Not much to talk about in the news this week really. If you discount the fact that Peugeot and FCA announced their merger this week. Creating the fourth largest car manufacturer, a $50 billion group which is almost as big as anything in the world market, this is a big deal. And analysts were still working whether it was a genuine merger, or whether one was buying the other. In which case was Peugeot buying Fiat Chrysler or the other way round?
Nothing much more in the news, unless you discount Amazon’s announcement that it is talking to car manufacturers. No manufacturer has been brave enough to admit they have signed up, and some have said they have talked and discounted the idea. The increased digitisation of car sales means that it is hardly surprising that the world’s biggest retailer wants to retail some of the world’s biggest retail products.
Plenty of outsiders have entered this marketplace before, only to be confounded by supply problems and the notoriously difficult part exchange issue. The advent of webuyanycar.com and others has largely solved that problem. And privately most manufacturers acknowledge that they would love a system that does not involve dealers. Mind you, many dealers would love a system that didn’t involve manufacturers so much.
Nothing much in automotive news in the retail sector, if you discount the shock announcement that the senior management team at Lookers was shown the door today. Chief executive Andy Bruce and his deputy Nigel McMinn have announced their departure. This comes after a number of profit warnings this year and the announcement that trading since the middle of September has been dire. Interesting times for the group, especially as they are undergoing a very high profile FCA investigation into how they deal with car finance.
And nothing else really in the national news, if you discount the announcement of a general election on December 12. I am slightly sceptical that we will see a government returned that has any sort of working majority, I suspect it will be even more divided than it is now, but nevertheless they have to do something to break this awful deadlock.
Have a great weekend, not much sport on either (after tomorrow morning is over, that is) – come on England!
Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them.
Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet
Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow (1857 – 1938)
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
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