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BUSINESSCAR AWARDS WINNER: Ampera shines a light on Vauxhall

Date: 05 August 2013


The tax changes referred to are the removal of the 5% BIK band for cars below 76g/km that's currently due to kick in for the 2015-16 tax year. If it still comes in as scheduled, it would take the BIK payments for a higher-rate tax payer on a mid-spec Ampera Positiv from £62 to £161 per month, or from £744 to £1934 for the tax year. "We've been lobbying hard, and hopefully it will get fixed, which will help," comments Taylor. The chancellor revealed in his 2012 Autumn Statement that the Treasury is looking again at the issue of company car taxation on ultra low-emission cars, as all the vehicles incentivised by the Government's £5000 grant for clean vehicles are hit by the huge BIK hike. An announcement is expected in the March Budget Statement.

The Ampera's success in the 2013 BusinessCar Awards, where it was voted Green Model of the Year by the readers of the magazine and website, is one of many, with the car also picking up a BusinessCar Techie award last August and also being voted European Car of the Year for 2012.

But it's not the only success story for Vauxhall, a brand that stuck to its stated aims of reducing short-cycle business in 2012, despite that meaning it sacrificed overall fleet market leadership. As pledged, it cut 15,000 short-cycle units from its registrations and is now already reaping the early rewards in RV terms. "2012 was a year for rebalancing the business. It's about balancing supply to the used car marketplace because we were in a position where we selling the wrong mix into used, so we were having to push harder on some models such as Insignia," explains Taylor. "The Insignia's price has improved steadily in the past few months and we expect that to continue."

Taylor claims early indications are of a residual increase of up to £1000 on some models sold at between seven and nine months, although the measures put in place at the beginning of last year only start to show results when the first cars returned to the market in the fourth quarter of last year. 

"There were a lot of people waiting for and expecting us to fall of course. What's good now is that we've implemented the plan and proven with the statistics that we've had an early RV improvement, which has given us the confidence that the plan was working and would deliver results." It has been successful enough for a strategy of Europe-wide reduction in short-cycle volumes to be under development, Taylor claims.