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VW considers replacing chief executive Matthias Mueller
Volkswagen has said chief executive Matthias Mueller could be replaced as part of a management shake-up. The scandal-hit German carmaker said it was “considering further evolving the leadership structure”. Mr Mueller became VW chief executive in September 2015 following the diesel emissions scandal. German reports suggested that VW brand chief Herbert Diess would replace him, but the firm said no decision had yet been made. The company said chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch had been talking to members of the supervisory and executive boards about moving or replacing some of them, adding that Mr Mueller “signalled he was open to play a part in the changes”.
High Street stores opening at lowest rate in seven years
New stores are opening on UK High Streets at their lowest rate in seven years, research suggests. The Local Data Company, which studied the top 500 British town centres, found there were 4,083 new store openings in 2017, the lowest since 2010. But with 5,855 outlets closing in 2017, a total of 1,772.
Brexit: ‘Bonfire of rules’ mean more costs than benefits, CBI says
Diverging from European Union rules after Brexit will mean more costs than benefits for British business, a report by the CBI employers’ group says. In a survey of 23 industry sectors, the vast majority preferred continued close alignment with EU regulations. Agriculture, shipping and tourism might benefit, but this was “vastly outweighed” by the impact on other sectors, the CBI said. However, critics said the report just promoted the interests of big business.
Global markets rise as China’s President Xi vows to cut auto tariffs
Global markets reacted positively to conciliatory moves from China on Tuesday, after President Xi Jinping promised to cut automotive tariffs this year. China’s leader also promised to improve intellectual property protection and raise foreign ownership limits within the auto sector “as soon as possible.” Asian shares closed higher, while US stock futures and the dollar rose after the comments. The Dow Jones was trading up at around 2% throughout the day, as fears of a US-China trade war appeared to recede. The UK’s FTSE 100 closed up 1% at 7,266.8 on the day.
‘Huge’ pothole in A34 through Stoke-on-Trent was taking out five cars an hour
Potholes can be a nuisance for drivers at this time of year. However, when the hole is seven inches deep and opens up in the middle of a busy A-road, it is the stuff of nightmares. A pothole in Stoke-on-Trent is believed to have “taken out” five cars in one hour. Police were called to the crater on the A34 on Sunday evening after cars suffered blown-out tyres and broken wheel trims. Other vehicles were forced to swerve around the hole and police officers had to cordon off part of the road to prevent further damage. Last night, the RAC warned that roads across the UK had deteriorated significantly because of the “toxic combination” of freezing weather and torrential downpours.
Shell licensee to float African petrol station business in London
The operator of Shell’s 1,800 petrol stations in Africa is preparing to list on the London Stock Exchange next month ahead of a planned expansion across the fuel-hungry continent. Vivo Energy has held the exclusive rights to sell Royal Dutch Shell’s fuels, lubricants and forecourt services across 15 African countries since 2011 after snapping up the Shell Africa business, excluding South Africa and Egypt. The licensee has grown the group of petrol stations by 500 in the last six years and will expand into a further 9 African countries, including South Africa, through its acquisition of Engen Petroleum later this year.
Car thieves target middle-class areas, as police warn drivers to invest in a steering wheel lock
Car crime in middle-class neighbourhoods is rising, figures have revealed, as police say drivers should buy steering wheel locks and Faraday bags to block radio signals because new vehicles are easier to steal. Research by The Telegraph reveals more than three quarters of investigations into car theft in England and Wales are unsolved and it is new high-tech keyless models being targeted, not older vehicles. Over 78 per cent of cases end in the police failing to identify a suspect, amid claims forces are so stretched they don’t have time to properly investigate car theft.
Tougher rules for boy racers: All drivers under the age of 24 could be barred from carrying more than one passenger in their first two years on the road
Young drivers face tougher restrictions in a bid to reduce the numbers killed and injured on the roads. The move could see all motorists under the age of 24 undergoing six months’ training before being granted a full licence. They will then have to display a probationary P plate for two years and be barred from carrying more than one passenger. Initially the restrictions will apply only in Northern Ireland. But if the scheme is successful the measures will be brought in across the UK. The plan to introduce a ‘graduated driving licence’ based on experience was confirmed by the Department for Transport yesterday.
Incredibly common driving mistake that saw a million motorists fined £60 each last year – and the councils are raking it in
Drivers across the country were handed more than a million fines last year, to the tune of £60 each, for driving or dipping into a bus lane. In the UK’s 20 largest cities, motorists received 1,128,259 penalty charge notices (PCNs) worth £68 million for councils. Insurer RAC put a freedom of information request through to London councils and city councils to uncover where fines are highest – and where they’ve risen the most over the past three years. It found 1,129,613 fines were issued between 2015 and 2017, which amounted to more than £200 million for councils. The motoring giant has now issued a warning over concerns drivers are accidentally falling for confusing or inadequate signage. It’s called on the Government to review national signage guidelines and introduce ‘smart bus lanes’ to make roads clearer for motorists.