Bumper's chief operating officer Jack Allman outlines the importance for dealers of helping customers spread the costs of major repairs, while professor Jim Saker of Loughborough University's Centre for Automotive Management points out that a 'thoughtful gesture' from a dealer to a customer is no good if there's not been actual thought behind it.
Inchcape UK chief executive James Brearley shares the thinking behind Inchcape's push into standalone used car sites.
We examine why Ford is losing ground to Volkswagen in the new car market, and hear from experts about the pressure on dealers to keep prices accurate in an "unprecedented" used car market.
And almost six months on from the Financial Conduct Authority's introduction of a ban on DiC commission models and its mandate for openness about earning commission from motor finance, we hear from experts and dealers about the impact this has had.
Plus we find out from Fiat about the importance of its electric-only new Fiat 500, after a test-drive, and start a long-term review of the impressive Cupra Formentor plug-in hybrid.
And finally, Steve Bridge, former Mercedes commercial vehicles boss, talks about his career now he's running one of its leading retail groups, eStar Truck & Van.
As this AM magazine went to press we were just days from hearing prime minister Boris Johnson update the country on the final stage of his ‘roadmap to freedom’ from COVID-19 restrictions.
It’s a crucial stage designed to involve the removal of social contact limits and the opening of large events, and is seen by many as a signal we can get back to living our lives as we wish to.
Latest reports suggest ministers are concerned the more transmissible Delta variant will scupper the plans for a June 21 ‘freedom day’. If there is a delay, don’t despair - we’ve all shown we can cope with so much so far, and your businesses have adapted remarkably.
I don’t know about you, but I can put up with mask wearing and no handshakes for a few weeks more if we’ll finally come to know that it’s safe to drop these new habits for good. When it comes, I don’t want businesses to feel they’d better keep the plastic screens and social distancing stickers in a cupboard just in case. I don’t want staff to think there may be another lockdown coming in the winter.
Let’s see a return of confidence across the UK. And crucially for UK automotive, a willingness to spend.
PS. We're getting active and doing #Move4Ben throughout June to raise some funds for our fantastic industry charity, Ben. Donate to this great cause by sponsoring us here.