Electric car being charged, via PAElectric car being charged, via PA

News Round-Up

Oct 10: Slow growth for retail sales; £89m funding for UK EV tech; AA earnings edge up

Here are the headlines for Tuesday, October 10

Time 6:18 am, October 10, 2023

Retail sales growth slows in September

Retail sales growth slowed in September as consumers limited their spending in the face of higher housing, rental and fuel costs, figures show.

Total UK retail sales limped to a 2.7 per cent increase in September despite the fall in inflation, in line with the three-month average but well below the 12-month average of 4.2 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Consumer caution saw sales of big ticket items such as furniture and electricals performing poorly, while the warm temperatures stretching late into the month meant sales of autumnal clothing, knitwear and coats have yet to materialise.

£89m funding package for electric vehicle development

A new £89m funding pot has been handed to 20 net zero projects which look at developing the next generation of electric vehicle technology.

Awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), the fund is made up of £45.2m from the government alongside a further £42.7m from the automotive industry.

The government says that this new funding will ‘will accelerate the development of zero-emission technology in the UK, safeguarding and creating jobs and supporting investment in cutting edge R&D’.

It’s estimated that the projects combined will ‘create or safeguard’ more than 4,700 jobs while saving up to 65m tonnes of CO2 from being emitted over the next decade.

AA sees half-year earnings edge up

The AA has said it is on track for its third consecutive year of underlying earnings growth after motor insurance price increased helped it weather tougher trading in its breakdown business.

The group reported underlying earnings up two per cent at £206m in the six months to July 31, with revenues up 10 per cent across the group.

But on a bottom-line basis, pre-tax profits almost halved to £23m from £40m a year ago.

Jeep Wrangler

Updated Jeep Wrangler to cost from £60,785

Jeep has announced that its refreshed Wrangler will cost from £60,785 before first deliveries commence in the first half of 2024.

The updated Wrangler gains a new grille with black textured slots, while a new ‘trail-ready’ antenna has been integrated into the windscreen to replace the ‘traditional’ steel mast of the previous version. Jeep also says that this change prevents the antenna from snagging on leaves or branches when travelling off-road.

In the UK, the Wrangler gets a single engine option – whereas several are available in Jeep’s native America – which is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Helixx delivery van

3D printed delivery van revealed

UK-based technology company Helixx has showcased its first demonstrator vehicle that points towards a lightweight electric delivery van of the future.

Set to enter production in 2024, the commercial delivery van will be accompanied by a pick-up model as well as open-body and closed-body passenger vehicles designed for ride-hailing fleets.

The body of the Helixx vehicle is made up of just five components which ‘click and bond’ together to make the whole vehicle easy to assemble.

FTSE outperforms European markets

Europe’s biggest financial markets were in the red on Monday following the weekend attack in Israel, although the FTSE 100 outperformed its peers on the continent.

Defence firms, such as BAE Systems, had a strong performance due to the fallout, while the instability in the region also pushed oil prices higher, providing a boost to Shell and BP.

Nevertheless, the index was still lower as it saw these rises offset by tougher sessions for airliners and tourism firms.

London’s top flight moved 0.03 per cent, or 2.37 points, lower to finish at 7,492.21.

Weather outlook

There will be strong winds and outbreaks of rain across Scotland and Northern Ireland at times today, according to the Met Office.

Across England and Wales there will be low cloud and fog but warm sunshine will develop later.

Tonight, the rain will spread from Scotland and Northern Ireland further south but clear spells and showers will follow in the north of England.

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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