Mercedes-Benz announces double-digit growth in August

Acclaimed German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has revealed a significant upturn in sales last month.

The company recorded double-digit year-on-year sales growth of 14 per cent in August 2019.


Worldwide growth continues


A total of 177,819 Mercedes-Benz cars were delivered worldwide last month, marking a new monthly record for the marque.

“August was the second month in succession for Mercedes-Benz in which we posted a new record for worldwide unit sales,” commented Britta Seeger, member of the board at Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars marketing and sales.

“The encouragement and loyalty of our customers is an absolutely positive signal for us in view of the current challenges for the entire industry.”

Deliveries of Mercedes-Benz models rose across the board in August, with the compact car segment rising by an impressive 28.6 per cent. Meanwhile, SUV sales rose by 8.7 per cent and saloon car sales increased by 6.7 per cent.

Major markets have responded positively to the brand since the start of the year, with the manufacturer performing especially well in Asia and North America.

Overall, the coming months look bright for the manufacturer, with Europe in particular setting a new monthly sales record in August of 62,213 cars – up by 13.1 per cent on the same time last year.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Mercedes-Benz models continue to prove popular among buyers around the world, with the brand delivering outstanding sales figures in every market.”

Brexit Haulage

Hauliers urged to ‘be prepared for Brexit’

A new public awareness campaign aimed at hauliers has been launched by the Department for Transport (DfT), urging businesses to be fully prepared for Brexit.

With the UK currently scheduled to leave the EU on October 31st, the government has stepped up its efforts to ensure the haulage sector is as prepared as possible.


Haulage providers ‘the backbone of the economy’


Transport secretary Grant Shapps stated: “As an outward-facing global trading nation, the efficiency of our ports is of paramount importance.

“This multi-million-pound initiative ensures the UK will remain open for business, with goods continuing to move freely.”

The new £8 million campaign will see 150 pop-up advice centres being rolled out this month across the country, supported by a nationwide billboard and media advertising campaign.

Companies are being urged to prepare for additional customs checks after Brexit and to have all the necessary paperwork in order to ensure the future free flow of goods.

To do this, businesses are being issued with a handbook and pocket guide on customs requirements by the DfT and are reminded it is their responsibility to apply for and hold the correct paperwork for all goods they are transporting.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Brexit could be here in less than eight weeks and therefore businesses must prepare for all eventualities. The ability of firms to continue trading after Brexit is paramount to the nation’s future stability.”

Pay to park at work

UK drivers ‘would support charity parking schemes’

A significant proportion of UK motorists would be willing to pay to park at work if the money they were spending could be passed on good causes, new research has revealed.

According to Motorpoint, one in five drivers would be willing to pay up to £10 per month.


Benefits for drivers, businesses and charities

Paying a monthly donation to a charity in exchange for a reserved parking space in close proximity to work was seen as a popular choice among UK car owners.

Mark Carpenter, CEO of Motorpoint, said his own business has recently launched a charity parking scheme just like this and it’s already proven extremely popular among staff.

He stated: “The cost is relatively modest per month, in our case only £10, but the benefits to local good causes can be considerable and have the potential to make a difference to the less fortunate in our society.”

Mr Carpenter added that more businesses should be encouraged to follow the lead of Motorpoint and establish similar schemes. Overall, the company’s own charity parking scheme is expected to raise in excess of £5,000 over the next 12 months.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “It’s a win-win for businesses, drivers and charities, as this type of scheme helps to support a range of great causes while empowering businesses to support their local communities and helping busy drivers to reduce the stress of their daily commute.”

M6 extra lanes

Extra lanes ‘helping M6 drivers save time’

Motorway users have benefited greatly following the largest ever upgrade to the M6 in the north-west of England.

This is the view of Highways England, as the body claims there has been a 15 mph increase in average speeds for travellers since work was completed in Cheshire earlier this year.


A positive impact for travellers


The project to transform the M6 between Crewe and Knutsford cost £255 million, with a fourth lane introduced for road users during busy times.

According to Highways England, the average commuter is now able to save around 40 minutes in travel time each week due to smoother journeys and less congestion.

At the same time, the route has witnessed a 25 per cent reduction in collisions in areas where ‘all-lane-running motorways’ are now in operation.

Mike Bull, smart motorways senior manager in the north-west for Highways England, commented: “Tens of thousands of drivers use the M6 every day to travel to and from work and this latest research shows that the extra lanes and new technology we’ve introduced are making a massive difference to people’s journeys.”

He added the project may have taken several years to complete, but the beneficial impact of the switch to smart motorways is now paying off. In addition, the upgrades are helping to improve the outlook for both the local and regional economy.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Smart motorways are helping traffic to flow more smoothly across the country. Work is underway on sites across England at present, with upgrades to the transport network expected to bear fruit for all drivers in the years to come.”

Volvo plug-in hybrid

Volvo extends plug-in hybrid option to all models

Volvo has become the first automotive manufacturer to extend a plug-in hybrid option to all models across its vehicle range.

The marque is offering its new T5 Twin Engine petrol-electric hybrid powertrain across the board.


Combining power, efficiency and more choice


The powertrain is capable of delivering 262 bhp through its combined 180 bhp three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine and 82 bhp electric motor.

It makes its debut in the new XC40, but buyers will be able to add this power option to every Volvo model from February next year.

Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK managing director, commented: “[We are] demonstrating our commitment to giving all our customers the best possible choice when it comes to powertrains that are both better for the environment and also practical for their lifestyles and driving requirements.”

The hybrid powertrain makes use of a lithium-ion battery with 10.7kWh capacity, which provides an all-electric driving range of up to 28.6 miles.

At the same time, preliminary WLTP data highlights it is capable of producing CO2 emissions from just 38 g/km and combined fuel economy of up to 141.1 mpg.

The benefit-in-kind tax rate for vehicles fitted with the new T5 Twin Engine will be just 16 per cent.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Fleets keen to reduce their overall CO2 output might like to consider new Volvos in the coming years. This marks the first step towards all manufacturers offering full hybrid ranges in the near future.”