Rochford scrap yard fireRochford scrap yard fire

News Round-Up

Aug 12: Ford delays Explorer production; Hundreds of cars damaged in Essex scrap yard blaze; Police chase stolen taxi for more than 150 miles

Here are the headlines for Saturday, August 12

Time 6:30 am, August 12, 2023

Ford delays electric Explorer production

Ford has confirmed it is pushing back production of its new electric Explorer due to new battery regulations.

The Explorer will be the first electric Ford to be made in Europe, with production due to commence this Autumn at its Cologne Electric Vehicle Centre. However, in a statement from the firm, it now says that the Explorer will ‘now be delivered to customers in the summer of 2024’.

Ford’s Cologne facility was the home of the Fiesta, with the firm specifically ending production of its well-loved supermini early in July 2023 in order to be able to produce the Explorer.

Blaze at scrap yard sees hundred of cars burned

Hundreds of cars have been damaged after a fire broke out at a scrap yard in Rochford, Essex, overnight.

Essex Fire Service said around 60 firefighters worked for several hours to contain the blaze, which finally came under control around 10.45pm on Friday (August 11).

The service said around 200 cars were damaged in the blaze, but firefighters were able to create a fire break to stop the flames spreading to the rest of the estimated 2,000 cars on site.

Stolen taxi driven at more than 130mph from Gatwick to Walsall

Police have released video footage of a man who stole a taxi outside Gatwick Airport and drove at speeds in excess of 130mph in a police pursuit and continued even after losing a tyre.

Mohammed Ahmed took the Mercedes taxi after another taxi driver had declined to take him outside the south terminal of the West Sussex airport on September 17 last year.

After driving off, the 24-year-old was tracked by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter to his home town of Walsall in the West Midlands – more than 150 miles from Gatwick – where he was finally arrested.

Deputy PM says AI will be more significant than industrial revolution

Artificial intelligence will have a more significant impact on Britain than the industrial revolution, Oliver Dowden has said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said AI had enormous potential to speed up productivity and perform boring aspects of jobs, but also posed a significant threat to democracies.

Speaking in an interview with The Times, Dowden said: ‘This is a total revolution that is coming. It’s going to totally transform almost all elements of life over the coming years, and indeed, even months, in some cases.

‘It is much faster than other revolutions that we’ve seen and much more extensive, whether that’s the invention of the internal combustion engine or the industrial revolution.’

Co-op Bank to buy Sainsbury’s Bank mortgage portfolio

The Co-operative Bank has secured a £464 million deal to buy Sainsbury’s Bank’s mortgage portfolio.

The move comes almost four years after Sainsbury’s said its banking operation would stop all new mortgage sales and it was reviewing options for the existing mortgage business.

Sainsbury’s said the sale is a “big step” in helping the firm to simplify its banking business.

Co-op Bank – which is no longer part of the wider Co-operative Group – said the acquired portfolio comprises of approximately 3,500 customers with balances of around £479 million.

Retailers urged to set science-based climate targets like Tesco

Retailers are being urged to match Tesco’s scienced-based climate targets after the retailer had a landmark goal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions approved.

The UK supermarket has become one of the first companies in the world to set a validated science-based target for slashing emissions originating from forests, land and agriculture.

Its plans to become carbon neutral across its operations by 2035 and across its entire value chain by 2050 have been approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) – the official global body that defines, promotes and validates the best practice in setting climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 1.5C.

FTSE ends week down due to interest rate speculation

London’s top markets slid in value on Friday as better-than-expected UK economic growth in June and the second quarter of 2023 as a whole fuelled speculation of continued interest rate hikes by the Bank of England.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded a 0.5 per cent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in June, surpassing analyst expectations of 0.2 per cent.

The continued improvement in economic activity has led to concerns inflation may remain more persistent than hoped and force the central bank towards stronger moves on interest rates.

The FTSE 100 moved 1.24 per cent, or 94.44 points, lower to finish at 7,524.16.

Weather outlook

Today will see a mixture of sunny spells and blustery showers, according to the Met Office, with the wet weather most frequent and heaviest in the northwest where it will also be potentially thundery at times.

Showers will be more scattered in the southeast and it will be breezy for many making it feel cooler than Friday.

Those showers will ease into the evening although there will be some still over western coastal areas.

Picture credit: Screenshot taken with permission from a video on the Twitter account @ECFRS of the emergency services at the scene of a fire at a scrap yard in Rochford, Essex (Essex Fire Service/Twitter/PA)

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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