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What the papers say: January 6

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  • We review broadsheets and tabloids
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We review the car-related news in today's papers.

Negative equity on cars
The Daily Mail reports that plunging car prices are leaving thousands of motorists in negative equity on loans for their cars. The paper says the worst affected will be people who have bought their car on personal contract purchase finance deals. These plans involve a final settlement payment, which is projected on what the car would be worth at the time of purchase leaving many owners with final settlements way in excess of their car's true value. The Daily Mail cites an example of a two-year-old Volvo XC90 with a predicted value of 18,775, but an actual value of just 12,600.
The Daily Mail

UK braced for grim news as global car sales fall
The Guardian reports that the global crisis in new car sales was underlined yesterday with a further collection of plunging sales figures from key markets. In Japan, sales of new cars fell by 22% last month, while French sales were down by almost 16%. In the US, Chrysler sales fell by 53%, with Ford dropping by 32% and General Motors by 31%. UK figures, to be released tomorrow, are expected to make grim reading.
The Guardian

US car makers hit 16-year sales low
The Daily Telegraph reports that the US car industry is expected to have had its worst year since 1992. Chrysler's drop in sales of 53% during December drags the company's total decline in 2008 to a staggering 30%. General Motors' suffered a 23% drop in 2008, while Ford lost 21% - recording a 47-year low.
The Daily Telegraph

Car sales in Japan fall to lowest level for 35 years
New car sales in Japan have slumped to their lowest level in 35 years, reports The Daily Telegraph. The country's domestic sales, excluding mini-vehicles, fell by 6.5% - the fifth straight annual decline.
The Daily Telegraph

Lose your job return your car, says Hyundai
The Times reports that Hyundai has underscored the desperation of the car industry by promising American car buyers that they can return their new cars if they lose their jobs.
The Times

Crackdown on cowboy garages
Cowboy garages that rip-off customers particularly women are being targeted by a Government crackdown, according to the Daily Mail. The move follows a poor response to a Government-backed voluntary code of conduct launched in the summer. Ministers have found that 43% of garages fail to give customers an accurate quote prior to carrying out work. The Government research also found that 53% of women had received sub-standard work when having their vehicle serviced.
The Daily Mail

Foreign drivers evade justice
The Daily Telegraph reports that thousands of foreign-registered drivers are escaping punishment for crimes they commit on the UK's roads. The paper says that the drivers evade justice because police are unable to trace them. Every day in London alone, more than 24 foreign-registered drivers are caught speeding by cameras. However, the Metropolitan Police has announced the start of Operation Tripper, which has been launched to close the loopholes allowing drivers to escape penalties.
The Daily Telegraph

Porsche go truckin'
The Times reports that Porsche is likely to buy Swedish truck business Scania. The deal is part of Porsche's continuing investment in Volkswagen, which holds 69% of voting rights in the truck firm.
The Times