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Audi goes all-electric as premium brands go into EV battle

The Business Motoring Week September 21, 2018AUDI has unveiled its first all-electric car – and it’s an SUV (what else?). The new electric Audi is called the e-tron. And Audi promises us that this is just the start. By 2025 there will be 20 electric vehicles in the Audi range, of which 12 will be fully electric cars.

But it’s not just Audi that’s in there fighting.

Mercedes has launched its own all-electric car – again a crossover SUV model – called the EQC (below). It will hit the roads in mid 2019. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “With the EQC – the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz – we are flipping the switch. Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future.”

Mercedes EQCThe Mercedes and Audi join the Jaguar I-Pace as full battery electric vehicles, all SUVs. And with ranges of 249 miles (Audi), 280 miles (Mercedes) and 292 miles (Jaguar) they surely deliver now on business motoring requirements.

However, that hasn’t filtered through to the general motoring public consciousness yet.

RAC Rport on Motoring 2018Today’s publication of the RAC Report on Motoring 2018 suggests that four in 10 motorists think EVs are too expensive; 67% say they require a minimum range of 300 miles; and only 36% expect to opt for a pure-electric vehicle within the next 10 years.

But I suspect as more cars such as the Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar become widely available, such attitudes will change.

That’s certainly the opinion of Pod Point’s CEO and Founder Erik Fairbairn who believes prices of EVs will start to tumble:

“By 2025, when a customer walks into a dealership, they will be presented with a choice: an EV, which is great to drive, better for the environment, and capable of over 250 miles on a single charge. Or, a petrol or diesel car that costs an additional £2,000 and is at least five times more expensive to run and maintain. What will most customers opt for, if faced with this choice?”

We’re not at the EV tipping point yet. But EVs are really gaining traction. For more on the Audi click here.

Vauxhall-Combo-voted-International-Van-of-the-YearVauxhall wins Van of the Year title for all-new Combo

Congratulations to Vauxhall for winning the International Van of the Year Award, presented at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, this week.

The all-new Combo beat its nearest rival – the new Mercedes Sprinter – by a considerable margin. The award was shared with PSA Group members Citroen and Peugeot too, which have their own versions of the same van.

But don’t let you think that means it’s a bland, homogenous van. The judges said:

“The engineers and designers succeeded for the first time in the history of LCVs to create a multi-brand cooperation van, where all brands maintain their core values and brand personality without almost any compromise.” That’s some commendation. More here on Vauxhall’s success.

Leasing Broker Award finalists announced

Leasing Broker Awards 2018 finalistsOn October 02, 2018, the winners of the Leasing Broker Awards 2018 will be announced at the National Motorcycle Museum.

The awards recognise excellence in the sector for the provision of car leasing and van leasing across the sector from the smallest to the largest brokers operating in the market.

Do you have a favourite leasing broker that you use to lease your cars? Are they on the finalists list? Check them out here.

Andy Bruce Lookers CEOLookers acquires Jennings Motor Group

There was a significant dealer group purchase this week with Lookers acquiring the north east Jennings Motor Group. It gives Lookers a very strong presence in the area following its previous acquisition of Benfield.

Lookers Chief Executive Andy Bruce (pictured) said:

“The acquisition of Jennings is a perfect fit for Lookers and is aligned to our business model of operating the right brands in the right locations. We are delighted to expand our key partnership with Ford of Britain, the market leading brand in the UK. Geographically the Jennings acquisition joins together our existing Ford market areas in Sunderland and Yorkshire.”

More here on this important Lookers acquisition.