Archives for August 2013

ONS publishes NEET data

The Office for National Statistics has reported that for the April to June 2013 period, there were 1.09 million young people (aged from 16 to 24) in the UK who were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), virtually unchanged from January to March 2013 but down 104,000 from a year earlier.

For the period April to June 2013, the percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 15.1%, unchanged from January to March 2013 but down 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

For the period April to June 2013, just over half (53.6%) of all young people in the UK who were NEET were looking for work and available for work and therefore classified as unemployed. The remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.


New fines introduced for motorists

The police now have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for motoring offenses that previously would have required a court hearing. Fines of £100 and three points can be issued at the road side for a variety of offenses including; driving too close to the vehicle in front, queue jumping and hogging the middle lane of the motorway. Some existing fixed penalties, including using a mobile ‘phone and not wearing a seat belt, have also risen from £60 to £100. These measures should mean the police can now focus on inconsiderate and aggressive drivers and help reduce some of the main frustrations for most responsible drivers.

Paul Willcox appointed as new Managing Director for Volkswagen Group UK

Following the recent announcement that Simon Thomas is taking up a new position in Germany with the Volkswagen Group, it has been announced that Paul Willcox will succeed as Managing Director of the UK operation.  Paul Willcox is currently the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Nissan and will be joining the Volkswagen Group in September.

July car market grows 12.7% but van sales drop 2.6%

The car market for July has risen again for the 17th consecutive month. The SMMT figures report that total new vehicle sales were 162,228 in July, up 12.7% (18,344 units) on the prior year. Year to date the market remains up 10.3% over 2012 at 1,325,851 units to end July. This further increase in growth has resulted in a revised market forecast of 2.216 million units by the year-end.

By contrast the new van sales in July dropped by 2.6% over 2012 to 18,417 units in the month. Year to date remains slightly ahead at 151,594 units, up 1.6% over the prior year. The SMMT are predicting a strong end to the year and are forecasting 291,000 units by year-end.

Truck sales continue to see the effect of the Euro 5/6 transition with new sales up 10.3% in July to 3,794 units. However the year to date market is still down 8.8% over 2012 at 25,114 units.

Bank of England Governor suggests interest rates set to remain at 0.5%

Mark Carney, the new Bank of England Governor, has indicated that interest rates will remain at 0.5% until the national unemployment rate drops below 7% from its current level of 7.8%. This drop will see the creation of 750,000 new jobs in the UK and could take up to three years, the Governor suggest.

Audi UK Director to leave

Volkswagen Group UK Limited has announced that Martin Sander, Director of Audi UK, is to leave the business and take up a new position elsewhere in Audi AG, the German parent company, although details have yet to be provided.  This statement comes only a few weeks after the announcement that Simon Thomas is to leave as Group Managing Director.  Martin Sander started with Audi UK in January 2012 so this move marks more significant board room changes within the UK operation.

Skoda opens new site in Harlow with Spire Automotive

The Spire Automotive Limited has added Skoda to its Group by opening a new site in Harlow and will trade as Spirit Skoda.  This brings Spire’s Essex representation to 12 sites now representing Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, BMW, Mini and Peugeot.

ECO friendly facility opened by T H White

T H White has opened a purpose built Fiat Group facility in Hillmead, Swindon.  The multi-million pound site offers Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Abarth together with the Fiat Group’s other brands of Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat Professional commercial vehicles.

The new building has been designed as an environmentally friendly and efficient site that is heated by burning used engine oil drained from vehicles whist being serviced.  Solar panels provide much of the electric power, and recycled rain water is used for cleaning vehicles.