UK bottom of European car sales league
The United Kingdom’s car market is in the worst state of any in Europe, having recorded a 6.3% fall in registrations over the first half of 2018, with only Ireland (-4.5%) and Denmark (-2.3%) also falling by more than 1.5%. Car sales are up in 20 of the 27 European markets, according to industry analyst Jato, with three of the big five showing growth – Spain up 9.4%, France up 4.6% and Germany up 2.9%, while Italy fell by 1.2%.
Overall, it was the best first-half performance this century, with 8.66m cars registered, and Volkswagen topped the manufacturer and model sales chart. The brand registered 988,507 cars in the first half, ahead of Renault on 624,443, with Ford, Peugeot and Vauxhall/Opel rounding out the top five, and the VW Golf was top-selling model on 257,550 registrations, almost 75,000 ahead of the Renault Clio, with the VW Polo, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Qashqai completing the top five.
Revised Macan revealed by Porsche
Porsche has unveiled the mid-life facelift of its Macan medium-sized SUV, with claimed “Significant enhancements in terms of its design, comfort, connectivity and driving dynamics” according to the brand.
Porsche said it has tried to reflect the 911 and 918 Spyder sports cars with the more sporty and modern looks at the front, and the rear features a new LED light strip. The cabin has an 11-inch touchscreen, redesigned and repositioned air vents and the sports steering wheel from the 911 model.
The facelifted car arrives late this year.
Mercedes turns the tap on 53-van plumbing deal
Wigan-based Rothwell Plumbing Services has signed a deal to take 53 Mercedes vans on a flexible rental agreement though rental and leasing firm Fleet Dynamic. The majority are long-wheelbase Citan light van models, as well as 10 Vito medium vans, and they will be deployed across northern England and the Midlands.
“The sector for house-building and refurbishments is very competitive at the moment, and quite volatile. We may need to take on two or three vans at short notice, but likewise if things go quiet we don’t want to be paying for vehicles that sit in the yard doing nothing,” said Rothwell managing director Joe Pearson. “Fleet Dynamic’s flexible solution will allow us to adjust the size of the fleet to meet the needs of our business.”