this – a racing version of Tesla’s P100DL that has hit the tracks.

Part of the forthcoming Electric Production Car Series (EPCS), the Tesla is being run by Electric GT Holdings and SPV Racing. All cars in the series are similar Teslas, so the racing should be crackling.

The cars feature 778 bhp and a walloping 995 Nm torque, and can accelerate to 62mph in 2.1s. Whoomph!

That’s fast. A bit like the changing face of the business motoring world.


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Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Business Car Manager (now renamed Business Motoring). Ralph writes extensively about the car and van leasing industry as well as wider fleet and company car issues. A former editor of What Car?, Ralph is a vastly experienced writer and editor and has been writing about the automotive sector for over 35 years.

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