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Nissan reports 27% jump in annual profits
Nissan has seen annual profits jump 27%, boosted by better sales in China, the US and Europe. Japan’s second biggest carmaker had net profits of 663.5bn yen ($5.8bn; £4.5bn) in the year to the end of March. But Nissan forecast profits would drop by about 20% this financial year, partly due to currency fluctuations. Earlier this week rival Toyota reported a fall in annual profits for the first time in five years, and warned this year risked being tougher still.
National minimum wage increases could cost jobs, IFS warns
Labour and Conservative plans to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW) could cost jobs, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Both parties plan to raise the NMW significantly if they are elected. The IFS said at some point higher wages would hit employment, penalising workers who are supposed to benefit from higher pay. Labour said its plan would increase living standards, while the Tories declined to comment.
General election 2017: Labour manifesto draft leaked
A draft of Labour’s general election manifesto has been leaked, including plans to nationalise parts of the energy industry and scrap tuition fees. The BBC has seen a copy of the document, which is due to be formally signed off on Thursday.
It contains policies on nationalising railways and renewing the Trident weapons system and suggests Labour will not leave the EU without a deal. Labour would not comment on the leak but the Tories called it “a shambles”.
According to the draft, Labour would:
Volkswagen diesel probe expanded to include CEO Matthias Mueller
German prosecutors have widened their probe into the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal to include Matthias Mueller, who became chief executive just weeks after the scandal was revealed, according to WirtschaftsWoche. The German weekly says Stuttgart public prosecutors have included Mr Mueller in their investigation of possible market manipulation, alongside Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive, and Hans-Dieter Poetsch, the current chairman and former finance chief. Volkswagen declined to comment on the report. Porsche SE did not respond immediately return a request for comment.
Ford says transitional Brexit deal ‘critical’ for UK plants
The European head of Ford has warned the future of its UK operation is dependent on the government securing a transitional arrangement with the EU if the UK leaves the bloc before a new trade deal is signed. Jim Farley, Ford president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told the FT Future of the Car conference in London, the US car company expects the UK and EU to conclude “a very ambitious agreement”. But he warned if a deal was not possible inside the two-year timetable for negotiations, “it’s critical for the future of our investments in the UK” to secure a transitional arrangement.
Time to get switched on to electric vehicles
Total plug-in car registrations for 2016 passed the sector’s 2015 total, while the Government’s pledge to invest £35m in the ultra-low emission vehicle sector will help ensure that development of the UK’s EV charging infrastructure keeps pace. Improvements in battery technology mean that pure EVs can now travel around 100 miles on a full charge, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and range extenders enable vehicles to travel several hundred miles. Choice of vehicle has also improved, with the UK’s 10 best-selling car brands now offering EV options in a range of models, including superminis, large family cars, hatchbacks, estates and vans.
Toyota sees profit sliding 20 percent on U.S. sales incentives, yen gain
Toyota Motor Corp, Japan’s biggest automaker, forecast operating profit for the current year to slide by a fifth due to increased spending to push sales in a slowing U.S. market and the lingering impact from a stronger yen. The prediction of a second straight year of profit decline by Toyota comes at a time when data shows a strong run of U.S. demand for cars seen in the past several years may be ending. The financial setback would pose a challenge to the world’s second largest automaker in sustaining big investments in fast-growing new technologies such as automated driving functions and artificial intelligence.
Insurers clamp down on fraudulent whiplash claims after motorists are fleecing them out of MILLIONS of pounds
Insurance firms are clamping down on dishonest motorists exaggerating their claims to try and win a greater payout.
An increasing number of drivers are making genuine claims but inflating personal injuries like whiplash to try and cash in. It’s adding hundreds of pounds to honest motorists’ premiums and now insurers are fighting back against the fraudsters with a zero-tolerance approach. Using 2015’s fundamental dishonesty ruling, insurers are battling to not only refuse payouts but claim legal costs back from scammers trying to dupe them.