Motor Spy

Website links sellers and buyers – but not
financiers

New website JustGoodCars.com promises to save motorists
“hundreds of pounds” and to “transform [the] used car market” by
linking sellers directly with buyers, said CEO Phil Dale. So far,
so unsurprising. The site already lists over 1m vehicles for sale
with each model having a dedicated page.

 However, visitors clicking on the “Finance & Loans”
tab on any given car’s page are directed to a variety of different
sites – not many of them with an immediately obvious link to any
recognised car finance house. Examples in the “London” region
include, among others, the BBC, the Financial Ombudsman’s website,
and UBS’s Jersey office. While we’re sure UBS is involved in car
finance – somewhere down the line – we can only imagine what
response a punter wishing to finance his new Hummer through the
investment bank would receive.

‘Denial’ is not a river in Egypt

Everyone, but everyone is aware that the greatest challenge of
our times, the single greatest threat to the human race’s continued
existence is global warming, aren’t they? Well, it seems that the
marketing departments at certain manufacturers didn’t get the memo
– or that they did, and are blithely ignoring it in their
advertising. So while the CSR department of, say, Ford is
reiterating the carmaker’s devotion to green production and more
efficient engines and so on, the marketing department at Ford India
green-lit an ad showing a Ford Endeavour SUV  breaking through
a snowbank, with polar bears looking on. As the website
climatedenial.org, which collected together several examples of
such advertising, says, “it is a remarkable piece of hubris to use
the symbol of the international climate change campaign to
publicise a gas guzzler SUV”. Then there’s the US Jeep ad
captioned: “The end of the world is never nigh.” Well, they have
chutzpah, at least.

BEN ball a glittering occasion

The 73rd annual ball in aid of BEN
was a hugely successful fundraising occasion, making £270,000 for
the motor sector charity, with over 1,000 guests in attendance at
Grosvenor House in London. A Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 HSE 2008MY
was auctioned on the evening, raising £32,500 for BEN, and other
substantial donations were also received.

 On a sadder note, we offer our condolences to the family
and friends of Alan Pond, who has died unexpectedly. He was
president of BEN from 1991-1993 and credited with helping BEN
secure its long-term future in the midst of a recession. Gerard
Barclay
, chief executive of BEN said: “We will always remember
with gratitude his leadership during his presidency when he saw us
through one of the most difficult periods in the fund’s
history.”