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  • PRE-REG: SMMT CHIEF ENTERS DEBATE

    Issue 72 | March 2014 CarDealerMag.co.uk | 3.50

    inDustRys lEaDinG fiGuREs on what 2014 has in stoRE

    pictureclear

    fEatuRinG CaR bossEs fRoM: Renault, Toyota, Peugeot, Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, BMW, Pendragon, Ford, Mitsubishi and Hyundai Plus Major suppliers give their views on the year ahead

    Plus: A DAY AT CAROLINES CARS

  • | CarDealerMag.co.uk

    FEATURE.

    theinfluencersMEET the influencers. Or, in other words, the people who shape the car market.

    For 2014, weve brought together the largest group of industry bigwigs since we started Automotive Influencers in 2012. From the manufacturers we have presidents, CEOs, managing directors and sales directors from Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Renault, Kia, Toyota and Mitsubishi. We also

    have the CEO of the UKs largest dealer group, Pendragon, as well as representatives from the supplier world Manheim, Supagard, Autotorq, HPI, Contact Advantage, The Auto Network, GForces and Auto Protect plus search engine giant Google.

    We asked them seven questions designed to reveal their thoughts for the year ahead. Heres what they had to say.

    the industrys biggest names predict another bumper year for the motor trade in 2014

  • CarDealerMag.co.uk | 5

    PICTURES: MAX EAREY & PETER SPINNEY

    WITH THANKS TO THE RAC CLUB, PALL MALLROYALAUTOMOBILECLUB.CO.UK

    theinfluencers

    Scan the QR code to find out what the influencers think about the next 12 months

  • | CarDealerMag.co.uk

    what opportunities do you think 2014 will present?Ford will continue to build on last years successful transformation of our customer service and aftersales experience. Were doing everything we can to make buying and owning a Ford vehicle as enjoyable, affordable and trouble-free as possible, and this is driven through our excellent dealer network the largest in the UK.

    what do you regard as the biggest threat to the motor industry in 2014?The economic climate in Europe continues to be very difficult, with over-capacity in the automotive industry creating severe profitability issues. Ford has reorganised its manufacturing operations in the UK to concentrate on the design, development and manufacture of world-class engines, in addition to designing and developing award-winning commercial vehicles. Ford has also pressed ahead with significant investment in its sales and aftersales operation.

    are there any reasons to be cheerful in 2014?Absolutely. The new car market is at its strongest since 2007, with overall registrations in 2013 up 10.8 per cent on 2012. The UK was also the only European market to grow consistently through 2013, and as market leader we have plenty to be cheerful about going into 2014. The focus now is to match our best-ever model range with tremendous customer service support from the UKs strongest dealer network.

    what are you most excited about in 2014?Last year we announced that Ford is launching 15 new models in five years; that figure has increased to 25 new models within the same period. The EcoSport will expand Fords presence in a growing market sector and this will grow further when the Ford Edge is introduced. We will double the size of the Ford Transit range with the introduction of the Transit Courier and Transit models, supported by our Transit24 aftersales service.

    Can you see the current period of strong new car sales continuing? if so, for how long?A buoyant UK market has attracted the excess production capacity that couldnt be absorbed by depressed European markets. It was a credit to Fords outstanding product line-up and its dealer

    partners that Fords market lead has strengthened. Our expectations are that the UK market will continue at similar levels.

    Do you think the motor industry needs to change and where should it come from? The motor industry as a whole faces a number of challenges. My area of focus is continuing to deliver the best customer support possible.

    what should dealers be focusing on to ensure growth and a sustained future in 2014?Looking after customers. Last year we launched Ford Motorcraft 4+, a comprehensive aftersales package to owners of Ford vehicles aged four years and over. This completed the transformation of Fords aftersales experience, which includes Ford BlueService for new vehicles, Ford BlueService for Fleet, and Transit24. We are also in the process of refitting Ford dealerships across the UK with our new-look showrooms.

    FEATURE.

    Job title: Director, Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD).age: 51.lives: Essex.Drives: Ford Mondeo.family: Married.Education: Graduated from Bradford University in 1984 with a BSc in engineering and management.Career: Joined Ford in 1986 as a sales zone manager in Daventry district office. Previous postings include managing director Ford of Hungary, marketing and sales director Ford of South Africa and product marketing director Ford of Europe. Wellsman returned to Ford of Britain as sales director in 2009.number of dealers: 510.

    Mini CV

    foRD: Motor industry as a whole faces a number of challenges

    My area of focus is continuing to deliver the best customer support possible.

    Jonwellsman

  • CarDealerMag.co.uk | 7

    what opportunities do you think 2014 will present?For the market overall, consolidation, perhaps gentle growth. Assuming the European economy has stabilised as predicted, we should see a return to a more normal supply-and-demand situation in the UK. For Toyota and Lexus specifically, I predict growth on the back of new models, both those introduced part of the way through 2013 such as Auris Touring Sports and IS 300h, or new in 2014 such as new Aygo and the small Lexus SUV.

    what do you regard as the biggest threat to the motor industry in 2014?Complacency. As a sector we have a regrettable habit of waiting too long to take corrective action. I see it repeatedly when dealers get into trouble. The signs are usually there long before corrective action is taken.

    are there any reasons to be cheerful in 2014?Lots, and Im sure I cant think of them all. The economy is recovering, the products are better than ever, finance packages are making cars more accessible and affordable to a wider market, and the customer is more and more empowered.

    what are you most excited about in 2014?New launches are always a focal point for the business so perhaps not surprisingly Im excited by new Aygo. The first-generation model was a great success for us, remarkable given it was a new segment for the brand. Aygo is a car with a slightly different spirit and attraction than the rest of the range, more cheeky. It lets everyone have a bit of fun working with it.

    Can you see the current period of strong new car sales continuing? if so, for how long?We believe the market will be slightly up on last year. What should change is the competitiveness, especially as mainland Europe recovers and relieves the UK from being the only battleground. Do you think the motor industry needs to change and where should it come from? Every business in every industry needs to change or else it will diminish and ultimately it will die. The impetus for change should come from within the business, both dealer and manufacturer, but ultimately we all should be serving the needs of

    the customer. My aim is to try to do business the way our customers want it.

    what should dealers be focusing on to ensure growth and a sustained future in 2014?Keeping costs under control as volumes recover and focusing on delivering the best customer service they possibly can. I dont mean in comparison to their own past or the car trade in general. Consumers might only buy a car every two or three years but they have retail experiences every week of the year and their expectations change accordingly.

    Job title: President and managing director, Toyota (GB) plc.age: 45.lives: Kent.Drives: Lexus RX 450h.family: Married, two children.Education: BSc (Hons) degree in financial accounting from the University of Kingston upon Hull.Career: Joined Toyota GB as general manager vehicle marketing in 2000, becoming marketing director in 2003. Subsequently moved to Toyota Motor Europe in 2005. In 2008, appointed director of Lexus Europe, returning to Toyota GB in 2011 to take up the role of commercial director. Progressed to current role in September 2013.number of dealers: 198 Toyota, 52 Lexus.

    Mini CV

    toyota: Every business needs to change or it will diminish and die

    My aim is to try to do business the way our customers want it.

    Mattharrison

    CoMinG uP Our automotive influencers

    caught on camera Picture Special, p58-59

  • | CarDealerMag.co.uk

    what opportunities do you think 2014 will present?2014 will be one of the most important years in the history of Nissan in the UK and we are very excited by the opportunities it presents. The launch of the all-new Qashqai will get us off to a flying start but a raft of incredible new products, including X-Trail and a new C-segment hatchback, will refresh and rejuvenate our model line-up as the year progresses.

    Our aim is to capitalise on the undoubted impact of this new product by increasing our new car share in the coming years to six per cent for the first time. But sales volume is not the be-all-and-end-all. We must also seize the opportunity to consolidate and ensure our customer service is consistent across the network and of a standard that matches the quality of our new product.

    what do you regard as the biggest threat to the motor industry in 2014?There is a risk that the current instability in the Eurozone persists in 2014 and there is a danger this will have a spill-over effect on the UK marketplace. If this happen