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The Financial Times
Renault defies Paris with plan to double Ghosn’s pay – Renault has proposed to more than double the pay for the chief executive Carlos Ghosn despite opposition by the French state. Mr Ghosn, who is also head of Renault’s alliance partner Nissan of Japan, is set to receive a package worth €7.2m in cash and shares for 2014.
Tata Motors eyes $1.2bn rights issue to jump-start India unit and cut debt – Tata Motors plans to raise as much as Rs75bn ($1.2bn) through a rights issue, as it seeks to cut debt and jump-start its loss making Indian car business.
A new class of continental-style “expressways” will be developed as part of an £11 billion roads revolution to be announced next week – The busiest A roads will be upgraded to become “mini motorways” — stripping out roundabouts and traffic lights, introducing entrance and exit slip lanes and restricting bicycles and slow-moving vehicles, such as tractors, to keep traffic moving. Eighteen major roads are expected to be transformed initially, with a further seven projects being considered, The Times has learnt.
Drivers plead guilty online to save time in courts – People will be able to make their plea to thousands of minor offences online rather than attend court, under plans being examined by ministers. A scheme that already covers minor motoring offences such as speeding or driving without insurance will be extended nationally in the next few days.
Facelift for services to break motorway monotony – Motorway service stations will be given a radical facelift under government plans to break the monotony of long-distance travel. A new design panel is being formed by ministers to improve standards at almost 100 sites across the UK.
Driverless cars on road trip to New York – A driverless car has begun a 3,500 mile coast-to-coast trip across the US, the longest trip to be attempted by an autonomous vehicle.
Fixing every pothole would take 13 years – Roads across England and Wales are in such a bad condition that it would take at least 13 years to fill every one of the millions of potholes. A study has found that almost one in six roads is classed as poor, with the backlog of work needed reaching a record total of more than £12billion by the end of last year.
Robots at wheel of growth – The shift to computer driven cars will bring 25,000 automotive jobs to Britain and prevent 2,500 road deaths it has been claimed. If the country could position itself at the centre of the global effort to produce driverless cars, another 300,000 jobs would be created in the wider economy.
Jaguar builds electric car in Austria- Jaguar Land Rover is set to build an all-electric car in Austria. An electric debut would be the latest in a string of high profile launches after its XE ‘baby Jag’ and F-Pace SUV. The carmaker is thought to be devising plans for a small factory in Austria to produce around 10,000 cars a year. JLR is looking to build an electric car in part to sidestep looming European Union emissions fines.
Fiat chief pockets £48m – chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sergio Marchionne is to receive Eur66.4m for the past year. A large portion of the bumper reward comes from bonuses and stock awards linked to Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler, which saw the Italian marque’s share price surge 61 per cent. Marchionne earned Eur6.6m in salary and incentives last year.
The Daily Mail
Drivers being taken for a ride on diesel prices – Fuel retailers are ripping off the public and businesses on diesel charges, according to the RAC. The wholesale price of diesel is 1p a litre more than for petrol, yet diesel is almost 6p more at the pumps, it said.
The Daily Telegraph
Drivers risk £20 fine if they are caught idling – Motoring groups and taxi drivers have questioned the introduction of a £20 fine for stationary motorists who leave their engines idling. The fines can be levied if drivers refuse to switch the ignition off, under rules introduced by Westminster city council because of concerns about air quality.
Fall in car orders sends exports to two-year low – A substantial fall in motor vehicle orders has hit exports and slowed growth in manufacturing output this month, according to the Confederation of British Industry. But carmakers believe the downturn will be short lived they expect a rebound in the next three months.
THINK AGAIN; The Used Car Commission set out to be the car buyer’s friend, but somewhere along the road it got itself well and truly lost. So where to now? Less than 18 months ago, the Government’s consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson launched a Used Car Commission (UCC). Led by the Trading Standards Institute and with many of the industry’s great and good involved, there was every reason to expect a positive impact on the used car trade for buyers. In June last year, the UCC released its report. Its recommendations were published in late October.
The National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) is also on the UCC. Director Sue Robinson told me: “We established that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work because franchised dealers are different to independents who are different again to private sellers. After the UCC recommendations were published, the NFDA sent a used car standard practice to all of our members and asked them to sign up to it, which they all did. We also sent it to Trading Standards for its backing. It hasn’t acknowledged receipt yet.
EU exit ‘could cost UK £56bn a year in 2030’ – Leaving the European Union could cost the British economy nearly £56bn a year, a report has concluded. Research by the Open Europe think-tank found UK GDP could shrink by 2.2 per cent in 2030 if Britain left the EU and failed to strike a deal to allow access to its markets.
The cars running on empty fuel claims – It’s a green age for motoring as drivers demand fuel economy while watching the pennies at the petrol pump. However, some cars are a lot less fuel-efficient than official figures suggest according to tests by What Car?
Ford ‘smart car; adjusts speed after reading signs – Ford is to sell a car that can read road signs and adjust its speed accordingly to ensure the vehicle is not driving too fast. The speed limiting technology can be activated via the steering wheel and briefly overridden by pressing the accelerator.
The Daily Mail
M4 speed trap catches 80 a day – Eighty drivers a day are falling foul of new speed trap on the M4. The cameras on a busy stretch of the motorway have caught 4,500 people speeding in two months, resulting in total fines of up to £450,000.
‘Black box’ in car alerts insurers to crash and saves young drivers life – Black box technology designed to be fitted inside vehicles to help young drivers pay lower car insurance has been credited for saving the life of a 20 year old student, after it sent out an alert that he has been involved in a serious accident.