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China’s biggest auto show opens amid growth slowdown

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SHANGHAI: Global car makers showed off hundreds of vehicles in China’s commercial hub Shanghai today, as the world’s biggest auto market continues to attract despite a sharp deceleration in sales growth. At China’s premier auto show, foreign car makers admitted an economic slowdown in the world’s second largest economy had taken its toll, but said the market was simply too big – and important – to ignore. China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent last year, the slowest in nearly a quarter of a century. “The market will increase less than in former years, but still much higher than in any other…

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Volvo shows off Lounge Console for the busy business executives

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SHANGHAI: Volvo Cars has unveiled a new concept at the Shanghai Auto Show that takes executive in-car luxury to a new level. Labelled the Lounge Console, the concept offers busy chauffeur-driven business people the ultimate executive accessory – a compact and versatile solution to expanded storage and comfort. The Lounge Console replaces the front passenger seat, providing a wealth of functions and amenities. “We started this work by looking at the executive lifestyle. With our progressive approach to premium design and functionality we analyzed the needs and perspective of the chauffeur driven executive, designing the car around him or her…

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Buy ASX and get 5-year maintenance and warranty

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PETALING JAYA: Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has announced that customers who buy the ASX will receive five years’ worth of free maintenance and warranty. Mitsubishi Motors is the first to offer a five-year free maintenance package for the compact SUV segment. The free maintenance offer covers labour charge, engine oil, oil filter, air cleaner, transmission oil, fuel filter, brake fluid and coolant to name a few.(Limited to the first 1,000 units only, terms and conditions apply) Priced at RM117, 334.31 (2WD variant) and RM131, 828.59 (4WD variant), the ASX is powered by a 2.0-litre MIVEC engine with an output of…

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Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe near production ready

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STUTTGART: Mercedes-Benz revealed its latest near-production-standard Concept GLC Coupe that’s even more compact than the GLE Coupe and no…it isn’t a rebadged Bavarian-made X6 that’s part of a bad joke. The X6-shaped concept comes in measuring 4,727mm-long, 2,151mm-wide, 1,593mm-high and with a wheelbase of 2,827m while equipped with wing-look exterior mirrors, increased ground clearance and side running boards. Styling features include powerdomes on the bonnet, large side intakes and an upright radiator grille with a twin-blade louvre that’s characteristic of sporty Mercedes-Benz models. A 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission manages power delivery from the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 direct-injection engine’s 362bhp at 5,500rpm…

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VW debuts C Coupé GTE

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WOLFSBURG/SHANGHAI: Volkswagen is displaying the C Coupé GTE Concept at Auto Shanghai. Positioned between the Passat and Phaeton, the nearly 5m-long plug-in hybrid is smacked in the C-segment if it were to go into production. Technically, the C Coupé GTE consists of a four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI gasoline engine, an 8-speed automatic gearbox, an electric motor integrated in the transmission housing and a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. The TSI engine produces 207hp, the electric motor makes 122hp, and the combined system gives 242hp  and 500Nm. The concept car can travel up to 50km in zero emissions E-mode, at up…

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540C Coupé is most affordable McLaren

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SHANGHAI: The McLaren 540C Coupé is set to be launched at the Shanghai Motor Show. The most affordable McLaren yet, the 540C Coupé joins the recently revealed 570S Coupé in the Sports Series as the brand brings its race derived DNA to a new audience and segment. These introductions bring the number of new McLarens launched in 2015 to four as the brand continues its rapid growth. Globally available and priced from £126,000 (around RM682,000), the 540C Coupé can be pre-ordered now with deliveries scheduled in early 2016. The 540C Coupé shares similarities with the models in the Super Series…

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Nissan brings its A-game to Auto Shanghai

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SHANGHAI: Nissan unveiled the all-new Murano Hybrid and Lannia, as well as two Nismo products – the Nissan GT-R Nismo and 370Z Nismo variants at Auto Shanghai 2015. The Murano Hybrid is Nissan’s flagship crossover that will go on sale in China from June onwards. Performance comes from a new 2.5-litre supercharged QR25DER petrol engine that’s being supplemented by an 15kW electric motor paired with a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery and all of which gets mated to an Intelligent Dual Clutch System. The hybrid will churn out a combined output of about 250bhp and 329Nm of torque According to the company,…

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PSA Peugeot Citroen and Dongfeng to develop small-car platform

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SHANGHAI: PSA Peugeot Citroen and China’s Dongfeng Motor Group will spend 200 million euros (US$216 million) to develop a technology platform for small cars that will help to give them more products to boost sales in southeast Asia and China. The joint venture aims to sell 800,000 vehicles this year in China and 1.5 million vehicles by 2020, up from over 700,000 in 2014, Peugeot said on Sunday. Ahead of the Shanghai autoshow that begins on Monday, Carlos Tavares, chairman of the French carmaker’s managing board, said the joint venture’s performance had been a big contributing factor to Peugeot Citroen’s…

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VW supervisory board seeks to smooth leadership crisis

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FRANKFURT: The leaders of Volkswagen’s supervisory board plan to meet soon to try to iron out an effective working relationship between chairman Ferdinand Piech and chief executive Martin Winterkorn amid a leadership crisis at the automaker, a German newspaper reported today. Several key members of the supervisory board including Piech are to meet ahead of VW’s annual shareholder meeting on May 5, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing sources close to the supervisory board. Piech, patriarch of the family that founded Volkswagen and a dominant figure at the automaker for more than two decades, triggered the leadership crisis at the Wolfsburg-based firm…

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Toyota to launch two hybrid cars in China this year

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SHANGHAI: Toyota, the world’s largest automaker by sales volume, plans to launch two hybrid cars in China this year as part of efforts to launch vehicles that will help to reduce pollution in the country. The gasoline-electric hybrid cars, called Levin Hev and Corolla, will be launched in China in the second half of the year, the Japanese company said on Sunday on the eve of the Shanghai autoshow. Toyota’s joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group will make the Levin Hev, while its joint venture with FAW Group will manufacture the Corolla. China has been the world’s largest car market…

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