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European auto & moto news

New tailor-made industrial, assembly and logistics park in Poland

The Node Logistics Park in Wolborz in the centre of Poland and Europe, is a new tailor-made industrial, assembly and logistics park in a strategic region. It offers solutions for industrial contracting, supply chain management, logistics infrastructure and distribution. The Node Logistics Park is located in Wolborz, in the dynamically developing Lodz region, an ideal location for assembly, light production and logistics. Well located to access international airports at Lodz, Katowice, Krakow and Warsaw .

www.nodelogisticspark.com

Revised line-up for Citroen’s Xsara Picasso

Citroën has announced that it is streamlining its evergreen Xsara Picasso range. To be built around the Desire and VTX models, the revised Xsara Picasso range will continue to offer UK car buyers a great value entry into the compact MPV market. With almost 250,000 models already sold in this country, the Xsara Picasso has been the UK’s number one MPV for private buyers since its launch, a title it continues to hold to this day. Now sitting alongside its state-of-the-art stablemates – the brand new seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso and five-seat C4 Picasso – the Xsara Picasso offers the space and versatility of a compact MPV for the price of a mini-MPV, making it particularly appealing to customers looking at smaller cars such as the Vauxhall Meriva and Renault Modus.
 

Audi to employ a total of 450 academics in 2007

AUDI AG will employ 450 academics this year, 100 more than was originally planned for 2007. “We want to be the most successful premium automotive manufacturer in the world by 2015. To achieve this goal, we need highly motivated, dedicated and well-trained employees,” commented Dr. Werner Widuckel, Board Member for Human Resources at AUDI AG.

Saab wins Used Car Scheme of the Year

Saab’s Approved Used Car Scheme has been named the best in Britain by weekly magazine Auto Express. Saab’s scheme came top in the prestigious Auto Express Used Car Honours 2007, thanks to the added features it offers to buyers, over and above what rival car manufacturers offer. “As well as the usual multi-point mechanical and history checks, the Saab Approved Used Car Scheme also gives second-hand buyers, something different,” the magazine writes. “Not only does it provide a one-year guarantee – instead of a warranty – but the list of benefits available includes cover for the car’s brakes, battery and clutch.”
 

The iron mark - a symbol of Volvo for 80 years

Swedish iron was at the very foundation of Volvo. The iron symbol on the front of our vehicles promised high quality and that symbol has been the signature on every Volvo produced over the past 80 years. From the very start, however, the symbol was reinforced by the VOLVO logotype placed on an attractive blue panel, along with a diagonal attachment bar. Volvo’s first passenger car, which was unveiled on 14 April 1927, featured a smart logotype at the very front of the bonnet. The text ‘VOLVO GOTHENBURG SWEDEN’ stood in white, gold-framed letters on a beautiful blue background panel. The word ‘VOLVO’ was in Egyptienne typeface.
 

Off-roaders getting softer by demand

JATO Dynamics, the world’s leading provider of automotive data and intelligence has commented that the market for SUVs seems to be undergoing a period of transition. Still a buoyant segment, the 4x4 and SUV market has for many years enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth, with an increasing appetite from consumers for the chunky, purposeful looks and high driving position associated with that type of vehicle. In many markets the vehicles also enjoy a certain social status that continues to draw consumers from areas of the market that have no apparent purpose for off-road capability.

Ford Genk starts production of the all-new Mondeo

An investment program totaling €715 million was made at Genk in support of the three new models. And once production is running at maximum capacity, almost 1,200 Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models will be built there each day, with 98 percent of the total being exported to more than 60 countries. “After the international recognition and success of both the Galaxy and the S-MAX, which was voted Car of the Year 2007, the new Mondeo completes the Ford range in the crucially important European CD segment,” said John Fleming, Ford of Europe’s president and CEO.

New Exhibition Celebrates Motor Industry Progress

Over 100 years of motoring industry heritage will be celebrated in a brand new exhibition Making British Cars, which opens in a redeveloped museum at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, on the 26 May 2007. Using pictures, film and objects from the Trust collections, many never seen in public before, the new displays will trace the history of an industry that began in the 1890s, reaching a peak in the years after the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition will also show the change in an industry dominated by household names such as Austin, Morris, Rootes and Wolseley to one now dominated by brands like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota.

Audi to Offer SIRIUS Satellite Radio as Standard Equipment on Key Models

SIRIUS Satellite Radio today announced that Audi will offer SIRIUS as standard equipment in all S4, RS 4, A6, A8, and R8 models, and Audi Q7 3.6 Premium, 4.2, and 4.2 Premium models for the 2008 model year available at dealers later this year. "Audi is the leader in luxury and design in the premium segment," said Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President of Audi of America. "As such, Audi customers deserve the very best vehicle entertainment experience possible, and we believe that SIRIUS' unique programming greatly enhances Audi customer satisfaction and superior offering."

Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Available with 4MATIC all-wheel drive from the summer

Shortly after the Europe-wide market launch of the C-Class, Mercedes-Benz has announced a further technical refinement in the new model series, namely 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. This further enhanced system will be available for order and delivery in the six-cylinder C 280, C 350 and C 320 CDI models from the summer of 2007. With a total of 49 4MATIC models, Mercedes-Benz will then have the widest all-wheel-drive range among all premium brands.

Award for high temperature fuel cell from Volkswagen

The high temperature fuel cell from Volkswagen has been awarded a prize in the special category "Innovation of reason" by the largest German consumer magazine "Guter Rat". The jury of editing staff thereby afforded Volkswagen credit for their breakthrough in fuel cell technology. The prize was accepted last Friday by Professor Jürgen Leohold, Head of Volkswagen Group Research, at the Meilenwerk in Berlin. "I am very happy to accept this award as a representative from my research team. We pursued fundamental research and with the very promising results were able to markedly influence the path for fuel cell technology", research boss Leohold said during the award ceremony.

NAC MG celebrates the birth of China’s first international car brand

On 27 March 2007, after a period of huge anticipation, MG - China’s first international car brand - will reveal its strength to an eager public. This day will symbolise a milestone in Chinese automobile manufacturing. NAC MG is inaugurating its state of the art production line while celebrating the launch of China’s first international car brand which inherits all the British traditions synonymous with MG.

Porsche To Increase stake in Volkswagen

At its extraordinary meeting held today, the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG authorized the Managing Board to increase the stake held in Volkswagen AG from the present 27.3 per cent to up to 31 per cent of the ordinary shares and thus to make a mandatory offer for Volkswagen. The Managing Board intends to make use of this authorization in the short term. Porsche holds an option, which is exercisable at any time, to purchase up to 3.7 per cent of the ordinary shares of VW. The mandatory offer will be made to all VW shareholders after the 30 per cent voting rights threshold is exceeded. Once this mandatory offer has been implemented, any further increases by Porsche of its stake in VW will not trigger a renewed obligation to make an offer to the remaining shareholders of the Wolfsburg-based car manufacturer. At present, it is unclear whether, when and on what terms such increases will take place.

DaimlerChrysler Expands Concept Plug-in Hybrid Program

In a display of commitment to the development of hybrid powertrain architecture and advanced batteries, DaimlerChrysler is expanding its concept plug-in hybrid program to include the all-new 2007 Dodge Sprinter. Up to 20 Dodge Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will be placed in the United States between now and the first quarter of 2008 as part of a test-fleet program. Four of the vehicles, built on the previous- generation Dodge Sprinter, already are in operation with customers. DaimlerChrysler is the only auto manufacturer currently evaluating a variety of plug-in hybrid powertrain (diesel and gas) configurations in real-world, customer-operation service within the United States.

Nissan to introduce Tiida in Europe

Nissan Europe announced today that it will introduce the Tiida model to Europe from June 2007. The Tiida marks the latest addition to Nissan’s current model line-up following the recent launch of its latest C-segment, cross-over vehicle, the QASHQAI. As part of the Tiida launch strategy, Nissan carefully studied the individual European markets to identify the countries where there was a concentration of loyal customers of Almera and Primera who would consider purchasing a similar model in the future.

3-door diesel model joins Suzuki’s Grand Vitara line-up

Customers opting for a diesel powered Suzuki Grand Vitara have until now been restricted in their choice to the larger 5-door bodystyle, but a new 3-door model joins the range from April, priced at a competitive £14,999 on-the-road. Unlike its petrol-engined 3-door sibling, which is essentially a ‘soft roader’, the new 1.9 DDiS Grand Vitara adopts the drivetrain of the manual transmission 5-door models and supplements permanent four-wheel drive with a centre differential lock and a low range to ensure serious and outstanding off road capability. It can therefore tackle tough, muddy off-road conditions with ease, while the system’s four different modes are easily selected via a dash-mounted rotary switch.

Volvo S80 Named 2007 AutoMundo Magazine Car of the Year

AutoMundo, the nation's premier Spanish-language automotive enthusiast publication, today named the all-new Volvo S80 as its 2007 Car of the Year. The prestigious accolade which appears in the magazine's April issue, follows the S80's recent debut in the U.S. marketplace and echoes what others are saying about Volvo's first V8-powered luxury sedan.

VXR styling kit for new Opel Corsa

Vauxhall’s highly acclaimed new Corsa hatchback looks great from any angle, but now thousands of customers who rushed out to buy one soon after launch can add extra flair and excitement inspired by the manufacturer’s VXR racing team. The aftersales experts at Vauxhall have come up with a VXR styling kit that provides more than a flavour of the factory model, but will not break the bank. It’s available from Vauxhall retailers throughout the country now.

Renault invests in a new €135 million spare parts

Renault has invested €135 million in this new distribution center. The new facility is part of a major program to create new centers or to extend the existing centers throughout the world (Morocco, Russia, Romania, Slovenia, Algeria, Korea, etc.) in order to cope with the growth of Renault's parts and accessories business. These 27 central and local distribution centers throughout the world provide Renault with a world-standard logistics organization and significantly improve the parts service rate for our end customers. This 150,000 m² warehouse is capable of receiving all of the parts from numerous suppliers at a single Renault site that meets the company's logistics standards, thereby reducing geographical dispersion and improving logistics performance.

Mazda announces new ‘Mazda Advancement Plan’

Based on its long-term strategy and looking ten years ahead, Mazda Motor Corporation has announced its new, four-year mid-term plan, the Mazda Advancement Plan (MAP), for fiscal years 2007 through 2010. Manufacturing innovation and accelerated structural reforms will be key focus points during this period. Other key areas include continuing to improve Mazda’s brand value and increasing business efficiencies together with maintaining a consistent and steady growth rate to position Mazda for a successful future.

Toyota scores with top football promotion

The dreams of 22 young football fans will be coming true at the UEFA Cup Final, thanks to Toyota. The winners of Toyota’s national prize draw will have the chance to put a child forward to be one of the mascots at the match, to be held at Hampden Park in Glasgow on 16 May. The promotion celebrates a new partnership between Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and UEFA, European football’s governing body, to support the cup finals for the next three years. The event will be hosted in the UK again in 2008, at Manchester City’s stadium.

Guinness World Record attempt for the longest MINI convoy in the world

On the evening of Wednesday, 28 March, 269 MINIs illuminated Blackpool and set a new Guinness World Record for the longest MINI convoy in the world. Owners travelled from as far as Croydon and Cardiff to be part of the historic two-mile route and help raise cash for Comic Relief. The record was previously held by the Vancouver MINI club when in 2004 they brought together 195 new and classic Minis. The parade was organised by UK MINI dealership Derek Woodman.

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