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Carmakers slide as icy weather thwarts buyers
US carmaker shares slipped yesterday after harsh winter weather kept customers from dealerships and subdued results from the country’s largest manufacturers. Ford fell two per cent, while Chrysler and GM increased 5.6 and 4.2 per cent respectively.
CBI urges Osborne to help midsized businesses
Chancellor George Osborne should focus on boosting medium sized businesses in his final budget before the general election, according to leading business organisations.
Bentley unveils its ‘Aston killer’
Bentley has Aston Martin squarely in its sights with the unveiling of its EXP10 Speed 6. The Speed 6 is a departure from Bentley’s usual GT fare of the Continental in that it is a more focused sports car. According to Bentley’s chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer, the ‘show car is a ten out of ten’, with Bentley likely to put the car into production by end of the year. The name pays homage to the Speed Six, one of the most revered pre-war Bentleys.
App stops drivers’ calls
An app has been launched which disables a smartphone when it detects the owner is driving. Iced costs £10 a month and uses the smartphone’s GPS tracking technology to measure speed. If the phone is travelling at more than seven miles-per-hour the app locks the phone and prevents use. The app however will not prevent the phone being used through a car’s Bluetooth hands-free system.
Volvo tests ice warning software
Volvo is developing a system which enables cars to detect water or ice on the surface of a road, before sending a warning message to other vehicles in the area. A pilot scheme of 1,000 cars will take place in Sweden and Norway this year, with Volvo hoping that the next generation of the XC90 will come with the feature as standard.
Apprentices cash in
Apprentices earn almost £4,000 more than graduates in their first year of work, and unsurprisingly very few regret not going to university. Those who completed on-the-job training had an average starting of £18,463, compared with just £14,734 for university leavers, according to new research.
Aston Martin to enter the SUV market
Aston Martin has decided to target a whole new market segment by unveiling a new family-friendly, electric-powered crossover. The DBX aims to draw in ‘rich young families’ with a sale target of 5,000 a year. Chief executive Andy Palmer told crowds at the Geneva Motor Show that Aston Martin is to retain its exclusivity but insisted that it can ‘grow carefully and organically by making this fantastically strong brand relevant to buyers who would have never before considered an Aston Martin’.