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Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of several US cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump. Many shouted the slogan “Not my president”. Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman. Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton. He is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
The use of electric car charging points across Scotland has more than doubled in the last year. Chargers were used 26,119 times during August, up from 12,939 in August 2015 and nine times the usage in August 2014, Charge Place Scotland said. Electric vehicle drivers appeared to favour rapid charge points, with many standard charge points not used at all. Recent figures showed there were 3,575 electric vehicles licensed in Scotland, up from 2,050 the previous year.
US inflation expectations rise on prospect of Trump stimulus
One of the most significant market movements in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory was a sharp rise in market inflation expectations, as investors anticipate a new era of tax cuts and government spending in the US. Mr Trump’s campaign message that he will spend $1tn on infrastructure to stimulate the US economy and create jobs is one of his few concrete policy plans and has spurred investors to bet on rising inflation.
Tata Steel is planning to close its UK pension scheme before it has to make a £60m payment due next year to help to plug a deficit in the fund, according to people briefed on the matter. The £15bn British Steel Pension Scheme has been a significant obstacle in the way of a resolution for Tata’s struggling British operation, which was put up for sale this year. The Indian conglomerate subsequently revealed it was in talks with rival company ThyssenKrupp over a possible merger of their European steel businesses.
Oil demand might peak in just over a decade, says Opec
Opec has joined a chorus of energy industry voices saying that oil demand might peak within 15 years, as quicker adoption of alternative fuel cars and more aggressive climate targets look set to bring more than a century of rising consumption to a halt. The forecast is the first official recognition from the producers’ cartel that oil demand, the source of the majority of its 14 members’ revenues, may soon top out, despite predictions that the global vehicle fleet could almost double in 20 years as emerging economies develop.
French anti-fraud investigators have referred Renault to state prosecutors over abnormal emissions of nitrogen oxide pollutants from some of its diesel engines, the government said on Wednesday. The finance and industry ministry said that a file on Renault had been passed to prosecutors while investigations into other car brands continued. “It is now up to the courts to determine what further action to take over the suspected failings,” it said. Earlier this year, three Renault sites in France were raided by authorities as part of a sprawling national investigation linked to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, sparking fears that the emission-rigging case was spreading across Europe.
General Motors will lay off 2,000 employees at two car plants in the US Midwest, the latest sign that the US car industry is suffering from softening demand, especially for some smaller models.GM said in a statement on Wednesday that it will cut the third production shift at plants in Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan early next year. These plants build some of the slower-selling small car models in the GM stable at a time when demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles continues to be strong.
Lookers shrugged off fears of a slowdown in the car buying boom, saying that it had seen little change in the consumer market. The car dealership chain, one of the largest in the country said that profits from selling new cars were about the same as last year, when the country registered more new vehicles than in any previous year. Including aquisitions, those new car profits were 11 per cent ahead in nine months to the end of September. Gross profit from used cars was 22 per cent higher than the previous year and in the aftersales business 24 per cent stronger.
Tesla plans to tap British automotive expertise by establishing a UK base, Elon Musk has said.
The billionaire boss of the electric car company announced the move as Tesla made its first major acquisition, buying German engineering business Grohmann as it prepares to automate its production. “We have a lot of respect for the British automotive engineering talent,” the billionaire said. “Just look at Formula 1 – it amazes me how much British talent there is in that. “We are likely to establish a Tesla engineering group in Britain at some point in the future.”
Detailing the company’s plans for expansion into Europe, Mr Musk said he “did not see” Brexit and the turmoil it is causing as being likely to have a “significant impact” on Tesla’s long-term aims of making electric cars affordable to more people.
Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller and Germany’s VDA auto industry association expressed concerns that the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President could have a negative effect on automakers. Over the past year, Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on imports of cars from Mexico to protect factory jobs in the U.S., potentially forcing German automakers to rethink heavy investments to expand car factories in Mexico. The VDA, which represents carmakers and suppliers including BMW, Volkswagen and its subsidiaries Porsche and Audi and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, warned against increased protectionism by the next president.
“It is to be feared that the United States under a new President, just like China, will mainly focus on their own economies, at the expense of international trade flows and relationships,” the VDA said in a statement today.