The Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) has announced a new chair at the organisation’s annual conference.

Sam Watkins is currently director of sales and marketing at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and has been involved in the motor industry for more than 20 years. Prior roles for Watkins include as business strategy and contract development manager at Bruntingthorpe, and contract hire and leasing manager at the Fiat Group.

Watkins succeeds Glenn Sturley, who has held the role for two years and has been a member of the VRA since its inception February 2007. He will continue to be a board member.

Watkins said: “I’d like to start my time as chair by thanking Glenn wholeheartedly for his service to the organisation over the years. He has done an excellent job.”

The VRA seminar itself, on “The Challenges of 2019,” attracted more than 120 delegates to Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre, Solihull. Speakers at the event included Mike Allen of Zeus Capital on prospects for the used car market in 2019; Jonathan Butler of Geldards on the latest ASA developments for dealers; Philip Nothard of Manheim on fuel trends; Tom Wood of Cazana on the future of used car pricing; Owen Edwards of Grant Thornton on dealer economics and Paul Marchment of Arval on hydrogen cars.

Watkins said: “The seminar was very well received and is a good illustration of the important role that the VRA holds across the sector, providing essential and timely information that simply allows remarketing professionals to do their job more effectively.

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“As we stressed at the Seminar, it is possible that next year will be the most volatile we have seen in the motor industry for a long time with a wide range of unpredictable factors likely to affect our industry, and we will be working hard to keep members continually updated.”

In May the Vehicle Remarketing Association encouraged manufacturers to provide used vehicle dealers with a checklist of detachable equipment that is essential for sold cars to function.

The VRA cited smart keys, charging cables for electric and hybrid vehicles and removable tablet displays as examples of components whose presence should be checked at the moment of sale.