From the chair: August 2020

Whither the UK motor industry? SMMT car registration data shows that for January to June 2020, new car registrations were half the corresponding figure for the first half of 2019, and if June 2020 improved to 65% of the 2019 level, this is certainly the very best hope...

From the chair: July 2020

There’s a new normal shaping the motoring world and how journalists and PRs react to it and one another. Motor shows seem to be dying faster than the fashions of the human models used to adorn the stands as the traditional calendar is not just screwed up and thrown...

From the chair: June 2020

This week we should have been enjoying the famous Western Group PR Driving Day, but instead we are all suffering to various degrees from the lingering effects of the Coronavirus-19 pandemic. In just over two- months our motoring world has ground to standstill....

From the chair: May 2020

A few months ago, no-one could have accurately predicted the volcanic social upheaval now shaking itself through Britain, the rest of the world and our particular automotive industry. Vehicle production stopped, roads emptied, showrooms closed and motorsport become...
From the chair: April 2020

From the chair: April 2020

The annual Western Group of Motoring Writers PR Driving Day has been cancelled for 2020, writes Robin Roberts. This tough decision to cancel the event scheduled for 3 June 2020 has been taken only after a lot of heart-searching in light of the very latest...
From the Chair: March 2020

From the Chair: March 2020

The motor industry has been dealing with exhaust waste since the 1970s but another issue is now rolling into view. The catalytic converter which largely took care of hydrocarbon emissions also obliged refineries to remove lead, a known toxin, from petrol. Used as an...
From the chair: February 2020

From the chair: February 2020

The quickening approach of pure battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles is providing a further challenge to PRs and agencies. We simply don’t have the infrastructure to support a big ev-car or van launch with most hotels running to just a couple of recharging points which...
From the chair: January 2020

From the chair: January 2020

The Christmas “post” always includes one piece of mail with a shorter life-span than a turkey – the annual SMMT yearbook for the coming 12 months. It is only a matter of hours or days before this hardy annual goes soft and become outdated. In fact it has been...

From the chair: December 2019

Concern about the diminishing levels of investment in UK car manufacturing has, together with other Brexit uncertainties, made 2019 a particularly introspective year. It is perhaps constructive then to look at France which has a car market of similar size to the UK’s....
From the chair: November 2019

From the chair: November 2019

The annual Western Group of Motoring Writers PR Driving Day is scheduled for 3 June 2020. This internationally unique event was given the go-ahead by members of the 36-years-old group when attending their ordinary and annual general meeting hosted by Mitsubishi Motors...

From the chair: October 2019

The motor industry is facing doom and gloom or opportunity and expansion, depending on your viewpoint. Whatever happens with Brexit at the end of this month and its implications for Britain, a bigger sea change for the industry has been underway for some time....

From the chair: September 2019

Electric cars are a subject on which most people have an opinion, but not always founded on facts so it was interesting recently to hear the views of a specialist: Jon Hunt is manager of Alternative Fuels at Toyota. Toyota is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer by...

From the chair: August 2019

Our writing world is facing another crisis, and it’s not Brexit. While Governments, interest groups and manufacturers talk up and talk down the possibilities, probabilities, likely or unlikely events surrounding 31 October, I’m looking further ahead. What are we going...

From the chair: July 2019

As we pass mid 2019, the car manufacturing scene in Europe presents mixed messages.  Ford announced the closure of its Bridgend plant, grim news, but not entirely unexpected. The contract to make petrol engines for JLR is running out and on the continent other...

From the chair: June 2019

In a few days we will be holding our immensely popular and unique PR Driving Day.  A lot has happened since the first one was held over three decades ago and while most of the changes we have witnessed each June usually mean new faces and some old ones missing, I...

From the chair: May 2019

The motor writing world seems to be constantly in turmoil with changes to staff, contracts and commissions, new projects and publications, and the whirlwind of social media blows across the industry. But it has been very satisfying to see a rise in applications for...