Article taken from: www.theguardian.com
Britons aren’t buying as many new cars…but they are buying more food from Aldi.
The German discount supermarket chain has just recorded its busiest ever week, as shoppers splashed out on its premium offerings for Christmas.
My colleague Rob Davies explains:
Aldi sold nearly £1bn of goods in the UK during December thanks to rising demand for its premium ranges, the discounter said on Monday.
The German supermarket giant’s British arm, the country’s fifth-largest grocery chain, said the week beginning 17 December was the busiest in its history, with sales up 10% on last year.
Aldi said its sales performance reflected a surge in demand for its premium ranges – Specially Selected and Exquisite.
“We begin the new year with great momentum as the UK’s fastest-growing supermarket and on the back of record Christmas sales,” said the chief executive, Giles Hurley. 03:05 Car sales: what the media say
The Financial Times agrees that the diesel emissions scandal has a serious impact on Uk car sales last year:
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said the drop was due to a combination of new emissions tests leading to supply bottlenecks, diesel drivers holding on to their cars for longer and low consumer confidence.
“Brexit is an issue,” he said, but he added that it would be “unfair to attribute [the decline] wholly to Brexit.” He said Dieselgate — the scandal that revealed widespread cheating in emissions testing by manufacturers — was probably the most significant factor as it was the only category in which sales dropped.
The Independent has highlighted the dangers posed by Brexit:
The SMMT said that its members had spent some time examining what might happen under a disruptive no-deal Brexit, but many car imports are through specialist centres such as Immingham rather than the traditional cross-channel routes. There seems to be little sign, as yet, of consumers buying cars in advance of possible shortages, but the SMMT said that a first-quarter sales boost in 2019 was possible. It added that its members had not been stockpiling new vehicles.
On the other hand, UK manufacturing operations have very little scope for warehousing new parts and any disruption to the 1,100 trucks a day coming to deliver parts to assembly lines across Britain would mean line stoppages, a rapid escalation in costs and a threat to future production and investment.
Sky News points out:
The SMMT, like other business bodies, is calling for MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit agreement and avoid a no-deal scenario.
It says that crashing out of the EU without an agreement risked destroying the car manufacturing industry, which employs more than 850,000 people in the UK. Updated