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Diesel car sales to plunge again this year, study warnsBack


Diesel car sales to plunge again this year, study warns 

The worst is yet to come for diesel cars which will see their sales continue to plunge, a study has warned. Aston University predicts they will account for just 15% of the UK market by 2025, down from a 50% peak. Automotive expert Professor David Bailey said diesel’s “slow death” was being driven by “environmental pressures and consumer confusion” . He is urging the government to set up a scrappage scheme to encourage drivers to switch to electric cars. “The time is right for the government to take the initiative and offer up scrappage benefits to those who are prepared to ditch their diesels and switch to electric cars,” he said. The latest figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed sales of new diesel cars fell 17.1% last year as higher taxes and pollution fears hit demand.


Vauxhall plans another 250 job cuts at Ellesmere Port 

Vauxhall is cutting another 250 jobs at its Ellesmere Port car plant on top of the 400 jobs it announced in October. The carmaker, now owned by France’s PSA Group – maker of Peugeot and Citroen – said it needed to “accelerate the recovery of plant productivity”. The Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, which makes the Astra, will move staff from two production shifts to one. The company told the Unite union last week that more voluntary redundancies were now needed.


How does Trump’s schedule compare with other presidents?

US President Donald Trump is under fire for the length of his daily schedule, but he would not be the first commander-in-chief to forgo a nine-to-five routine. Mr Trump takes his first meeting of the day at 11:00 after three hours of “Executive Time”, according to a White House schedule leaked to news site Axios. This is largely designed to accommodate the time that he spends in the White House residence watching TV and tweeting, according to the report. The White House responded that Mr Trump spends this time making important calls and consistently “puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long”. The Axios report highlights a long-standing criticism that Mr Trump spends too much time in front of the television.


Tory chairman Brandon Lewis defends reshuffle

The new Conservative Party chairman has defended Theresa May’s reshuffle, saying it would be like a “breath of fresh air” by the time it is finished. Brandon Lewis said it was a shame that Justine Greening had quit as education secretary, having refused a move to the work and pensions department. Most big names stayed in post and more junior appointments are expected later. The reshuffle was called “embarrassing” and “shambolic” by some Tory MPs, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said. Labour called it a “pointless and lacklustre PR exercise”.

In other appointments:

  • Ms Greening was replaced as education secretary by Damian Hinds
  • Esther McVey was promoted to work and pensions secretary
  • Justice Secretary David Lidington was moved to the Cabinet Office, and will deputise for Mrs May at Prime Minister’s Questions
  • David Gauke replaces Mr Lidington as justice secretary
  • Matt Hancock is culture secretary and Karen Bradley is the new Northern Ireland secretary



The Financial Times


AA ‘astonished’ by employment tribunal motion by former chairman

AA says it is “astonished” that its former chairman who was fired for punching a colleague has filed a motion to take the company to an employment tribunal over his departure. Bob Mackenzie was dismissed in July for “gross misconduct” after a late-night physical altercation with insurance boss Michael Lloyd in the bar of the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey, following an off-site strategy day. Lawyers for Mr Mackenzie have disputed the claims, arguing that the incident was used by AA management as an opportunity to push out Mr Mackenzie following his opposition to a proposal to combine AA’s insurance business with rival Hastings.


The Times


War on diesel is killing sales, says Jaguar

Jaguar Land Rover has launched a withering attack on the government, claiming that ministers’ “demonisation of diesel” was undermining the country’s largest carmaker. Presenting 2017 worldwide sales figures that appeared to show a good year, up 7 per cent to 621,000, the manufacturer with plants in the West Midlands and on Merseyside emphasised that growth was being held back by events in its domestic market. Jaguar Land Rover, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, produces about 530,000 cars from factories in Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood, near Liverpool. About a fifth of those remain in the UK with bestsellers including the Range Rover Evoque, the Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar F-Pace.


Consumer credit boom driven by the better-off

The UK’s rapid growth in consumer credit has been fuelled by the most creditworthy borrowers taking advantage of interest-free credit cards and cheap car finance deals. Some economists and regulators have feared that the 10 per cent annual growth in consumer credit since the start of last year has been largely driven by deeply indebted households, known as “sub-prime” borrowers. Yet new analysis from credit reference agencies by the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, the financial watchdog, shows that the growth has mainly come from those who have above-average credit ratings. The growth in consumer credit has expanded rapidly since 2013 after households began to loosen the purse strings after years of cutting back following the financial crisis.


The Daily Telegraph


Apprenticeship levy is ‘at breaking point’

The controversial apprenticeship levy is facing a growing backlash from businesses, with companies finding a well-meaning policy is being strangled with red tape. Many are complaining the funds raised do not cover training costs and the levy has, in effect, become just another business tax. Launched in April last year, the levy aims to raise £3bn a year to fund better training. Some companies say the maximum allowance of £27,000 per apprentice does not cover the cost of complex or high-level apprenticeships, while others say they will never get out as much as they pay in. Other problems listed by businesses – especially smaller ones – are that it is too difficult to navigate, and that training programmes have not been certified so apprentices cannot be sent on the required courses.


The Daily Mail


BMW drivers voted rudest on the road 

BMW drivers are Britain’s rudest road users, a survey has found. More than half (56%) of motorists polled believe people who own a BMW M3 are inconsiderate. Range Rover drivers were second on the list (48%), followed by Audi TT (43%) owners. Motorists who get behind the wheel of a Ford Transit van were only ranked fifth (36%), despite the often negative reputation of “white van man”.


Spy cameras misreading one million number plates a day: Errors mean innocent motorists could be caught up in police investigations

A network of ‘Big Brother’ spy cameras is misreading 1.2million number plates a day – meaning innocent motorists could be caught up in police investigations while criminals and terrorists escape scot-free. A bombshell report by Britain’s surveillance tsar has warned of problems with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, which senior officers insist is invaluable in preventing and solving serious crimes. Around 9,000 cameras across the country take photos of up to 40million number plates each day. But Tony Porter, the independent surveillance camera commissioner, said that an estimated 3 per cent could be ‘misreads’.


 Motorists warned why they shouldn’t warm up your car engine in the winter

The best way for drivers to start their cars in freezing temperatures has been revealed- and it may surprise some motorists. While car technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the past 20 years, there is still one thing vehicles often struggle with – the cold. After leaving your car out in freezing temperatures overnight it is commonly thought that heating it up by leaving it idle with the engine running is the best thing to do. But this doesn’t actually do your vehicle any good. Idling actually prolongs the warm-up period, Road&Track write. The conventional wisdom that you should idle your car up to operating temperature comes from the days of carburetors, which needed several minutes to get to an operating temperature where they’d run smoothly.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 09/01/2018