Car finance bubble reaches coronavirus bursting point

Covid-19 slammed the brakes on Britain’s £82bn-a-year car industry.

With the lockdown forcing dealers to shut, sales collapsed in April, falling 97pc to just 4,321 vehicles, building on a 44pc plunge the previous month.

The Government has now said that showrooms can open from June 1, recognising these normally spacious operations are able to implement social distancing with measures such as unaccompanied test drives being introduced.

But even if the industry can sell cars, will there be motorists willing to buy them?

The pandemic has caused the greatest economic shock the UK has ever seen and Tim Urquhart, principal automotive

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Mazda brings playable concept car to PlayStation, esports series

Dive Brief:

  • Mazda Motor Corp. designed a virtual race car for the Sony PlayStation 4 video game “Gran Turismo Sport” to give players a glimpse of what it’s like to drive a vehicle by the car brand, the company announced.
  • The car maker Mazda worked with the game’s creator Polyphony Digital to develop the Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept vehicle for the driving simulation game.
  • Gamers that select the Mazda vehicle in “Gran Turismo Sport” will automatically get to participate in the FIA certified Gran Turismo Championship that takes place in several locations around the globe later this year. In the
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Car firm bailouts could leave Government owning swathes of British industry

JLR is not eligible for help under existing schemes because they require big businesses to have an investment grade credit rating, which the car maker lacks. Much of the car industry has weak ratings due to its low margins.

Business groups and economists warned of practical difficulties and risks around the idea of equity stakes.

“Firms have their backs up against the wall right now, so it’s welcome to see the Treasury considering innovative ideas to boost the economy,” said Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors. “The debt that businesses have taken on during the pandemic will

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Coronavirus latest: Thailand’s April car sales drop 65%

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 4,735,622, according to the World Health Organization.

The worldwide death toll has hit 316,289.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Wednesday, May 20

13:39 p.m. India sees its biggest single-day spike with 5,611 new infections reported over the past 24 hours, compared with 4,970 the previous day, taking the country’s total to 106,750. The count includes

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