News in brief

VW in Toyota link

Automotive heavyweights Toyota and Volkswagen are jointly developing technologies for recycling old cars in Europe and Japan. The co-operation may extend to other areas of mutual interest.

Waste not, want not

The European Commission has unveiled plans to improve the competitiveness of recycling industries. The Commission wants to tackle structural weaknesses in the sector which, it claims, inhibit growth.

Mott is lined up

The £2.1m WestCoast Main Line modernisation programme is to include feasibility studies and initial design works by Mott MacDonald. The group has been hired for two years to act as a multi-functional consultant to Railtrack.

AEA sale ‘flawed’

The former Tory government sold off AEATechnology too cheaply, according to MPs. The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the ‘flawed’ sale could have made an extra £160m for the taxpayer.

Database grief

IT consultant Cap Gemini says 42% of the UK’s car manufacturers, dealers and importers believe they are losing business because of gaps in their customer databases. A survey also revealed that only 21% of companies thought their databases to be accurate, and 20% described their systems as inaccessible.

Welsh woe

Large areas of Wales may lose out in a review of the assisted areas map of Britain announced by the Government last week.

Emta offer

Managers of small engineering firms are being invited to sign up for free training this autumn, courtesy of the Engineering and Marine Training Authority. Emta is offering companies an 18-month, £2,500 procurement training programme.