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UK car output slumps on poor demand
The number of cars made in the UK during March fell by 13.3% from a year earlier as both domestic and overseas demand for vehicles declined. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said poor weather had affected production. But it said that double-digit falls in output for the both home market and exports were a “considerable concern”. The SMMT said the UK must stay in the customs union to ensure “frictionless trade”. The number of cars made for the UK fell by 17.7% in March from a year earlier, while production for markets overseas dropped by 11.9%.
Brexit: MPs to debate decision to leave EU customs union
Theresa May is to discover the strength of opposition to a key plank of her Brexit plan as MPs debate the decision to leave the EU customs union later. It comes after ministers were defeated on the issue in the House of Lords and ahead of key votes in the Commons. The PM has ruled out joining a customs union, but Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP, plus a handful of Tories, are in favour of having one in some form. Downing Street called it a “routine backbench business debate”. Mrs May is under pressure from both sides of the EU debate on the issue of the customs union, which allows for goods to be transported tariff-free between EU member states.
Bosch claims breakthrough in cleaning up diesel fuel
Bosch, the private German technology group with €78bn in revenue last year, said it had achieved a breakthrough that “drastically” cut nitrogen oxide emissions for diesel engines. The world’s largest car parts supplier, at its annual meeting on Wednesday in Renningen, promised to end the death-of-diesel debate with new technology to cut NOx by “10 times lower than limits set for 2020”. “There’s a future for diesel,” said Volkmar Denner, chief executive. “Soon, emissions will no longer be an issue.” Mr Denner’s breakthrough claims follow harsh criticism of diesel technology since Volkswagen admitted, in late 2015, to bypassing emission tests with software that tricked environmental authorities into believing its diesel cars were ultra-clean.
Carmakers urged to fit cyclist-detection systems
Car manufacturers have been urged to fit bike-detection systems in an attempt to cut the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured on roads. New standards have been introduced to safety tests that encourage manufacturers to employ technology that brings cars to a halt to avoid hitting cyclists. The Euro NCAP testing process is used to assign star ratings to cars, marking out the safest vehicles on the road. The move represents an extension of auto emergency braking systems (AEB) which can spot pedestrians or other vehicles in the road ahead and take evasive action.
European car sales accelerate, in sign diesel confusion in Britain behind UK demand falling
The collapse in car sales in Britain has been thrown into sharp relief by Europe-wide data showing demand for new vehicles at a near 20-year high. Registrations of new cars – a proxy for sales – across 27 European nations hit 4.27m in the first quarter, the highest level since 2000 and up 0.7pc on the same period last year. However, while all major markets recorded strong growth or only small declines, sales in the UK plunged 12.4pc in the three-month period to 718,500. British car makers have blamed the fall on the “demonisation” of diesel by the UK Government as it cracks down on the fuel which it says is more polluting, along with economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.
MIRROR, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE This is the top reason Brits fail their driving test – and it’s NOT parking error
THE most common reasons for Brits to fail their driving test have been revealed – and they aren’t as obvious as you might think. While Brits certainly aren’t known for their incredible parking skills, tricky manoeuvres weren’t the main reason drivers had to re-sit their test. A recent study, conducted by Warranty Direct, found that the most common reason new drivers would fail their practical test was because they did not properly observe the risks at a junction. Junctions posed a number of issues during driving tests, with many motorists failing when trying to turn right at a crossroads. Drivers were also highly likely to fail their test for not using their mirrors properly when making a turn. While parking manoeuvres weren’t as common, reverse parking did come in third on the list, just above poor steering ability.