New Astra glimpse, Birmingham is car crime hot spot, new car and van prices set to rise

Der neue 2021 Opel Astra

Vauxhall gives glimpse at 2022 Astra

Vauxhall has offered first hints at the styling of its new Astra, due on sale next year.

The company confirmed the next generation of the long-standing hatchback and estate will be electrified, although didn’t go into detail as to what sort of powertrain,

The Astra gets the new Vauxhall Visor nose, as first seen on the new Mokka, and the interior is fitted with a pair of display screens the brand calls its Pure Panel. According to the brand, the “physical controls are reduced to the core functions in the shape of finely crafted keys”, while the “high quality of the interior experience is further emphasized by the shape, textures and materials used in the newly designed steering wheel and the ergonomic front seats”.

“The All-New Astra will open an exciting new chapter in the 41-year history of our popular compact model,” said Vauxhall managing director Paul Willcox. “We are confident that the next generation Vauxhall Astra will make a powerful impression and attract new customers to the brand, especially now Astra will be electrified for the first time.”

Birmingham tops car theft hot spot

Birmingham is the UK’s vehicle theft hot spot, according to research from comparethemarket.com, which found Birmingham West was top for number of vehicle thefts over the past two years with 3105 vehicles stolen, with Birmingham East in fourth place on 2041 behind Liverpool and Sheffield, both with more than 2300.

Doncaster was fifth, with Sandwell, Brighton & Hove, Rotherham, Luton and Coventry rounding out the top 10. The company said that Land Rover products are most likely to be stolen, and 93% of thefts were vehicles taken without the keys.  =

Price rises ‘almost inevitable’ on popular cars and vans

It is “almost inevitable” that the cost of new cars and vans popular in the corporate sector will rise over the next few months due to production problems caused by the shortage of semiconductors, according to Fleetcheck.

There is no question in our mind that prices will increase and potentially not by just a few percentage points,” said the company’s customer success director Andy Kirby. “Manufacturers are in a position where the prices of the raw materials they use have risen rapidly in the wake of the pandemic while, at the same time, production numbers are being restricted, largely by semiconductor shortages.
“This can mean only one thing for prices and it is notable that, with long lead times being quoted on most models at the moment, that few suppliers will guarantee prices in advance,” he continued, speculating that consequences will include longer replacement cycles or downsizing to smaller or cheaper vehicles to counter price rises.

Coffee With… James Taylor, Fleet Sales Director, Vauxhall

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