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Honda opts for Takata rival to supply Accord air bags, say sources

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BEIJING/TOKYO: Honda Motor Co has chosen a competitor of embattled Takata Corp to supply air bags for the next North American version of its Accord sedan, the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, two people with knowledge of the decision said. In the first major defection by a carmaker since Takata’s safety crisis began, Honda, Takata’s largest customer, will use air bags made by Toyoda Gosei for the all-new Accord, scheduled to go on sale in August 2017, the people told Reuters. Honda’s decision to shift to a competitor for the most important vehicle in its largest market represents a major blow for…

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GM International design teams support concepts in Detroit

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BANGKOK, THAILAND: Design teams in General Motors International (GMI) contributed to two important GM concept vehicles at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, USA. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an affordable long-range all-electric vehicle while the Buick Avenir represents a vision for a modern flagship sedan. The Chevrolet Bolt EV represents a true collaboration between GM’s global design studios in Korea and Australia. The vision originated in GM Korea’s advanced studio before GM Australia Design developed the concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car. Meanwhile, the Avenir was named Best Designed…

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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is a Playboy Magazine top pick

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AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN: With its race-inspired performance and advanced technologies wrapped by seductive curves that can only be handcrafted in Italy, Playboy magazine named the all-new Alfa Romeo 4C “2015 Car of the Year – Sports Cars and Convertibles.” The annual award from Playboy represents a hand-picked list of their favorite vehicles in 2015. “The gorgeous Italian exchange student you loved in high school isn’t coming back, but the stunning Alfa Romeo 4C is now here after years of being away,” said William K. Gock – Automotive Writer, Playboy. “This lightweight carbon-fiber-framed pistol uses flowing body curves, highly stylized alloy…

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BMW 5 Series is best car for SMEs

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LONDON: The BMW 5 Series Saloon is the best company car for SMEs according to news portal Business Car Manager. Now in its 3rd year in the UK, the SME Company Car of the Year Awards are the only awards specifically aimed at companies in the small business and SME sector and recognise the best company cars and business car programmes. The judging panel, consisting of independent small business specialists, overwhelmingly felt that the BMW offered the best driving experience and made the most financial sense for small business executives. Editor of Business Car Manager, Ralph Morton congratulated BMW for…

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Watch out for bump-and-rob criminals, motorists told

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PETALING JAYA: Police here are calling for motorists to be vigilant after a string of bump-and-rob cases that they believe were perpetrated by the same suspects. Authorities said the first two cases occurred on Tuesday when two men crashed into and robbed two people of their cars in the city area. “The following day, a teacher from SMK Bandar Utama 2 was robbed of her vehicle along Persiaran Bandar Utama. We believe the same people were behind these crimes because the suspects used a car they had stolen from one of the earlier victims to rob the teacher,” said OCPD…

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Man claims his bankrupt brother did not take car loan

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JOHOR BARU: A coffee shop assistant declared a bankrupt by the High Court here last year for failing to settle a car loan did not apply for it, claimed his brother. Gan Kim Chai, 40, did not borrow the money to buy a second-hand car as the loan was issued to a stranger using his lost MyKad. “My brother lost his MyKad in December 2003 and had lodged a police report. He also went to the National Registration Department to get a new card,” said Gan Ah Hook at a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau…

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BMW, VW and ChargePoint to build EV fast-chargers

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DETROIT: BMW and Volkswagen are joining with ChargePoint to build a US network of fast-charging stations for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the companies said Thursday. The companies plan to install nearly 100 ChargePoint ports on the US East and West Coasts by the end of 2015 as part of an effort to promote greater sales of EVs such as the BMW i3 and the VW e-Golf. ChargePoint operates one of the leading EV charging networks, with more than 20,000 charging ports in North America. Tom Gage, chairman of EV Grid and an expert in electric vehicle charging infrastructure,…

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Learner drivers to take highway code test once only

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MUAR: Applicants of a car and motorcycle licence will only have to sit for the computerised Malaysian Highway Code test once. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the decision was made after the ministry took into consideration complaints it had received from driving institutes. “Currently, those who wish to get a car or a motorcycle licence have to study the car and motorcycle modules separately, and have to sit for two tests. “After receiving the complaints, we decided that they would still need to study both the modules separately, but only take a single test,” he told reporters…

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Nissan expands safety feature to more cars

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YOKOHAMA: Nissan Motor Co Ltd has announced that it will expand its innovative Forward Emergency Braking to more models in its lineup. In Forward Emergency Braking, if the system determines that the odds of collision is high, or that a collision will occur, the warning lamp and buzzer will urge the driver to take evasive action to avoid collision, and if in case the driver is unable to safely decelerate, the emergency brake will automatically apply to avoid or reduce the damage caused by collision. This represents a major step toward implementing the technology to nearly all of its vehicle…

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India’s Tata Motors targets younger drivers with new Bolt model

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NEW DELHI: Tata Motors Ltd, India’s top automaker by revenue, is looking to shake off its image as a taxi supplier by targeting younger customers with its new Bolt hatchback model. Tata, whose cars are mainly bought by fleet taxi operators, has recruited more than 1,200 people in the last couple of months at its Indian dealerships to push sales of the new car to a different audience. “For a long time Tata Motors has been selling to fleet customers, and selling to them is very different from selling to individuals and families,” said Mayank Pareek, president of Tata Motors’…

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