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    Japan: Toyota to launch G Sports conversion series

    Toyota has announced plans to introduce its new ‘G Sports’ conversion series in Japan starting in mid-2010. The G’s series name is based on the G associated with classic Toyota sports models like the Toyota 2000GT and the Celica GT-Four. The series, to be sold through Toyota-brand dealers, offers buyers…

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    Canada: Mitsubishi and Hydro-Québec in EV venture

    Mitsubishi’s Canadian division is teaming up with electricity provider Hydro-Québec on an electric vehicle pilot programme. The project will see the launch of up to 50 all-electric i-MiEV cars in the City of Boucherville, an independent municipality and a suburb of Montreal. The vehicles will be used in the fleets

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    Europe: Ford grabs record market share

    Ford sales in its 19 main European markets rose 25.3% year-on-year in December to 108,500 units, marking the seventh consecutive monthly increase and the highest December figures since 1997. However, December figures were down from the 113,100 units sold in November. Market share across the 19 main markets rose 0.9

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    Russia: Full-year light vehicle sales down 49%

    Sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia declined by 49% in 2009, with numbers dropping from 2,897,459 units in 2008 to 1,465,917 vehicles. A 38% drop in December light vehicle sales played a part in dampening full-year sales. Last month, the country’s automotive industry sold a…

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  • Germany: CV market contracts by 28% in 2009

    While new passenger car registrations rose by 23%, boosted by the scrappage incentive, new commercial vehicle registrations in Germany fell 28% to 242,200 units. Comparatively, the industry had accounted for registrations of 334,999 units in 2008. There were no surprises in December 2009 either, with the CV industry in Germany…

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  • Germany: Knorr-Bremse sees 2009 sales fall 18%

    Citing a slump in revenues in its Commercial Vehicle Systems division, braking specialist Knorr-Bremse has reported an 18% fall in 2009 revenues to €2.76bn (US$4bn). In 2008, revenues amounted to €3.384bn. In the Commercial Vehicle Systems division, the company reported that the global financial and economic crisis in 2009 resulted…

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  • Venezuela: Production down 17.4% in 2009

    Vehicle production in Venezuela fell by 17.4% for the full year 2009 to 111,554 units. Comparatively, the country’s automotive industry produced a total of 135,042 vehicles in 2008, according to figures published by the Venezuelan Automobile Chamber (Cavenez). A year-on-year decline in December 2009 output of 19.7%, compared with the…

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  • UK: Executive update at Lotus

    Lotus Engineering welcomes a new director with the appointment of Robert Hentschel. Hentschel most recently served as chief operating office for North American operations at EDAG. Before this, he was head of the Electrical/Electronics Business Unit. In his new role, Hentschel will oversee Lotus Engineering worldwide, reporting to Group Lotus

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    US: Marchionne fears industry dysfunction will persist

    In an address to the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Sergio Marchionne has expressed concern that a US economic recovery may tempt OEMs into avoiding tackling ongoing industry flaws. According to Bloomberg, Marchionne noted: “Recovery, with apologies to Karl Marx, is the opiate of dysfunctional industries. What remains unclear

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  • Belgium: Wabco launches new system to cut trailer theft

    Wabco, a supplier of safety and control systems for the commercial vehicle segment, has introduced a security innovation to increase protection against trailer theft. The new Trailer Immobilizer system has been incorporated as an additional function in Wabco’s trailer electronic braking system (EBS). The system blocks the wheels of a…

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  • US: Wilbur Ross urges new cash for clunkers scheme

    Wilbur Ross Jr, the investor whose holdings include International Automotive Components Group (IAC), has said at the Automotive News World Congress event in Detroit that the US government should introduce “tomorrow” another car-buying incentive programme to stimulate the economy and create jobs. However, he also said any such new ‘cash

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  • Italy: Manzoni is Ferrari’s new design director

    Flavio Manzoni has officially been appointed as Ferrari’s new design director. He will be responsible for creating and defining the styling of Ferrari’s new cars. Manzoni will report directly to Ferrari’s chief executive officer, Amedeo Felisa. Manzoni began his career with Lancia in 1993. He spent three

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  • India: Renault small car design smaller than the Alto

    Renault-Nissan Alliance’s small car for the Indian market, which is being developed in India by Bajaj Auto, will be smaller than Maruti Suzuki’s offering in the A2 segment, the Alto. “The car that we are discussing with Bajaj is smaller than the small car. A small car like Maruti Suzuki’s…

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