Retailing & distribution: Latest news and analysis articles

Latest insights

Michigan throws dealerships a lifeline

8 December 2020 | Mike Vousden

Last week, Michigan’s House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 6233 concerning the legality of direct vehicle sales – those that bypass third-party dealerships – on to the Senate and State Governor for approval. This not only impacts Tesla’s preferred sales model in the state, but could set a precedent for other EV developers such as Rivian, Lucid and Bollinger – all of which are currently headquartered in Michigan due to its traditional strength in automotive manufacturing.

RESEARCH SNAPSHOT – Last mile delivery and the rise of the robots

4 November 2020 | Matthew Beecham

Although the term ‘last mile’ sounds like an epic journey of personal endurance, in the logistics business it refers to the last step of the delivery process when a parcel is moved from a depot to your front door (or very close to it). The word ‘mile’ is used loosely as it can vary from a few streets to a number of miles. Given that consumer buying behaviour has changed over the past decade or so, especially with regards to online shopping, most of us have come to expect fast, cheap (preferably free) and contactless delivery, especially during the pandemic. For logistics operators, this is challenging considering that this last leg is clunky, expensive and fiddly. Much can be achieved by addressing each step of their last mile delivery process, however, including the mode of transportation. While parcel lockers and smart door locks can help cut costs, droids and drones are playing an emerging role. Continuing just-auto/AIC’s series of research snapshots, Matthew Beecham takes a look at some last mile technology solutions that are shaping the new normal.

New normals and more adjustments - the week

28 August 2020 | Simon Warburton

We're coming to the end of the holiday season here in the northern hemisphere, but clearly the nature of any break will have been by necessity, very different from what everyone has been used to.

Skoda shows how COVID-19 forces sales process rethink

25 June 2020 | Mike Vousden

Automakers are facing the realization that, while lockdown restrictions are beginning to lift in many countries, customers are still reluctant to risk their health by going to a dealership and potentially exposing themselves to infection. To mitigate the problem, Skoda launched a competition to uncover the best digital solution to selling cars in a post-COVID world.

Latest interviews

Online car buying boom shows no signs of easing

30 March 2021 | Matthew Beecham

Although the pandemic has triggered a rise of online car buying activity, it confirms to some that latent demand was there all along and consumers just needed an easy-to-use, seamless system to make big ticket purchases. To learn more, we caught up with Tim Smith, Chief Commercial Officer at automotive eCommerce specialist, GForces.

Redesigning the automotive retail experience - Q&A with ZeroLight

25 February 2021 | Matthew Beecham

There are some in the auto industry who believe that the rise of digital solutions within the new car buying journey will lead to the ‘agency model’ approach, where dealers become ‘agents’ who act on behalf of the OEM, with sales conducted directly between the OEM and the customer. Among them is ZeroLight, a digital visual effects specialist based in the northeast of England which began life in the gaming industry. They are working with a number of established automakers, including Volkswagen (ID3), Audi (e-Tron), Cadillac, Pagani, Lamborghini, and new entrant Lucid Motors, in not only enabling online sales but also creating digital solutions that give people the confidence to know exactly what they are buying online. To learn more, we spoke to François de Bodinat, Chief Product Officer at ZeroLight.

Latest news

Free2Move eSolutions appoints Roberto Di Stefano as CEO

9 April 2021 | Simon Warburton

Free2Move eSolutions has appointed Roberto Di Stefano as CEO, a new joint venture between Stellantis and Engie EPS.

SSEN data to aid UK chargepoint availability

8 April 2021 | Simon Warburton

Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) Distribution has utilised the National Chargepoint Registry (NCR) data to map out chargepoint availability within the Power Track app.

Kia names new Malaysian distributor and assembler

7 April 2021 | editorial team

Malaysian vehicle distributor Bermaz Auto (BAuto) announced it had signed an agreement with Kia Corporation to assemble and sell its vehicles.

Suzuki returns to Malaysia with Naza group

7 April 2021 | editorial team

Suzuki Motor Corporation has signed a new distribution agreement with Malaysia's Naza Group after an absence of almost six years from this market, according to local reports.

Logistics UK hails EverGiven refloat

1 April 2021 | Simon Warburton

Logistics UK has welcomed news the EverGiven cargo vessel has been freed from the Suez Canal.

Hoegh Autoliners ups US-Oceania sailings

1 April 2021 | Simon Warburton

Höegh Autoliners has increased its frequency of service from the US to Oceania.

UK ploughs up to GBP120m into zero emissions bus scheme

31 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Britain is to make up to GBP120m (US$165m) available through the Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.

Logistics UK backs freight driver testing on arrival

31 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Logistics UK is backing COVID-19 testing of freight drivers and other workers on arrival into Britain.

After big hike, BMW GB slashes i3 EV prices

30 March 2021 | Graeme Roberts

BMW UK has cut pricing for the i3 EV line to enable buyers to benefit from the recently reduced UK government plug in car grant (PiCG).

Volkswagen becoming Voltswagen in US

30 March 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Volkswagen of America on Tuesday reposted on its media site a press release accidentally posted a month early on Monday announcing a new name for its US operations, Voltswagen of America, emphasising the automaker's electric vehicle efforts.

Hoegh Autoliners accelerates decarbonisation efforts

30 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Höegh Autoliners says it has accelerated its decarbonisation efforts, completing its first carbon neutral voyage from Europe to South Africa.

CEO reorganises Lancia under Stellantis

29 March 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Lancia CEO, Luca Napolitano, has announced the reorganisation of the Lancia brand with immediate effect.

Citroen trims EV price after government grant cut

19 March 2021 | Graeme Roberts

Citroen's UK unit has cut prices of the top Shine Plus trim level of its newly launched e-C4 EV so all models in the range will continue to benefit from the government's recently lowered Plug in Car Grant (PICG) of GBP2,500.

Hoegh Autoliners returns to Gothenburg

19 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Höegh Autoliners has announced its return to Gothenburg with a regular direct service to South Africa and Oceania.

Logistics UK "disappointed" at Britain EV subsidy cut

19 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Logistics UK says it is "disappointed" to note the changes announced by the British government's decision to reduce the EV grant for plug in cars, vans and trucks.

Iberdrola/Seat/VW form Spain electrification alliance

17 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Seat, Iberdrola and the Volkswagen Group have signed an alliance to promote electrification in Spain.

European suppliers "significantly more optimistic" - CLEPA chief

16 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

European supplier association, CLEPA, says automotive component manufacturers have become "significantly more optimistic" with their outlook on 2021, with 38% of surveyed companies showing positive forecasts compared to 8% six months ago.

Arriva welcomes UK government new bus strategy

16 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Arriva UK has welcomed the British government's publication of a new bus strategy.

NewMotion expands BMW collaboration to Austria and Italy

15 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

NewMotion is expanding its collaboration with BMW Group to Austria and Italy.

Solaris starts deliveries of Urbino hydrogen buses to Cologne

15 March 2021 | Simon Warburton

Solaris Bus & Coach has delivered the first of a total of 15 hydrogen buses ordered in 2020 by German public transport operator, Regionalverkehr Köln (RVK).

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