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Honda chief ousted over airbag fiasco
Honda’s chief executive, Takanobu Ito, stepped down yesterday, in the aftermath of a loss of share in the key US market and concerns that the company’s reputation for quality had been damaged after it was forced to recall products five times in the same year over an airbag scandal. Mr Ito will be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo, who will take up the role in June. The carmaker will seek to regain ground in the US market with the Pilot model and the Acura NSC supercar.
Thousands more pensioners stripped of licence to drive
figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that have found that the number of pensioners losing their driving licences has risen by nearly a third over the past four years. The figures reveal that almost 14,000 people aged over 70 were banned from driving on health grounds last year, up from just over 10,000 in 2011, despite claims that pensioners are the safest drivers on the road.
Better finance deals help drive UK car sales
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has revealed that new car registrations in the UK increased by 9.3 per cent last year to reach almost 2.5 million. The surge was way above the SMMT’s forecast a year earlier of a 1 per cent rise, and it was the best performance for the industry since 2004. SMMT figures also showed that the second-hand car business was healthy last year, as sales were up 3.5 per cent to 6,980,595. Separate data from the Finance and Leasing Association supported the SMMT’s numbers, showing the percentage of private new car sales financed through dealerships by FLA members reached a new high of 76.1per cent in the 12 months to December 2014.
Opec may call emergency meeting over oil prices
Nigerian oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has said some members of Opec have discusses holding an emergency meeting should crude continue to slide, in a sign of the impact the oil price is having on their respective economies. The drop in crude, almost 50% lower than in June last year, has caused petrol prices to fall for motorists, but has been widely dreaded by the oil industry. Opec is scheduled to meet in Vienna in June, but if an emergency meeting is to be held prior to this, in the next six weeks or so, all 12 members must agree.
Above inflation increase takes minimum wage to £6.70 an hour
The national minimum wage is set to rise by 3 per cent from £6.50 to £6.70 an hour in October, well above the 1.1 per cent inflation rate. The move was recommended to the government yesterday by the Low Pay Commission.