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Seat Profits Rise

27 Mar 2017 16:31:52

SEAT obtained the best financial results in its history in 2016. SEAT's profit after tax grew to 903 million euros due to the extraordinary effect of selling the subsidiary VW Finance, S.A. to Volkswagen AG. "Higher levels of sales, higher mix and cost optimisation lead us to profitability. We as a team are very proud of our 143 million euros operating profit," said SEAT Chairman Luca de Meo. "SEAT has become a solid company that moved clearly from recovery to a consolidation phase." 2017 is looking to be a very special year for the company, when it will complete the biggest product offensive in its history with the sale of the fifth-generation Ibiza, which is going to reach dealers starting this summer, and the launch of the Arona, the brand's new compact crossover, in the second half of the year. Both models, produced in the Martorell factory, will join the Ateca, which was launched in 2016, and the Leon facelift, which has been on sale since last January. SEAT Vice-President for Finance, IT and Organisation Holger Kintscher underscored that "the 2016 results mark a turning point and reflect the effort put in in recent years. We are back in the black, for both the operating result and profit after tax. We are where we are as a result of everyone's effort."

Renault UK Clio Cup

27 Mar 2017 16:31:08

The Renault UK Clio Cup is almost with us now, with the start of its 2017 season at Kent's famous Brands Hatch circuit coming this Saturday and Sunday, where an anticipated 40,000-strong crowd will come to be at the heart of the action. Twenty-four entries have been received to date for the new season, six drivers having already won races in the championship, including two former Champions and twelve drivers new to the category. There are also two changes to the UK Clio Cup's sporting regulations for 2017. These are a switch to faster, more durable Michelin tyres and a new points system meaning results from all 18 races will now count rather than the previous 'two-dropped-scores' rule. It all adds up to yet more irresistible viewing on ITV4 where the action will be shown live along with the opening rounds of the British Touring Car Championship.

More Charging Points for EVs Needed

27 Mar 2017 16:29:41

A new survey from Venson Automotive Solutions, a leading independent fleet management specialist, reveals that 85% of motorists would now consider buying an electric vehicle (EV) or choosing one as their company car. However, concern over a lack of charging points is a significant ownership hurdle. Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions, comments, "It's really encouraging to see that public attitudes to electric vehicles are significantly shifting, as the industry invests in the necessary infrastructure. Clearly, Total and Shell's move to install more charging points is critical in giving motorists the confidence when it comes to choosing EV or hybrid." Interestingly, 81% of women surveyed compared to 51% of men, said they will put off investing in an EV until charging points are more common place across the UK. The survey also highlights that a focus on educating motorists on the ownership benefits - over and above environmental benefits - is still needed. Of those surveyed, 41% said their general lack of knowledge about the total cost and convenience of owning such a vehicle impacted their decision making.

Ford Raptur Arrives in UK

21 Mar 2017 10:32:04

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has arrived in the UK, with delivery-mileage examples of the 444bhp 'super truck' available from Clive Sutton, one of London's leading supercar and luxury car dealers. The car sourcing specialist has initially acquired five left-hand drive examples of the latest F-150 Raptor, with three already snapped up by long-standing clients. The vehicle can be viewed now by appointment at Clive Sutton's premises in St John's Wood, with on-the-road prices starting from £78,000. Ford's latest F-150 Raptor has been widely anticipated in the UK since the end of production of the previous truck in 2014. Significant features include a lightweight aluminium body, an efficient and powerful twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine producing 444bhp and 510lb ft. of torque, and a 10-speed automatic gearbox. High-performance Fox Racing shock absorbers are fitted as standard, giving the Raptor incredible off-road agility. Customers interested in right-hand-drive vehicles can commission a conversion of the new F-150 Raptor through Sutton Bespoke's specialist programme, at a cost of £36,000.

Mercedes-Benz is Simply the Best

21 Mar 2017 10:31:03

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been named 'Best Executive Car' and 'New Company Car of the Year', voted for by the Fleet News readers, at this year's Fleet News awards. The judges commented: "Innovative technology ensures the E-Class offers low real-world emissions, while highly comfortable seats and a smooth ride make this the perfect car for long distances. With refined drivetrains, low running costs and high residuals, the cavernous estate model further tips the balance in the favour of the E-Class." The E-Class also won praise from the jury thanks to its low running costs, stylish design, and impressive refinement. The E-Class is widely recognised as one of the most advanced cars in its segment, thanks to its driving assistance systems. Rob East, Head of Fleet, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK, added: "Our objective is to be number one in every segment - E-Class delivers that objective through class-leading technology and a truly outstanding sales performance since launch. We've now added the E-Class Estate, E-Class All-Terrain, E-Class Coupe and 4MATIC to the range, making it more appealing than ever before to both fleet and private buyers."

The London Motor Show Includes Porsche

21 Mar 2017 10:29:49

The London Motor Show is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the automotive calendar and is becoming an iconic event in the heart of London. And, Porsche is the latest manufacturer to be confirmed for the show. This means that the latest Porsche models, including the 2017 Panamera, Cayenne, Macan and the much-revered 911, will be showcased by Porsche Centre West London in Battersea Park this spring. A host of Porsche clothing and merchandise will also be available for show visitors across the weekend. "We are looking forward to showcasing the very latest Porsche cars and merchandise to visitors at The London Motor Show," said Porsche Retail Group Marketing Manager Simon Gardiner. "The event is ideally situated to all of our Porsche Retail Group Centres and we are excited to use this show to meet all of the loyal customers and Porsche fans across the weekend." The London Motor Show are delighted to have Porsche Centre West London on display along with their other big-name manufacturers. "The latest Porsche cars and merchandise on display at the show will be a massive crowd-pleaser to visitors to the show across the weekend," said Alec Mumford, The London Motor Show chairman. Staged at Battersea Park, The London Motor Show was first held in May last year. With a progressive and exciting format, the event is designed to appeal across the board to a wide range of motoring visitors and enthusiasts. The second show will take place from 4th to 7th May.

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