Martin Ward, manufacturer relationships manager for Cap HPI, talks SMMT Test Day North, an off-road Suzuki test and a Spanish 'lads' weekend.
To Wetherby for the annual Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) Test Day North, where it organises a really good day with the majority of manufacturers bringing their latest models.
Press members take them for a test drive, and it all works well. It’s nice and local and gives the chance to chat and catch-up with what’s going on in the motor industry.
Took the long trek down to Cardiff for a Suzuki off-road test day, and a day of trekking in All Grips.
We took the cars from the luxury of Vale Resort, through some fantastic scenery of South Wales and then into a forest where we put the budget-priced Suzukis through their paces.
The small five-door hatch Ignis was much better than we thought it would be on loose gravel and mud, and the Vitara lived up to expectations.
Then it was the turn of the Jimny, which has hardly changed in nearly 30 years. What a good off-roader it is too, and such a good price for this small four-seater, two-door runabout.
Every home should have one, just in case. Suzuki is taking fleet seriously, and its range should appeal to a wider fleet audience.
Down to Nerja, Spain, for a motor industry ‘lads’ weekend, but the participants are hardly lads any more.
Some still sell cars for a living, and every year we go, it seems to get harder for them.
This year, the conversations were all about chasing endless manufacturer targets and trying to achieve what they committed to at the beginning of the year.
They spoke of the pressure to sell finance, especially to the manufacturers’ preferred finance company, or in-house, or company-owned finance company.
Add the fact that new car sales are falling month-on-month and it’s obvious my old mates are really struggling to keep their leaders happy.