Showing posts from December, 2011

Electric Pickup Truck to Debut at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Via Motors will introduce a new electric-powered full-size pickup truck, 4x4 SUV and cargo van at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10. Making the introuduction will be Bob Lutz, former vice president of GM and called by some as the father of the Chevy Volt.

The powertrain in the new Via eREV (which stands for extended-range electric vehicle) will work similarly to the Volt's system. Lithium-ion batteries power the wheels for a full electric range of around 40 miles. When the batteries are low, a small onboard gas engine will start up and provide extended-range capability for the batteries, up to 400 miles using the onboard generator, averaging up to 100 mpg.

Japan Supply Chains Still Hampered by Thai Flooding

A poll shows 81 percent of production bases still producing less now than before floods
Many Japanese companies are still feeling the pinch of heavy flooding in Thailand because of supply chain disruptions, according to an emergency survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Nidec to cut reliance on Thai factories

Japanese motor maker Nidec Corp will reduce its reliance on Thai factories for hard-disk-drive motors by diversifying production bases to China and the Philippines, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Honda ditches flooded cars

The recent widespread flooding hit Honda especially hard, as both its plants in Ayutthaya were inundated.

Speculation has been rife that the flood-damaged cars may be repaired and sold locally or abroad as brand new.

The fear has been that the Japan-based manufacturer would send these cars back to the line for replacement of damaged parts, after which they would be delivered to customers.

Pontiac story

Have a read

What Every Marketer Can Learn From Saab's Crash And Burn

This week marked the dead end for Saab motor car company. And they should cause a deathly chill to run down the spine of any marketer who believes they can get by, just by getting by. Undifferentiated in a market filled with hundreds of cars to choose from, Saab sought to find its place in the world.

GM restarts talks with Proton Holdings to form JV

General Motors has reportedly begun talks with Malaysia’s largest carmaker, Proton Holdings, to set up a joint venture in the Southeast Asian country.

Bloomberg quotes two confidential sources familiar with the matter who say that current discussions revive negotiations that were abandoned in 2007. The talks are preliminary and may not lead to an agreement, the sources added.

An agreement would give GM the chance to expand car manufacturing in Southeast Asia beyond Thailand, deeply affected by the worst floods in the last 70 years. For Proton, the deal would provide access to GM technology that could make its products more competitive. Proton had unsuccessful alliance talks in the past with Volkswagen and Peugeot.

Toyota Lowers Annual Profit Forecast 54% After Thai Floods

Toyota Motor Corp., poised to lose its crown as the world's largest carmaker this year, cut its profit forecast 54 percent after Thailand's worst floods in almost 70 years disrupted output of Camry and Prius vehicles.

Swiss Re Sees Claims Costs Of $600 Mln From Thailand Flood

Swiss Reinsurance Co. (SSREY.PK: News , SWCEF.PK) on Tuesday estimated its claims costs from Thailand's severe flooding at $600 million. The estimates, net of retrocession and before tax, remains subject to significant uncertainty, as it is difficult to assess losses accurately due to the still higher water levels following intense rainfall, the Swiss reinsurer added. The company currently estimates the total insured market loss to be in the range of $8 billion to $11 billion.

THE STAR: Proton to produce Mitsubishi sedans soon

SUBANG JAYA: Proton expects to seal a joint venture agreement with Mitsubishi Motors Corp to produce Mitsubishi sedan models at its Tanjung Malim plant by year-end.

Its group managing director, Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin, said under the agreement, Mitsubishi would make 60,000 units a year which were equivalent to 90 per cent of the plant's production capacity.

"The plant currently operates at between 56 and 58 per cent capacity," he told a media briefing after the announcement of the company's second quarter 2011's results here Tuesday.

BANGKOK POST: 11,000 jobless as 39 auto-parts firms shut down

Thirty-nine auto-parts manufacturers in deluged industrial estates have announced they have closed down, leaving 10,957 workers jobless, Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap says.

Most of the laid-off workers were migrants who had skills in the auto-making and electronic parts industries, he said yesterday.

However, they would get compensation and other benefits, while the ministry has more than 100,000 jobs available for them, said Mr Padermchai.