Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Short History Of The COSTA CONCORDIA

The COSTA CONCORDIA was structured in January, 2004 as a bigger, modified version of the 102,587 gross ton COSTA FORTUNA and COSTA MAGICA which entered service in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The newest vessel would be the name ship of the “Costa Concordia Class” of five (5) nearly identical 114,147 gross ton ships that would take just about three hundred (300) more passengers than their predecessors.

costa concordia

Based on double-occupancy the latest Costa entrant would carry 3,004 passengers and a crew of over 1,000. At full capacity there could be up to 3,780 passengers aboard occupying the 1,502 staterooms. The overall length of the ship is 952 feet (290.2 meters), a beam of 116 feet (35.5 meters) and a draft of over 26 feet (8.2 meters). The newer Costa ships are based on a common platform as vessels in parent company Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet. The same basic design for the COSTA CONCORDIA, originated with the CARNIVAL CONQUEST class of ships beginning in 2002.

The rapid pace of building is well illustrated by the large number of ships delivered by Italy’s Fincantieri shipyards during the decade from 2002 to 2012. For just the two brands, Carnival and Costa, the yard produced 19 cruise ships, 11 of which share similarities of design with the COSTA CONCORDIA. Among their many subsidiary companies, Costa Cruises and their affiliated Aida Cruises brand were the primary beneficiaries of Carnival’s new building largesse. The COSTA CONCORDIA entered salt water for the first time from the Sestri Ponente yard of Fincantieri near Genoa, Italy, on September 2, 2005. The floating out ceremony was somewhat unusual in that it resembled a traditional ship launch more than a mere move to the builder’s wet dock. Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison was present for the blessing which was performed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa. An employee of the shipyard, Graziella Frisone, acted as Godmother. As she sent the ceremonial bottle of champagne against the hull, the bottle did not break. Widely regarded in seagoing lore as an extremely unlucky omen, another shipyard worker successfully smashed the bottle against the hull on the second attempt. On June 30th the largest Italian ship in history was delivered, followed by the official christening ceremony on July 7, 2006 by supermodel Eva Herzigova. Again underscoring the rapid building pace, the next ship of the class, the COSTA SERENA was floated out on August 4th and commenced her own maiden voyage in May, 2007.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Motorcycle among prizes for Jubilee

Harley-Davidson Corporation will contribute a high-end motorcycle to the 2012 Solano Wine & Food Jubilee, to be raffled off as part of the Jubilee's fund-raising efforts, organizers of the event said.

The annual Jubilee is a benefit for NorthBay Hospice and Bereavement.

The donation is part of the motorcycle company's new national program to help nonprofits, according to Ed Forbush, president of Iron Steed Harley-Davidson of Vacaville, and the Solano Wine & Food Jubilee in April is the first nonprofit organization to benefit from the corporation's generosity. Forbush worked with NorthBay Healthcare Foundation staff to prepare the winning grant that is bringing the donated motorcycle to Solano County.

The bike, a 2012 Electra Glide Ultra Limited in Vivid Black -- with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $23,999 -- will be raffled off as part of the Jubilee's $35,000 cash and prize raffle. It will be on display at venues to be determined, as well as at the Jubilee itself.

"We are extremely honored to have been chosen by Harley-Davidson to be their program's first recipient and want to thank Ed Forbush, who brought the opportunity to our attention," noted Brett Johnson, NorthBay Healthcare Foundation president. "We're already planning a number of events -- such as a Poker Run through Suisun Valley on April 21 -- to showcase this top-of-the-line Harley-Davidson motorcycle."

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

European Car Market Slipped in 2011

European Car Market
The European car market fell by 1.4% to 13.6 million vehicles in 2011, marking the fourth-consecutive annual decline and the outlook for this year looks bleak as tough austerity measures are expected to eat into demand.

“In 2011, most of the significant markets declined,” the European automobile manufacturers association, or ACEA, said Tuesday in a statement.

The French market dwindled by 2.1%, the U.K.’s fell 4.4%, while new-car registrations in Italy contracted by 10.9% and in Spain by 18% year-to-year, reflecting the region’s economic woes, particularly in Southern Europe, ACEA said.

Still, Germany—Europe’s largest car market—posted an 8.8% increase compared to 2010, backed by a more robust economy and better consumer confidence. There was a similar divide between car categories, with makers of luxury cars faring better than mass-market manufacturers. Registrations for BMW AG rose by 7.7% last year to 810,199 cars in Europe, helped by a 19% rise at its Mini brand. German rival Daimler AG’s market share in Europe was flat year-to-year as it eked out a 0.4% rise to 671,480 cars in 2011. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car maker by sales, posted a 7.8% rise in new-car registrations to 3.17 million vehicles, driven by its luxury Audi brand as well as its VW and Skoda brands.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bajaj RE60 four-wheeler unveiled

bajaj RE60

Four (4) years after Bajaj Auto showcased its ‘small car’ at the 2008 Auto Expo, the two- and three-wheeler giant has unveiled what it calls the RE60. “It is not a car. It’s a four wheeler,” said Rajiv Bajaj while addressing the media at hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi.

The RE60 will be built at Bajaj Auto’s Aurangabad plant and the launch will take place in a few months from now. The company refused to divulge the price. However, it said that the RE60 will deliver close to 40 kmpl and emit only 60g/km of CO2, making it one of the most fuel-efficient and green vehicles in the market.

The RE60 caters to the commercial passenger segment and is designed to gradually replace the autorickshaw as a mode of transport. And the Bajaj MD has a point, as the RE60, complete with four wheels and doors, is a much safer and convenient mode of transport compared to the three-wheeler autorickshaw.

The four-wheeler will have a 200cc, water-cooled, fuel-injected DTSi engine that will put out roughly 20 PS of power but the light kerb weight of just 400 kgs gives the vehicle a power to weight ratio similar to A-segment cars in India. The engine is mounted at the rear of the four-wheeler and as a result boot space is limited to 44 litres.

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