Toyota, Honda await Trump policy before considering Mexico plans

TOKYO — The presidents of Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. said they have no immediate plans to curb production in Mexico, preferring to wait until after Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president this month before deciding whether to make any changes.

Automakers in the U.S. have been slammed by Trump for building cars in lower-cost factories south of the border, which he said costs American jobs. Pressure to curb that production intensified this week after Ford Motor Co. scrapped plans to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico after Trump harshly criticized the investment.

“We will consider our option as we see what policies the incoming president adopts,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said today at an industry gathering in Tokyo, when asked whether his company was considering any changes to a production plant the automaker is building in Mexico.

“We produce cars in Mexico for markets including North America and Europe and we have no immediate plan to change this,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said at the event to mark the New Year.

Trump has also said General Motors could become subject to tariffs on Mexico-made cars for the U.S. market, and that he would like to renegotiate terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement signed with Canada and Mexico.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s top three automakers, have production facilities both in the U.S. and in Mexico, while Toyota and Honda also operate plants in Canada. Many of the vehicles produced in Mexico and Canada are exported to the U.S. — the single biggest market for Japanese automakers.

Toyota produces about 100,000 pickup trucks and truck beds each year at its plant in the state of Baja California, and plans to raise output to around 160,000 units by 2018. It is also building a plant in Guanajuato city which will have an annual capacity of 200,000 when it comes online in 2019.

Honda has two auto plants in Mexico, one in Celaya city and the other in Guadalajara city that together build around 260,000 cars and 100,000 motorcycles a year.

In the year ended March, Nissan produced around 800,000 vehicles at its three plants in Mexico, nearly half of which were sold in the U.S.

The obscure city luring Amazon and Oracle with the promise of dirt-cheap developers


A modern business park in Romania’s up-and-coming tech city, Iasi.

Image: COSMIN SAVA, Getty Images

You may have never heard of Iasi, a Romanian city located just inside the EU’s eastern border. But companies such as Amazon and Oracle have, and they’ve already been tapping into its resources to develop their businesses.

Iasi is one of the most cost-effective cities in the European Union if you’re interested in software development. Junior English-speaking developers can be hired for €500 ($522) a month take-home pay.

Iasi has doubled its technology workforce over the past few years through both formal and informal education. The city is home to over 12,500 IT workers who are fluent in English, have a good command of French, and supplement their education by learning skills needed for their jobs.

“Probably the strongest selling point is the availability of highly-skilled human resources, with two very strong local technical universities,” Valerica Dragomir, executive director for the Employers’ Association of the Software and Services Industry, tells ZDNet.

Tech giants have already found Iasi on the map, and are familiar with its workforce. Oracle, which formally opened an office there this summer, intends to hire a few dozen people in 2017.

Amazon is even more ambitious. It has just moved to a larger building in the city and plans to recruit 400 technical staff over the next three years, adding to the 600 already employed there.

Its R&D center, the first opened in Eastern Europe 10 years ago, is focused on developing new website features and offering support to Amazon customers worldwide.

But Iasi is also the place where outsourcing companies such as Ness, Centric IT, and Fortech are making plans, tuning in to the city’s vibe and advantages. A skilled workforce, low costs, generous and fairly-priced office space, and the proximity to Western Europe in terms of air travel and time zones are among the benefits.

Ness has to compete with companies in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for contracts. “Our main arguments revolve around Iasi’s talent pool,” a Ness spokesperson says. “Moreover, in the past two years, the airport has added new destinations to its flight schedule.”

How far money goes is also a selling point. Tech companies in Romania benefit from several incentives. They can keep their workforce costs low, because developers don’t pay income tax.

Salaries in Iasi are lower than those in Western Europe. While junior developers start at €500 a month take-home pay, a senior programmer can earn as much as €3,000 ($3,160). That’s up to 20 percent less compared with Bucharest for entry-level jobs, according to the Brainspotting recruitment agency.

Still, technologists in Iasi can afford a good life, taking into account living costs: €1,400 in Iasi is the equivalent of €5,000 in London, if one rents accommodation in either city. Consumer prices are 60 percent lower in the Romanian city than those in the UK capital, while renting an apartment costs 88 percent less.

Although they earn above the country’s average, developers are finding it difficult to save enough money to venture into the startup world.

Because investors are scarce, most entrepreneurs keep nine-to-five jobs while building their products in the evenings and on weekends. That’s the approach used by the creators of Marionette Studio, a project which helps 2D game developers build animations directly in their browsers.

Co-founder Bogdan Apostol has put all his spare time and savings into the startup in the past year. Most local entrepreneurs do the same. Those who can afford to quit their job and don’t have to borrow money from friends and family are the exception, he says.

So far, Marionette Studio hasn’t made a profit and continues to be driven by its founders’ enthusiasm and their ambition to innovate. “We’re passionate developers. This is the first online skeletal animation software for 2D games,” Apostol says.

However, he believes he has reasons for feeling optimistic. He thinks the tech environment in Iasi are looking better than they did a few years ago.

“The city has a solid academic environment and a fair amount of technical graduates. What they really lack is an environment that encourages them,” he says.

Read more about technology in Central Europe

Young to inherit more but in less equal amounts, says IFS

grandparents with grandchildren

Younger generations will inherit much more money than their predecessors – but the amounts they get will be very unequal, according to new research.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says the wealth of the older generation has grown by 45% over just ten years.

As a result, more of that money than ever before will get passed on.

But those likely to benefit the most are those who are already well off, or who already benefit from high incomes, the independent think-tank said.

According to , the richest half of elderly households hold 90% of the wealth, largely as a result of increasing home ownership and rising house prices.

Hence a “lucky” half of the following generation will inherit the vast majority of that wealth, to the detriment of the other half.

“About half of people will inherit little or nothing, whereas the other half are going to inherit quite a lot,” said Paul Johnson, the director of the IFS.

“And that will matter increasingly as younger people are not able to get on the housing market themselves, and not accumulating occupational pensions.”

The IFS study looked at older families that can afford to pass on at least £250,000 to their heirs.

Of those families likely to inherit that money, more than half were in the richest 20% of the population, based on their income.

But Mr Johnson said raising the amount that people pay in inheritance tax was not necessarily the best answer.

“You may well find that a more effective set of policies are policies that support younger people, and particularly in the housing market; policies, for example, that increase council tax and reduce Stamp Duty, or increase the amount of houses that are built.”

While more people are paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) – and in larger amounts – the regime is about to get more generous to families.

At the moment, an individual can pass on up to £325,000 (£650,000 for a couple), without their beneficiaries paying IHT. Above that amount, they pay 40% in tax.

However from this April, the government will start to introduce the (TMRA), which will allow families to pass on more of their property wealth tax-free.

By 2021, families will be able to pass on £1m of their wealth – including the value of their home – without having to pay any tax.

IHT allowances 2016- 2021
Tax year TMRA Total allowance per person
2016/17 nil £325,000
17/18 £100,000 £425,000
18/19 £125,000 £450,000
19/20 £150,000 £475,000
20/21 £175,000 £500,000
source: HM Treasury

Further details of TMRA can be found .

Faraday Future’s FF 91: Here’s the IT stack that’s supposed to make the AI, big data magic happen


Faraday Future at CES 2017 launched its FF 91, an electric vehicle that’s designed to compete with Tesla, and outlined a mantra to “reformat the future” of the auto industry with artificial intelligence, connectivity and design. The big question is what enabling technologies Faraday Future will use to back up its promise.

Despite reports noting troubles with Faraday ranging from funding questions to the reality that its plant isn’t constructed, what the company was pitching was interesting. As CNET Roadshow noted:

Faraday Future has been getting some, ahem, press of late, with reports of senior employees jumping ship, delays of its $1 billion dollar factory in Nevada due to unpaid bills and debts in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nevertheless, the company has 1,400 employees, 194 patents and a lot of growth in two and a half years despite not having a product. Faraday’s FF 91 is supposed to be a vehicle that would learn you, your passengers and adapt to your preferences to delight you. That mission is going to require enough artificial intelligence knowhow to rival Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Faraday’s launch was glitzy, but left me with a vaporware feeling that requires more investigation. As I was watching the Faraday Future launch of the FF 91, I kept coming back to the same one word question: How?

Turns out there were more questions to ponder.

How is a company that has recently had funding hiccups going to deliver this car? What is the marketing strategy? What’s under the hood technology-wise beyond buzzwords? How will Faraday Future integrate technologies in a way that’s unique? And how will it markedly disrupt Tesla?


The one thing I do know is that to deliver on anything, Faraday Future will need a technology stack that does something groundbreaking beyond fancy slides during a vehicle launch. By digging around through Faraday Future’s career section, I’m able to put a rough guess on what technologies will put meat on the FF 91 promise.

Here’s a look at the information technology stack, which looks a bit conventional in many ways for a company built on disrupting the auto industry.

Enterprise back-end: Faraday Future is clearly an SAP shop on the finance side to the data. There are multiple positions available for business analysts as well as data scientists that need to know SAP S4/Hana. For instance, one business analyst post notes that the person hired will be responsible for design and architecture of S4/Hana and reporting. There are also roles for folks with SAP finance knowhow.

While the manufacturing and finance systems appear to be pegged to SAP, Faraday Future appears to be betting on Salesforce for CRM, marketing and sales. The company is looking for developers familiar with Salesforce Apex and Visualforce.


Meanwhile, Faraday is looking for two digital commerce pros to create a sales process. Right now, the FF 91 can only be reserved.

Databases: For a company that’s a bit more than two years old, Faraday Future as accumulated a few databases. The company has a database engineer position posted and one of the basic requirements is “strong experience with various relational databases such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL, MongoDB, NoSQL, Big Data, etc. and knowing when to implement what.” Overall, the database role revolves around big data. That fact isn’t surprising given Faraday Future’s promise revolves around machine learning and artificial intelligence.

DevOps: A DevOps engineer at Faraday Future requires knowledge of VMware vSphere or equivalent, OpenGL development on Linux, Python and automation scripting. “You will primarily be working with code for automated driving systems,” said Faraday’s job posting.

Cloud and data center: The cloud approach for Faraday looks decidedly hybrid with much of the focus revolving around big data. For production IT, there are roles for Cisco engineers as well as security folks with experience in Cisco tools. There was a brief mention of Amazon Web Services familiarity being a plus for one position, but most of the focus is on VMware.

Data: One cloud architect position for big data requires experience with Hadoop 2.0、Cassandra, Spark, Kafka, Storm and distributed systems. That position revolves around telemetry. A business intelligence role requires prototype metrics and scale-out data driven recommendations. R is also required for some areas. Not surprisingly, many technology roles revolve around folks that can build algorithms for everything from computer vision to behavior planning to mapping and managing sensor data.

The data-centric approach will also apply to Faraday’s marketing. The company is looking for marketing data scientists and behavioral science experts.

Customer facing applications. If Faraday can’t nail the internet of vehicle or infotainment systems, the FF 91 is going to struggle. Judging from the career listings it’s obvious that Faraday Future is betting on Android. Android application developers, framework engineers, multimedia pros and operating system experts are all listed positions. Embedded Linux experience is also needed.

In addition, Faraday Future will also implement BlackBerry’s QNX to some degree. The company is looking for a senior software engineer focused on QNX.

Bottom line: Faraday Future’s career listings also feature too many important roles touching design, manufacturing and user experience to conclude that the FF 91 will be production any time soon.

The edible drone that aims to deliver food, not bombs


Pouncer creator Nigel Gifford: “When you think of the Nepal disaster… you can see how it might help.”

Illustration: Windhorse Aerospace

Nigel Gifford began his working life in the British Army, where his duties included catering an expedition to climb Everest, before changing industries and getting into aeronautics. Previously Gifford was one of the team behind the unmanned Ascenta, a high altitude, long endurance platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

His current plan is to launch Pouncer, a drone built to deliver aid rather than bombs.

How is the Pouncer development going?

It’s going really well. The public support and goodwill, both for what it can do and the technology itself, has been wonderful.

Obviously, it can deliver food and medicines but the support for the lateral thinking in the technology has been great. The food technologists and food engineers see it as a really exceptional way to take food and use food for components that will actually work.

What we don’t know at the moment is if we will get any support to develop it from the government, but they are looking at that. In the New Year, we are looking at doing a crowdfunding exercise.


Nigel Gifford: “We have got it to the point where in the early part of next year we will be building some airframes.”

Image: Ozoneering

Some charities are asking for Pouncer already and they want to know when they can use it.

It is those areas that are cut off, isolated, where the primary shock has happened — that’s where Pouncer works so well.

How does the technology work?

We started with the idea of using an air launch out of the back of any aeroplane, such as a C-130 Hercules. In an air launch a small drogue shoot pulls them out in a string or in a package which opens up. A guidance system then takes them to their destination.

They glide fly from 10 or 20,000 feet into the area where they are needed. Now the first one will carry 50kilos (110.2lb). That 50 kilos will feed about 80 people for a day and a C-130 can take 90 of them (enough to feed 7,200 people for a day) and that is 4.8 metric tons.

You could fly down a valley, with villages either side of the valley that are all cut off, and you could get the supplies into those valleys and get the supplies into those villages.

Is there a method of guiding these deliveries?

Yes, they are pre-set. They fly to where you have set them. So you put in the co-ordinates of the destination and they will land within seven metres of that point.

Putting them, say, into a village in the hills of Nepal is no problem. When you think of the Nepal disaster, which I took as the paper problem for Pounce to solve, you can see how it might help.

Where there are areas that the aid agencies have had to leave, Pouncer would be able to go in and drop supplies.

You have prototypes of this?

We have got it to the point where in the early part of next year, we will be building some airframes. Then in the spring we will test those airframes. They may be tested here in the UK but they may be tested in Africa or they could be tested in Albania.

The reason is that we have already been told that we would be welcome in those areas rather than being caught up in miles of red tape in the western world.

The reason for this is because the way the Pouncer delivers its load is the same as, believe it or not, as you deliver a ballistic missile. Now that is a matter of working with the authorities to try and get exemptions. The regulations are there for a very good reason but that is the trouble with innovation. Innovation breaks the rules, and so it should.

Might it be easier in Africa or Albania than in the UK, where you have to deal with the regulations of the CAA?

To be fair, they are trying to help. There is nobody trying to not help. They get the point. We have a very good relationship with the CAA and have talked to their head of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) who couldn’t have been more helpful.

But they still have their regulations to go through and, of course, we are not the only people who go to them. They have people coming to them every day with other requirements.

However, you are dealing with people and people, in the main, have a generous spirit towards helping other people, but they are working within a system. We are getting some goodwill but that doesn’t mean that it won’t take a long time.

It does frustrate me because we know that delivering this aid, delivering food to people in those areas, will save lives. Or at least delivering food that contains the right nourishment will save lives.

You are clearly getting stuck into this. Are you enjoying it?

I am 70 now and if I can have driven this to a point where it helps people who, as a result, will not starve, to help them get over the natural disasters, or the war zones, then I will have done something of value.

A lot of us don’t get this opportunity to do something of value like this. All of my life’s experiences have brought me to this point where I have the chance to do something good.

Read more about drones

10 tips to help you ace PM certification exams

The Project Management Institute’s PM certifications are the most globally recognized in project management. The PMI offers these eight certifications:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

It’s estimated that 3 out of 5 (60%) of people pass the PMP exam on their first try. Follow these steps to increase your chances of acing any of the PM exams.

SEE: PMI certifications: What these IT certs could mean for your salary and PM career (TechRepublic)

Before you start studying

Tip 1: Break the content down into either the five phases/process groups or the 10 knowledge areas.

This makes the next step of determining how much study time you need much simpler, and the task of actually studying less daunting. Depending on your studying style, available time, and comfort level, it may make sense to break down content into even smaller chunks so you’re not overwhelmed by the volume of material to cover.

Tip 2: Allow at least six months before writing any of the project management exams.

Some experienced professionals may be able to write the exam with less time, while new students may require more than six months to be fully prepared. Factor in how many hours you have available to study per day, how much material has to be covered, and make sure to build in a realistic buffer. Leaving too little time to amply prepare can create the need to cram the month before the exam, and this can set you up for failure.

While you’re studying

Tip 3: Avoid multitasking

Set up a quiet room away from distraction; while you love your family, your pets, and your friends, this is not the time to spread yourself too thin if you plan to pass the exam on the first try. There are eight PMI certifications, each having stringent requirements and complex exams that make quiet, focused study time a critical factor for success.

Tip 4: Use exam simulation software to test your progress and perfect your methods before the real exam.

By using the simulators I list in the article “7 great IT certification exam simulators for project managers,” you’ll experience an environment that’s similar to the actual exam, as well as similar types of questions that you can expect to be asked. In addition to the exam simulator, vendors may offer some or all of these features and more:

  • flash cards
  • quizzes
  • analytical progress reporting
  • detailed explanations covering all topics
  • a comprehensive list of terminology offering easy to understand definitions
  • different exam modes
  • accessibility through a PC, tablet, or telephone
  • the ability to mark “for review”
  • up-to-date content
  • the ability to start now or start later
  • live feedback
  • unlimited repeats
  • in-depth statistics
  • realistic environments
  • 24/7 support

Tip 5: Consolidate what you’ve learned before moving onto new content.

By breaking study content down into smaller, more manageable sections, it allows your mind time to commit to memory what you’ve learned while you sleep; this increases your chances of retention.

It may also be helpful to assign alternating study and quiz days with some buffer, especially if the results of the previous day’s studying prove unfavorable in an exam simulation. You should give yourself extra time for additional review and simulations in areas where you may be struggling.

What to do several days before the exam

Tip 6: Use your project management skills to allocate exam time and your required effort.

This is the time to start thinking and acting like a PMP. Use the same skills you used for studying to allocate how you’re going to use the exam time and also to determine the strategy you’ll use if you run into difficulty. Try to think about all the scenarios that might crop up and make a plan for how you will address them.

Tip 7: Plan to write alone.

It may be tempting to take a friend along who is also writing the exam, but this may not prove to be a good idea. Why? Most people are competitive, which can work against you. Writing an exam is an individual effort; you should only be writing based on your own personal best, so keep yourself focused solely on your performance.

Tip 8: Just before you write, don’t discuss the exam with anyone.

Now that all the studying is complete and you’ve allocated your time wisely, try to avoid discussing the exam and the content with others. This will help you stay clear minded and focused without second-guessing what you’ve learned or if you’re ready to write the exam. Oftentimes discussing an exam just before writing it can throw you off your game, especially if others have differing views on questions or exam strategies.

What to do on exam day

Tip 9: Make common sense decisions when you’re unsure about an answer.

It’s common to face a mental block on questions you may have previously felt prepared to answer. It takes intentional effort to remind yourself to stay calm, focused, and practice sound judgment. Sometimes overthinking a question can send you in the wrong direction. More often than not the answer can be found by reflecting on previous questions and common sense to solve other questions you may be struggling with.

Tip 10: Have confidence and don’t second-guess yourself.

Know your exam writing strengths and weaknesses and do what works for you to stay calm and focused. Everyone has different strategies that work best work for them in stressful situations, and the project management exams can definitely create high stress for anyone.

Effectively allocating your time and having strategies to deal with difficult exam questions will help you remain calm and ready for the challenge. Walk in confident that you will pass on your first try.

Alibaba files first lawsuit over counterfeit goods sold on e-commerce site

Alibaba says it has sued two vendors for selling fake Swarovski watches on its online platform Taobao, marking the first time the Chinese e-commerce giant has taken legal action over counterfeit goods.

A lawsuit was filed in the Shenzend Longgang People’s district court against sellers Liu Huajun and Wang Shenyi, asking for 1.4 million yuan (US$201,613) for “violation of contract and goodwill”, Alibaba said.

In building its case, the company said it tapped big data and “surreptitious purchases” of suspected counterfeit goods to identify such sale and the location of the sellers in Shenzhen. Its data analysis pointed to the e-store, which was registered on Taobao in November 2015, and Alibaba arranged for samples of the product to be examined by the brand owner for its authenticity. It added that Luohu District police in August 2016 confiscated 125 fake Swarovski watches and two Swarovski official seals, worth an estimated 200 million yuan (US$28.8 million).

Alibaba Group’s chief platform government officer Jessie Zheng said: “Selling counterfeits not only violates our service agreement, it also infringes on the intellectual property rights of the brand owner, puts inferior products in the hands of consumers, and ruins the hard-earned trust and reputation Alibaba has with our customers.”

Zheng added that the company planned to take further legal action against e-tailers peddling counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platform. She said Alibaba would apply litigation in the hope that jail sentences and financial penalties would be a deterrence against the sale of fake goods.

According to Alibaba, more than 2,000 of its employees were dedicated to fighting counterfeit sale and another 5,000 volunteers worked with the company to identify fake goods on its online platforms.

Its head of global intellectual property enforcement, Matthew Bassiur, said: “We take a holistic and technology-driven approach to IPR-enforcement. Big data analytics enhance our ability to identify and pursue counterfeiters and make it increasingly difficult for these illicit sellers to hide in the shadows.”

The latest move had come amid mounting criticism the e-commerce operator was not doing enough to combat the sale of fake goods on its online platforms. Kering Group in 2015 sued Alibaba for allowing US shoppers to purchase counterfeits of its brands, which included Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, from the Chinese e-commerce sites.

The US Trade Representative last month reinstated Taobao Marketplace to its blacklist of “notorious markets” known for hawking counterfeits, four years after it had removed the e-commerce site from the list. Describing the move as “disappointing” and politically motivated in a US election year, Alibaba said it had committed various efforts, including a 150 million yuan (US$21.6 million) investment in 2015, to stem out counterfeit sale on its shopping sites.

The company added that it helped authorities in Zhejiang Province shutter 417 production lines and arrest 332 suspects last year, seizing counterfeit goods worth 1.43 billion yuan (US$205.93 million).

UK service sector sees strong expansion in December

Waiter, London

Activity in the UK service sector grew at its fastest pace for 17 months in December, according to a closely watched survey of purchasing managers.

The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 56.2 last month, from 55.2 in November – the highest level since July 2015.

But inflationary pressure in the sector continued, with prices charged rising at the strongest rate since April 2011.

Markit’s Chris Williamson said it defied fears of a Brexit slowdown.

However, Mr Williamson, Markit’s chief economist, said policymakers were “clearly concerned about the extent to which Brexit-related uncertainty could slow growth this year”.

Apple swipes out New York Times from China appstore

The New York Times app is no longer accessible on Apple’s China appstore, following a request from Chinese authorities that the app be removed.

Apple said it complied with the government’s request and removed the news organisation’s Chinese-language and English-language app on December 23, reported The New York Times,(NYT) which website had been blocked in China since 2012. The government moved to block the online site after the news organisations published several articles detailing the wealth built up by the family of then-Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao.

Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said in the article: “For some time now, The New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations.

“As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store,” Sainz said. “When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”

He did not provide any information on what local laws the app had breached to prompt its removal or whether a court order was issued.

Apps from other global publications such as The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal still were available on Apple App Store in China, according to the NYT article.

The news organisation’s Beijing bureau said it had asked Apple to reconsider. Spokesperson Eileen Murphy said: “The request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country–coverage which is no different from the journalism we do about every other country in the world.”

The report noted that the government’s request seemed to have been issued under June 2016 rules outlined in China’s Provisions on the Administration of Mobile Internet Application Information Services. These stated that apps must not “engage in activities prohibited by laws and regulations such as endangering national security, disrupting social order, and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others”. Apps should not publish “prohibited” content, according to the local authority’s website.

UK car sales at record high in 2016

New cars

The number of new cars sold in the UK hit an all-time high in 2016.

The car industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said demand for new cars from private and fleet buyers hit about 2.7 million, 2% higher than in 2015.

It is the second year in a row that UK car sales have hit a record.

However, the SMMT says this year is unlikely to prove another record breaker, with new registrations expected to fall by 5-6%.

The SMMT’s Mike Hawes said last year’s growth was due to “very strong” consumer confidence, low-interest finance packages and the launch of a number of new models.

He also said that five consecutive years of increased sales had been fuelled by pent-up demand that developed during the recession of the late 2000s.

However, Mr Hawes said the fall in the value of the pound resulting from the Brexit vote was beginning to push up prices, which had risen by 2-3%. More than 85% of new cars bought in the UK are imported.

Mr Hawes said the impact of Brexit on the car industry was, as yet, unclear.

He warned though that if the UK was unable to trade freely with the EU and tariffs were introduced, it would add about £1,500 to the price of each imported car.