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Osborne claims success on economy but admits tough times ahead
George Osborne hailed the strength of the British economy at the weekend as reports show rapid growth in wages, improved business optimism and a “sugar rush” of consumer spending. But the good news for the chancellor was clouded by the uncertainty hanging over the global economy at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, forcing him to acknowledge that the future is likely to be more difficult.
Online shopping boom leads to record increase in vans
The boom in online shopping and revived construction activity has led to record levels of investment in vans and trucks, as British businesses enlarge their fleets.
Finance for commercial vehicles on lease and hire-purchase agreements rose 10 per cent to £6.5bn in the year ending in August, according to the Finance and Leasing Association, a trade body.
Volkswagen Begins Recall Of Cars In China
Volkswagen has announced the recall of 1,950 diesel vehicles in China, marking the beginning of its efforts to remove defeat devices from 11 million of its cars worldwide. The devices were first discovered in September, plunging the carmaker into a scandal which has seen its CEO forced to resign and its reputation severely damaged.
Volkswagen said the China recall applies to 1,946 Tiguan sport utility vehicles and four Passat B6 sedans, all of which were imported from abroad. The firm has acknowledged a technical solution for the removal of the devices is still in development and has not yet been given approval from the Chinese authorities.
Aston Martin announces ‘meaningful’ job cuts
Aston Martin is planning “meaningful” job cuts as part of a restructuring that will involve the British luxury carmaker expanding into electric and “crossover” sport utility vehicles. The company’s chief executive, Andy Palmer – appointed just over a year ago – is trying to turn around the loss-making carmaker, which saw its sales nosedive after the 2007-08 financial crisis.
Road frauds fuel rise in ‘dash cams’
The number of motorists using dashboard cameras to film their journeys has doubled in a year amid escalating concern over insurance fraud, according to research by the RAC. The study suggested that 2.9 million drivers have installed a “dash cam” to record events on the road ahead. Nine per cent of motorists questioned routinely filmed their journeys, up from five per cent the year before.
Don’t forget they are car salesmen
You won’t have heard of Paul Willis. By the end of the week, the managing director of Volkswagen UK will be hoping you won’t ever have to hear from him again. Yet assuming that Mr Willis survives his ordeal, he can look forward to some good days ahead. With customers forced back to the showrooms in next year’s recall of 1.2 million VW diesels, it will be like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel for smooth-talking salesmen. Want a complicated resetting of the software and hardware in your ageing and probably dirty diesel, sir, madam? Didn’t think so, sir. Madam, here’s a brand new car with strictly verified emission figures and it’s got all the state-of-the-art infotainment and parking sensors. And I’ll tell you what, we’ll give it you for exactly the same monthly payment as your old one. Yes sir, it is what my boss calls a nein-brainer. Remember when Toyota was brought to its knees amidst the nine million worldwide recalls crises of 2010? In 2015, no one sells more cars than Toyota.