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Today in Fleet: Thursday 18 May

All the key news in fleet…

Audi A4 1.4 TFSI

Audi’s range updates see the A4 get leather heated seats from the Sport trim upwards.

Audi range revisions focus on ‘consistency and simplicity’

Audi is introducing a range of revisions across its line-up in a move to enhance “consistency and simplicity”.

Announced today at the ACFO Spring Seminar, the move sees all cars gain cruise control and rear parking sensors as standard. In addition, all models – bar the A1 and Q2 – are upgraded with the auto dimming mirror, which is a key requirement for many option packs.

Other changes see the A4 get leather heated seats from the Sport trim upwards, while S line gets leather/alcantara. There’s also a new Black Edition.

Audi has also announced that the Tech, Comfort and Sound packs will have consistent pricing across the range.

auctions-remarketing-1

2.1m used cars were sold in the UK in Q1 2017, a 3.4% rise on 2016, and the highest Q1 on record

Record first quarter for UK used car market

The number of used cars sold in the UK hit a new record in Q1 2017.

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 2.1 million used cars were sold in the first three months of the year; a 3.4% rise on 2016 and the highest Q1 on record.

Growth seen across the diesel, petrol and electric/hybrid segments, which were up 5.6%, 1.6% and 43.2% respectively.

The supermini segment continued to be the most popular, accounting for more than a third of the used car market, however, the mini segment was the fastest growing – with sales up 13.2%.

White cars saw the biggest growth, up 17.1%, with used car sales echoing trends seen in the new car market in recent years. Although silver remained the best-selling colour at 463,959 sales, figures show its popularity may be fading with sales declining -2.1%.

FleetCheck says fleets that don't put systems in place to ensure vehicles are maintained are leaving themselves open to prosecution.

FleetCheck says fleets that don’t put systems in place to ensure vehicles are maintained are leaving themselves open to prosecution.

Confusion over maintenance responsibilities exposing SMEs 

Fleets leasing cars and vans with an inclusive maintenance package need to put robust systems in place to ensure the work is actually being carried out.

The warning comes from fleet software specialist FleetCheck, which says that it’s increasingly coming across fleets, in particular SMEs, where leasing companies and employers assume that drivers are correctly carrying out maintenance without realising that drivers are often waiting to be prompted and sometimes even ignoring service reminders.

Managing director Peter Golding said: “If a serious accident occurs and an improperly maintained vehicle is part of the reason that it happened, then the owners and directors of the business will be at fault and could be given a custodial sentence.”

Chargie EV charging service

nce 2 May, more than 60 EV charge oints across the UK have been registered for the Chargie service.

Bookings open for Airbnb-style charging service

A new EV charging service that enables drivers to use domestic, wall-mounted chargepoints of other members has gone live in the UK with over 60 chargepoints on its books.

The Chargie service is based on the Airbnb concept for hospitality, with homeowners able to register their charge points to make extra money and help other EV drivers. However, the firm says it’s also had a very positive response from B&B and hotel owners, who regard bookable charging as an added attraction at their locations. The company also say it’s looking into international expansion in response to driver requests.

Quartix black box unit

Quartix has been listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report for the third year in succession.

Quartix among ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’

Quartix has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain for the third consecutive year.

To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers.

Andy Kirk, company director and one of the founding member, said: “It is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams at every level. At Quartix, we are all about creating robust innovative products, supporting our customers and looking after our staff, everything else flows from that.”

autonomous sdriving

Most OEMs expect to be selling fully self-driving vehicles between 2020 and 2025, if not sooner.

Autonomous vehicles to impact on collision repair market

Carmaker revenues from collision parts could drop by nearly 50% by 2020 following the introduction of autonomous vehicles.

The research, published by the KPMG U.S. Manufacturing Institute Automotive Center, suggests OEMs can expect a 4 to 9% reduction in operating profits by 2030 and a reduction of 13% by 2040 as a result of the advances autonomous vehicles are expected to bring by reducing driver error and lowering accident rates.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.