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Business fears cut to working hours – Hyundai Motor has managed to boost productivity despite cutting working hours, thanks to increased investment in facilities. Its union is now negotiating with management to cut working hours further.
Rolls-Royce and BMW’s first-half sales hit record – Rolls-Royce and BMW notched up record sales in the first half of the year, underscoring the strength of demand for luxury cars. Sales at Roll-Royce, part of the BMW Group, surged 33 per cent over the past year, led by European demand. The British marque, the biggest-selling global car brand in the €200,00-plus segment, sold 1,968 cars in the first six months of 2014, up from 1,475 a year previously, the company said yesterday.
Car sales leave trucks by the wayside in China – China’s automotive industry continued to power ahead in the first half of this year, but one sector has been left behind Sales of trucks and buses fell in a development analysts blame on commercial vehicle makers’ greater exposure to slower economic growth and stricter emission standards. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported yesterday that first-half sales of cars rose 11 per cent to 9.6m units. Industry analysts had expected China’s car market would cool after growing 16 per cent tot 18m units last year, making it 10 times bigger than India’s.
Bentley big in Beijing – Bentley is on track for record-breaking sales in 2014, after reporting soaring demand in China and the Middle East for its luxury cars. Bentley Motors, based in Crewe, Cheshire, but owned by Volkswagen, said it had delivered 5,254 cars in the first six months of the year, a 23% increase on 2013. Demand was strong across all regions, especially in China and the Middle East, where sales increased by 61% and 27& respectively.
Vauxhall’s 550 new jobs in UK – Vauxhall have reported 550 new jobs are being created. Around 300 of these will be at the company’s Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire – where the Astra is made — to bring the number of employees there up to 1,900. Another 250 workers will be taken on at Vauxhall’s Luton plant, where the Vivaro van is made. The workforce there will thus be increased to two shifts and the workforce boosted to 1,450 employees.