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Tuesday’s BriefingBack

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The British car industry has set out its overwhelming opposition to a UK exit from the EU with a report detailing the potential damage to the £60bn sector.

“Europe is fundamental to the current and future success of the UK automotive industry,” it will say, according to documents seen by the Financial Times. “For UK automotive businesses large and small, it is critical that the UK has a strong relationship with Europe.”

More than 90 per cent of companies surveyed for the report, produced by KPMG and commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said leaving the EU would hurt their business, while 75 per cent said an exit would have a negative impact on future investment.

“There is a united front across the industry on this,” said an executive with knowledge of the report, which will be released on Wednesday morning. “The EU provides substantial and crucial support to the sector.”

The UK’s car industry, which accounts for more than 700,000 jobs, has bounced back strongly since the financial crisis and is set to break a four-decade long production record by 2017, thanks to billions of pounds worth of new investment in factories.

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AEP: Saudi financial crisis ‘could leave oil at $25’ as contractors face being paid in IOU’s

Saudi Arabia faces a vicious liquidity squeeze as capital continues to leak out the country, with a sharp contraction of the money supply and mounting stress in the banking system.

Three-month interbank offered rates in Riyadh have suddenly begun to spiral upwards, reaching the highest since the Lehman crisis in 2008.

Reports that the Saudi government is to pay contractors with tradable IOUs show how acute the situation is becoming. The debt-crippled bin Laden group is laying off 50,000 construction workers as austerity bites in earnest.


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Fiat Chrysler shares have fallen sharply on the Milan stock exchange after media reports that it could face a sales ban in Germany over accusations that it cheated emissions tests.

Its shares fell as much as 5% in early trading before recovering slightly.

At the weekend, Germany’s Bild newspaper said the country’s regulators had found evidence of emissions-cheating software in Fiat cars.

Rival VW has already been engulfed by a similar test-cheating scandal.


Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, plans legal action against Volkswagen over the firm’s emissions scandal.  lancaster_vw_milton_keynes

It said it had been advised by lawyers that the company’s conduct “gives rise to legal claims under German law”.

Volkswagen admitted last year that it had installed secret software to cheat US emissions tests.

The move, from one of VW’s biggest investors, is the latest in a flood of legal actions over the scandal.


In other news

Google has announced their new interface for your car- Android Auto.

What is it? It’s an infotainment display, using an in-dash touch screen display which goes beyond google maps to include apps for making calls, sending messages and playing music while leaving all dashboard functions available. Sound is sent via USB, so avoids the loss of quality that comes with Bluetooth and calls are supported through Bluetooth hands-free.

However, at present, it is only Google approved apps that can work with this interface.

To date, a total of 40 car manufacturers are selling new cars around the world, including the UK, with Android Auto support.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 24/05/2016