Fleeting Glance – The Week That Was – 5th July.
Nissan Makes Sunderland Plant Announcement – And It’s Very Good News Indeed!
We start this week with some excellent news. Nissan announced that it is to turn its Sunderland car plant into a new electric vehicle hub.
As part of a £1bn investment – creating 1,650 new jobs and supporting many more jobs in the UK Supply Chain – Nissan are looking to build on the success of its Leaf model and build a new all-electric car.
Nissan’s partner Envision AESC will also build a electric battery factory – eventually providing upto 100,000 batteries for Nissan electric vehicles a year.
Obviously this is excellent news for UK jobs and a welcome relief we’re sure to workers, where speculation about the future of the plant had been rife following Brexit.
Coolvan Wins Government Grant to Help with Development of Refrigerated EVs.
As the switch to Electric Vehicles gathers momentum, electric versions of all types of vehicles will be needed.
The news this week then that Coolvan has been given a £500k Government grant towards developing a Refrigerated electric van is yet more positive news.
Coolvan will be taking the lead in designing the van whilst working in partnership with scientists from the University of Warwick and control systems specialists from Siemens.
Coolvan MD, Chris Warburton, says that they have been working on low emission refrigeration vehicles for some time now. The news of the funding though – along with the partnership with University of Warwick and Siemens – couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The hospitality sector relies on daily deliveries of fresh, chilled and frozen food, but the days of the diesel delivery van could be numbered. As UK cities seek to build back better and more sustainably post-pandemic, many are accelerating plans to restrict access to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles – presenting a serious challenge to the logistics and delivery industry.”
£120m For Greater Manchester Vehicles Upgrade Ahead of Clean Air Zone
More news on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone plans have been released – with a date of May 30th next year set as the anticipated launch date.
Perhaps just as significantly though is the news that region has been awarded £120m to help fleet operators make the switch to compliant vehicles.
As part of the award, van operators can now access up to £4,500 towards the replacement of a vehicle – £1,000 more than initially proposed.
In addition to this;
- Greater Manchester Hackney Cabs can get up to £10,000.
- HGVs can now get up to £12,000 towards replacement – which is nearly three times more than initially offered, and;
- Coaches can now claim for upto £32,000.
Private Hire and Light Goods Vehicle’s are also going to be given more time, money and options to upgrade and more details will follow.
Applications for funding will be available from November.
Volvo Working On 600+ Mile Range EV
I mean, aren’t they all?
Still, rather exciting news emerged last week that Volvo are working with Swedish battery company Northvolt in developing next generation battery technology.
With a proposed 621-mile range, the batteries are also looking at halving recharge time. They are expected to be ready for 2025.
The Volvo XC90 is expected to be the first car to use the technology and is set to be revealed next year.
The quest to crack the range and battery issues is well and truly on!
New Vehicle Registrations Down As Impact of Semiconductor Issues Are Revealed.
Upto now we’d done quite well in this article to not reference the Semiconductor shortage and it’s impact on new vehicle supply.
Sadly, we can’t avoid it any longer.
The latest new car registration figures show they are down as much as 27% on previous years for the first half of the year– and in June sales were down 16% compared to June sales figures in pre-Covid years.
As you can guess, most of this is being attributed to you-know-what. (Semiconductor issues).
However, it’s not all doom and gloom.
New vehicle registrations are up more than a third on June last year (when dealerships re-opened after the first lockdown). This is a tentative sign that we are coming out of the post-Covid nightmare.
Further evidence to this is that fleet and business registrations are up 47% compared to the first 6 months of last year – when of course the Pandemic brought things to a standstill.
So where are we at exactly?
Well, pretty much where you’d expect things to be – we’re not out of the woods yet, but things are improving.
The likelihood is that new vehicle supplies are going to be fragmented for the next 6 months and into 2022.
However, as we come out of lockdowns and with greater freedoms being announced, confidence is starting to return and sales figures are on an upward trend.
With Hybrid and Electric Vehicle production and sales now increasing in focus, advanced orders are increasing as we move towards the new registration in September.
There are also other options available….
Greater Demand for ‘In-Stock’ Vehicles
The leasing sector is seeing a marked increase in “in-stock” vehicle enquiries – to the benefit of retailers.
Many leasing customers will order stock from the factory. However – due to the semiconductor shortage and subsequent delays in delivery – many have switched to vehicles sat waiting to go and “in-stock” vehicles are being snapped up from dealer forecourts.
Many dealers stockpiled vehicles ahead of Brexit, but when the lockdowns hit last year – closing the dealerships – stock has hung around longer than it would have normally.
The data backs this up – in April ‘in-stock’ orders were 7% up on factory orders – when compared to April 2019 – where factory orders were 27% higher than ‘in-stock’.
This trend is something we have certainly picked up on. Our team of new vehicle experts are constantly scouring the market for the best deals on ‘in-stock’ cars available right now.
You can checkout latest stock available in dealers right now by clicking the button at the bottom of this article.
Convertible “AirCar” Takes To The Skies
And finally this month, if you or your employees are sick of traffic jams, roadworks and red-lights, why not avoid them by simply flying over them all?
Well soon it could be a reality (well, maybe not soon, but one day) as “Tomorrow’s World” comes to life after a prototype hybrid car-aircraft completed a 35 minute journey between two airports in Slovakia recently.
Powered by a BMW Engine, it runs on regular petrol and can travel about 600 miles, reaching a height of 8,200 feet. What’s more it only takes 2 minutes and 15 seconds to change from a car into an aircraft.
Here’s a video on the BBC’s website capturing the incredible flight.
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