Many of you were probably brought up on the BBC TV programme Tomorrow’s World. I know I was and I loved it. And from time to time the BBC replay editions of the program to see what scientists were predicting about today. Some turned into reality, like the growth of the PC. Some looked like they had, emissions technology, and some were wildly off the mark. Whatever happened to paper knickers and bikes that floated on water – just two predictions that sunk without trace. TW is returning to our screens, Hooray! And scientists are continuing to make predictions.

One of those relates directly to our industry, Wood MacKenzie, the oil consultancy has been widely quoted in a report published this week. They say that peak oil demand is expected to arrive around 2036, considerably earlier than most of the big oil majors have been predicting. A combination of improved fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles are expected by then to play an increasingly important role in transport. In addition, a number of countries such as Chile have committed to 100% renewable energy by 2040 (that is only 20 years away) so maybe predictions are right. Though others are less sure and reckon that a technology that is so good will always be around if it is cheap enough.

Land Rover’s technology is not what you would call cheap, and if it does not work then customers get mad. There have been rumours of reliability problems for a while, so reports today in the Daily Mail did not come as a complete shock. A driver in Birmingham got so upset about the problems with his new car that he had it sign written and parked outside the dealer. The signs warned customers of the problems he had experienced. An interesting article in Car Dealer Magazine covers the problem, and discusses the legal situation of both dealer and  customer.

Both sides are probably feeling extremely frustrated by the situation, even more so if it is caused by a basic manufacturing fault rather than something the dealer or the customer has done. We can’t tell because naturally none of us have seen the vehicle and know what has gone on. It has not just happened in our industry – Persimmon Homes, the housebuilder, suffered a similar problem on one of his estates in the West Country recently. Recent purchasers, disgruntled by the after sales service (in new houses it is getting snaggings sorted) put posters up in their window imploring others not to buy on the estate. I suspect that in both cases direct customer action has resulted in swift action from the sellers as well. Not least because both stories went national. If it works, expect to see more of this type of customer direct action in the future.

Have a great weekend, now all the other sport has stopped we can enjoy the Open. Come on Rory.


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It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930), (Sherlock Holmes)
It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.
Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954)
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.
Rita Rudner
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Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)
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