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Rolls-Royce is cutting more than 200 management posts as it winds up the first stage of a radical transformation programme, bringing to almost 4,000 the number of jobs lost at Britain’s flagship engineering company in less than two years. Employees were told last week of the latest departures from middle management ranks across the group, part of a wide-ranging restructuring launched by Warren East, who was appointed as chief executive in 2015 to revive the aero-engine maker after five profit warnings since 2014.
Supporters of the three century-old union between Scotland and England cannot say they were not warned. Before the EU referendum, Scottish National party leaders had made it very clear they would consider a vote for Brexit as grounds to revisit the question of Scottish independence. The manifesto on which the SNP government won a landslide re-election just a month before the EU referendum insisted that Scotland would have the right to demand another vote on independence if it were to be dragged out of the EU “against its will”. So it should come as little surprise that the June 23 result has revived uncertainty about the constitutional future unity of the UK that was supposed to have been settled by Scotland’s first independence referendum just two years ago.
Urgent action is needed to stop a new generation of touchscreen entertainment systems in car dashboards from causing more deaths on the road, according to road safety campaigners. Manufacturers including Fiat, Toyota and Honda have released models this year that allow motorists to check apps such as Twitter and Facebook on the go. Next year Ford and Nissan will start selling cars that allow drivers to connect their smartphones to touchscreen displays. Campaigners claim that screens the size of small TVs pinging with updates from phones and social media are a potential death trap. “This is an area the government should be taking very seriously,” said Kevin Delaney from the Institute of Advanced Motorists. “We need a short, medium and long-term strategy otherwise in ten to 15 years we will be talking about a much more serious problem.”
A year on from the “Dieselgate” scandal that engulfed Volkswagen, damning new research reveals that all major diesel car brands, including Fiat, Vauxhall and Suzuki, are selling models that emit far higher levels of pollution than the shamed German carmaker. The car industry has faced fierce scrutiny since the US government ordered Volkswagen to recall almost 500,000 cars in 2015 after discovering it had installed illegal software on its diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. But a new in-depth study by campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) found not one brand complies with the latest “Euro 6” air pollution limits when driven on the road and that Volkswagen is far from being the worst offender.
Brexit has marked the end of cheap petrol as the weak pound sends prices back up, the AA warned today. Its figures reveal after year-on-year cuts in pump prices , this month is the first in three years where millions of motorists will be squeezed. For not only is petrol up 1.59p compared with last month it’s almost a penny dearer than this time last year. Diesel car drivers have been hit the hardest paying 1.88p more than in August and 2.65p more than September 2015.
Carmakers are shifting their research centres to eastern Europe following the Brexit vote to lower costs and maintain unfettered access to European markets. Recruitment firms are on the lookout for skilled staff and senior executives who can lead research and development teams in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. DHR International, a recruitment firm with offices in 25 countries, said a drift towards eastern Europe in recent years had accelerated since the referendum as carmakers weigh up the costs of remaining in the UK.
The firm’s comments follow a letter from the Japanese government saying that firms based in Britain would be forced to consider switching some or all of their manufacturing to the continent unless the UK secures a deal with Brussels that includes access to the free market and free movement of labour.
Audi’s head of technical development will be suspended this week as part of the investigation into an emissions scandal, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported citing sources. Investigations by Jones Day have shown that Stefan Knirsch, who is a board member at the Volkswagen Group subsidiary, knew about the use of cheat software in 3.0-liter diesel engines and gave a false promise under oath, the newspaper said on Sunday. Knirsch has already been asked to clear his desk, it said. Audi has admitted that its 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine was fitted with emissions-control software, deemed as illegal in the U.S., where the scandal has engulfed VW Group.
Spokesmen for Volkswagen Group, Audi and Audi’s works council declined to comment.