And just like that, quarter two is over! Whilst the year seems like it’s flying by (pardon the pun, those of you in air freight), politics seems to feel like it’s dragging on. Especially Brexit. This week, Theresa May has warned her potential successors that the outcome of a no-deal Brexit will threaten the UK’s future. According to The Guardian, recent polls suggested that there is more support for independence; more so if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister and pushes for a no-deal departure. The battle between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt is still live, and the public await the decision from the Conservative Party, and the chosen person will replace May place after her step down.
After Ford and General Motors’ expansion to Europe, it is apparent that the former is now scaling back to what they know best: trucks and SUVs. Ford currently has 23 plants in Europe, including the UK, Spain, Russia and Romania. The plan at the time of building these plants was to build their global market via expansion throughout Europe. However, Ford has recently made a proposal to cut at least six of these European plants. This means that around 12,000 jobs could be at stake. These plans to cut back from European plants is not uncommon. General Motors cut back almost all plants in 2017, before selling their European brands to Peugeot. It seems as though these two car makers were facing a large amount of competition throughout Europe, due to highly successful competitors such as VW, Renault and Peugeot. According to the European Automotive Manufacturers Association, VW’s new passenger-car registrations in the EU between January and May 2019 was 745,299, whereas Ford’s was only 421,510.
The new focus for Ford (again, no pun intended), is to invest in making vehicles for the commercial market, business buyers and governments, as opposed to personal-use cars. Ford will be directing their energy more towards cargo vans and trucks. Due to Ford being the number-one business-vehicle company, it puts the car maker at an advantage with its competition.
On a different note: according to The Guardian, China’s border guards have been secretly downloading surveillance apps onto tourists’ mobile devices. It has been revealed that travellers have been targeted when entering the region neighbouring Kyrgyzstan. The guards have been downloading a secret app onto tourists’ phones which gives them access to emails, texts, contacts and information about the handset. The news has been broadcasted to travellers to encourage then not to hand over their phones.
Finally, perhaps next month we will have some clarity over the UK’s prime minister and what will happen with Brexit, but for now we will have to sit back and wait…
Rachel Jefferies, Editor, FORWARDER magazine