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Automotive News – Late June 2023

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

The Nissan team at its Sunderland plant are celebrating building the 11 millionth vehicle since production started in 1986. The milestone means that, on average, a new car has rolled off the line at the plant every two minutes, every hour of every day, for 37 years.

The 11 millionth car was a Blade Silver Qashqai e-POWER, one of three electrified models currently built at the plant. The first car, built in 1986, was a white Nissan Bluebird, which took about 22 hours to build. Today, a top of the range Qashqai e-POWER takes about 8.5 hours.


The future of Wellingborough automotive engineering company RML Group is unclear after the firm posted a notice of intention (NOI) to appointment administrators late last week.

RML posted the NOI through law firm Gateley on Thursday (June 15).

The firm has been trading since 1984 and has evolved from a business that supported the Aston Martin racing car team, to today where it worked in the automotive, motorsport, defence and new energy sectors.

RML’s latest accounts are made up to the year-ending October 31, 2021, and outlined a business “significantly” impacted by the Covid pandemic. The accounts say that new business was delayed, its supplier base was “stressed”, and it had to try and meet customer demands along with keeping its employees safe.

Despite this, the company invested heavily during the year, developing what it called a “classically themed” high performance collectors’ car, the RML Short Wheelbase.

Turnover during the year fell by a third to £9m, while RML posted a pre-tax loss of £1.1m.

The accounts state that RML started its next financial year with a strong order book, with high turnover secured “for the next few years” and a number of new projects in discussion in the automotive, SVO and EV sectors.


Radius, the Crewe-based global mobility and connectivity group, is to provide access to a reliable supply of fuel cell grade hydrogen across the UK in a partnership with hydrogen infrastructure company, Element 2.

The system will enable more than 100,000 commercial fleet customers to make payments with their existing UK Fuels cards, significantly accelerating a shift towards net zero emissions.

Element 2 and Radius will work to develop a network of hydrogen refuelling solutions across Radius’s existing UK Fuels network. Element 2 will offer a combination of mobile and permanent hydrogen refuelling solutions.


Electrical bike manufacturer Maeving is gearing up for further success internationally with bikes available in France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands with a launch in Australia and Singapore planned for next month.

The brand will also expand to the US later this year.

This new international sales development is a major step for the Coventry firm as it pushes ahead with an ambitious expansion plan spearheaded by co-founders and Will Stirrup and Seb Inglis-Jones.


Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has entered into a £182m strategic supply agreement, to create high performance electric vehicles.

The deal with Lucid Group means the firm becomes a 3.7% shareholder, whilst enabling Aston Martin to access its technology for its BEVs, including electric powertrains and battery systems.

Under the terms of the deal, Aston Martin is set to issue 28,352,273 of shares to Lucid and make phased cash payments. The value of shares issued and cash payments total around £182m.


Britain should continue following EU car regulations to avoid extra costs for consumers, says the boss of Ford.

Tim Slatter’s comments come as car manufacturers prepare for the first major review of Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

Some Brexit campaigners want the UK to do more to set itself apart from the EU and to focus on markets beyond Europe.

But the chairman of Ford said UK car manufacturers believe their future lies mainly in Europe.

Speaking on the eve of the International Automotive Summit in London, Tim Slatter said: “It’s really important that we maintain really good alignment to the European [regulatory environment] because that’s where we build and sell most of our vehicles.”


The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has this week published a new manifesto for growing the EV industry rapidly in the coming years, delivering a tenfold increase in EV production to more than 750,000 vehicles per year by 2030.

This level of increase is consistent with the UK’s legally binding climate commitments and its ban on new diesel and petrol car and van sales from 2030. It would, the SMMT states, deliver some £106bn of economic benefit to scale EV manufacturing this rapidly.

This manifesto is, in part, intended to serve as a call to action for policymakers. The UK Government has been accused of squandering the EV opportunity by delaying the launch of subsidy packages to rival the US and EU; failing to guarantee affordable energy for manufacturers and not easing post-Brexit supply chain tensions.

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