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What was the UK’s favourite new car colour in 2017?
Black was the most popular colour for new car buyers in the UK in 2017. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, more than 500,000 black cars (20.3% of new sales) were sold last year. White was the most popular colour in 2016, but has dipped to third place with 19% of sales, with grey in second. The fastest growing colour of 2017 was gold, with demand up 19.1%, although it remained a niche choice with just 0.2% of the market. Top 10: black (20.3%), grey (19.7%), white (19%), blue (16%), silver (10.0%), red (9.9%), green (1.1%), orange (0.8%), bronze (0.5%), yellow (0.4%)
Sturgeon sees ‘golden’ chance to argue for UK to remain in single market
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday there was a “golden opportunity” to argue for Britain to remain in the European single market after Brexit, as no-one had yet demonstrated the benefit of loosening trade ties with the EU. Before publishing a study of the economic impact of Brexit on Scotland on Monday, Sturgeon, whose nationalist SNP runs the devolved Scottish government, said there was no alternative to EU membership that could deliver the same economic benefits. “There is zero credible evidence to suggest leaving the Single Market will bring any benefit to our economy. Indeed, as our analysis will show – the harder the Brexit, the worse will be the outcome,” Sturgeon said.
Volkswagen brand car sales hit record 6.23 million in 2017
Volkswagen’s core autos division increased vehicle sales to a record 6.23 million cars last year, as rising demand for VW brand models in the Americas and the key Chinese market offset a decline in western Europe. Although the emissions test-cheating scandal of September 2015 has cost the German group billions of euros in fines and penalties, it does not seem to have caused major damage to the carmaker’s popularity with consumers. Deliveries rose 4.2 percent in 2017 to 6.23 million Volkswagen (VW) brand cars, the automaker said on Sunday at the Detroit auto show, helped by an expanding line-up of sport-utility vehicles including the all-new Atlas and Teramont models. The carmaker expects to keep growing volume this year.
Britons want to keep European economic model, says Philip Hammond
Philip Hammond has said that he wants the UK to maintain a “European approach” and a European-style market economy in a sign that he does not foresee big change after Brexit. Mr Hammond, the chancellor, told Welt Am Sonntag in Germany that “whatever people say”, the British public did not want to change their economic model. His comments are likely to anger Brexiteers, who presented the vote to leave the EU as a demand for big domestic change, and are a sign that he wants to minimise the areas of divergence. This week the Brexit cabinet committee will discuss areas in which Britain will diverge from the EU.
Late payers leave firms with £4bn tax overdue
Businesses owe the taxman £4.4 billion in overdue corporation tax and VAT, the latest sign that some are struggling to cope with rising operating costs and customers paying late. Corporation tax arrears were £1.9 billion last year, a record high, while £2.5 billion of VAT payments were overdue. Research by Marketinvoice, a small business lender, has suggested that British exporters are increasingly being paid late. The proportion of bills being settled late, and the amount of time taken to settle them, by customers from the United States and European Union rose markedly between 2016 and 2017, Marketinvoice said, based on its analysis of 80,000 invoices.
Smaller companies want clean break from Europe after Brexit
A majority of Britain’s midsized companies want the country to leave the EU single market and the customs union, according to a new poll. The survey, carried out by YouGov for the accountancy firm RSM, found that less than half would opt for the relationship Norway or Switzerland has with the bloc, which includes accepting EU regulations in return for single market access.
The RSM Middle Market Tracker is a quarterly survey of 315 companies with annual turnover between £30m and £300m. It asked companies which trade deal with the EU the UK should aim for after Brexit. Just 22 per cent opted for Norway, which has to accept regulations and pay a contribution to be part of the single market. About 17 per cent favoured Switzerland, which accepts free movement of people and has signed bilateral deals with the EU to give it market access, though it does not have a “passport” to sell financial services throughout the bloc. Another 22 per cent wanted a lighter Canada-style deal. The vast majority of goods would be tariff free but there would be customs controls, and no free trade in services. A fifth (19 per cent) favoured reverting to World Trade Organization rules, an option favoured by some hardline Brexiters. Six per cent wanted to copy Turkey, which is in the customs union only, and 6 per cent favoured another unspecified trade relationship.
Driverless cars race for the million-mile mark
Futuristic images were splashed across the Consumer Electronics Show last week, as the world’s largest tech gathering ogled the concept cars of the coming driverless era. But there was one crucial detail not mentioned in the fancy presentations: the new cars may need to last for a million miles. Durability and longevity will be essential for self-driving vehicles, because they will be part of transport fleets in near-constant use. McKinsey, the consultancy, estimates that by 2030, one in 10 vehicles sold will be used for ride-sharing and that sales of private vehicles will slow as a result.
Diesel car sales slump puts thousands of jobs at risk in UK
Move to electric vehicles and tax increases have dented appeal of diesel-powered vehicles and may lead to redundancies according to experts. Thousands of jobs in the UK car industry are under threat as diesel vehicle sales slump due to tax increases and negative publicity, experts have warned. According to sources, executives are preparing for redundancies, with the rush to embrace electric vehicles adding to the pressure on diesel. One industry source said the focus on electric, allied to a recent tax increase on diesel cars, poses a serious threat to a vehicle type that accounted for nearly 38% of car sales in 2017. “It’s created a cliff edge for diesel. Diesel should have been phased out and electric phased in. Our government has tightened the noose [with a duty increase on diesel vehicles in the budget]. The government should have realised this was not good for employees. In the short term, it will create unemployment.”
Amazon drivers win £20,000 in back pay
Delivery drivers for Amazon are to get £20,000 in back pay because they were wrongly described as self-employed. A union said yesterday. The GMB was preparing to take on employment tribunal case on behalf of a group of Midland-based drivers working for UK Express, a logistic company that delivers for Amazon. It said UK Express Drivers are wrongly defined as self-employed instead of employees, and so were entitled to paid annual leave, the national minimum wage, paid rest breaks and protection from unfair dismissal. An agreement has been reached to avoid a tribunal hearing, with some drivers receiving almost £20,000 in back pay, the GMB said.
‘Hundreds of firms at risk’ if Carillion fails
Crisis-hit construction firm Carillion’s future remained in the balance last night as the Government held last ditch talks on whether to bail-out some of its most troubled contracts. Accountancy firm EY was waiting in the wings to potentially put the 5.2 billion pound ($9 billion) revenue contracting giant into administration as early as today, potentially triggering contagion that could threaten hundreds of its suppliers. Bosses at Carillion appealed to the government this weekend to step in and reduce the burden of a string of failed projects around the country, thought to include three public private partnership (PPP) contracts. Carillion was plunged into crisis last Wednesday when its lenders rejected a business plan presented by the firm, amid suggestions it needed 300m of funding by the end of this month. The banks were expected to meet with Carillion today (Monday) providing the government helped relieve some of the pressure on the firm, the BBC reported. Carillion is working on some of the UK’s largest building projects, including up to 2.2 billion pound worth of contracts on HS2, a 1 billion pound office park around Manchester Airport, an 800m regeneration scheme in Sunderland and the 450m Royal Liverpool Hospital.
1.4m drivers are retrained
A record 1.4 million motorists went on retraining courses after committing driving offences last year. Speed awareness courses were the most common with 1.2 million taking part, the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme data shows. Police forces receive £45 for each person who takes part in a course, which adds, up to about £54 million a year.