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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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GM’s Indonesia closure highlights automakers’ emerging markets woes

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DETROIT: General Motors Co’s decision to shutter a car factory in Indonesia comes as global automakers rethink the timing and scope of investments in emerging markets once touted as engines of growth. Global automakers poured billions into Brazil, Russia, India, China and other emerging markets during the past few years. For now, some key emerging markets are a drag on sales and profits. Ford Motor Co (F.N), General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp said slumps in Brazil, Russia, India and other emerging markets dented profits last year. Ford took an…

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Toyota i-Road heading for Tokyo

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TOKYO: The Toyota i-Road is entering service in a new car-sharing programme that’s located in central Tokyo in April. The i-Road is an all-electric ultra-compact three-wheeled vehicle that is already in service as part of a co-ordinated public transport scheme in Grenoble, France, and has also been put through its paces within Toyota City in Nagoya, Japan. The new trial will see iRoad paired with Park24’s Times Car Plus service, which allows members to ulitise a fleet of share-cars at any time of day. The scheme will also incorporate elements from Toyota’s Ha:mo urban transport template, which has also been…

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Watchmaker Bremont pays homage to Jaguar E-type

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LONDON: British watchmaker, Bremont, has revealed two new watches that pays tribute to the 1961 Jaguar E-type sports car, which became the fastest production car in the world and was described as “the most beautiful” by Enzo Ferrari. Dubbed the MKI and MKII, both watches now add to the existing six chronographs previously created to complement each of the six ‘continuation’ lightweight E-type sports racing cars currently being built by Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. According to Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum, the new watches feature a design inspired by the Jaguar E-type sports car that goes together with…

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Infiniti gets musical

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DUBAI: Maybe the desert heat has something to do with it. Infiniti Middle East has announced the launch of “Chromatic,” an audio composition and animation made entirely from the sounds and shapes of the Infiniti range. Both the video and sound track are set to be distributed globally by Universal Music Group. Conceived in April 2014 with agency TBWA-Raad, Infiniti sought to create a library of sound generated by elements of the cars themselves: brakes, tyre spins, gear shifts, seatbelt clicks, exhaust roars and internal alerts. “This is the first time an automotive maker in this region has created a…

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Singapore consumers group accuses oil companies of profiteering

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SINGAPORE: consumer watchdog Con­sumers Association of Singapore (CASE) said that oil companies were “profiteering” from the recent Government petrol duty hike. Shell’s 95-octane grade now costs S$2.02 (RM5.38) a litre before discount, while its 98-octane grade is priced at S$2.26 (RM6.02) per litre. The company’s premium V-Power costs S$2.63 (RM7) a litre. While this is 2 cents lower than yesterday, prices are still higher than the Government’s announced duty hike of 15 cents a litre for intermediate grade petrol and 20 cents a litre for premium petrol. Shell’s pump prices before the Government announcement were S$1.86 (RM4.95) a litre for…

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