THIS WEEK

When you have gone bust seven times in your history, the City gets a bit twitchy when you deliver bad news, especially if you preface it with positive spin.
So Aston Martin may continue to do good business with the James Bond franchise, but news of a collapse in their sales in Asia combined with a softening in its home market has not pleased the stock market this week. According to analysts, shares initially rose as the company was quite upbeat about its annual profits, but once they studied the figures everything was downgraded and shares have headed south. Unlike a lot of their unsold units.
I suspect it is wishing it never made its stock market debut last year, shares have fallen 80% since that time. Still, they are hoping that the launch next year of the DBX, their first 4×4, will get them out of a hole. At £158,000 a time they probably don’t have to sell too many.

Things couldn’t be rosier for Toyota, however, as they bucked industry trends and announced bumper profits on Thursday. And Inchcape this week reported satisfactory Q3 trading, bolstered by the sale of a number of its dealerships, something that had been widely trailed in the media.

Restructuring might be the way forward for the retail industry in the UK, but BP has put its money into something much more radical. Up until now you may not have heard of MaaS, or “mobility as a service”, but that is exactly what a new app called Whim is offering. Launched in Helsinki it cleverly develop combines lots of new technology to offer clients the cheapest and quickest way to get from A to B.

Offering taxis, public transport, bicycles and even car rental as options, depending upon where the user wants to go. The offering varies from a pay-as-you-go service, to €499 a month for their top of the range, complete transport solution. Automotive News Europe reports that private car use among app users in Finland reduced by a substantial 38%. In theory, they reckon, it could replace car ownership completely. A cheery thought for a Friday afternoon.

Have a great weekend, enjoy your fireworks.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894)
Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.
Roy M. Goodman
I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.
Arthur Hays Sulzberger
Sometimes the measure of friendship isn’t your ability to not harm but your capacity to forgive the things done to you and ask forgiveness for your own mistakes.
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic, 11-07-05
THIS WEEK

Not much to talk about in the news this week really. If you discount the fact that Peugeot and FCA announced their merger this week. Creating the fourth largest car manufacturer, a $50 billion group which is almost as big as anything in the world market, this is a  big deal. And analysts were still working whether it was a genuine merger, or whether one was buying the other. In which case was Peugeot buying Fiat Chrysler or the other way round?

Nothing much more in the news, unless you discount Amazon’s announcement that it is talking to car manufacturers. No manufacturer has been brave enough to admit they have signed up, and some have said they have talked and discounted the idea. The increased digitisation of car sales means that it is hardly surprising that the world’s biggest retailer wants to retail some of the world’s biggest retail products.

Plenty of outsiders have entered this marketplace before, only to be confounded by supply problems and the notoriously difficult part exchange issue. The advent of webuyanycar.com and others has largely solved that problem. And privately most manufacturers acknowledge that they would love a system that does not involve dealers. Mind you, many dealers would love a system that didn’t involve manufacturers so much.

Nothing much in automotive news in the retail sector, if you discount the shock announcement that the senior management team at Lookers was shown the door today. Chief executive Andy Bruce and his deputy Nigel McMinn have announced their departure. This comes after a number of profit warnings this year and the announcement that trading since the middle of September has been dire. Interesting times for the group, especially as they are undergoing a very high profile FCA investigation into how they deal with car finance.

And nothing else really in the national news, if you discount the announcement of a general election on December 12. I am slightly sceptical that we will see a government returned that has any sort of working majority, I suspect it will be even more divided than it is now, but nevertheless they have to do something to break this awful deadlock.

Have a great weekend, not much sport on either (after tomorrow morning is over, that is) – come on England!

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them.
Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet
Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
George Iles
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow (1857 – 1938)
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
THIS WEEK

I don’t know about you, but I love reading the reader’s comments under some articles. Once you filter out the trolls, and the fact that any item can be turned into a Brexit vs Remain debate, there are some very interesting insights. For instance, the news that has got everybody excited this week is that Tesla is surprisingly, back into profit. After reporting a thumping great loss earlier in the year, they reckon they made nearly $150 million in the third quarter. But, as many commentators point out, (I was reading the article in The Times) with a manufacturer that moves up and down as quickly as Tesla, taking a snapshot of one quarter is not an accurate reflection of the success of the business. Nevertheless, profit is profit.

And profit is not something that most of the other manufacturers are talking about, unless they combine it with the word “falling”. Because everyone is concerned about the slowdown in Chinese growth. Volvo is one exception, reporting a 90% jump ytd, but Daimler, in particular, is concerned about the future, and seems unconvinced about the commercial benefits of electrification, even if the world is moving inexorably in that direction. So they, along with Renault, have “trimmed” their forecasts.

Having said all of that, it is not all doom and gloom (unless you are looking at the UK market). The European new market enjoyed one of the best bounces in sales ever in September with sales 19% up. However we do need to temper this with some historical background. Last year sales were an eye watering 23% down, largely because of WLTP woes. The aforementioned Tesla, however, enjoyed a fantastic month, recording almost half of the electric vehicles registered across the EU, boosted by the Model 3. Staggeringly, it only just failed to make it into the top 10 selling models in Europe, with 17,500 units it was 11th. Elon Musk must be bursting with pride.

Have a great weekend, make sure the TV is warmed up for 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The first duty of love is to listen.
Paul Tillich (1886 – 1965)
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Maya Angelou (1928 – ) 
This became a credo of mine…attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
Bette Davis (1908 – 1989)
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Mae West (1892 – 1980), Klondike Annie (1936 film)
THIS WEEK

Whatever else is happening in the world, and let’s face it there is plenty at the moment, a decision by the FCA to ban interest linked commissions on finance agreements will have serious ramifications. The Financial Times reports that it will save consumers £165 million a year, or you could look at it another way – it will cost the motor industry a similar amount. You cannot fault their logic, if a sales executive is rewarded for selling higher interest products, interest payments are likely to go up. Combine this with their very wide ranging investigation into Lookers and you see that this is an industry under fire. Falling sales, a rapidly changing market and a complicated economy are bad news, losing one of the few areas of profitability won’t make it easier.

Electric vehicles have not had it easy either. They are in the news for a number of reasons. The market in China has dropped by 34%, for instance, which shows how vulnerable such sales are to falls in subsidies. Maybe this is why James Dyson decided to pull the plug on his own electric car project, because making such vehicles is definitely not easy. As Harley-Davidson has also found out this week, (though an electric Hog just doesn’t sound quite right, does it?) as they had to halt production after finding a serious glitch.

Two French manufacturers have been making headlines too. In an interview with Citroen U.K.’s MD, Karl Howkins, it was suggested that the danger of recession could cause sales figures to drop by as much as 25%. Something which would definitely put their dealers at risk. At the same time Renault UK said it is considering a restructure of its network, not to reduce it but to make it more efficient with a hub and spoke structure. No doubt if apocalyptic predictions for the car industry come true over the next year they will be much restructuring anyway, not least from casualties, as 2020 promises to be a difficult start to the new decade.

Have a great weekend, not much going on so you might as well watch the rugby. Come on the northern hemisphere!

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.
Madeleine L’Engle (1918 – ), The Arm of the Starfish, 1965
Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.
Frank Tyger
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), letter to Count Diodati, 1807
THIS WEEK

What great news. Car production rises for the first time in many months in August, up over 3%. Admittedly this comes from a very low base, but in view of the turmoil everywhere else, any growth has got to be welcomed. But, before you get too carried away, we are still 17% down ytd.
Growth is something that Aston Martin would certainly welcome over the coming 12 months. Especially, as it has been reported, as they have opted for what might be called “speculative” borrowing. This has come in the form of a bond issue which, as I read it, will pay out at 12% if they have a cracking year with the launch of new models, and revert to 15% if the news is not so good. Such levels of interest on corporate debt are unusually high and not surprising their credit rating is not exactly on the crest of a wave at this moment. For a company that has gone bust something like 7 times in the past 100 years, we all hope that history is not repeating itself.

Nissan are not exactly enjoying the best of times either. And news today that the chief executive of Suntory (some of us will remember them as the sponsors of the world Matchplay golf tournament at Wentworth many years ago) has turned down their approach to be their new chief executive. Apparently there are two other high-level Japanese candidates in the frame, but they were hoping to have tied it up by now.

BMW is also having issues, but they have said, apparently, that they have no interest in settling the cartel case the European Union has brought against them and four other manufacturers. This is around delaying the introduction of emissions technology, charges they will robustly defend. Though insiders suggest they are not completely confident as they have laid aside 1bn euros to pay any fines.

Good luck for September, we hear that some brands are struggling under the new RDE regulations to produce enough compliant vehicles. Others, it is rumoured, are producing plenty of vehicles, just not the ones people want to buy. Testing times, still only a couple of days to go.

Have a great weekend, and a great finish to September.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
James M. Barrie (1860 – 1937)
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)
Hold a true friend with both hands.
Nigerian Proverb

THIS WEEK

Unusually today, The Times is carrying a number of motoring headlines. And interesting reading they make too.

It is not a good time for Nissan, and the revelation today that Carlos Ghosn’s successor as Chief Executive has had to repay nearly £400,000 does not make good reading. You will recall that Mr Ghosn was charged with numerous financial crimes. Having his successor admit that he has overpaid himself looks careless at best.

As we speed, or rather limp, into the September car market, it seems scarcely credible that Tesla should have been number three in car sales last month. Or rather its Model 3 was appropriately the third bestselling model in the UK market in August. It beat the Ford Focus, the Mercedes A-class and the Vauxhall Corsa, only being outsold by the Fiesta and Golf. There may be some structural reasons for this, not least the withdrawal of the £2500 subsidy for plug-in hybrids, but nevertheless it is a staggering achievement. Especially when you compare it to diesel sales which are now making up only 27% of registrations – still, at least some of them are being sold.

Tesla also announced this week that it was moving into the insurance business. Elon Musk has complained for some time that premiums on Tesla’s are too high, and they reckon they can undercut the market by 20 to 30%. This is partly because of the way the car operates, providing enormous amounts of data back to the manufacturer on every single one of its drivers. If you can accurately assess the way an owner drives, you can accurately assess their risk on the road.

Interestingly, Warren Buffett commented on the move, as he owns one of the largest car insurers around, saying that “the chances of an automaker becoming a successful insurer are about as good as a car insurer becoming a successful automaker”. Interesting quote, but I would say that running an insurance company with pretty perfect data is a lot less complicated than making a successful car in today’s environment. Mr Musk has surprised us before, is he about to do so again?

Have a great weekend – time to snuggle down, light a fire and watch some cricket perhaps?
THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
Malcolm Forbes (1919 – 1990)
Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.
Judy Garland (1922 – 1969), to her daughter, Liza Minelli
Make a decision, even if it’s wrong.
Jarvis Klem 
Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new.
Og Mandino (1923 – 1996)
THIS WEEK

I guess we all hate regulation, and the motor industry has had to suffer more than its fair share of it. But normally, often grudgingly, we get to grips with it and make sure that whatever body is looking after us, we comply with their requirements. Which makes a survey from Mannheim this week a little surprising and indeed shocking. Because the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test that come into force this weekend are designed to continue the work started with WLTP last year. Over 20% said that their understanding of the new regulations was poor, and about half that number did not know anything about it.

What is clear, however, is that these tests are going to come as a bit of a shock to many. Previously low emitting cars are now going to be potentially vilified, customers are going to have to face up to the fact that their gas guzzlers are also serious pollution emitters. Most questioned in the survey reckon that car supply will be impacted, much like the regulations did in the last quarter last year. Whether RDE or the current economic situation, and dare I say it, political situation, has the biggest effect we will probably never know. But it certainly doesn’t look an easy September to be heading into.

And certainly not with car production down another 10% in July. Another few months of this and we won’t have any cars to produce at all. Though there was a ray of light on the horizon, with news that South Korea and the UK had signed an agreement that would ensure they would continue to trade freely  even if the UK leaves the European Union at the end of October. Current trade between the two countries is worth nearly £15 billion, so it is significant, particularly for the motor industry. Manufacturers like Bentley were said to be delighted.

Have a great weekend, the cricket’s back next week if you can stand the excitement.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

My whole career can be summed up with ‘Ignorance is bliss.’ When you do not know better, you do not really worry about failing.
Jeff Foxworthy
Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.
Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937)
Art may make a suit of clothes: but nature must produce a man.
David Hume (1711 – 1776)
The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.
Martina Navratilova (1956 – )
THIS WEEK

On a completely different note to my normal newsletter, you have to ask sometimes what car manufacturers are up to. They have produced supremely complicated, sleek, efficient (especially if you believe all their tests) computers on wheels. And the ability for all of us just to walk up to the car press a button and gain entry is almost magical.

Except for months, if not years, there have been reports that these keyless fobs can be bypassed. And indeed a report in The Times today, based on research by Thatcham, suggests that well over half of current models are still vulnerable. Really? Isn’t it about time they started coming up with a solution?

Personally, I leave my keys in a metal box at night, as I know the system cannot be tricked that way. Thieves use a combination of devices to “extend” the range of your fob from inside the house so that the car thinks it is next to it. It is actually a pretty simple piece of technology in today’s terms. And it does strike me as complacent that almost no manufacturers have come up with a way round this problem.

I know cars can easily be driven away. My wife dropped me off the other week and it was only when she came to park the car that she realised she didn’t have the key fob. She could not turn it off without the key, so what could she if I was nowhere to be found? Luckily she spotted me, and all was well. The cars would appear to be very happy to drive off even if the key is out of range. Strange, 21st-century problem, but surely the motor manufacturers can do better?

Have a good weekend, better not take your umbrella out tomorrow, it may not last very long.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Life improves slowly and goes wrong fast, and only catastrophe is clearly visible.
Edward Teller (1908 – 2003)
The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)
My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892
To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
Jack Handey (1949 – )
THIS WEEK

It has not been a good week for the motor industry. Unless of course you are VW or PSA. Both of them recorded good profits this week, and show that presumably they are on the right side of the curve of innovation, cost-cutting and producing the right product at the right time.

Which contrasts with some other manufacturers. Read these headlines in the last couple of days “Ford profits drop sharply on global restructuring costs”, “Aston Martin shares tumble after slashing forecasts”, “Nissan to cut 12,500 thousand jobs as it seeks to revive business”, “Jaguar Land Rover swings back into red as sales fall”, “Renault hit by sluggishness in France and emerging markets”, “Daimler posts €1.6bn quarterly loss as auto industry slows”. Need I say more, need I explain more?

So why the difference? Well VW’s profit rise is put down to really strong performance in its Porsche division and sales of their larger SUVs – these have gone through the roof. So their product development is in line with customer expectations. And PSA has clearly benefited from their takeover of Opel, something that many in the industry were sceptical about. With new models and tighter cost controls they are clearly doing something right as the profits they announced this week are their highest ever reported. So in an increasingly crowded automotive marketplace there are some winners. But sadly, plenty more losers.

Have a great weekend, the Test Match may be over but there is still some amazing action to see in the Tour de France.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The computer is a moron.
Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005)
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.
Ernest Benn
In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)
If all the world’s a stage, I want to operate the trap door.
Paul Beatty
THIS WEEK

In case anyone thought that data breaches, even when carried out at a personal level, were viewed as trivial and of little consequence, a case today suggests otherwise. A motor industry worker has not only been jailed for 6 months but ordered to pay a massive £33,500, which may come as a shock to some. His crime? Taking data regarding customers body repairs and passing them on to a claims management company, presumably for an intro fee of some sort. If he fails to come up with the money then his sentence will be extended by 12 months. No laughing matter, but customers alerted the firm in question because of a significant increase in complaints about unsolicited claims management calls. So they looked and quickly found out why.

Tesla has suffered an embarrassing week in the States, with the press carrying details of alleged poor practice at their manufacturing centre in California. Faced with massive production targets last year, they apparently set up temporary production lines. 12 months later these are still rumoured to be in temporary tents, rather than under permanent cover. The report also suggests that production workers are buying electrical tape in Walmart and using it tape back on components that have fallen off or have split. This comes in the wake of the news that in a recent customer survey Tesla was 51st out of 51 manufacturers for reliability. Still, on the bright side, the only way is up.

Teresa May seems to have got her cheque-book out, and Jaguar has certainly benefited from a £500 million loan guarantee to persuade them to build electric vehicles in the UK. Of course, under EU rules state aid cannot be given, but loans can be guaranteed. One might wonder, cynically, whether there was any mechanism in the future, provided we were out of the EU of course, to write these loans off. I have no idea, and I’m sure many will tell me that is simply not possible.

Have a great weekend, I hope you enjoy golf, there’s plenty of it on the box.

THIS WEEK’S JOBS
Here are some jobs from the past ten days. Check these out and see if there is anything tempting. Click on the link to apply immediately through our site. The situation is changing the whole time and if any link refuses to work, it is probably because it has already been filled and removed. Check out all our jobs at on our Jobs Page

Latest Jobs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks.
Eric Sevareid
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.
William Gibson (1948 – )
Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.
Paul Valery (1871 – 1945), Tel Quel 2 (1943)
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com