Boeing Strikes £3.6bn DHL 777 deal

( via – – Mon, 16 July, 2018) London, Uk – –

Boeing has won a $4.7bn (£3.6bn) order for 14 777 Freighters, firing the opening salvo against rival Airbus SE in a contest for business on day one of the Farnborough Airshow.

The US planemaker said logistics group DHL had placed the order and acquired purchase rights for seven additional freighters.

The transaction is one of hundreds set to be at the annual aerospace jamboree in Hampshire, where deals worth up to £600bn are likely to be struck.

Boeing is expected to confirm demand for air transport is rising after Airbus lifted forecasts last week, citing strong economic growth in emerging markets and the need to replace older planes in Western markets.

The bullish outlook was underscored ahead of the show by forecasters Flightglobal Ascend.

The two giants will add to record orders for benchmark narrow-body jets, whose waiting lists underpin their near-record share prices, while seeking a recovery in sales of bigger jets.

After a lull, Boeing will be looking for a boost to its largest twinjet, the future 777X. Sources said recently it is in talks for an eye-catching deal with Saudi Arabia.

Airbus will hope to end uncertainty over AirAsia's support for its A330neo jet after a showdown on prices. That could also involve a deal for smaller planes, though doubts have been expressed over financial commitments to Airbus.

Trade tensions between the United States and both China and Europe, disputes over the consequences of Britain's exit from the European Union and an increase in global protectionist rhetoric have barely dented a prolonged industry boom.

“The overall environment will reflect industry health, despite the dark clouds of Brexit and other global trade setbacks in the background,” said analyst Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group.

“In short, we'll see more of what we've seen for years: aviation remaining a strangely protected and happy corner of a turbulent world.”

Farnborough is the first such event since Airbus and Boeing shook up the industry by agreeing to absorb key commercial programmes of smaller rivals Canada's Bombardier and Brazil's Embraer as they prepare for future competition from China.

The result should be a fierce contest for sales in the 100-150-seat sector even before Boeing closes its Embraer deal.

A new airline, Moxy, is expected to confirm a large order for the rebranded Airbus A220, the former Bombardier CSeries.

The event is also expected to provide new evidence of strong demand for freight planes as e-commerce drives up shippers' profits despite global trade tensions.

Analyst predictions for total commercial orders and commitments vary from last year's 900 to about half that.

While high fuel prices make efficient new planes attractive, they hurt the bottom line of buyers, delaying some decisions.

“We are not blind: there are things that need to remain on watch,” the head of major engine-maker CFM said on Saturday.

Farnborough will also be an opportunity for aerospace firms to plot next moves on civil and defence for decades to come.

The show, which runs from today until Sunday, is not only about order headlines but also about sending signals to investors, keeping competitors guessing and keeping potential buyers interested.

Boeing will want to maintain interest in a potential new mid-market plane, while giving itself until next year to decide whether to launch the new 220-270-seat jet.

While it is further ahead in pre-development than at the same stage on earlier programmes, it must convince airlines it can be ready in 2025, the deadline for many fleet overhauls.

Airbus may talk up its possible new A321XLR, designed to address a shortfall in transatlantic performance of its longest-range single-aisle jet and targeted at US majors.

The aircraft, with an improved take-off weight of 100 tonnes and 4,500 nautical miles range, has already had an unannounced commercial launch in a bid to head off Boeing's proposed new jet from 2021, industry sources said.

US sources doubt it will do everything Airbus claims.

Both planemakers are likely to widen a push into high-margin services, announcing maintenance and operational deals in competition with airlines and parts providers. It is part of a tug of war for profits between planemakers and their partners.

Suppliers will be trying to gauge how far the manufacturers are prepared to go in buying up parts of their supply chain. And many in Europe will be discussing how to prepare for a possible ‘hard Brexit' or a disorderly UK exit form the European Union.

Sensitive UK choices over international partnerships are also expected to loom large in the defence side of the show.

The UK government will set out a combat air strategy with potential repercussions for defence suppliers around the world.

It could ignite efforts to develop a successor to the four-nation Eurofighter but is expected to leave open whether Britain would seek to enter a project already under way between France and Germany, or risk a repeat of costly procurement splits.

For now, Sweden is shaping up as the most likely partner and South Korea, Japan and Turkey or Gulf arms-buying countries like Saudi Arabia could be drawn in, arms analyst Francis Tusa said.

“It is a game of industrial poker,” he told Reuters.

By Telegraph Reporters



Edward Enninful Interviews Oprah Winfrey about life as a global powerhouse



Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful sits down with British Vogue August cover star Oprah Winfrey to discuss what life is really like for the global powerhouse, her proudest achievements and most valuable advice.


Tesla sales hits 200,000 milestone as it loses US subsidies

( via – – Fri, 13th July, 2018) London, Uk – –

Tesla has hit a speed bump that will cut subsidies for customers buying its electric vehicles in the US, after Elon Musk’s carmaker hit a milestone of 200,000 sales.

The US government subsidises purchases of electric cars with tax credits of up to $7,500 (£5,700), which apply to all of Tesla’s cars.

However, under changes to subsidies for electric cars introduced last year, the support is gradually phased out after a company has sold 200,000 vehicles. As of next January, subsidies will be cut in half before being phased out completely a year later.

Tesla is the first car manufacturer to hit the threshold in the US, and the end of subsidies could slow sales as the company ramps up production of the Model 3, its mass-market vehicle.

The company still has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of Model 3 orders, having struggled to hit production targets since the car went on sale a year ago. However, the company losing subsidies will make electric cars from rivals cheaper, at least until they hit the 200,000 mark.

US subsidies for electric cars were introduced in 2009 but limited by the government last year, amid predictions that electric vehicles will become more cost efficient and not need intervention to support.

Tesla has recently boosted production of its Model 3 car, managing to finally hit a target of 5,000 vehicles a week at the end of June.

Bloomberg reported that the company had gone to extreme lengths to hit manufacturing targets, including handing out free Red Bull energy drinks to workers and keeping production going even when raw sewage was spilled on the factory floor.

A Tesla spokesman said that any plumbing issues had been resolved quickly.

By James Titcomb



Airbus CEO Tom Enders calls on Brussels to be ‘pragmatic and fair’ on Brexit


( via– Tue, 10 July 2018) London, Uk – –

CEO Tom Enders' comments come after the cabinet agreed to the prime minister's plan for a free trade area for goods

The chief executive of Airbus has said the government is “going in the right direction” on Brexit – days after he claimed it had “no clue”.

Tom Enders welcomed news of Theresa May's plan for a UK-EU free trade area for goods, agreed at Friday's crunch meeting of the cabinet at Chequers.

Although the proposal has precipitated the resignations of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, it has been welcomed as a sign of progress by businesses worried about the impact of the UK's exit from the bloc.

Mr Enders tweeted: “The Chequers statement appears to show that HM Government are going in the right direction. We are not shy to request that Brussels & our other home countries are similarly pragmatic & fair.”

Before Friday's agreement, Mr Enders said Airbus had a duty to its shareholders to voice its concerns about Brexit.

In a briefing ahead of the Farnborough Airshow, he said: “The sun is shining brightly on the UK, the English team is progressing towards the final, the RAF is preparing to celebrate its centenary and HMG (Her Majesty's Government) still has no clue, no consensus on how to execute Brexit without severe harm.

Airbus has been joined by a chorus of other companies that have warned jobs are at risk if Britain crashes out of the European Union without an agreement on trade.

Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's biggest carmaker, warned a no-deal would see its costs rise by £1.2bn because of tariffs. It would need to reconsider £80bn of planned investment, putting 40,000 jobs at risk.

BMW also weighed in, with its customs manager Stephan Freismuth warning the company “cannot” manufacture its products in the UK if Brexit means its supply chain is disrupted.

The intervention by big business in the Brexit debate has strained relations with the government.

Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the perceived threats were “completely inappropriate”, while Mr Johnson has been quoted as saying “f*** business”.




Nissan Admits Falsification of Emissions Data on Cars Built in Japan

Flickr/Mad African

( via – – Mon, 9th July 2018) London, Uk – –

Nissan admitted Monday that data on exhaust emissions and fuel economy had been deliberately “altered”, dealing a blow to the Japanese car giant's efforts to recover from an inspection scandal last year.

The company did not say how many cars were affected by the falsifications, which were uncovered during voluntary tests of all parts of Nissan's operations conducted in the wake of last year's scandal.

It said that tests on exhaust emissions and fuel economy had “deviated from the prescribed testing environment”.

In addition, it said inspection reports had been drawn up “based on altered measurement values”.

Nissan's share price dropped 4.56pc to 1,003.5 yen after it said it would make a statement on exhaust measurements following a report of falsification.

The firm vowed a “full and comprehensive investigation” into its latest fake data scandal.

By Agence France-Presse


Jaguar Land Rover warns of risk to plant closures over Brexit

( via– Thur, 5th July 2018) London, Uk – –

Ahead of a critical cabinet meeting, the country's biggest carmaker joins BMW and Airbus in a warning to government over Brexit.

UK plants and at least 40,000 jobs are at risk if the country leaves the European Union without a free trade deal, Britain's biggest carmaker has warned.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has told the government that, while its “heart and soul” are in the UK, a bad Brexit could force a re-think, with a “no-deal” scenario forcing it out of the UK because of an expected £1.2bn surge in tariff costs.

JLR exports 80% of its cars worth £18bn annually.

Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive of JLR, said: “We, and our partners in the supply chain, face an unpredictable future if the Brexit negotiations do not maintain free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market.

“We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees.”

There are also a further 260,000 jobs connected to the company's supply chain.

Dr Speth added: “A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2bn profit each year.

“As a result, we would have to drastically adjust our spending profile.

“We have spent around £50bn in the UK in the past five years, with plans for a further £80bn more in the next five.

“This would be in jeopardy should we be faced with the wrong outcome.”

He was more specific on a potential exit from the UK in comments to the Financial Times when he said: “If I'm forced to go out because we don't have the right deal, then we have to close plants here in the UK and it will be very, very sad.

“This is hypothetical, and I hope it's an option we never have to go for.”

His words follow similar warnings from BMW and Airbus.

Airbus said in June that it was making plans to leave the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

BMW also weighed in – its customs manager Stephan Freismuth warning the company “cannot” manufacture its products in the UK if Brexit means its supply chain is disrupted.

The intervention by big business in the Brexit debate has strained relations with the government ahead of Theresa May's meeting of cabinet ministers at Chequers on Friday to decide a strategy for exiting the EU.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described, what he sees as, threats from firms as “completely inappropriate” while Boris Johnson, a leading Brexiteer on the top table of government, has not denied saying “f*** business”.

In his response to JLR's latest warning, the business secretary Greg Clark tweeted: “JLR is a great British success story. We are determined to make sure that it can continue to prosper and to invest in Britain.”

The PM has also insisted firms are being listened to.

The British Retail Consortium became the latest to warn of the consequences of any cliff-edge Brexit in March 2019 by warning that consumers in the UK and EU food producers would lose out if there was no deal to allow the free movement of goods.

Its chairman, Richard Pennycook, said: “Frictionless trade is essential if the industry is to continue to provide the level of choice and value in shops that UK consumers are used to seeing.

“It is now of the utmost importance that the UK Government proposes a workable solution to the backstop that gets the withdrawal agreement over the line and allows for a smooth transition.

“We need the EU to be flexible and creative in negotiation and recognise what is at stake for exports to the UK.”


Take a look Inside London’s New £15bn Elizabeth Line Upgrade


Business Insider UK got an inside look at the progress works of London's new Elizabeth Line. The entire upgrade costs £14.8 billion and has taken nine years to build. We visited Farringdon—one of 41 new stations for the new service—to see what to expect once the line officially opens in Dec 2018.


Uncertainty Over Brexit Halves New Investment In Uk Car Industry

( via — Tue, 26 June, 2018) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Uncertainty over Brexit has halved new investment in the British car industry and Prime Minister Theresa May should urgently change tack and keep the world’s fifth largest economy in the EU’s customs union, the country’s main car lobby group said.

Public announcements of fresh investments into new plant, machinery, models and model development fell to 347.3 million pounds between January and June 21, down from 647.4 million pounds in the first half of 2017.

“There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“Government must rethink its position on the customs union,” Hawes said, referring to the May’s position that Britain will leave the customs union which groups EU members in a duty-free area where there is a common import tariff for non-EU goods.

With only nine months left until Britain is due to leave the EU, little is yet clear about how trade will flow as May, who is grappling with a rebellion in her party, is still trying to strike a deal with the bloc.

In a sign of just how worried big business is getting about Brexit, Siemens, Airbus and BMW have publicly cautioned Britain in the past week that their businesses will be hurt by a disorderly Brexit.

When asked about business worries by ambassadors, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was reported by The Daily Telegraph newspaper to have quipped: “F*** business”. A spokesman disputed that he had used bad language.

Under the current timetable, both London and Brussels hope to get a final Brexit deal in October to give enough time to ratify it by Brexit day in March 2019, though few diplomats expect the deal to be struck until months later.

The nature of the future relationship with the world’s biggest trading bloc remains unclear and there is deep concern in boardrooms about the prospect of Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal or with a deal that would silt up the arteries of trade.

Even a small increase in paperwork or customs checks after Brexit, for example, could lead to spiralling costs for big manufacturers who depend on vast supply chains that stretch across Europe and the globe.

Supporters of Brexit admit there may be some short-term pain for Britain’s $2.9 trillion economy but that long-term it will prosper when cut free from the EU which they cast as a failing German-dominated experiment in European integration.

The average car has about 30,000 parts.

The world’s biggest car makers including Toyota, BMW and Ford have urged Britain to ensure that they can import and export without hindrance after Brexit.

At stake is the future of one of Britain’s few manufacturing success stories since the 1980s: a car industry employing over 800,000 people and generating turnover of $110 billion. Much of the industry is owned by foreign companies.

Around 52 percent of Britain’s total $1.1 trillion trade in goods last year was with the EU so May wants to sign a free trade agreement and negotiate an as yet relatively undefined customs arrangement to ensure as frictionless trade as possible.

SMMT chief Hawes said the British government’s current position – leaving the EU single market and the customs union – would hurt the industry.

“The current position, with conflicting messages and red lines goes directly against the interests of the UK automotive sector which has thrived on single market and customs union membership,” he said.

“There is no credible ‘plan B’ for frictionless customs arrangements, nor is it realistic to expect that new trade deals can be agreed with the rest of the world that will replicate the immense value of trade with the EU.”

By Sarah Young, Guy Faulconbridge



Heathrow expansion vote by MPs to take place today without Boris Johnson

( via– Mon, 25 June 2018) London, Uk – –

The foreign secretary, who is abroad, once threatened to lie down in front of the bulldozers if a third runway was approved.

MPs will decide later whether to expand Heathrow airport in a crunch vote which looks set to expose divisions in both Labour and Tory ranks.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said it was “the biggest transport decision in a generation” as he called for cross-party support to approve a third runway.

The spotlight will be on the whereabouts of Boris Johnson, who once threatened to lie down in front of the bulldozers if a third runway got the go-ahead at the west London airport.

The foreign secretary is set to miss the vote because he is abroad, but the government has so far declined to say where he will be on security grounds.

Senior Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston called on Mr Johnson to take the “principled decision” and resign in order to vote against expanding Heathrow.

She said the prime minister's decision to allow Mr Johnson – who is MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London – to avoid a three-line whip in support of the Heathrow plan by going abroad “won't wash”.

“I think this would be an opportunity for a colleague like Boris Johnson to actually put his money where his mouth is,” Dr Wollaston said.

Greg Hands, who resigned as international trade minister in opposition to the third runway, appeared to mock Mr Johnson's absence on the eve of the vote.

Mr Hands tweeted on Sunday: “Great to arrive back in the UK at Luton Airport in time for the match today and to vote against #Heathrow expansion tomorrow. I wouldn't want to be abroad for either of those. #commitments.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling admitted to Sky News on Monday he “didn't know where” Mr Johnson was.

He said: “The prime minister has been very clear that there are parliamentary colleagues who have longstanding views about this, perhaps for constituency reasons who need to take their own decisions about how they approach it.

“We all fought a general election on the manifesto of expanding Heathrow Airport.

“But equally, where there are people who have got particularly constituency issues, we've left them the freedom to carry on expressing the views they've always had.”

Theresa May confirmed last week that Mr Johnson would miss the vote on Heathrow, describing him as “the living embodiment of global Britain” abroad.

The Conservative row came as more than 40 Labour MPs said they would go against party policy and support the government's decision.

The group whose constituencies span the country put their names to a letter to colleagues in the party urging them to support a project they say could create 180,000 jobs across the UK.

Labour is officially opposed to the expansion but Jeremy Corbyn has allowed MPs a free vote on a measure that is supported by trade unions.

Mr Grayling – who will appear on Sky News this morning – said that “thousands of new jobs and the country's ability to compete on an international stage and win new global trade” were at stake.

He said: “I hope colleagues from across the House will now put aside party and political differences to take a decision in the long-term national interest.”

Officials say the expansion of Heathrow would create 114,000 extra jobs in the area around the airport by 2030, with an extra 16 million long-haul seats by 2040.

It would also represent the first new full-length runway in the south east since the Second World War, the Department for Transport said.

But opponents have attacked the scheme on environmental, noise and financial grounds grounds, with Friends of the Earth saying it was “morally reprehensible” and would see the enlarged Heathrow emitting as much carbon as the whole of Portugal.


Uber begin appeal over London licence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court


( via – – Mon, 25 June, 2018) London, Uk – –

A London court will consider later today if Uber is “fit and proper” to hold an operator licence in the capital.

The taxi app company will make its case at Westminster Magistrates' Court in a hearing expected to last several days.

Last September, Transport for London refused to renew Uber's licence on grounds of public safety and security.

Uber said it has since made significant changes, such as improving procedures for reporting criminal actions.

Various media outlets have quoted a memo reportedly sent by Uber to Transport for London, in which it said that as many as 1,148 London-licensed Uber drivers had been accused of “category A” offences such as sexual incidents, stalking and dangerous driving.

The court will take the changes made by Uber into account and decide whether it is now fit to hold an operator licence.

The original reasons for the refusal were outlined in a 21-page document.

Uber has been allowed to carry on operating in London while awaiting to appeal.

“I know we got things wrong and that we have more work to do. But I promise Londoners we will keep listening and improving as Uber moves forward in a new direction,” Uber's UK general manager, Tom Elvidge, said in May.

Analysis by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent

A kinder, gentler and humbler Uber – that is the image the taxi app company hopes to project in court this week as it battles for its future in what is one of its most important markets.

It will stress that a lot has changed at a business that once prided itself on confronting local regulators in a whirlwind of creative disruption.

A new boss Dara Khosrowshahi came to London and actually said sorry, and in February new measures were announced to cooperate with the police over allegations of driver misconduct – Transport for London's main concern when it refused a new licence.

The fact that Uber is seeking a new licence for just eighteen months rather than the full five years it expected last autumn – and that it appears to have been agreeing with TfL a list of conditions it will have to meet – shows that it accepts it is still on probation.

Justin Bowden, national secretary at GMB, the union for taxi drivers, said: “Uber lost its licence in London because it refused to play by London's rules, particularly on the crucial issue of passenger safety, and it won't get it back until it accepts that an ‘Uber's way, or no way' attitude to safety and its drivers will not prevail.”

He added: “Uber's licence will not be returned by legal action, but by genuine contrition and real change, which can only come about from engagement with Transport for London as the licensing authority and drivers' representatives like GMB.”

According to the firm, 3.6 million passengers regularly use its app in London and it has 45,000 drivers in the city.

Since being denied a licence to operate in London, Uber has implemented a number of changes.

Uber now reports crimes directly to the police – previously it had logged criminal complaints with Transport for London, which caused delays.

Drivers are now only allowed to use the app in the region they hold a private hire licence.

The working hours of its drivers are also more tightly regulated. A licensed driver on its app must take an uninterrupted six-hour break after 10 hours of driving with a passenger or travelling to a pick up.

Drivers who do not take a long enough break will not be able to log in to the app and take trips.

The company has also revamped its leadership. Three independent non-executives have been appointed to its UK board.

Uber has also had difficulties getting licences in Brighton, York and Sheffield.

In a separate case in 2016, Uber lost a legal battle over the status of its drivers.

A London employment tribunal ruled that its drivers were workers, rather than self-employed.

It meant drivers would be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the national minimum wage.


Airbus warns on leaving the UK in the event of “no-deal” Brexit


( via– Fri, 22 June, 2018) London, Uk – –

The aeronautical company employs 14,000 people at several sites including Bristol, Stevenage and Portsmouth.

Airbus is making plans to leave the UK in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, which could lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

The company employs 14,000 people directly at several sites including Bristol, Stevenage, Portsmouth and north Wales, but 110,000 jobs are also vulnerable at firms supplying the aircraft maker.

In one of the most significant interventions by a major manufacturer since the referendum two years ago, it published a “risk assessment” on its website saying it would “reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country” if Britain left the single market and customs union without a transition agreement.

It also said the current planned transition period to 2020 was too short for businesses to reorganise supply chains.

Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “In any scenario, Brexit has severe negative consequences for the UK aerospace industry and Airbus in particular.

“Therefore, immediate mitigation measures would need to be accelerated.

“While Airbus understands that the political process must go on, as a responsible business we require immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively.

“Without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant.

“We have sought to highlight our concerns over the past 12 months, without success.

“Far from ‘project fear', this is a dawning reality for Airbus.

“Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus's future in the UK.”

The report has drawn swift reaction from politicians, with shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tweeting: “If proof was needed that the PM's Brexit red lines need to be abandoned (and fast), this is it.”

If Airbus did leave the UK, production would be moved to the US, China or elsewhere in Europe.

The risk assessment paints a gloomy picture for UK high-tech manufacturing if agreement cannot be reached with the EU.

It says: “A no-deal Brexit must be avoided, as it would force Airbus to reconsider its footprint in the country, its investments in the UK and at large its dependency on the UK.

“Given the ‘no-deal/hard Brexit' uncertainties, the company's dependence on and investment in the flagship Wing Of Tomorrow programme would also have to be revisited, and corresponding key competencies grown outside the UK.

“This extremely negative outcome for Airbus would be catastrophic.

“It would impair our ability to benefit from highly qualified British resources, it would also severely undermine UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, while developing high-value jobs and competencies.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said the UK had made “significant progress” in negotiations to “to ensure trade remains as free and frictionless as possible, including in the aerospace sector”.

They added: “We're confident of getting a good deal that is mutually beneficial.

“Given the good progress that we are continuing to make in the negotiations we do not expect a no-deal scenario to arise.

“The government is working closely with companies to understand their concerns ahead of leaving the EU and alongside industry will invest almost £4 billion by 2026 to ensure the UK remains a world leader in civil aerospace.”



Volkswagen and Ford in talks to jointly develop a new range of commercial cars

( via – – Wed, 20 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Volkswagen (VW) and Ford are mulling a strategic alliance to jointly develop a new range of commercial cars.

The car companies said there were investigating several joint projects that would strengthen their competitiveness while serving the “evolving needs” of consumers.

VW and Ford said any strategic alliance would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.

Jim Farley, president of global markets at Ford, said:​ “Ford is committed to improving our fitness as a business and leveraging adaptive business models – which include working with partners to improve our effectiveness and efficiency. This potential alliance with the Volkswagen group is another example of how we can become more fit as a business, while creating a winning global product portfolio and extending our capabilities.

Read more: Uber rival ride-hailing app Gett raises $80m from VW, hits $1.4bn valuation

“We look forward to exploring with the Volkswagen team in the days ahead how we might work together to better serve the evolving needs of commercial vehicle customers – and much more.”

This latest potential strategic alliance suggests further consolidation in the car industry amid tough market conditions, such as the rise of electric vehicles and declining car registrations.

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi also signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate the three brands through its 2022 alliance, which aims to double the “annualised synergies” – or how much the companies can save by working together – to more than €10bn (£8.9bn) by the end of 2022.

Thomas Sedran, head of Volkswagen group strategy said,: “Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed. Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already. To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances. This is a core element of our Volkswagen group strategy 2025. The potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally.”

By Alexandra Rogers



Uk city leaders plan to bring forward ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 10 years

Wikimedia/ Mayor of London Sidiq Khan

( via — Mon, 18 June 2018) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other city leaders from across Britain said on Monday a government plan to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars should be brought forward by 10 years to 2030, in the latest push to improve air quality.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government said last year it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 although it is unclear whether that includes hybrid vehicles, which have both an electric and combustion engine.

The government is due to detail the proposals in a “Road to Zero” plan shortly, but on Monday, Khan joined mayors and city leaders from Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Sheffield and Bristol to call for the measures to be implemented quicker.

“Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, providing support to deliver Clean Air Zones in cities and introducing a national vehicle renewal scheme will dramatically improve our air quality and our health,” said Khan, who is from the opposition Labour Party.

Cities and nations around the world are introducing restrictions or bans on the use of vehicles
powered by combustion engines in the years ahead to cut high levels of pollution.

Carmakers have argued that cleaner diesel models play a part in bringing down overall carbon dioxide emissions but demand for the segment has nosedived in much of Europe for over a year as many authorities plan clampdowns and tax hikes.



The Worlds Luxury Trains Designed Specifically With Elegance in Mind


Luxury trains are special trains designed specifically to offer an elegant train ride, and evoke a strong sense of association as in history, heritage and decadence of a leisurely ride. Luxury trains operate in several countries and offer a luxurious and comfortable traveling option to luxury travelers. Whereas some luxury trains like the Orient Express promote tourism in major destinations of an entire continent other trains take guests on a long leisure ride, cutting across state borders but limited to one specific country.

Nowadays there is an increase in the trend of luxury train travel around the world. Luxury train travel proponents assert that it has several advantages over travel on airplanes. Whereas during air travel the monotony of the journey is occasionally broken by the view of clouds through the plane's window, a winding luxury ride on board the trains provides ample opportunity to the guests to witness the local environment, social and economic conditions, and myriad colours of the places they are traveling to. There are a number of reasons for the growing popularity of the luxury trains over air travel, which includes ample space, restaurants and bars, spacious and comfortable sleeping and seating area and even wash/bath rooms. Since the time of introduction of Pioneer in 1864 by American industrialist George Mortimer Pullman,[1] luxury train travel has come a long way.


Rolls-Royce jet engine maker to cut 4,600 jobs


( via– Thur, 14 June, 2018) London, Uk – –

The engineering firm, which has struggled to come to terms with problems with its Trent 1000 engine, hopes to save £400m a year.

Rolls-Royce is to cut 4,600 managerial and support jobs as the jet engine maker introduces its latest restructuring plan.

Most of the jobs will be axed in the UK, where the FTSE 100 company employs 23,000 out of a global workforce of 50,000.

A third of the jobs are expected to go by the end of this year and the rest by the middle of 2020.

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East signalled the move in March as the company battled to keep to its financial targets as it struggles to get on top of problems with its Trent 1000 engines.

It has replaced the fan blades on turbines powering Boeing 787 airplanes after cracks and corrosion were found on jets operated by Japan's ANA airline.

Mr East said: “It is never an easy decision to reduce our workforce, but we must create a commercial organisation that is as world-leading as our technologies. To do this we are fundamentally changing how we work.”

“These changes will help us deliver over the mid and longer-term a level of free cash flow well beyond our near-term ambition of around £1bn by around 2020,” he added.

The latest restructuring plan will cost the company £500m and is expected to save it as much as £400m a year by the end of 2020.

Rolls-Royce has already seen around 600 managers leave since 2015 under a previous cost-cutting programme initiated by Mr East. But this is the biggest cull since 2001, when 5,000 jobs were cut, including 1,000 contractors.

Unions said the job losses were likely to hit communities where the firm operates hardest.

Rolls-Royce's UK bases are in Derby, Bristol, Barnoldswick (Lancashire), Ansty (Warwickshire), Hucknall (Nottinghamshire), Inchinnan (Renfrewshire) and Sunderland, as well as London.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “This announcement will be deeply unsettling for Rolls-Royce workers and their families and could have a dire economic impact on local communities reliant on Roll-Royce jobs.

“There is a real danger that Rolls-Royce will cut too deep and too fast with these jobs cuts, which could ultimately damage the smooth running of the company and see vital skills and experience lost.

“Over the coming days Unite will be working with Rolls-Royce, relevant agencies and other employers to find people affected alternative employment and to retain skills in the aerospace sector.”

Earlier this week, the company said it had identified more “durability issues” with some engines and it would “incur some additional costs.”

Before the latest issues, it had expected a £340m hit for this year to cover the cost of carrying out repairs on existing engines. The company is also compensating airlines for the repairs and leasing replacement aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is the civil aviation watchdog in the United States, warned operators of the 787 to fly within 60 minutes of an airport in case of an emergency.

Shares in Rolls-Royce rose 3.5%, or 27p, to 855p in early trading.

“Reducing costs is typically applauded by shareholders as it tends, in the short-term at least, to boost the profit and cash flow of which they are part owners,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

“Although it will be little compensation to those affected, it would be inaccurate to describe this as a slash and burn exercise by Rolls-Royce management.”

“Chief executive Warren East has been arguing for some time that there is duplication of roles within the business and the company's cash generation has consistently disappointed.

By Abid Ali



Volvo set new targets aimed at doubling sales by 2025

( via – – Thu, 7 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Volvo Cars has set itself new targets aimed at doubling sales and boosting profits by 2025 as the premium car maker grows its stake in new segments and technologies.

By 2025 the Swedish company, which is owned by Chinese automotive business Geely, wants half of all the cars it sells to be fully electric and a third of the total to have self-driving capabilities.

Volvo also aims to grow the amount of cars in its range that it offers on a subscription basis to 50pc under its “Care” programme.

Under this system customers pay a set monthly fee over for a two-year contract, and get a car, insurance and breakdown assistance while Volvo also covers all maintenance.

“Our customers’ expectations are changing rapidly,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, and who has previously compared Care to how people buy mobile phones.

“This means that Volvo Cars is also changing rapidly. These initiatives will help transform Volvo from being purely a car company to being a direct consumer services provider.”

Under the plans, Volvo hopes to create 5m “direct consumer relationships” by 2025, implying that sales will almost double. Last year Volvo sold 571,000 cars globally.

The company is also aiming to increase its profitability, “bringing it in line with other premium car makers”, such as BMW and Mercedes, at approaching 10pc, up from the current profit margin of 6.4pc reported in the last quarterly figures.

To do this, Mr Samuelsson said that Volvo would continue to tap into the new segment of providing cars for ride-hailing services, which are trialling self-driving systems. In the autumn, Volvo said it had agreed a deal to sell up to 24,000 of its large XE90 SUVs to Uber.

Profitability will also be driven by Volvo working with other car businesses in the Geely group, such as Lynk & Co and Polestar, the recently reborn premium electric brand. A combination of shared R&D, procurement and economies of scale is hoped to boost profits.

Volvo has boomed since being bought by billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely group in 2010, last year delivering annual revenues of 210bn Swedish kroner (£18bn) and a profit of £942m.

Speculation is growing that the company could be floated but the strong financial performance has more than repaid the $1.8bn price Mr Li paid when he bought Volvo from Ford in 2010. The billionaire is understood to be happy to retain Volvo unless it gets a $30bn market valuation.

By Alan Tovey


Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says only a man could rise to the challenges of his job

( via – – Tue, 5 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker says only a man could rise to the challenges of his job.

Moments after becoming chairman of the International Air Transport Association’s board of governors, one of the world’s biggest boys’ clubs, Mr Al Baker did little to suggest things will change.

At a press conference in Sydney, where IATA held its annual meeting, he was asked what could be done about the woeful representation of women in Middle East aviation. That’s not the case at Qatar Airways, Mr Al Baker told the reporter.

“Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position.” There were loud groans of disapproval from many reporters in the room.

The comments contrast with efforts by some rivals to push up female representation at the upper echelons. Qantas Airways’s senior management is 40pc female, including the heads of the international and frequent-flier loyalty businesses, CEO Alan Joyce said.

SkyTeam appointed Delta executive Kristin Colvile as chief executive of the airline alliance earlier this month.

Not only is diversity a competitive advantage, Mr Joyce said, “It’s the right business thing to do and it’s the right moral thing to do.”

A day earlier, IATA members from airlines across the world had listened to a panel discussing ways to address gender imbalances in the industry. When the IATA board posed for a group photo last week, there was just one woman among 26 airline chiefs – Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO of Flybe.

Mr Al Baker clarified his position in an interview with Bloomberg TV after his press conference. “I was only referring to one individual,” he said. “I was not referring to the staff in general.”

Qatar Airways staff are more than 33pc female, he said. Adding: “The carrier has female pilots and female senior vice presidents. There’s no gender inequality in Qatar Airways.”

Asked whether he’d welcome a female executive as CEO, Mr Al Baker said: “It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate I could then develop to become CEO after me.”