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UMW Toyota Motor welcomes new deputy chairman

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SHAH ALAM: UMW Toyota Motor’s new deputy chairman is Akio Takeyama, effective from January 1, 2015. 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, Ocenia, Middle East, India including Malaysia. “With my past working experience in Malaysia as well as other overseas assignments, I am confident that I will continue to steer the company for a stable long term achievements by focusing on three key fundamentals which are customer first where we always strive to give our customers the utmost…

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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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Volvo Cars appoints new US chief to turn sales around

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STOCKHOLM: Swedish car manufacturer Volvo Cars announced the appointment of a new chief executive for North America tasked with reviving the company’s flagging US sales. Despite generally booming car sales in the United States – helped by falling fuel prices – sales of Volvo cars in the country dropped by 8% to 58,000 in 2014. Lex Kerssemakers, a Dutch national with 16 years experience in the company, currently responsible for product strategy, will oversee the company’s “US Revival Plan” which targets annual sales of “over 100,000 cars in the medium term,” the company said in a statement last week. To…

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Mercedes hybrids for Metro Travel & Tours

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KUALA LUMPUR: Limousine and tour service provider Metro Travel & Tours Service Sdn Bhd recently bought five Mercedes-Benz S400L Hybrid cars. The deal was done by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, working together with authorised dealer NZ Wheels Sdn Bhd. The new S400L Hybrid cars join Metro Travel & Tours Service’s fleet of 50 premier vehicles. They will be used for chauffeuring and tour services to more than 20 four and five-star hotels, embassies and corporate clients within Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Launched in March 2014, the S400L Hybrid is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that has the latest technological innovations from Mercedes-Benz. Following a…

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Renault revamping dealerships across Britain

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LONDON: Renault is looking to burnish its brand in Britain by revamping its dealerships with more engaging displays, improved customer flows and interactive discovery zones. The changes will be implemented at all its British dealerships by the end of 2017 and reflect changes in the way that consumers research their vehicle purchase and their expectations of a retail environment. The new visual space identity concept called Renault Store aims to improve the dealership experience from welcoming the customer, introducing the brand, displaying the range and exploring the products. The showroom will be divided up into themed zones, displaying the Renault…

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Honda opts for Takata rival to supply Accord air bags, say sources

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BEIJING/TOKYO: Honda Motor Co has chosen a competitor of embattled Takata Corp to supply air bags for the next North American version of its Accord sedan, the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, two people with knowledge of the decision said. In the first major defection by a carmaker since Takata’s safety crisis began, Honda, Takata’s largest customer, will use air bags made by Toyoda Gosei for the all-new Accord, scheduled to go on sale in August 2017, the people told Reuters. Honda’s decision to shift to a competitor for the most important vehicle in its largest market represents a major blow for…

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GM International design teams support concepts in Detroit

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BANGKOK, THAILAND: Design teams in General Motors International (GMI) contributed to two important GM concept vehicles at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, USA. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an affordable long-range all-electric vehicle while the Buick Avenir represents a vision for a modern flagship sedan. The Chevrolet Bolt EV represents a true collaboration between GM’s global design studios in Korea and Australia. The vision originated in GM Korea’s advanced studio before GM Australia Design developed the concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car. Meanwhile, the Avenir was named Best Designed…

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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is a Playboy Magazine top pick

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AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN: With its race-inspired performance and advanced technologies wrapped by seductive curves that can only be handcrafted in Italy, Playboy magazine named the all-new Alfa Romeo 4C “2015 Car of the Year – Sports Cars and Convertibles.” The annual award from Playboy represents a hand-picked list of their favorite vehicles in 2015. “The gorgeous Italian exchange student you loved in high school isn’t coming back, but the stunning Alfa Romeo 4C is now here after years of being away,” said William K. Gock – Automotive Writer, Playboy. “This lightweight carbon-fiber-framed pistol uses flowing body curves, highly stylized alloy…

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