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The Financial Times
When Volkswagen was first inundated last year with claims that it cheated on diesel emissions standards, few observers were convinced by the dyke it constructed to try to contain them. The company said the project to circumvent emissions testing rules — which had been pursued over many years on several models — was the work of a small group of engineers. VW retreated significantly from that defence on Wednesday. In its response to legal action by shareholders over its handling of the affair, the company instead suggested that some managers spotted the issues as long ago as 2014 but were slow to grasp their gravity. It said Martin Winterkorn, then chief executive, was so swamped with emails that he might not have read a memo written for him on the issue.
The Daily Telegraph
Petrol prices rose in February, for the first time in seven months, despite the wholesale cost of unleaded fuel calling over the same period, the RAC has said.
Britain’s automotive industry has signalled overwhelming support for remaining in the European Union, with almost four out of five car makers, parts suppliers and dealers wanting the UK to remain a member. Research by industry trade association the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that 77pc of its members said Britain staying in the EU would be best for their business. Less than a tenth of those polled favoured Brexit. Britain’s £69.5bn-a-year car industry is currently enjoying a renaissance, with sales in the UK last year hitting a record 2.6m and vehicle production rising, particularly in the lucrative premium segments.
Wages will rise if Britain votes to leave the European Union and the number of EU migrants coming to the UK falls, the head of the “in” campaign has admitted. Lord Rose, the former head of Marks & Spencer who is leading the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, told MPs on Wednesday that if a British exit leads to restrictions on EU migrants, then “the price of labour will, frankly, go up”.
The chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, which is owned by BMW, has written to all its workers in Britain to warn that exit from the European Union would drive up costs and prices and could affect the company’s “employment base”.
The letter, leaked to the Guardian, is one of six sent by the bosses of each of BMW’s British companies, including MINI, to their staff each warning of the dangers of UK withdrawal. It comes after the government warned that car-makers would be among those badly hit by Brexit in a civil service report. Torsten Muller-Otvos, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, told staff that the decision about whether to remain in the EU would be down to British voters.