Editor’s Blog: The week that was April 8 – 12

Time 4:11 pm, April 12, 2013

James BatchelorIt’s typical – the first of my new weekly blogs and I have to begin with some doom and gloom.

This week was very much about bad news being aired. Undoubtedly the biggest news story of the week – if not so far this year – was a massive recall issued not by one manufacturer, but four. Recall-plagued Toyota was the manufacturer that had the largest number of cars affected by the recall.

Of the 150,000 UK cars affected across all four brands, Toyota had the largest proportion – an unpleasant 76,000 cars.

Big sellers such as the Yaris and Avensis (both 2000-2004 cars) and many more will all be gracing Toyota dealers’ workshops in the not too distant future – that and nearly 60,000 Nissans, 14,475 Hondas and 1,913 Mazdas at their respective dealerships.

While this makes big wigs in these car companies feel uncomfortable, it can only be good news for car dealers. It’ll give them a great opportunity to connect to new customers and reconnect with old ones.

But one thing dealers should be wary of is theft.It would seem more dealers are falling prey to thieves targeting their parts departments and vandalising cars. We reported upon two dealers this week who have fallen victim to thieves. It serves as a stark reminder that thieves will target anything – from car body parts to stripping whole cars down, it would seem no dealer is safe.

Former Dragons’ Den contestant, Ling Valentine, has been getting into hot water this week. Her car leasing website has been targeted by the advertising standards authority after she posted a leasing deal on a DeLorean.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the industry, while the Ford Focus eclipsed the Toyota Corolla as the world’s best selling car, GM were investing €4bn in Opel/Vauxhall. Amazingly, Opel has been losing money for 10 years – but the good news here is that in light of the investment, it’s unlikely Opel and its British brother Vauxhall will be sold.

Time for some good news and it was great to hear about Shelbourne Motors. The family-owned dealership in Northern Ireland is celebrating 40 years of trading. It started out as a petrol station in 1973 and has leagues of happy customers. Let’s hope the next 40 years are even more successful.

Until next week – happy trading.

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James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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