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Toyota to move to merit-based pay for factory workers, says daily

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TOKYO: Toyota will change the way it pays factory workers, focusing on their performance rather than their seniority, the Nikkei reported on Monday. Toyota’s new arrangement, designed to attract young talent, will apply to about 40,000 employees, or about 60 percent of its workers, aged between 18 and 65, according to the Nikkei. The automaker has unveiled the proposal to its labour union and is hopeful of rolling it out next January, the Nikkei said. Employees will be evaluated twice a year, with wages adjusted every six months, the Nikkei reported. Besides revamping its seniority-based system, the new arrangement will…

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Nissan sales fell in Asia and Oceania

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BANGKOK: Nissan has reported a 20.2% year-on-year drop in vehicle sales to 257,110 units in 2014 for the Asia and Oceania region. The sales plunge was largely due to Thailand, where sales fell by almost 40% to 59,220 units. This reflected the poor performance or 33.7% drop in auto sales in Thailand last year, due to political issues, the end of excise rebates for first car buyers, and tighter loan approvals. Also, in Malaysia, Nissan sales in 2014 fell by 22.3% to 43,210 units. A statement from Nissan said sales in Malaysia was affected by the short supply of the…

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2014 marks new record for BMW Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: BMW Group Malaysia saw its highest performance record in the company’s history in 2014. Last year, BMW Group Malaysia delivered a record total of 9,046 vehicles comprising of 7,808 BMW, 655 MINI and 583 BMW Motorrad vehicles, an increase of 13.4% as compared to the same period in 2013 (7,974). Alan Harris, Managing Director & CEO of BMW Group Malaysia said, “We are very pleased with our performance last year which has allowed us at BMW Group Malaysia to once again emerge as the number one premium automaker in the country.” Harris further added that strong demand for…

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Grantt lubricants launched

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SHAH ALAM: UMW Grantt International Sdn Bhd (UMWG) introduced a full range of the Malaysian-made and newly-enhanced Grantt lubricants which includes passenger car motor oil (PCMO), motorcycle oil (MCO), diesel engine oil (DEO), auto transmission fluid (ATF) and industrial oil. Grantt is divided into three ranges; Stellar for its PCMO range while those for MCO and DEO are called Quadra and Quasar respectively. A launch ceremony was held at its plant in Shah Alam and the complete range of Grantt lubricants was unveiled by chairman of UMW Manufacturing and Engineering Sdn Bhd, Datuk Dr Nik Norzrul Thani, witnessed by president…

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Kadjar: Renault’s new crossover

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PARIS: Renault will be introducing its first C-segment crossover called Kadjar ahead of its unveiling on Feb 2. The car maker will be promoting the model on social media from today, and new photos and videos will be posted daily before the wraps come off next month. It is certain to go on display at the March 5-15 Geneva Motor Show. The sound and spelling of the name have an exotic feel which suggests adventure and discovering new horizons. The initial letter ‘K’ is indicative of the model’s robustness and the Kadjar fits with Renault’s existing B-segment crossover – Captur.…

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Toyota confirms specs of GT86-based rally car

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TOKYO: The GT86 CS-R3 moved closer to its full-blooded rally competition debut later this year with Toyota Motorsport confirming final specification details. The CS-R3 was launched in prototype form last August, since when it has undergone an extensive test programme to fine-tune design and specification of the kit that will be delivered to private competitors and teams. The development work has improved performance on both gravel and tarmac, together with reliability and durability in order to deliver a car that can be used for low-cost competition for a full season and beyond. The CS-R3 has proved immensely popular with its…

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UMW Toyota Motor announces new deputy chairman

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SHAH ALAM: UMW Toyota Motor’s new deputy chairman is Akio Takeyama, effective from Jan 1. He takes over the position from Datuk Takashi Hibi. Takeyama has 30 years of experience in Toyota Motor Corp, and has served markets outside Japan like Europe, Africa, Oceania, Middle East, India and Malaysia. “With my past working experience in Malaysia as well as other overseas assignments, I am confident I will continue to steer the company for stable long-term achievements,” said Takeyama in a statement. He said he would focus on improving customer service, be responsive to competition and instil the spirit of change…

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Mustang password beats Batman and Superman, says study

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DETROIT: The Ford Mustang is one of the most popular cars ever built, and now it has the honour of being one of the most common passwords on the Internet, a recent study reveals. According to SplashData – a company specialising in password management – the word “mustang” was the 16th most common password found on the Internet in 2014, the only car moniker that found its way into the top 25. Not only that, Mustang is a slayer of superheroes – more popular than “Batman” and “Superman” as people’s secret code for accessing their personal networks and accounts. “We’re…

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Chery replaces Eastar with Maxime MPV

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PUCHONG: The new Chery Maxime seven-seater MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) represents the Chinese automaker’s new drive for further growth in Malaysia. “Following our popular Eastar MPV, the Maxime is a second-generation vehicle that has a focus on enhanced quality. In the past three years, Chery’s focus has been more on improving product quality and after-sales services, rather than new product launches,” said Chery Automobile (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Zhang Guibing. “We want to build a solid foundation for Chery’s growth,” added Zhang, who is also Chery International vice president, at the recent launch of the Maxime at Superhub Auto…

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Mitsubishi offering attractive discounts on accessories

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KUALA LUMPUR: Mitsubishi car owners looking to dress up their rides can take advantage of discounts of up to 80% for genuine accessories. Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) is giving discounts for items such as bodykit, daytime running light (DRL) and interior protection fixtures. Prices for the items, for models such as the Mirage, Attrage, Triton, Pajero Sport and ASX (current and 2012 model year) start from as low as RM68 after discount. They are available at all authorised Mitsubishi showroom and service centres. To date, Mitsubishi Motors is represented by 57 showrooms (out of which 43 are 3S – sales,…

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