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Contest for Nokia’s HERE seen as a three-way race

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STUTTGART: The contest for Nokia’s maps business has become a three-way race between German carmakers, a consortium including Uber and Baidu, and a third group including China’s Tencent and Navinfo, people familiar with the process said. Finland’s Nokia has started an auction of its maps business HERE while it completes its 15.6 billion euros (US$17.2 billion) takeover of network equipment maker Alcatel Lucent. German automakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen’s premium brand Audi have teamed up with private equity firm General Atlantic to form what is being described as the “Industry consortium”, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.…

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Teen girl training to start own car workshop

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KLANG: It gets pretty lonely in class at times for Nurmaizatulhana Mohd Ramli, who is the only female training to be a mechanic at a college here. “I hope more girls will now be able to join the training programme as it looks like the Government may increase the budget for skills training,” said the 17-year-old who is studying automation at WIT College. Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, technical and vocational education and training is targeted to focus on programmes to produce skilled talent to meet industry needs. Nurmaizatulhana, who is from Kampung Delek near here, said she decided to…

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Tesla Model S heading to Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: Tesla is coming. Malaysians will see the flashy electric cars zipping silently along the roads of the country by 2016, if not earlier. Well, it won’t be showing up in showrooms yet, if that’s what you are thinking. Greentech Malaysia is leading the charge in bringing in 120 Tesla Model S as demonstrator units to be leased to government-linked companies and agencies to try out and assess over a 24-month period. Its CEO, Ahmad Hadri Haris, said on May 14 that it hopes to settle the paperwork and approval processes for tax exemptions and Approved Permits within two…

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Refined Hilux launched in Thailand

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TOYOTA CITY:  Toyota has completely redesigned the Hilux pickup, which was unveiled in Bangkok on Thursday, marking the start of sales of the new model in Thailand. The eighth-generation Hilux pioneers a “new era” of easy-to-drive, stress-free toughness, while still providing the ruggedness, performance, responsiveness and safety expected from the model. Available in Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab configurations, the tough yet refined Hilux appearance is achieved by contrasting the front panel with its sturdy bumper section and the integrated look of the slender upper grille and LED headlamps. Body side wheel flares are integrated with the overall…

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Ford sales growth mainly from Asia in next decade

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DEARBORN: Ford Motor Co sees most of its corporate sales growth over the next decade coming from the Asia Pacific region despite the recent slowdown in China auto demand, a top executive said Thursday. “When I take a look at Ford’s growth over the next five to 10 years, we believe roughly 60 percent of the growth will be in the Asia Pacific region,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford’s Asia Pacific region. Ford’s Asia Pacific sales in the first quarter totaled US$2.3 billion, or 6.8 percent of the company’s total. China and India will be the big engines for…

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China jails ‘Fast & Furious’ Lamborghini, Ferrari drivers

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BEIJING:  Two unemployed men who crashed a Lamborghini and Ferrari as they reportedly staged a “real-life Fast and Furious” race through Beijing were sentenced to jail Thursday for dangerous driving, the court said. According to reports a woman passenger in Tang Weitian’s green Lamborghini was left with a broken spine in the accident. The other driver Yu Muchun, 20, drove a red Ferrari. Tang, 21, was sentenced to five months in prison and fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,600), Beijing’s Chaoyang District People’s Court said in an online post. Yu was jailed for four months and given an 8,000 yuan fine, it…

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Largest Nissan 3S Centre opens in Johor Baru

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JOHOR BARU: Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has opened its largest one-stop-shop Nissan 3S (Sales, Service and Spare Parts) centre that’s six-stories high and spanning over an area of 256,000 square feet. Dubbed the Mega Johor Jaya 3S Centre, the facility costs approximately RM25.5mil. It comes equipped with more than 400 parking bays, a 30-car showroom, 36 service bays and a capacity to service up to 150 cars per day. Amenities include a lounge with Wifi connectivity and a kid’s corner, Other facilities include a certified pre-owned and used vehicles section, hire purchase and insurance division and a vehicle distribution…

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Hitachi unveils automotive batteries

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KUALA LUMPUR: Hitachi’s automotive batteries have arrived in Malaysia and to begin with, they’re offering two variants starting with the entry-level MF ES Series and their range-topping MFX batteries. The MFX batteries are priced from RM350 onwards, while the ES Series start from RM250 and are being manufactured by a dedicated Hitachi Chemical Group factory in Thailand. Both batteries are currently available at more than 5,000 dealers nationwide including Sabah and Sarawak. An agreement was signed with Hitachi Chemical Asia-Pacific (HCAP), making local company Borneo Technical (a member of the Toyota Tsusho Group in Japan) the official distributor of the…

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Man who drove to police post with friend clinging to windscreen fined RM5,400

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SINGAPORE: A man who drove to a police post with a friend he owed money to clinging to his windscreen was fined $2,000 (RM5,400) and banned from the road for nine months on Thursday. Haresh Govindaraju, 46, and two other friends went to see Murali Krishnan Naidu, 44, at his King Albert Park condo to discuss some money he owed them. While waiting outside they saw Murali drive in with his wife and teenage son and ran towards his car but he drove away to avoid confrontation. The trio shouted vulgarities at Murali’s wife and banged his vehicle, and at…

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100-day countdown to launch of cleanest-ever Euro-6 vehicles

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LONDON: This weekend begins the 100-day countdown to the official launch of the strictest-ever European vehicle emissions regulation, Euro-6. From Sept 1, all new car models sold in the EU must meet this low emissions standard, making them the cleanest vehicles in history. With three months still to go before the new standard becomes mandatory, the latest figures from Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that British car makers are ahead of the game, with around half of new car buyers opting for a Euro-6 car last month. Consumers are doing their bit for air quality, too, by…

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