Automotive Purchasing News Review 21 July 2014 - page 11

21 July 2014
automotive purchasing
Fiat shares riseonVW
merger rumour
Jul 17, 2014
Shares in Italian car maker Fiat Chrysler
Automobile (FCA) rose in early trading
today (July 17) after a story appeared in a
German monthly magazine suggested that
representatives from the Volkswagen Group
had held talks with the controlling families of
the Italian car maker about a merger.
Fiat's owners are apparently seeking to
shift their focus to the Ferrari brand and quit
its traditional automotive business, Manager
Magazin reported, citing unnamed company
sources. FCA shares jumped by as much
as 5 percent to €7.98 on the news, while
Volkswagen’s share price edged 1.5 percent
lower to €186.7. It is thought that the talks
are focused on Fiat's Chrysler business as
the current Fiat shareholders are considering
pulling out of its traditional car business to
focus instead on the Ferrari sports car.
“We deem the news realistic,” said Gabriele
Gambarova, an analyst with Banca Akros in
Milan told Bloomberg. However, following a
period of speculation in the wake of the news
– during which neither automaker offered any
comment – a spokesman for Exor, the holding
company which controls Fiat via a 30 percent
stake, insisted no such talks have taken place.
Manager Magazin claim VW and Fiat's
on a possible price for the Italian carmaker. By
purchasing Fiat Chrysler, VW is hoping to use
Chrysler's US distribution network to help solve
its own problems in the world's number two
auto market where sales of the core VW car
brand have been flagging, the magazine said.
No plans to expand
VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn
insistedat an annual news conference inMarch
that VW has no plans at present to expand
the group through further acquisitions as it is
focusing on integrating its 12-brand network.
Ferdinand Piech, one of VW's main
shareholders, and Fiat chief executive Sergio
Marchionne have sparred publicly in the past.
The Fiat executive invited Volkswagen to a
dawn showdown at the Paris auto show in
2012 after being irritated by comments from
the German company’s executive. Mr Piech has
often expressed his interest in Fiat’s Alfa Romeo
brand, which Marchionne has vowed to keep.
In addition, Marchionne has recently
reiterated his ambitious strategic plan to
boost car sales by 60 percent by 2018. Under
his leadership the carmaker engineered a
takeover of US car brand Chrysler, whose
strong performance has engineered a
turnaround of Fiat and balanced its heavy
losses in its legacy European business.
Jul 18, 2014
The UK Government has announced that
its Ministers will soon be driving to official
engagements in electric cars. More than
150 EVs are to be introduced to official
Government fleets before year-end as
ministers seek to “lead by example” and
boost public confidence in plug-in vehicles.
But asAutomotivePurchasing’sAlex Kreetzer
ponders, where will they charge them?
The new era of electric/hybrid vehicles
has hit the world by a storm, with the likes of
the Toyota Pruis, the Tesla Model S and the
upcoming BMW i3 to name a few. This is a
great step forward in the automotive industry
in more aspects then just an alternative
energy source, however this poses a threat
in the early stages of plug-in vehicles, with
much more demand for these vehicles than
charge points in the UK.
It was reported that during the first quarter
of 2014, 1,929 new ultra-low emission vehicles
were registered, up a staggering 130 percent
that the same time last year, seeing over 8,000
plug-in vehicles on UK roads. This contrasts
against the lack of just 6,400 charging points,
with the demand still rising fast.
“The industry is now trying to devise
successful business models for deploying
stations in public locations—an effort that will
become increasingly urgent as government
funding winds down;” says Lisa Jerram, Pike
Research Senior Analyst (pictured left).
To combat this, £37 million is being
invested into the UK’s plug-in home and on-
street charging stations. At present, there
are charging ports in 2,609 locations with
400 rapid charge docks; in the last 30 days,
163 charging stations have been opened in
the country. It looks like the era of electric
vehicles will blossom and eventually take
over from petrol engines, but do not think
it will be a quick and simple task. It seems
as if companies are waiting for there to
be a sufficient number of plug-in vehicles
that would show profit with a smaller risk,
whilst customers are waiting for companies
to produce power stations in the same
frequency as petrol stations; no one wants to
roll to a standstill.
The UK will hope to achieve the same
coverage as America have now, with Tesla
pushing for more and more charger routes
across most major states; 8,453 electric
stations and 20,558 charging outlets.
Paragon Software Systems sees
benefits indriver debriefing
Jul 18, 2014
Paragon Software Systems, a leader in
vehicle routing and scheduling optimisation
solutions, seesmany benefits in automating
the driver debriefing process.
It is important to monitor driver and
vehicle en-route performance to ensure
good planning has been carried out as
intended and to help create more realistic
plans for the future. Driver debriefing best
practices ensure drivers meet customer
service requirements, while reducing
fuel usage when optimised plans are
Planning efforts
“If a driver sticks to the journey plan,
fleet operators should know what route
they are going to be on and precisely
where and when they are making
deliveries,” said William Salter, Managing
Director, Paragon Software Systems.
“Under normal circumstances, drivers
have no reason to deviate from the plan.
If drivers do deviate from their agreed
route for whatever reason, this can
jeopardise your planning efforts and cost
fleet owners more money.”
Fleet Controller
To facilitate driver debriefing, Paragon
software users utilise the Paragon Fleet
Controller module, which is linked to
information from a tracking solutions
partner. Using Fleet Controller, it is
possible to compare, amongst many
other KPIs (Key Performance Indicators),
the plan vs. actual distance travelled and
report this in the Paragon Workbench.
In Fleet Controller, the information is
displayed in tables. The columns in the
table can be sorted and the trips filtered
to alert the user to specific driver shifts
that need to be examined in more detail.
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