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June 5 round-up: Millions lent to car firms; track and trace delays; Airlines handed cash; New Toyota Hilux

Time 11 months ago

  • Here’s your business, motoring and news round-up for Friday June 5

Test and trace programme delays

The NHS test and trace system for Covid-19 is not expected to be ‘world class’ until at least September, an executive of the scheme reportedly told staff.

Chief operating officer Tony Prestedge admitted in a webinar that the programme would be an ‘imperfect service at launch’ that will ‘improve over time’, The Guardian reports.

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Prestedge told staff in a video that the programme would be up to speed by ‘September October time’. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said it would be ‘in place by June 1’. 

Millions lent to UK car industry firms

Car firms have borrowed millions of pounds from the Bank of England in tax-payer backed loans as they look to stave off the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The car industry firms that borrowed cash include Nissan (£600m), Toyota Financial Services (UK) plc (£365m), Mitsubishi Corporation Finance PLC (£300m), Inchcape Plc (£100m), Honda Finance Europe PLC (£75m) and Alliance Automotive Investment Limited (£20m).

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Nissan borrowed more than double that of troubled airline British Airways which tapped up the bank for £300m.

Airlines handed £1.8bn in emergency loans

The Bank of England has lent nearly £2bn to some of Britain’s biggest airlines and paid £1bn to a German chemicals giant as part of its emergency pandemic funding, it has been revealed.

Ryanair and easyJet have won loans of £600m each, with BA owner IAG and Wizz Air both accessing £300m.

The central bank revealed 53 businesses had borrowed a total of £16.25bn under the scheme, as it published a full list of all borrowers yesterday.

Bentley believed to be cutting 1,000 staff

Just weeks after the Cheshire based firm resumed production at its factory, Bentley is said to be planning on cutting 1,000 jobs, according to reports by the BBC.

Voluntary redundancies are to be offered to about a quarter of Bentley’s staff and a formal statement is expected from the luxury car brand later today.

It comes just weeks after the manufacturer, which was founded in north London in 1919 and is now owned by Volkswagen, resumed production at its headquarters in Crewe on May 11. Read the full story here.

Toyota unveils new Hilux

Toyota has debuted its latest Hilux, bringing with it a new look as well as the addition of a more powerful powertrain ahead of its on-sale date in November.

The design of the new Hilux marks quite the departure from the looks of the predecessor thanks to the introduction of a large, three-dimensional front grille and distinctive LED headlights.

Toyota has added a new 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine to the Hilux too, boasting 201bhp and 500Nm of torque. 

Retailers see online sales double 

UK retailers saw record online sales last month as trading more than doubled but it still failed to offset the impact of empty high street stores, according to new figures.

The BDO retail sales tracker for May revealed that online sales surged 129.5 per cent higher compared with the same month last year – the highest jump on record – as shoppers moved online.

However, retailers still saw total like-for-like sales slump by almost a fifth for the month.

Train passengers to be warned about busy services

Passengers will be warned about busy trains to encourage them to travel at quieter times from today.

Journey planning app and website National Rail will begin displaying red or yellow warning triangles next to services expected to be in high demand.

The system will use analysis of journey planning trends and messages from rail staff at stations and on trains. Users will be asked whether they intend to take a particular service to help operators manage capacity.

Losses from Covid-19 scams ‘pass £5m mark’

Reported losses from coronavirus-related fraud have passed the £5m mark. Action Fraud figures show £5,142,265-worth of fraud has been reported since February, with the number of reports totalling more than 2,100.

More than 11,500 reports of coronavirus-themed phishing scams have been made to Action Fraud as fraudsters impersonate a variety of organisations dealing with measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Consumer confidence ‘sits just above 2008 low point’

Consumer confidence is teetering just above its 2008 historic low point, according to an index.

Research carried out between May 20 and 26 found confidence had deteriorated over the previous two weeks.

The report from GfK (Growth from Knowledge) measuring households’ perceptions of their own finances and the wider economy found confidence had decreased by two points to minus 36. This was just three points shy of a historic low confidence score for the index of minus 39 in July 2008.

Peugeot announces electric e-Traveller

Peugeot has electrified its MPV offerings with a new model – the e-Traveller.

Available in two body lengths and the option of up to eight seats, the e-Traveller uses a 50kWh battery to return a claimed 143 miles between charges.

The versatile model can be chosen in either standard (4.95 metres) or Long (5.30 metres) load lengths, and offers a boot space of up to 4,900 litres thanks to removable seats in rows two and three. 

Continued fall in recruitment 

Firms are continuing to cancel or delay taking on staff, leading to a continued decline in recruitment, a new study suggests.

A survey of 400 recruitment and employment consultancies showed ‘marked’ falls in the number of people being hired in May.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG said their research found that temporary and permanent jobs fell in May following record drops in April.

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James Baggott

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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