Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hyundai beefing up rural network for low-cost car

Hyundai Motor India plans to add 300 rural sales outlets within the next two months as it gears up to launch its cheapest car in India by November this year.

Hyundai announced in May that it would launch a small car costing below Rs 3 lakh in November. Hyundai is gearing up to launch the small car, codenamed HA, to directly compete with market leader Maruti Suzuki’s Alto.

The new rural outlets will take its rural sales network to 1,000, apart from the standard 325 dealerships located in cities.

The country’s second largest carmaker will employ a total of about 2,000 sales executives in these rural outlets. Rural areas, according to Hyundai, are the markets that lie outside the top 40 cities.

According to Maruti Suzuki's chief general manager, marketing, Shashank Srivastava, the company has 960 standard dealerships and 3,400 ‘taluka’ outlets through which it sells the Alto, the largest selling car in the country. Maruti plans to raise the number of its taluka outlets to 3,600 by the end of 2011. Maruti gets 33 per cent of its total sales from outside the 40 main cities.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tata Motors luxurious Aria rolls in

Tata Aria
Tata Motors launched the Tata Aria — the first Indian four-wheel drive crossover — a luxurious creation with the finesse of a sedan and the muscle of an SUV all blended in one car.

The Tata Aria redefines several benchmarks with its design and technologies, offering class leading features that take comfort and safety to a new height, it said, claiming that the all wheel drive 4x4 is equipped with a Torque-on-Demand System which significantly enhances all-terrain capabilities.

The feature is especially apt for Nepal where vehicles have to face harsh terrains and hostile road conditions daily.

It is also among those rare cars in Nepal to offer 36 new features with advanced safety features like the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which ensures the car’s stability, and six airbags (including curtain airbags) to ensure safety in emergencies.

The Tata Aria has been launched in three trim levels, all with 4x4 – the Aria Pride at the top end, the Aria Prestige and the Aria Pleasure, each in eight colour options, the company said.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Audi A8 L W12 quattro Launched

Audi A8
6.3 liter W12 engine with 500 horsepower, 1400 watt Bang & Olufsen stereo with 19 speakers, quattro centre differential, aluminium space frame, a passenger cabin with lots of leather and some wood. That's the new Audi A8 L W12 quattro for you

The A8 has been the top of the line luxury car at Audi for a while now. For those of you who have not seen an A8, it is a quite a long car. Most luxury car makers first make a top of the line luxury sedan and then launch a long wheelbase version with more legroom and kit. Audi has skipped all of that and straight away launched the A8 L.

Put simply, it’s as if someone has attached a part of a very expensive living room to the back of the all new A8. And it’s quite a nice living room too. The Valonea leather in the passenger cabin is tanned with plant extracts to make it especially soft. The dashboard is finished in piano wood. Audi offers an optional wood and leather centre console that stretches from the dashboard to the centre of the backrest of the rear seats. The head restraints and gear selector lever are adorned in buckskin leather for its hard wearing quality. If you go for this option instead of a backrest between the two rear seats you can have a refrigerator with a cabinet mounted on top to keep a set of glasses. The centre console at the back comes with separate controls for rear air conditioning.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Electric car sales appear to slow despite government grants

Electric Car
15 electric vehicle grants issued in last three months, fewer than half number issued in quarter before Sales of electric cars have all but stalled, despite government grants to encourage an electric revolution to cut emissions from burning petrol and diesel.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that only 215 electric vehicle grants were issued in the last three months, fewer than half the 465 issued in the previous quarter.

The figures were obtained by the research charity the RAC Foundation, which said the latest sales take the total number of battery-powered cars in the UK to just over 2,500, out of a fleet of more than 28m vehicles – a long way short of the 1.7m electric vehicles set as a target for the end of the decade by the government's Committee on Climate Change.

Andrew Fulbrook of market research firm IHS Automotive said that despite generous government grants of £5,000 for each electric car and van, the cost of new electric vehicles was still too high at £20,000-25,000, the choice too narrow, and the spread of charging points too slow to overcome "range anxiety" by drivers worried they will run out of battery power before they get home.

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Maersk Line orders world’s biggest ships

Biggest Ship
Denmark’s Maersk Line, operator of the world’s largest container ship fleet, on Monday took a big gamble on future market growth when it signed a $1.9bn order for 10 ships that will be the largest vessels afloat.

The triple-E ships are to be built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and will each have a capacity of 18,000 20-foot-equivalent units, the standard measure of container capacity.

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The vessels take the title for the world’s biggest container ships from Maersk Line’s own E-class ships, which each carry 15,500 TEUs.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Ben Bostrom Set for MotoGP Debut

Ben Bostrom is living the dream this weekend aboard the LCR Honda RC212V in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, but it's a sleepless dream that's kept him up at night.

The 37-year-old MotoGP rookie took most of the questions in the pre-race press conference for the 10th round of the MotoGP World Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Last year's AMA Superbike race winner thanked LCR, Michael Jordan Motorsports, and American Suzuki, then spoke of what he expected of his double duty weekend.

"Yeah, it's definitely going to be a big weekend," he said on a stage he shared with World Champions Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Nicky Hayden. "Just walking up those stairs is pretty special. It's an honor to sit with these guys. And actually, even have a little name tag right here. I took a photo myself to try to believe that.

"It's really an honor. Very lucky with LCR Honda. I've got to thank them with MJ, I mean Michael Jordan Motorsports. The collaboration between the two and even American Suzuki for allowing the opportunity. I want to go out there and twist the thing. It's so exciting to get a new toy to ride."

Bostrom added that it was "a dream come true. Honestly, I watch these guys because I TiVo every race and I'm becoming more and more a fan as I get older¸ which is strange. I didn't love motorcycles as much several years ago. Every day, maybe because you see the end coming more, I'm an uberfan. What can I say? So I'm there like glued to it."

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introducing Mercedes Benz W25 Inspired Concept Car

Mercedes Benz
Nowadays design and technology are moving ahead at high speeds, thus the designers and engineers have to keep up with the alert rhythm. One such project that seems to define the tempo itself is the Touch Effect by Marco Sweston of the Munich University of Applied Sciences. The whole car was penciled as a continuation of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows W25.

The vehicle thereby designed for this sport has a light-weight main body with a stiff carbon frame that imparts it ruggedness, giving it an overall stability. The other core muscles for the motor-sport vehicle have been made from flexible synthetics that can be deformed using voltage differences. These have been covered partially using acrylic glass surfaces on the exterior thereby giving a visual feel of merging parts into one volume.

However, the hull has been kept a bit unveiled as to convey the impression of being light-weight. In addition to the designing part, the vehicle has features like automatic ground clearance adjustment as well as a four-wheel steering. Marko Swenson visualizes

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I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

Somewhere near the beginning of life's scrapbook is this picture: a child detaching from the stabilizing grip of a grown-up and sailing forth alone as momentum and balance finally click and lock into the irrevocable knowledge of how to ride a bike.

It kept happening Wednesday at the Agri-Plex in Allentown, as child after child participating in a weeklong biking camp mastered gravity and conquered inertia and left training wheels behind for good.

What made it unique is that the cyclists were all special-needs children whose chances of ever riding a two-wheeled bike looked pretty dim as late as last week.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Britons may soon fly cars!

London, July 18 (IANS) A flying car which usually finds its mention in children books or animated cartoon movies, may soon become a reality in Britain.

Aviation experts are saying a flying car could be in regular use in Britain within five years after a model was formally approved by US authorities, Daily Mail reported Monday.

The $250,000 Terrafugia Transition is a two-seater aircraft, which has a top speed of 115 mph, a range of 500 miles on a tank of fuel and requires just 20 hours training to fly.

The car, at the touch of a button, takes just 15 seconds for its wings to fold up automatically and the power to be re-routed from the propeller to the rear wheels.

It can then be driven at up to 65 mph and will comfortably fit in a standard size garage.

'It's like a little Transformer,' said Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich, referring to the children's toys that were turned into a blockbuster movie franchise.

Although aimed primarily at buyers in the US where there are plenty of airstrips and 600 'fly-in' communities - Boeing 707 owner John Travolta being the best-known fan - more than 20 Britons have already declared an interest in the carbon-fibre vehicle.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Positive in Fluence

Renault Fluence
IN times of economic woe and tightening of the purse strings, new car buyers are looking at value for money to sell their wares.

With Renault's history of making affordable family cars and the news they are extending and doubling their scrappage scheme, there's never been a better time to get behind the wheel of a new Renault.

And the new Renault Fluence not only provides value for money, it is one of the most spacious in its class.

The new sleek design fills the void left by the new Megane not including a saloon in the line-up.

I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of the old Megane saloon - there's no doubting it was a good car but it didn't do anything for me in the looks department.

The new Fluence definitely has kerb appeal. Renault designers have taken the challenge head on and have come up with one of the most attractive cars in the sector.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Ford launches the all new Fiesta.

Ford Fiesta
The All-New Fiesta is available in four premium trims, across eight variants – Style, Trend, Titanium and Titanium Plus, with both petrol and diesel powertrain options in manual transmission. The 1.5 L Ti-VCT Style is priced at Rs. 823,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the 1.5 L Duratorq TDCi Titanium Plus at Rs. 10,42,200 (ex-showroom, Delhi).

Ford India on Thursday launched its global sedan, the all-new Fiesta. The globally evolved product brings to its segment a host of new features. The company also introduced its first-ever 1.5-litre powertrains — 1.5 L Ti-VCT and 1.5 L Duratorq TDCi engines — that will drive the premium sedan. Both powertrains will be manufactured at the company's engine plant at Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

The all-new Fiesta is available in four premium trims, across eight variants — Style, Trend, Titanium and Titanium Plus with petrol and diesel powertrain options in manual transmission. The 1.5 L Ti-VCT Style is priced at Rs.8.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Navi Mumbai) and the top of the line 1.5 L Duratorq TDCi Titanium Plus at Rs.10.51 lakh (ex-showroom, Navi Mumbai). The car will be available in seven colours — diamond white, moondust silver, sea grey, chill, panther black, squeeze and kinetic blue. Ford India is offering anti-lock brake system, electronic brakeforce distribution, airbags and steering wheel audio controls as standard features among others, across all the eight variants in both options.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mahindra to sell 120,000 SsangYong cars globally this year

Mahindra Car
Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd is aiming to sell 120,000 South Korean SsangYong cars globally this year, the company said on Wednesday.

"We are aiming to sell 120,000 SsangYong cars globally this year. About 55 percent of this will be sold outside (South) Korea and the remaining will be sold in (South) Korea. Last year 82,000 cars were sold," Mahindra and Mahindra president, automotive and farm equipment sectors, Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

Mahindra and Mahindra acquired the South Korean automobile manufacturer SsangYong Motor in February.

Goenka said the company will launch five new cars in India.

"We will launch five new cars in the country this year. Two cars of SsangYong - Rexton and Korando C, one SUV (sport utility vehicle) and one electric car will be launched," he said.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

BMW 330i is ready to be showcased

Anamit Sen spent a whole day evaluating a BMW 330i in and around Delhi and the NCR. I'm starting this review with a bit of news. Auto Bild magazine in Germany has just reported that the 2012 version of BMW's 3 Series, which will be the 6th generation of the 3 Series, is ready to be showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. The reports say that this new BMW, classified internally as the F30 and going up against the Mercedes C Class, Audi's A4 and Volvo's S60, has borrowed quite a bit in terms of design from the 5 Series. It will break new ground in terms of safety and will have new four-cylinder turbocharged engines. The reports also says that though BMW may not be vorsprung durch technik (borrowing from Audi) or advanced/ahead through technology any more because competitors also have the equivalent of the advantages of Efficient Dynamics, the boffins DO have access to the parts and accessory shelf of the 5 Series. Which means it is quite possible that the F30 may offer features like night vision assistance, heads up display or HUD, lane changing assistance as well as automatic parking.

So how is that bit of news relevant to this driving impression? Well, if you have not noticed yet the car featured here is the BMW 330i Edition Sport, internally classified as the E90. OK, let me explain the internal classification over the years, which starts way back in 1966 when the 1600-2002 series came in as a family saloon. It was sporty too with an 80bhp engine that could reach 96kph in 13 seconds. The 2002 Turbo was part of the 02 Series, with a 170bhp engine and BMW churned these out till 1976. The internal E classification kicked off with the E21 ,the first generation of 3 Series cars, production of which ran from 1976 to 1982. These cars still used small engines, with capacities of 1.6 and 1.8 litres. BMW introduced their first six-cylinder engine in the 3 Series at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1977, the 323i which had 143bhp on tap.

The E30 that followed in 1983 was the second-generation 3 Series. These cars were bigger than the previous generation cars, had more power, but were lighter, the perfect recipe for performance. The 325i topped the range and had a straight-six engine developing 170bhp out of 2.5litres, good for 135mph or 216kph which would be adequate even today. The E30 was especially notable because it was the base for the first M car, known simply as the BMW M3 E30, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1985. This particular car was VERY successful in race trim, winning several touring car championships. The M badge had arrived.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 Graves Project Bike 2

Yamaha YZF-R6
If you’ve analyzed our recent 2011 Supersport Shootout IX Street and/or 2011 Supersport Shootout IX Track motorcycle comparisons you’d have learned that Yamaha’s YZF-R6 is one of the more racetrack-oriented sportbikes on the market. Therefore if you want to have a go at road racing, it makes sense to do it at the controls of an R6. In this episode of our project bike saga we race with Willow Springs Motorcycle Club (WSMC) to see if all of the performance upgrades we purchased in the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 Modified Comparison, 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 Modified Comparison Part II and 2010 Yamaha YZF-R6 Graves Project Bike 1 features were really worth it.

WSMC holds races exclusively at Southern California’s Willow Springs International Raceway on either the 2.5-mile Big Track or 1.3-mile Streets road courses. Races are held monthly (with the exception of December) so there’s always an opportunity to compete, and if you’ve never raced, WSMC offers a new racers’ school (see sidebar). Considering SoCal’s relatively temperate climate as compared to other parts of the U.S. one would assume that weather conditions would be consistent year round. However since Willow is situated in the high desert, that can’t be further from the truth. Surprisingly, there is only a few weeks of comfortable days during spring and fall seasons—in-between the inferno-like 100-plus degree summers and, at times, freezing cold and wet winters. Considering the season finale is held in late-November, we experienced the latter.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Buy a new car, get a European vacation

new car
If you buy a new car in the future, you can pay less for the car and get a discounted European vacation at the same time by taking delivery of the car in Europe. Automakers with European delivery programs offer their cars at a 7 percent discount off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, or MSRP, on average, with discounts higher on certain car models.

The European vacation packages are coordinated through a travel agent at discounted rates, with some programs including perks such as free airfare and hotel stay. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo currently offer the European delivery programs. Here's how the programs work.

Once you decide which new car you want to buy, visit your local dealer to have him or her order the car to your exact specifications for pickup in Europe. Pricing is arranged directly through the automaker at a discounted rate, so there is no negotiation at the dealer. Automakers can offer their cars at discounted rates because they aren't required to charge any destination fees or incentives paid out to a dealer to make the sale. Generally, it takes a minimum of two months to build the car to exact specifications. If you want to take your European vacation sooner than that, you may need to choose from a smaller selection of new cars already scheduled to be built.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Signs Volkswagen-Suzuki global alliance in trouble

A verbal battle has broken out between top officials of Suzuki Motor Corporation and Volkswagen AG, hinting the alliance between the global carmakers is in trouble.

In any case, technology sharing between the two hasn’t happened 18 months since the alliance was announced.

Fractures surfaced when the German carmaker accused its Japanese partner of non-cooperation in an interview with a German magazine.

Now, Osamu Suzuki, the helmsman of the Japanese car major, said in a blog post that none of Volkswagen’s technologies are interesting enough to be adopted and that for the time being, Suzuki is in no hurry to collaborate in critical markets such as India.

“Does Suzuki face an immediate difficulty? The answer is ‘Not at all.’ We learnt about Volkswagen’s technologies, but we did not find any one of them interesting enough to adopt immediately … We are producing more than 200,000 units of our diesel engine, which is attracting a lot of attention in India. Thus, for the time being, particularly in critical markets like the minicar market and India, we are not in a hurry to collaborate with Volkswagen,” Suzuki said last week.

Automobile industry experts agree nothing much has worked out for the two companies in India. There was a proposal for rebadging of some Maruti Suzuki cars (specifically the A-Star, which is already selling in Europe as Nissan Pixo and the WagonR) till the beginning of this year, but this also is no longer on the cards.

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New Release From BMW: Art Car Collection Virtual Video Tour

The legendary BMW Art Car Collection can now be seen for the first time within a virtual video tour on the Internet. BMW Group’s international cultural commitment celebrate the 40th anniversary and this BMW Art Car Collection virtual video tour was launched just in time to coincide with it.

In premiere, an extensive virtual overview of the origin, history and development of the collection is available on the Internet. A film has been devoted to every car of the 17 “works of art on wheels”, in addition to extensive photographic material. Each of these cars was designed by an internationally well-known artist.

Many historic racing footage and artists’ statements as well as renowned representatives from art and culture are to be seen. A total of 17 artists from 9 countries and all 5 continents have contributed to the collection, artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, A.R. Penck, Jenny Holzer, David Hockney or Olafur Eliasson.

Jeff Koons created the latest vehicle of the collection last year, when BMW celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Art Car series.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

VW set to extend small car portfolio in India with UP!

volkswagen car
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest passenger carmaker, is working out a pricing strategy to bring Volkswagen UP! car to India to cash in on the growing small car market in the world’s fastest growing automobile market after China.

The Polo and Vento brands of the German auto major have been a runaway success registering a huge volume in the Indian market. In order to further boost its volumes, the company will position Volkswagen UP! car below Polo in India.

John Chacko, president and MD, Volkswagen group India, declined to talk about the company’s plans to bring Volkswagen UP! car to India. When contacted, Holger Nestler, executive director, technical and member of the board, Volkswagen India, too did not share details.

But the company, with the success of its Polo and Vento brands in diesel and petrol versions, is upbeat that Volkswagen UP! car will give a choice to customers and will be an engine of growth. The Polo brand carries a price tag of Rs 4.57 lakh to Rs 6.4 lakh. In January-June 2011, the company sold 39,355 units clocking a growth of 453 per cent compared to 7,109 cars sold in the corresponding period last year. The Polo and Vento brands contribute 95 per cent of the sales.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Victory of Chevrolet Volt - The GM Electric car

chevrolet volt
With the price of gas increasing, the trend to adopt the electric vehicles has been growing. It is not only the increasing fuel prices, but also the love for the green planet is inclining the Americans more and more towards the electric cars.

People who have already been driving the Chevrolet Volt, the GM electric car has been making big savings over their gas-running counter parts running on the roads. The recent slowdown in economy has shifted people's thoughts towards the more and more economic vehicles.

People who own the Volt usually charge it overnight using the home charging kits. By morning the fully fueled vehicle is ready to soar on the roads. With home charging stations readily available in the market, the charging of these vehicles at home has become very easy.

The average charges for a person who drives moderate distances is around $30 a month. Wow, can someone really have their fuel expenditure reduced to that much in a month. Yeah, the Chevrolet Volt is the answer. A number of satisfied customers are witnessing the fact. These people were usually shelling around $600 on average per month on the gas.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sound of the Honda 1000cc MotoGP

honda 1000cc bike
Through the distorted sound of the mobile's microphone the video gives the first insight into the sound of the new 1000cc Honda as Kousuke Akiyoshi completes shake-down tests of the prototype machine around the Sugo circuit.

The preparation of the bike for the revamped 1000cc regulations has been shown in a previous video released by HRC, with the sound of the bike hidden behind a generic music track. For the first time the raucous sound of the new machine can be heard.

Engine-wise Honda are likely to be sticking with the V4 configuration as the 2012 rules dictate that the engine must have no more than four cylinders. The appearance of the bike from the released pictures show that the successor to the RC212V will be an evolution of the current machine rather than a revolution.

The pictures below show that the 2011 and 2012 bikes are nearly identical in regards to their layout; visible engine components appear to be the same and the only noticeable difference to the bodywork is the smaller air vents on the 1000 and its side panels blend into the airbox cover.

The maximum bore of 81mm is suitable for a V4 engine and the RC212V is probably not far from that now, the new bike will have a longer stroke as the intention is to reduce revs.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Muscle Cars, No Midlife Crisis Required

For the first time since the Carter administration, three big Detroit brands, Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge, all offer rear-wheel-drive coupes that boast a distinctively American blend of in-your-face styling and big horsepower numbers.

How big? Try a 444-horsepower Ford Mustang Boss 302, which can be ordered with a special "Laguna Seca" package that essentially makes it a street-legal race car. Or consider the forthcoming 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 that will deliver 550 horsepower from its supercharged V8. Meanwhile, Chrysler LLC offers a Dodge Challenger model with a 470-horsepower Hemi engine that can run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds.

These monster engines are shoehorned into back-to-the-future body styles that telegraph the core target market for the cars: baby boomers who lusted for these cars in their teens and 20s, but settled for Japanese compacts, minivans and sport-utility vehicles. Equally important to Detroit marketers, though, is capturing the imagination of car enthusiasts who don't remember the '60s and '70s—they weren't born yet.

"It's the attitude of the customer," less than demographics, says Mustang brand manager Jim Owens, who has a customized Mustang of his own that packs 650 horsepower under the hood. It is an attitude that says, "Hey, look at me!" he adds.

For Detroit car makers that were struggling to survive just two years ago, the buzz generated by muscle cars provides a much-needed shot in the arm for their brands. The official Mustang Facebook page, for instance, has more than 1.5 million followers—about twice as many as the Ford Motor Co. Facebook page.

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Car sales spike by 12.6% in June

car sales
New vehicle car sales have increased by 12.6% in June 2011 in comparison to same period in 2011, the latest figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) signalled on Monday.

In June 44880 new cars were sold, as opposed to the 39874 units sold in June 2010.

New cars sold in the first half of 2011 showed an encouraging spike of 15%, when compared with the first half of 2010.

Although the number may seem encouraging, Naamsa is warning future sales in 2011 will be put under pressure by rising costs.

"We are slightly worried about the inflationary outlook as the rise in the cost of living will bear down on the pace of growth in new sales in the motor industry sector," Norman Lamprecht, executive director at Naamsa told the Mail & Guardian.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

McLaren unveils new non-F1 race car at Goodwood

McLaren has unveiled the latest iteration of its MP4-12C performance car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The British automotive brand, which traditionally focuses on Formula 1 racing, unveiled the MP4-12C GT3 to the public June 30, after showcasing it to prospective team owners over the past couple of months.

The new model, a modified version of the MP4-12C, is being developed for GT3 racing next year - it is the first car McLaren has manufactured for racing outside of Formula 1 since the McLaren F1 GTR, which was produced until 2005.

McLaren's MP4-12C GT3 uses a carbon-fibre chassis like its predecessor, but sports some new features designed to optimize the vehicle's aerodynamics, including a new front splitter, door blade, rear wing, diffusors and louvers in the front fenders.

It is powered by a 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo engine, with a six-speed gearbox controlled using paddles on the steering wheel, which is the same as that used by Lewis Hamilton in the MP4-24 Formula 1 car.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Car sales continue to slow down in June; bikes grow

Car and Bike
Car sales in the domestic market continued to slow down with two of the top three firms, Maruti Suzuki India and Tata Motors, reporting decline in sales during June this year.

The second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), however, posted increase in sales along with Volkswagen, Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported 3.8 per cent decline in sales in the domestic market to 70,020 units in June from 72,812 units in the same month last year.

During the month, the company suffered a 13-day long strike at its Manesar plant, where it mainly produces Swift , DZiRE and SX4. The firm suffered a production loss of 12,600 units due to the strike.

Tata Motors also reported 20.91 per cent decline its domestic total passenger vehicles sales at 21,993 units in June as against 27,811 units in the same month last year.

On the other hand, HMIL said its domestic sales grew 11.1 per cent to 30,402 units in June this year from 27,366 units in same month last year.

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Transport utility struggles to keep going as losses mount

Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), facing a cash crunch, is staring at an increase in losses as the recent fuel price hike has pushed cost of running its buses higher. It is already making a loss of around Rs 44 lakh a month. The figure is set to mount three-fold that too, when around 250 of the cash-strapped transport utility’s buses are off the roads every day.

The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies halting financial assistance has made the problem severe for PMPML.

PMPML officials said the recent hike in diesel meant the monthly fuel (diesel and CNG) expenditure will be around Rs 13.3 crore, around Rs 1.3 crore higher, while daily revenue from ticket sale remains static at Rs 1.1 crore. PMPML needs 82,000 litres of diesel a day.

Until May 31, it had been incurring, on an average, a monthly loss of Rs 44 lakh. Its monthly revenue was over Rs 34 crore and expenditure less than Rs 35 crore. “The price hike will increase expenditure. We were incurring a monthly loss of Rs 44 lakh. Now we need to calculate our expenditure,” said PMPML joint MD Satish Kulkarni.

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