November has been another trying month for the motoring world. There's a brand new police scheme which could provide us with some good news, but then, on the other hand, Vauxhall and Jaguar, Land Rover are set to cut the number of jobs in their factories.
Police and Dash Cam Footage
Let’s start with the Department for Transport (DfT) who want to invest a modest £100,000 in setting up a police unit to analyse dashcam footage and other video evidence submitted by the public.
It will be modelled on a pilot scheme, named Operation Snap, that ran in Wales in 2016. They want to enforce dangerous and careless driving offences, such as jumping red lights or using a mobile phone behind the wheel. This is just one of 50 measures announced as part of a two-year action plan to improve road safety.
As citizens, we can either applaud this initiative or regard it as yet another erosion of our liberty. Dash cams sound good in theory, but in practice, is this just a motorised big brother?
Vauxhall Cuts Jobs
Some bad news is that Vauxhall is set to cut 241 jobs from its Ellesmere Port factory as part of a plant restructuring. This is on top of the 400 jobs last year and 250 this year because of market changes. That is a way of saying that not so many people buy Vauxhalls anymore.
More significant is that this year their new owners, the PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen and DS) and their CEO Carlos Tavares have insisted that the plant must address costs and quality compared to its European plants.
Some might say that PSA is looking for excuses as Vauxhall is a large brand in the UK, but the equivalent models are badged as Opels in Europe. Vauxhall has told us that they are not changing and showed us a future electric car called the Vauxhall GT X. Well, at least this is a distraction while the 45 day consultation period with trade union and employee representatives takes place.
Car Of The Year
And finally, the shortlist for the Car of the Year Award has been announced and the seven finalists are the Alpine A110, Citroen C5 Aircross, Ford Focus, Jaguar I-Pace, Kia Ceed, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Peugeot 508.
The significant thing here is that many of these models have just been launched and not driven by many real buyers. It is important to understand that this is a marketing exercise.
Surely the best car would be one that was five years old, with hardly any recalls and was, according to MotorEasy statistics, super reliable.
We look forward to that ‘true’ Car of the Year Award.