Va Va Gloom for Motor Industry

New car sales have dropped nearly 37% since last November, with Edinburgh car dealerships one of the the many affected.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 100,333 new cars were registered in November, whilst private car sales was down 45% in November, which haven’t been as low since the early 1980’s.

This news follows the decision by Honda close its UK factory in Swindon for the duration of February and March next year, whilst BMW is closing its Oxford factory, which produces the Mini following a poor year.

As America’s car manufacturers Ford, Chrysler and General Motors continued to lobby for a $34 billion (£22.9 billion) bail-out many commentators are suggesting the car industry may be the next to fall foul of the credit crunch as financial tension caused by dropping sales and increasing production costs.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “While some consumers may have delayed their purchases to take advantage of the recent VAT reductions, overall demand continues to fall.

He added: “Urgent action is required to ease access to credit and finance, both to support consumers and meet the cash-flow needs of the industry.”

Edinburgh Feasts on Winter Wonderland

richielaurie1com-026Like a scene from a Scandinavian Christmas, Edinburgh’s Princes Street gardens set a somewhat romantic backdrop to the famous historic sky-line.

Winter Wonderland has two markets that offer a feast of traditional German, Scandinavian and Scottish specialties.

The German market, consists of 25 wooden huts. Their character and warmth are enough to forget about the bone chilling evening air.

Some of the highlights include the German Weinerschnitzel. These Bavarian beauties are considerably larger than their average British counterparts, taste more smoked, their texture less gritty. Lathered in mustard, ketchup, or the more European mayonnaise, the king’s of the sausage world are gentle on the pallet whilst satisfy starving stomachs quite adequately. At a cost of between £2.50 and £4 with add ons, they’re worth a try.

If you don’t like a bit of sausage over Christmas, why not try a hamburger, a little more expensive, a steak burger, or take a wonder over to the Scottish market for a few more options: Venison, wild Hogg, Haggis and Veal dishes, all for between £3 and £5.richielaurie1com-028

Drinks are festive two.The Gluiwein hut offer piping hot alcoholic and non alcoholic wines, including raspberry, apple and mulled wine for around £3.50, and for another 50p you can add in a shot of schnapps or amaretto.

Beers are also on offer at a number of outlets, offering lager, but also some more unusual mixers with it, such as cola. Half pints are £2.50, pints £3.50. A point to note however is the deposits for glasses, from £4 a beer glass to £2 for the gluiwein mugs which make an average round of four drinks nearly £30.

The most disappointing fact is the weeknight opening hours, from 10am-8pm on Sundays to Thursdays, there’s little time for evening festivities, an hour or two later would be perfect. However, Friday and Saturday’s opening hours are 10am to 10pm giving those looking for a little more festive cheer, some more time to feast on the charm and scent of Edinburgh’s winter markets.
Photos courtesy of Richie Laurie Photography (http://www.richielaurie.com)

review by Daniel Parker

video by Jen Lavery

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