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A leading analyst has predicted that Google and Apple will become leading players in the automotive market, supplanting the more established marquees. A leading analyst, who did not wish to be named because of his closeness to traditional manufacturers said that ‘the car industry is very alive to and very aware of the impact of Google and Apple’.
An MPs’ report has concluded that advances in motoring technology could outpace Government road safety measures. The House of Commons transport committee said that the increase in automotive technology has meant that transport safety has become an ‘increasingly complex area’, and concluded that the DfT would need to develop a comprehensive strategy to capitalise on new technology.
The number of motorists forced to rely on roadside assistance crews to replace flat tyres has quadrupled in the last four years because manufacturers no longer supply spare wheels as standard. RAC figures show that last year there were almost 120,000 call-outs made to repair punctures, a figure equalling almost nine tenths of the total number of call outs. The RAC says that the move away from spare tyres is potentially dangerous if a motorist broke down on a ‘smart motorway’ with no hard shoulder.
Quindell has begun unpicking the knots from its past spree of acquisitions, selling its investments in a car repair service at a £2m loss and paying $1m to settle a legal case that had accused it of unjust enrichment.
Sales of new cars in the UK have hit a significant milestone, recording three continuous years of growth. The official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that 76,958 cars were registered in February, an increase of 12 per cent on the same month last year and taking the year-to-date performance to a rise of 8.3 per cent. February’s sales were driven by fleet buyers, with registrations up 19.9 per cent, while the number of private buyers rose just 3.3 per cent.
Peugeot has spruced up its Partner Tepee. It is a popular model and as such the changes have been small. The front end has been refreshed, and it now comes with new colours and alloy wheels. The most significant changes are on the inside. The interior has been trimmed with new materials, and now features a 7 inch colour touchscreen. Additional equipment includes the adoption of city brake technology, a reversing camera and grip control, to help the car on slippery services.
Motorists are to be given a guaranteed 10-minute ‘grace period’ in which they will avoid a fine after their parking ticket has run out. The additional time will be given under new laws designed to help local shops. It is hoped that the initiative will prevent councils from using parking fines as a ‘cash cow’.
Ray Massey notes that the best-selling car of the month was the Ford Fiesta, which sold 4,096 units, 900 more than the second most popular car – the Volkswagen Golf. David Raistrick, UK Automotive expert at Deloitte said that it was a ‘positive result for 2015 so far’. ‘The run of monthly comparative growth began back in March 2012 and has now reached three years without, on the surface, any immediate signs of coming to an end,’ he added.