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Brexit: UK sets out plans to replace all EU laws
Thousands of EU laws on everything from workers’ rights to the environment are to be transferred into UK law as the country gears up for Brexit. Brexit Secretary David Davis said the Great Repeal Bill would allow the UK Parliament and Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland administrations to scrap, amend and improve laws. It would also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Councils ‘face funding gap’ to fix roads
One in six roads across England and Wales is in such a bad state it must be repaired within the next five years, according to local authorities. The Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey (ALARM) found that 17% of roads were in “poor” condition. The government is planning to invest £1.2bn in roads this year, which includes repair and maintenance. But authorities say it will take an average of 12 years and £12bn to bring the local network “up to scratch”.
Parts maker gives approval for investment after Brexit
One of Europe’s biggest players in the automotive supply chain, which is going through the Continent’s biggest flotation of the year, has committed itself to keep investing in a post-Brexit Britain. Francisco Riberas, founder and chief executive of Gestamp, who is selling his family’s controlling stake as the company goes through a €3.5 billion initial public offering in Madrid, said it would remain in the UK because it needs to stay close to the big car plants of Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan.
Car insurers make drivers pay for loyalty
Car insurance companies face new regulations after figures revealed that customers were being penalised for loyalty. Research showed that the gap between average premiums and the lowest prices made available to drivers who shopped around had widened over the past 12 months. Drivers who automatically renew their cover were being hit hardest by a general increase in the cost of insurance, the study found. Auto-renewal quotes can be up to 20% higher than those given to new customers.
Job vacancies outpacing applicants
Britain’s booming jobs market is getting stronger with companies creating new positions faster than they can be filled, the online jobs search engine Adzuna said. The number of advertised vacancies rose by 3.5% from January to 1.23 million last month, up 0.9 per from last year. The rise in vacancies had put jobseekers in the driving seat, Adzuna said, although wages were not yet fully reflecting the change. Advertised wages improved by 0.3% between January and February to an average of £32,520 as “monthly wage growth started to pick up speed [but] wage inflation is not running at the same speed as vacancy growth”, the jobs site said.
Digital driving licences on your phone
Motorists will get digital licences on their smartphones by the end of next year and driving tests will be modernised to prepare for driverless technology. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said that the digital licence service would be tested this summer. Oliver Morley, the DVLA chief executive, has previously posted an image of a prototype on Twitter, showing a licence in the “digital wallet” of an iPhone. He insisted that robust security measures would be used to prevent the licences from being faked. A spokesman for the DVLA said that it was too early to speculate on the legal status of the document, which would not replace the physical driving licence.
Audi to buy luxury car rental startup Silvercar
Audi has offered to purchase premium US car rental service Silvercar as it seeks to expand its presence in mobility services and apply the start-up’s software expertise to other platforms for car-sharing. Silvercar, founded in 2012, is an airport car rental service exclusively featuring silver Audi A4 models. The Austin, Texas-headquartered company now operates in 15 US cities. The two companies declined to give details on the transaction size, but said the deal is expected to close in the first half of this year.
Car tax scam tries to trick people into opening this email and handing over their bank details
Motorists are being warned about an email scam doing the rounds where fraudsters pose as the DVLA. Tricksters are urging unsuspecting Brits to hand over their bank details, claiming they are due an unclaimed “over-payment fee”. The email also states that the refunds are time sensitive, so UK drivers should “claim now” to avoid missing out, reports the Express. One particular email states that the recipient has an outstanding vehicle tax refund of £399.53 from an overpayment. It reads: “Refunds are time limited, please use the link below to complete your refund now. “The email contains a picture of the green DVLA (Driver and vehicle license agency) logo and even carries a “Not spam” warning, urging people to mark it as safe so the message transfers to their inbox.
London mayor Sadiq Khan announces new vehicle emissions checker to combat pollution will be released later this year
The London mayor along with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo have unveiled a new vehicle scoring system. The Clean Vehicle Checker will show drivers in both cities how much toxic nitrogen oxides, or NOx, new cars emit to encourage people to purchase “cleaner” cars. Consumers will be able to type in the model of the vehicle they’re considering and find out the details of its on-the-road emissions as an alternative to tests from official manufacturers. Each model of car will be allocated a score based on the air pollutants they release in real-world, on-road conditions. The checker will be available online this autumn.
Stress-free driving from driverless cars will improve the quality of people’s lives, says the SMMT
Driverless cars will be transformative for six out of every 10 people in the UK, according to new research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT). It has carried out a study of 3,641 UK consumers to assess the impact of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), and said the technology will offer freedom to some of society’s most disadvantaged. Automatic braking and parking, as well as a car’s ability to self-diagnose faults were cited as aspects most likely to reduce stress, which was the biggest appeal of owning one of these vehicles among all respondents. Some 57% of those surveyed said they felt the technology would improve their quality of life, rising to 71% among 17-24-year-olds.
Uber announces electric car expansion in London in effort to fight air pollution
Uber will start expanding its electric car presence in London in order to fight the growing air pollution in the city. The ride-sharing app already has a fleet of 50 electric Nissan Leaf cars on the roads that can be rented out by drivers. These will be joined by a further 100 manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland. Uber says it will also begin installing rapid charging points in central London that will be dedicated for use by Uber drivers. And finally, the app itself will be changed to allow any drivers piloting an electric car to get trips which take them near a charging point.
The Daily Mirror
The car sticker that stops you getting a £117 penalty fine if you’re driving in France
British holidaymakers driving to France this year are being warned they must display an emissions sticker on their vehicle to avoid a £117 on-the-spot fine. A new law, which came into force earlier this year, means that drivers heading to Paris, Lyon and Grenoble are now required to show a £3.60 sticker on their windscreen – regardless of how long they’ll be in the city for.
The Daily Mirror
FROM THE US…
Trump’s Climate Order May Reverberate in Car Industry
President Donald Trump signed an executive ordered Tuesday that’s aimed at rolling back a series of climate regulations put in place by former President Barack Obama. The measure is aimed mostly at rules governing coal-powered plants, but its potential impact could be felt by the auto industry. Although Trump’s executive order is unlikely to directly affect auto companies, it does contain language that directs federal agencies to abandon the use of a measurement that was intended to calculate the potential negative economic impacts of carbon dioxide emissions. Under Trump’s new directive, agencies would only consider the positive economic benefits and job creation of potential regulations with little consideration of possibility of environmental harm.
Source: The Detroit News
Ford to Expand U.S. Production of Trucks and S.U.V.s
President Trump’s goal of stimulating growth in the American auto industry is getting a big push from the seemingly insatiable appetite of consumers for more trucks and sport utility vehicles. On Tuesday, Ford Motor became the latest car company to announce major investments in its facilities in the United States, prompting Mr. Trump to hail the move as another milestone in his efforts to support domestic auto manufacturing. But the decision by Ford to invest $1.2 billion in three Michigan locations is more about America’s love affair with pickups and S.U.V.s than about economic policies put forth by the Trump administration.
The New York Times
Easy Come, Easy Go: Volkswagen Overtaken By Toyota
By the end of last year, Volkswagen Group’s dearest wish was fulfilled, and VW was declared world’s largest automaker – at least officially. Two months into the new year, it looks like the win may already be slipping through Volkswagen’s fingers Arch nemesis Toyota Motor Corp reported today global production numbers nearly a quarter million ahead of Volkswagen.
Toyota’s worldwide production (including Daihatsu and Hino) grew a whopping 9.4% in the first two months of this year. Volkswagen suffered a nearly 10% decline in its core market China in January and February. Stronger sales in Europe and the U.S.A. could not make up for the Chinese contraction.