News in brief

Indian cats

Johnson Matthey is setting up India’s first emission control catalyst factory at a New Delhi facility in association with partner Arora.

Halla contracts

South Korean forklift truck firm Halla Euro Enterprise is to lay off 70 workers at its £17m Merthyr Tydfil plant, which will be left with 100 employees. The factory was opened last year. The firm is part of Halla Group, declared bankrupt last month with debts of £3bn.

Designers vie

The Design Council has received more than 1,000 entries for the first wave of its Millennium Products scheme, intended to pick out the best of British design. The selected products – probably a few hundred – will be announced in April, but there will be three further chances for firms to enter products over the next 18 months.

Cars stack up

More finished cars were made in Britain last year than in any year since 1972. A total of 1,697,966 cars were produced. The export market took 57% of output – 961,971 vehicles – up from 54% in 1996.

Smarter blasters

The Ministry of Defence has announced possible plans to modernise RAF and Royal Navy aircraft bombs with a guidance system which does not require the active designation of a target with a laser.

Pound goes less far

Sterling inflation, at an annualised 2% last November, was higher than the EU average of 1.8% which was up from 1.7% in October.