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Perodua on a high as sales exceed expectations

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RAWANG: Perodua expects sales to exceed 195,000 units this year especially with the introduction of the energy efficient Axia model, says president and chief executive officer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh. “This would be the stretch target for this year,” he said, adding that the figure would be better than the targeted sales of 193,000 units forecast earlier. He said there was overwhelming response for the Axia with bookings, to date, amounting to 62,000 units since the model was launched on Aug 15, 2014. “This is our best record. The overwhelming response towards Axia proves that the product we introduced meets…

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BMW diversifies the 2 Series coupe

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MUNICH: From March 2015, the BMW 2 Series coupe will get new entry-level engines, a further four-wheel drive model and additional equipment options. With the market launch of the new BMW 218i Coupe, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine from the BMW Group’s latest engine family will be featured for the first time in the sporty compact model. The newly developed power unit delivers a maximum output of 136hp and a maximum torque of 220Nm available at 1,250rpm. The car’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a supercharger that is integrated into the exhaust manifold, a further developed direct petrol injection system,…

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Chrysler renames itself as FCA US

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DETROIT: Chrysler Group LLC said it had changed its name to FCA US LLC effective immediately to follow the naming convention of its parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) NV. Italian automaker Fiat SpA took management control of Chrysler in 2009 after the American company emerged from government-sponsored bankruptcy. Earlier this year Fiat completed its purchase of all outstanding Chrysler shares, and listed the company on the New York Stock Exchange in October. Chrysler said the change of name does not affect the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, its holdings, management team, board or brands. FCA US employs more than…

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ParkAide lets you book your parking spot before leaving home

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KUALA LUMPUR: Finding parking in the city is no easy task. ParkAide Mobile (M) Sdn Bhd offers some relief with a mobile app that lets you book and prepay for parking space. All you have to do is download the ParkAide app, purchase tokens with a credit card or supporting bank, book a spot, and head out. Each car park will have a kiosk for users to scan their mobile phone and a parking attendant will be on hand to guide users to empty bays. Currently the booking facility is only available at Menara Citibank and Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur. The…

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Jaguar Land Rover shows off virtual windscreen safety tech

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LONDON: Jaguar Land Rover has revealed its “360 Virtual Urban Windscreen” research, which uses transparent roof pillars to give the driver a 360-degree view outside the car. To aid navigation on busy urban roads, a ghost car could be projected in front of the car for the driver to follow. The concept uses future Heads-Up Display technology to provide information to keep the driver’s eyes on the road and reduce distraction. The “360 Virtual Urban Windscreen” and “Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation” are part of a suite of new concept technologies that Jaguar Land Rover is developing to reduce the potential…

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Aprilia Shiver 750 now locally assembled

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Aprilia Shiver 750 naked motorcycle has become the Italian motorcycle builder’s first bike to be assembled outside of its plant in Noale, Italy. In an agreement between the Piaggio Group and Naza Pemira Sdn Bhd – the sole distributor of Aprilia bikes in Malaysia, assembly of the Shiver will begin in early 2015 at the Naza Bikes factory in Shah Alam. For the time being, the agreement also outlined that the locally assembled Shiver will only be available in Malaysia, while the rest of Aprilia’s models continue to be fully imported. An investment of RM5mil was required…

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New Focus RS to kick off round of Ford sports car launches

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DETROIT: Ford announced it will soon launch the next-generation Focus RS, the sportiest version yet of its best-selling hot hatch and the first to be available worldwide. According to rumours making the rounds on car news sites, the new Focus RS may have up to 330hp, compared to 305hp on the current version, and could debut at NAIAS, which takes place in Detroit from Jan 17 to 25. The American manufacturer has said it will launch 12 new sports cars before 2020 through Ford Performance, the new global brand that unifies all of Ford’s previous performance-focused divisions SVT (Special Vehicle…

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Aston Martin’s latest special editions include vintage details

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LONDON: To mark its 60th anniversary, Aston Martin Works is building six bespoke cars based on the current Vanquish, each of which will reflect the achievements of the firm during one of its six decades. Aston Martin Works was the Newport Pagnell factory that between 1955 and 2007 oversaw everything from the development of the DB2 and legendary DB5 to the space-age Lagonda and the original Vanquish. And although the company has now moved production to a state-of-the-art facility in Gaydon, the Works site lives on as a global heritage restoration facility, able to bring back to concourse condition any…

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Ford starts global Driving Skills for Life campaign

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KUALA LUMPUR: Ford Motor Company, together with local partner Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC), officially kicked off Ford’s global Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) campaign in Malaysia. The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS) showed that an average of 18 people are killed on the country’s roads every day and this figure is predicted to rise to 29 by 2020. The DSFL campaign started with four training sessions held at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang on December 13 and 14. DSFL training includes both a classroom session covering theory, as well as a hands-on driving session. It is aimed…

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Volvo to launch online car sales in marketing shift

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PARIS: Volvo Car Corp said it will start selling vehicles online as it rolls out new models to compete with German luxury rivals such as BMW. The Swedish carmaker, controlled by China’s Geely, will gradually introduce web sales and spend more on digital advertising, it said as it outlined changes to its global marketing strategy on Monday. “The plan is to have all our car lines in all our markets offered digitally,” Volvo sales chief Alain Visser said in an interview. Few manufacturers have tried selling directly online. A notable exception is Tesla, whose electric car sales have cut out…

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