EU New Car Registrations Fall For Third Month

New passenger car registrations in the European Union declined for a third straight month in November, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, said Friday.

Demand for new cars fell 8 percent year-on-year following a 7.3 percent slump in October and a 23.5 percent plunge in September. Ahead of the introduction of the new WLTP emission test regime, car registrations jumped 31.2 percent in August.

Further, the market continued to contract in most EU countries in November, including the five biggest car markets, the ACEA said.

In the January to November period, car registrations grew 0.8 percent from a year ago.

Cost of insuring against UK debt default highest since Brexit vote

News of a vote of no confidence against Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday pushed the cost of insuring UK government debt against default to its highest since the Brexit vote.

The vote lifted the price of ‘5-year UK Credit Default Swaps’. These products are used by traders to guard against the prospect of Britain defaulting on its debt.

The swaps are structured whereby the purchaser of the swap pays a fee for protection. The seller of the swap has to pay out if the UK defaults.

The greater the risk of a default, the higher the fee that has to be paid for the insurance. Swaps can also be used as a way to make money. They were famously used by a number of investors to bet against big US banks before the crash.

The investors bought swaps, paid the premiums, and then collected big payouts when the banks got into trouble.

The strategy was the subject of ‘The Big Short’ – a film based on the book of the same name by well-known US author Michael Lewis.

Ms May was yesterday trying to shore up the support of Conservative MPs as she seeks to salvage her proposed agreement for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

100,000 Opel Vehicles Recalled

Germany recalls 100,000 Opel vehicles as part of emissions investigation

  • Prosecutors search two German Opel sites
  • Transport Ministry says defeat device found in April
  • Ministry says recall of around 100,000 Opel cars imminent
  • Opel says will legally challenge a mandatory recall
  • Opel denies using defeat device


Germany’s Transport Ministry said it would order roughly 100,000 Opel vehicles to be recalled as part of an emissions probe, after prosecutors searched the carmaker’s offices earlier in the day.

German motor vehicle authority KBA found four software programmes capable of altering vehicle emissions in 2015, and ordered Opel to implement a software update in cars to remove them, Germany’s Transport Ministry said in a statement.

“After a fifth software device was discovered in early 2018, which KBA found to be illegal, there is currently an official hearing going on with the goal of imposing a mandatory recall for the models Cascada, Insignia and Zafira,” the ministry said in a statement.

The transport ministry said Opel had dragged its feet on the hearing. The KBA had told Frankfurt prosecutors about the software device in April, it said.

“The official recall of the affected roughly 100,000 vehicles will take place shortly,” it added.

Opel said in a statement it rejected any accusation of using illegal defeat devices that can manipulate exhaust emission tests, also denying it was procrastinating.

“Should (a mandatory recall) be ordered, Opel will challenge it legally,” said the carmaker .

German prosecutors searched offices at Opel’s sites in Ruesselsheim and Kaiserslautern earlier on Monday.

The Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said it was probing 95,000 vehicles equipped with Euro 6d engines.

PSA Group, which owns the Opel and Vauxhall brands, declined to comment.

The Opel Insignia, Zafira and Cascada were developed when Opel and its sister brand Vauxhall were still owned by General Motors. General Motors sold Opel to PSA Group in 2017.

Opel admitted in 2016 that its Zafira model contained engine software which switched off exhaust emissions treatment systems under certain circumstances. Opel insisted at the time that it was making use of a legal loophole.