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March fuel prices up 25 sen

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PETALING JAYA: Petrol and diesel prices will go up by 25 sen per litre from March 1, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry announced in a statement today. RON95 petrol will be priced RM1.95 (up from RM1.70), RON97 petrol at RM2.25 (up from RM2) and diesel at RM1.95 (up from RM1.70). This follows the ministry’s decision to set the market prices of RON95 petrol and diesel on a managed float, starting from Dec 1 last year. In the statement, Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said prices were determined based on the average cost price of the product during February…

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Mazda bets on diesel-only car for Japan launch of key 2015 model

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TOKYO: Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp will sell only diesel-powered cars in the domestic launch of its key model for 2015, gambling it can convince the country’s army of hybrid petrol-electric drivers that the days of sooty, noisy diesels are long gone. Masamichi Kogai, Chief Executive of Japan’s fifth-biggest auto maker, placed his diesel bet in Tokyo on Friday as he unveiled the CX-3, a compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV). “In Japan, more and more people are choosing to drive diesels,” Kogai said. The CEO also said the greater power offered by diesel engines is a selling point for bigger cars, including…

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Yamaha aims to launch 2-seater car in Europe, says source

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TOKYO: Japanese motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor Co Ltd aims to start making and selling two-seater cars in Europe as early as 2019, targeting environmentally-conscious drivers, a person familiar with the plan told Reuters on Friday. Yamaha will spend “tens of billions of yen” to build a manufacturing plant in Europe, though the location and scale of the investment amount remain undecided. The cars will come in both 1-litre petrol and electric versions, the person said. The person wasn’t authorised to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily.…

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Kia shows off unusual SPORTSPACE Concept

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FRANKFURT: The SPORTSPACE Concept is what Kia calls the ultimate “getaway” car – a practical vehicle for everyday business use, yet a stylish and athletic grand tourer – ready to eat up the miles for business or leisure. Conceived and developed at Kia’s European Design Centre in Frankfurt under Europe chief designer Gregory Guillaume, the SPORTSPACE is a car that attempts to open a new front with a distinctly different and sophisticated car. It is not a sedan, wagon, hatchback or shooting brake. Kia claims it is a sleek, road-eater  that can meet the demands of those who refuse to…

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Here’s the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 track killer

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AFFALTERBACH: Mercedes-AMG will ring in the 2015 motorsport season at the beginning of March with the sonorous sound of the V8 engine: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. It will be making its debut appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 will blaze new trails in customer sports with its intelligent vehicle concept. The excellent racetrack performance of the standard GT already provides the best possible basis for this. Powerful acceleration is ensured by the seasoned and now further enhanced AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine taken from the SLS AMG GT3. The standard Mercedes-AMG GT already provides the ideal prerequisites for…

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2015 Audi R8 heads for Geneva

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GENEVA: At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Audi will present the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The mid-mounted V10 and newly developed quattro all-wheel-drive system ensure breathtaking performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 610PS, which not only powers to 100kph from rest more rapidly than any series production Audi in history but is also the first to be capable of officially pushing beyond 322kph. “The new R8 V10 plus is the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time. Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,”…

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US Senate panel OKs auto industry whistleblower incentive

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WASHINGTON: A measure that would offer financial incentives for auto industry employees to expose safety defects won unanimous backing from a US Senate panel on Thursday. The vote by 13 Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee sends the legislation, which would allow whistleblowers to share in auto company penalty payments, to the floor of the Senate. The measure follows controversies over defective General Motors Co ignition switches and Takata Corp air bag inflators. An aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not say when a vote might be scheduled. If brought to a…

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Perodua raises awareness with National Kidney Foundation

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PETALING JAYA: National automaker Perodua contributed one unit of its best-selling Axia car to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the ‘World Kidney Day’ celebration. Members of the public stand a chance to win the Axia by participating in the ‘Spot & Ride’ contest as well as raise awareness about kidney care and the cause of kidney failure. “This collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation is our way to create awareness about the cause of kidney problems and to encourage people to live a healthier life,” said Perodua president and chief executive officer, Datuk Aminar…

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Sime defers listing of motor arm to H2 this year

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd, which saw its net profit decline by 47% to RM437.4mil for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, will defer the listing of its automotive arm to the second half of this year. “Our intention is to achieve the best valuation. As such, when the external landscape is not conducive, it would not be advisable to put the company on a listing mode,” said president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh after announcing Sime Darby’s second-quarter financial results yesterday. It was reported earlier that the group wanted to list its automotive arm,…

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Nissan says can meet US sales goal with capacity in South Korea, Japan

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YOKOHAMA: Nissan will be able to meet its goal of taking 10 percent of the US market in two years without any major new investments and by making use of capacity available at factories in Japan and South Korea, a top executive said on Friday. With sales in the United States growing at nearly twice the pace of the overall market last year, Japan’s No.2 automaker has been expanding capacity at its North American plants but needs more to meet demand. “The key word is flexibility,” Jose Munoz, executive vice president at Nissan and chairman of its North American arm,…

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