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Malaysia as launchpad for IMI expansion

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KUALA LUMPUR: The United Kingdom-based Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) will expand its international footprint by using the blueprint and best practices developed in Malaysia. “Malaysia is our most established base outside UK and it is the only country which we have maintained a local presence over the past decade. Our presence here has provided us with a significant test bed to help ensure our qualifications are suitable for an international audience. Our plan is now to leverage the same blueprint to expand our presence in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and China as well as Saudi Arabia and United…

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Toyota launches new Alphard and Vellfire

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NAGOYA: Toyota Motor Corp has launched the 2015 redesigned Alphard and Vellfire minivans across Japan. For both the Alphard and the Vellfire, a new double wishbone suspension is used for the rear. Both vehicles also have improved sound and vibration dampening and an aerodynamic wind-noise reducing body shape for a quiet ride at all speeds. Powertrain options include a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle combustion engine is combined with six-speed Sequential Shiftmatic and E-Four (electric four-wheel drive system) for a hybrid system. There is also a new 2.5-litre engine that is used with a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic, and Super CVT-i and the…

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GoAuto to invest RM250mil in Gurun

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GURUN: Go Automobile Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (GoAuto) has spread its wings here with a new investment of RM250mil to build a second plant. The new plant spans 5.2ha and can boost its production from 25,000 units to 50,000 annually. It is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2016. The second plant is part of GoAuto’s RM2bil five-year investment plan in partnership with China’s Great Wall Motor Co Ltd in the energy-efficient vehicles segment. Its chief executive officer Ahmad Azam Sulaiman said the company introduced the GWM M4 model, the compact sports-utility vehicle (SUV), in the market last…

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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). BMW Group Malaysia managing director & CEO Alan Harris  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 the…

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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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