News For daily automotive news visit www. am- online. com/ news McLaren to name three dealerships in the UK British- based performance sports car manufacturer to have just 35 outlets worldwide By Rob Golding McLaren has chosen three UK dealers to sell its MP4- 12C high performance sports car which goes on sale next year. The Woking- based manufacturer has set up an international network of 35 dealers to handle next- year's launch. The UK locations are expected to be in London, Manchester and Birmingham. There were more than 600 names on the original worldwide list of potential dealers which was whittled down to 300 before 150 were interviewed. Half went as far as submitting a business plan before the choices were made. Very few know if they have been chosen as one of the partners for the small global network. They will all be notified over the next six weeks and then the names will be known. HR Owen and Sytner could both be potential groups that would fit with the McLaren franchise. McLaren plans to do things differently in the way that all brands do. But the intention is to make little fuss for the car in the showroom and lots of fuss for the owners. Aftersales zone managers will be on- call 24 hours a day as well as ' flying doctors' who will fly anywhere in the world if an issue cannot be resolved locally. The primary qualifications for dealers were financial strength, supersports experience, great CRM systems and " alignment with our way of doing things". Antony Sheriff, the ex- Fiat chief executive and McLaren managing director, says as soon as a car is delivered, a complete set of replacement parts will be delivered to that dealer's warehouse. " We want to be sure our owners never have to wait for a new headlamp. When they need it they get it. There is very little point in us beating ourselves up over the feel of a switch in the 12C if we have not taken the trouble to ensure the owners are looked after." He says the really important thing about setting up to supply and service a £ 160,000 carbon- fibre two- seater with drive train and handling modelled on the Formula One cars, is the relationship with the driver which could last 20 years if handled right.
New car market Aftersales conference News Showroom AM contacts Used car market News digest Recruitment MoT to target cars' electronic systems The Retail Motor Industry Federation ( RMI) has warned that a strengthening of European Union ( EU) minimum road- worthiness test standards could widen tests carried out under the UK's MoT. In a comprehensive upgrade, the EU Council of Ministers agreed that " modern electronic systems be included in the list of items to be tested." This change and others will have to be introduced by December 2011. The changes will not yet involve a compulsory electronic diagnostic, with testers plugging into a car's systems and checking computing functions and micro- chips, but RMI MoT chairman John Ball says this will come eventually: " Electronic systems will have to be tested at some point". However, the latest EU- mandated changes insist on checking electronic stability control systems, anti- theft devices, electrical connections on tow bars, and a rather vague insistence on checking " electromagnetic interference suppression". Ball said the changes would increase the cost of the MoT. By Tim Smith commercial director of GForces, the web management specialists SEO are three little letters that equate to the most powerful and cost effective marketing strategy at your disposal. Search engine optimisation is the bedrock of online marketing. Without a decent SEO strategy your website will be digital driftwood floating around in an ocean of information. The higher up the search result page your site appears, the more prospective customers will visit your domain. A long- term strategy needs to be pursued to achieve successful SEO results and you need to guarantee that your website is relevant for the keywords that you are most likely to convert from. Focusing on good ' organic' search- engine ratings, rather than just paying for a sponsored link will bring better long- term results. Dealer Marketing Magazine says organic clicks trump Pay Per Click ( PPC) by 500% - so good search rankings can generate five times the traffic from the same keyphrase. That's not to say PPC is ineffective. It needs to be used tactically rather than for the day- to- day product and services your dealership provides. Quality SEO pays for itself. Search engine optimisation Advertisement feature Telephone: 0845 658 9285 Website: www. gforces. co. uk To read the full story click here Electronic systems will " have to be tested at some point"