Apr 15 2009 Chris Russon
ON YER BIKEREGISTRATIONS of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in the UK last month were ten per cent down on March last year, according to the latest figures issued by the Motor Cycle Industry Association. A total of 16,754 powered two-wheelers were registered in March 2009, which is a fall of 1,870 on March last year.
The combination of new registration plates and improving weather has lead to March showing a better performance than the 25 per cent downturn suffered by the PTW market in February. Naked bikes have done particularly well, with 1.5 per cent more registrations this year than last. The highest registered model within this group was the Honda CBF 125 M.
The industry has re-emphasised the benefits of motorcycling and is urging the chancellor to use next week's Budget speech to announce a VED holiday on all new PTWs in recognition of their congestion-busting power.
The Kawasaki ZX10 R Ninja was the highest registered model overall in March. Honda was the leading manufacturer, followed by Yamaha and Kawasaki.
The UK motorcycle industry employs about 15,000 people, predominantly in small and medium-sized businesses, and turns over more than £3 billion a year.
CAR WITH SOULSALES of the new Soul in Europe have passed the 5,000 mark and are running at 13 per cent higher than Kia predicted.
In Europe, Soul's monthly sales rate is accelerating, with 1,334 cars delivered in January, the keys for a further 1,485 cars handed to customers in February and an additional 2,172 units being driven away from showrooms in March. Marketing of the Soul gets underway in the USA and Australia this month.
VANTASTICDATA from BCA's monthly Pulse report shows that average values for light commercials have continued to climb in 2009. Over £400 was added to the average value in March as buyers continued to compete strongly for stock.
Average values across all LCVs climbed in March by 13.6% to £3,544, a rise of £427 against February. Much of the recovery continues to be driven by the fleet and lease sector where average values have improved from £3,359 in February to £3,869 in March. Dealers say sourcing stock is currently their biggest issue to meet the improved retail demand and increased competition is keeping values keen.
CRASH TESTEDALMOST 17,000 crash damaged vehicles were repaired and returned to UK roads during a record first quarter for the new Thatcham Technical Helpline service.
Thatcham's Technical Helpline was launched as an interactive web portal in January, providing repairers with a one-stop-shop of technical vehicle repair information. Latest figures from the new portal continue to show a rise in the number of enquiries with 16,976 in the first quarter, equating to over 1,200 per week.
SAFETY DRIVEAN increased drive to raise awareness among public and private sector fleets of the business benefits of pro-actively managing occupational road risk is to take place with Government backing.
RoadSafe, the automotive industry-backed forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems, has been awarded a new three-year contract to deliver the Department's for Transport's driving for work outreach programme.
An average of 200 road deaths and serious injuries a week result from crashes involving drivers at work with more employees killed and seriously injured on Britain's roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other work-related activity.
SAFETY FIRSTTHE European Parliament has agreed to make ESP mandatory for all new vehicles. According to the regulation, from November 2011 all new passenger-car and commercial-vehicles models registered in the European Union will have to be equipped with the ESP active safety system. From November 2014 this will apply to all new vehicles.
Accident research shows that skidding is the main cause of accidents with fatal results. 'ESP can prevent up to 80 percent of all skid-related accidents,' says Dr. Werner Struth, at Bosch. 'After the seat belt, the system is the most important safety technology in the car.' In the first six months of 2008, 53 percent of all new registrations in Europe were already equipped with ESP.
FINANCE FALLLATEST statistics from the Finance and Leasing Association show the impact of the recession on motor finance providers in the UK.
UK motorists bought 21% fewer new cars and 21% fewer used cars with dealer finance in February 2009 compared with February 2008.
Leasing of new cars fell 36% by value compared with February 2008 but Personal Contract Purchase deals were up 3% by value.
Despite the monthly decline, dealer finance remains the most popular way to fund a new car, with 52.9% or 462,000 of new vehicles bought on finance in the last 12 months.