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VWLogo3VW reviews plans for the future in wake of emissions scandal

Volkswagen’s senior board is meeting this week with the company’s works council to agree on its future investment and production capacity in the wake of the emissions scandal.

Matthias Müller, VW chief executive and Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the group works council will be in talks over the next 10 days “in order to find a common path for the future of the company”.

Müller said: “In the present difficult situation we must jointly make decisions that factor in economics just as much as employment.

“I attach great importance to the views and experience of our works councils. In light of the changed circumstances, we are facing an ambitious task. We will be prioritizing forward-looking products and technologies. Osterloh and I agree that this is the key factor for reliably safeguarding both the future success of our company and employment.”

It is currently unclear whether the crisis the company is facing will mean redundancies and cancelled model launches in order to save money. VW is currently offering affected customers in the US up to $1,000 in vouchers as a way of compensation and the scandal is expected to cost the company billions of pounds. VW has already set aside £1.4bn due to the discovery of CO2 irregularities on 800,000 vehicles, an issue separate to the US NOx emissions scandal.

Germany’s transport ministry has said Volkswagen is also likely to need to make more than just software changes to nearly a quarter of the 2.4 million diesel cars being recalled in the country. The ministry told the Associated Press on Monday that of the vehicles being recalled for fixes in Germany, the Federal Motor Transport Authority “currently expects that approximately 540,000 will also need hardware changes”. Some analysts estimate the total cost of the scandal to come to over £23.2bn.


DieselNewsEU to tighten rules of ‘real world’ diesel emissions

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association say new tests will phase out diesels earlier than planned.

European Union countries have agreed a compromise deal that would still allow diesel vehicles on the road to emit twice the level of toxic nitrous oxides (NOx) permitted by official limits measured in laboratories after the VW emissions scandal put ‘real world’ emissions into the spotlight.

Currently some diesels are emitting four to five times more NOx than official limits.

By 2020, the emissions from all new models must not be greater than 1.5 times the technical limit – the same rule will apply to all new vehicles from 2021.

Responding to the news, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) which represents firms including Volkswagen, said the deal was ‘challenging’.

In a statement, the ACEA said: “As a direct consequence, a substantial number of diesel models will have to be phased out earlier than planned.


AtYourServiceCar servicing overtakes MoT for workshop bookings

Car servicing has now overtaken the MOT as the biggest driver of customers to workshops.

All-round servicing and ongoing maintenance now accounts for 26% of all workshop bookings to both franchised and independent outlets, representing an increase of two percentage points over 2013.

In contrast, the number of MOT workshop bookings has dropped, with the annual test of roadworthiness for older vehicles slipping to second place and now accounting for just 21% of bookings down four percentage points on 2013.

Workshop activity solely for tyre changes is also down one percentage point to 21%.

The research found that the total number of workshop bookings has declined by 2.4%, from 35.2 million entries in 2013 to 34.36 million in 2014.

The average frequency of workshop visits is now just 1.15 visit per car per year.


BVRLABusinesses deserve a better deal on VAT reclaim, says BVRLA

The BVRLA is urging the Government to support its call for businesses to be able to reclaim 60% of the VAT on hire or lease payments.

Having surveyed a wide variety of companies for their leased business cars’ mileage data, the BVRLA has been able to provide clear evidence that more than 60% of the total miles travelled annually by leased cars is for business use.

At present, businesses can reclaim 50% of the VAT incurred on the finance element of a company car lease or hire, and the European Commission has to approve this ‘derogation’, which requires the UK Government to justify and renew it every three years.

The 50% rate has been set since 1995, and the current arrangement comes to an end on December 31, 2015.

Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said: “The results of our 2015 survey provide robust evidence that the UK Government should now renew the VAT derogation to ensure UK firms leasing cars are able to lawfully and fairly reclaim 60% of the VAT paid on the finance element of hire or lease payments.”

The BVRLA has provided HM Revenue and Customs with the evidence from more than 61,000 leased vehicles used for business and private use.

Between them, these drivers had covered more than 795 million miles in the past calendar year.


PetrolPumpFuel duty cut will ‘benefit the economy’ FairFuelUK tells Chancellor

Hundreds of MPs and the campaign team FairFuelUK have called for a 3p cut in fuel duty, telling the Chancellor that ‘such a cut has been proven will benefit the economy and the Exchequer’.

MPs, together with representatives from FairFuelUK, Freight Transport Association and Road Haulage Association, have today delivered a letter to George Osborne calling for the fuel duty cut.

The letter contained the results from last week’s FairFuelUK survey which shows 75% of drivers said they want a real cut in duty with 92.4% supporting a cut or, as only a last resort, to continue Osborne’s freeze in this levy.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign, said: “The Chancellor knows very well through our extensive empirical evidence that cutting fuel duty is proven to accelerate growth in GDP, it also creates more jobs, helps inflation, increases consumer spending and business investment.

“These benefits have been acknowledged by the Treasury itself plus economic experts such as NIESR, CEBR, IMF and the Bank of England.

“In fact, in April 2014 the Treasury said that low fuel duty actually helps the wider economy and that GDP will rise by 0.5% by not enacting Labour’s previously planned fuel duty escalators, giving drivers more to spend.

“It’s no coincidence the current economic renaissance is as a result of the recent sustained period of lower pump prices.”


RollsRRolls-Royce announce recall – for one car

Another day, another car company announcing a recall.

Everyone seems to be at it these days – Volkswagen, Toyota, Porsche, BMW, Nissan, the list goes on and on.

Those global giants have recalled millions of vehicles over the past few years.

But there are exceptions. And with so many companies asking for drivers to return their cars so faults can be fixed, it appears that Rolls-Royce was feeling a bit left out.

So, the luxury car maker has joined in the latest trend by issuing its own recall – for one car.

The recall notice

In a letter issued by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Rolls – owned by BMW – announced it was recalling a single Ghost , made in 2014, because of an issue with the airbags.

“Rolls BMW of North America is recalling one model year 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost manufactured on January 23, 2014,” the letter reads.

“The affected vehicle has thorax air bags fitted to both front seats that may fail to meet the side impact performance requirements for the front seat occupants. As such, this vehicle may fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 214, ‘Side Impact Protection’.”

A Rolls-Royce dealer “will replace the driver-side and passenger-side thorax air bag modules, free of charge”, the letter adds – It’s probably the least they can do, seeing as the car costs £231,730.

According to the Financial Times , which first reported the story, the affected car had left its factory in Goodwood, East Sussex, in January 2014 but its North American owner had not yet taken delivery.

The issue “was due to the incorrect labelling on one of the airbags”, a Rolls spokesman told the FT.

Rolls, which sold 4,000 cars last year, officially unveiled the Ghost in 2009. The 2014 model boasts a 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12, eight-speed automatic gearbox and can reach 62mph in just 4.9 seconds.

The entry-level car has an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph, which is probably why you need airbags that work…

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Bank of England Inflation Report Overview

Bank1The overview for our last Inflation Report is available on the Bank’s website at:

Posted by Sue Robinson on 13/11/2015