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FTThe Financial Times

BMW revs up number of Mini models – BMW is aiming to bring new models of its Mini to the British brands Oxford plant over the next few years, as the company’s £750m investment plan starts to bear fruit.

Councils slow to cut business rates – Only one in 10 councils have used the powers given to them by the coalition [in 2011], to cut business rates to help companies, according to freedom of information requests by a Tory MP… Margot James, MP for Stourbridge, received 191 responses from local authorities across the country to her question about whether they had offered discounts.

Businesses upbeat about recovery, BCC survey finds – Britain’s businesses are upbeat about the economic recovery, according to a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce. The 25-year-old quarterly survey shows the main indicators for both the manufacturing and services sectors returning to pre-recession levels. But of the 7,400 respondents – the vast majority with fewer than 500 employees – warn lack of access to credit could be holding back growth.

Companies & MarketsRAC to promote black box for cars – Yesterday, the RAC said it would begin selling telematic tracking devices, similar to those used in aircrafts, to its 2.5m members – in a move that represents the UK’s biggest entry into a fast-growing technological battleground for the motor industry… [The black boxes] can track driving habits and speeds – and can collect evidence in case of an accident. Insurance companies say black boxes can reduce premiums by providing safe, legal driving.

US safety regulator fines GM over recall questions – The US’s road safety regulator yesterday delivered its strongest public rebuke so far over General Motors’ handling of a botched ignition switch recall when it called the company’s failure to answer scores of questions promptly “deeply troubling”. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was levying the maximum available fine – $7,000 per day – on GM for failing to provide answers to a third of the 107 questions it sent the company in March. The questionnaire was due to be completed by April 3.

The Times

Cars, exports and the road to recovery – Whenever there is a hint of triumphalism in Westminster and Whitehall at the renaissance of the British motor industry, Tony Woodley, the former ge4neral secretary of Unite, likes to offer a correction. “It is not the British car industry,” the veteran trade unionist says. “Vibrant as it is, it is a car industry in Britain”.

The Daily Telegraph

Who would pay £5,500 for a rusty, tatty, Fifties wreck with only three wheels? – It’s a far cry from the executive models BMW is known for but someone was prepared to pay £5,500 for this tatty bubble car. The three-wheeled vehicle – a 1959 BMW Isetta 300 – has spent the past 26 years in a barn. Its body is covered in rust, the interior is falling apart and the engine does not start.

The Independent

RBS advising clients to use zero-hours contracts – The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is advising hundreds of businesses across Britain to draw up “zero-hours contracts” for their employees, potentially making thousands of people’s jobs less secure.

The Guardian

Osborne announces export credit scheme to boost UK trade – Banks will have access to a Bank of England facility to make it less risky for them to finance exports under a new scheme to boost Britain’s trade announced Osborne yesterday.

UK scheme not working – EU Commissioner – The Government’s scheme to track youth unemployment is “not sufficient”, the European Commissioner for employment has said. Laszlo Andor said youth unemployment was too high and the government’s Youth Contract, which has been championed by Nick Clegg, was not doing enough to tackle the problem.

Daily Express

EU plot to axe British Number Plates – British car number plates could be outlawed in a European Union vote next week. The move would give officials in Brussels powers to set a standard design for vehicle registration plates in all EU member states.

Daily Mail

Weak demand from Europe hits exports – Exports of British goods have crashed to the lowest level for more than three years amid weak demand from Europe, according to the latest figures. The Office for National Statistics said sales of goods stamped ‘Made in Britain’ fell 1.6pc in February to £23.5bn – the lowest level since November 2010.

The Mirror

Sales are on a roller – Rolls-Royce is in the fast lane after posting a near 40% surge in sales. The luxury car maker sold 897 vehicles worldwide in the first three months of the year, including 400 in March alone.

 

 

Posted by Sue Robinson on 11/04/2014