June 7 round-up: Lockdown easing next steps; £10k cash delay; Calls to cut two metres to one; Plug-in hybrid A6

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  • Here’s your business, motoring and news round up for Sunday, June 7

Boris Johnson to set out plans to ‘rebuild Britain’

Boris Johnson will soon set out plans to ‘rebuild Britain’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, amid reports he wants to ease lockdown restrictions quickly to save millions of jobs.

The PM will this week chair a meeting of his Cabinet to update them on the next lockdown-easing steps for a number of sectors, which are expected to take effect from June 15.


It’s reported that the PM will unveil plans to ease restrictions on weddings and funerals from next month, as well as possible measures to reopen hairdressers before July 4. Churches and other places of worship are set to open for private prayer from June 15.

Car industry ‘strong but not invincible’ 

It has been a ‘black week’ for the UK automotive industry as thousands more job cuts were announced, says the SMMT.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes has said the industry might be strong but ‘it is not invincible’ as a series of job cuts were unveiled by car manufacturers and car dealer groups.

Lookers said it would be cutting 20 per cent of its workforce – that’s around 12 people per one of its 136 dealers – while Aston Martin said 500 jobs would go and Bentley said 1,000 jobs were on the line. Read more here.

Third of firms getting emergency cash have tax haven links

Nearly a third of companies in receipt of coronavirus loans from the Bank of England have links to tax havens, new research has suggested.

Analysis by TaxWatch claimed 14 out of the 53 businesses which have benefited from help are either based in or substantially owned by a tax haven resident.

They have received more than £5bn in loans as part of the coronavirus corporate financing facility (CCFF). Among recipients of the scheme are British Airways, whose parent company is based in Spain and the UK, but has financial links to Jersey. It received £300m of support.

Small firms hoping to get £10k grant will have to apply

Small businesses hoping to receive the £10,000 government grant in a second wave of funding face more delays as they’re forced to apply via a website portal with their local council.

The delays to the vital emergency handouts will come as a bitter blow to small businesses who were hoping to receive the funding they missed out on in early June.

The government announced in May that it would be giving local authorities a further £617m to hand out to small businesses that missed out on the first wave of grants – but it would be up to the councils how it was distributed. Read more here.

Pricing revealed for Audi A6 plug-in hybrid model

Audi has revealed pricing for the new plug-in hybrid A6 Saloon which has appealing company car tax and no vehicle excise duty in the first year.

Badged A6 50 TFSI e, it’s priced from £52,790 and combines a 2.0-litre petrol with an electric motor for 295bhp and 450Nm of torque. It has an electric range of up to 34 miles and can travel on electric-only at speeds of up to 84mph.

Official CO2 emission figures are measured at 35g/km, depending on specification, and makes for an appealing company car as it’s eligible for a benefit-in-kind rate as low as 10 per cent, while also requiring no vehicle excise duty to be paid in the first year of ownership.

Cut two-metres to one says hospitality sector

The government should halve the two-metre social distancing rule if businesses in the hospitality industry are to survive when they finally reopen, trade organisations have warned.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UK Hospitality fear that many venues such as pubs and restaurants will not be able to make enough money if the rule, which restricts customer numbers, stays in place.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: ‘At two metres you are receiving 30 per cent of your normal revenues, at one metre it gets up to 70 per cent – so it is the difference between success and failure.’

Oil production cut extended

Opec and allied nations have agreed to extend a production cut of nearly 10m barrels of oil a day through to the end of July, hoping to boost energy prices hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers of the cartel and outside nations like Russia met via video conference to adopt the measure, aimed at cutting out the excess production depressing prices as global aviation remains largely grounded due to the pandemic.

It represents some 10 per cent of the world’s overall supply.

Jeep updates Compass with new efficient engine

Jeep has given the Compass a refresh, adding a new engine which promises to make the SUV cleaner and more efficient than before.

The headline change is the addition of a new 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine available in two outputs of either 128 or 148bhp. The former sends drive through a six-speed manual gearbox, while the latter utilises a six-speed automatic ‘box instead.

It marks the first time that an automatic gearbox has been available with the Compass, while all new cars utilise a front-wheel-drive layout.

Workspace warns office market to remain subdued 

Office-space business Workspace has said it expects the market to remain subdued after workers were told to stay at home in the face of coronavirus.

The company said the virus has had a ‘dramatic impact’ but predicted that it will help to catalyse a structural shift in the market towards ‘flexible’ offices.

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It came as the London-listed firm reported a 47 per cent slump in profit to £72.5m for the year to March 31.

Car Dealer Live – broadcast at midday every day – this week features:

  • Monday: Trade Price Cars’ Dan Kirby
  • Tuesday: Luscombe’s Robin Luscombe
  • Wednesday: Amari Supercars’ Sheik Amari
  • Thursday: SW Car Supermarket’s Anton Kahn & John Marshall
  • Friday: Nissan UK MD Andrew Humberstone

Yesterday’s round-up: Sunday trading changes; VW Golf deliveries restart; Positive US jobs news; FTSE 100 leaps

James Baggott's avatar

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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