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FTThe Financial Times

Suppliers see silver lining in the Volkswagen scandal

Delphi Automotive, Dürr and Murata Manufacturing might not be household names.

But they are part of the web of suppliers to a company that in recent months has been regularly hitting the headlines: Volkswagen. Europe’s largest carmaker was rocked by a scandal last September when it admitted installing software-based defeat devices in its diesel vehicles that enabled cheating in official tests for emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides.

Volkswagen labour boss dismisses ‘unrealistic’ productivity goals

The head of Volkswagen’s powerful labour council has dismissed attempts to increase productivity as “unrealistic”, underlining the challenge managers face as they shake up the German carmaker in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. VW’s new management is trying to use its worst ever crisis as an opportunity to boost sagging profitability after years of relentlessly pursuing scale. The group admitted last year to employing defeat devices that cheat on emissions tests in 11m vehicles worldwide.

UK insurers to publish payout details for first time

The UK insurance industry will on Tuesday for the first time reveal the proportion of claims that result in payouts. The data, compiled by the Association of British Insurers, will show how many claims were successful in the motor, home and travel insurance categories. The move is part of a push to improve the industry’s image, which many people inside and outside insurance see as a weak spot.

Electric cars to be allowed in bus lanes

Electric car drivers will be allowed to travel in bus lanes as part of plans to boost usage of low-emission vehicles in England. Free parking spaces for plug-in car owners and streetlight charging points are also set to be introduced.

The government awarded cash to four areas which successfully bid for a share of £40m funding. Transport secretary Patrick McLaughlin said the councils had shown “exciting, innovative ideas” for electric cars.

Ford pulls out of Japan and Indonesia

US carmaker Ford has said it will exit Japan and Indonesia blaming poor sales and market conditions.

The company said it would close all operations this year as there was “no reasonable path to profitability” in the two countries. The move comes after rival US car firm General Motors last year said it would pull out of Indonesia.

In 2015, Ford sales accounted for just 0.1% of the Japanese market and only 0.6% in Indonesia.

The Guardian

UK manufacturers suffer further drop in orders, CBI survey shows

UK manufacturers have suffered a further drop in orders this month, according to a poll that suggests the slowing global economy is hurting demand for exports. The latest snapshot of industry from the CBI showed order books deteriorated again in January, at a faster pace than December and more sharply than City economists had been predicting. But the survey of 465 businesses also showed that investment intentions for the next 12 months had improved and that employers expected to recruit new staff over the coming three months, having put hiring on hold during the last quarter.

No interest rate rises just yet, says Bank of England policymaker

Now is not the time for an increase in interest rates, a leading Bank of England official will say, as she admits that many of the forecasting models used by policymakers have “not been working very well”.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Kristin Forbes will argue that although the jobs market is now “stronger” than recent pay growth figures have suggested, it would be premature to raise interest rates from their historic lows at this stage.

The Times

Old-style garages on a road to nowhere

Record UK car sales could spell the beginning of the end for many of the traditional independent, under-the-arches motor garages, as owners of technologically advanced vehicles rely on the service centres of main dealers.

According to the National Franchised Dealers Association motor showrooms around the country need to recruit 15,000 workers within the next year to cope with the fast-shifting automotive retail market.

UK economy grew by 0.5% at end of 2015, say economists

Britain is due to get an indication of the domestic economy’s resilience — or otherwise — to global turbulence with the release of GDP figures on Thursday.

Despite a rout in commodities prices and turmoil in financial markets, the snapshot of official economic figures is expected to show that growth continued at a modest pace at the end of 2015.

Economists are forecasting that the data will show that the economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the final quarter of last year, according to a poll by Reuters.

The Daily Telegraph

Four in every five sets of traffic lights should be removed, report claims

Four in five sets of UK traffic lights should be torn down to reduce travel delays and boost the economy, a leading think-tank has claimed. The proliferation of traffic lights, speed bumps and bus lanes seen in Britain in recent decades is “damaging to the economy”, the report from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) finds. It estimates that a two-minute delay to every car journey ends up costing the UK economy about £16 billion every year.

The Independent

Electric cars: UK towns receive share of £40m fund to promote plug-in vehicles

Four towns and cities have been given a share of a £40m fund to promote the uptake of plug-in electric cars. Local authorities in Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London successfully bid for money to invest in the technology, the Department for Transport announced. They set out a number of proposals, such as building street lights that double as charge points and making 25,000 parking spaces free for plug-in car owners, saving commuters up to £1,300 a year.

Other suggestions as part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme include ensuring ultra-low emission vehicles (Ulevs) have privileges such as access to bus lanes.




Posted by Sue Robinson on 29/01/2016