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Auto News 06/2008

Govt asks industry to be ready for used car imports (Business Standard India)
Despite taking a tough stand against liberalising the trade of re-manufactured goods at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has begun to nudge Indian industry to reconsider its opposition to such imports.

Wagon, whoa!: The engine in Audi's new A4 Avant is a prize winner
The 2009 Audi A4 Avant is very easy to like. It is compact but comfortable, versatile and available with nearly any gizmo you might need to entertain yourself. It's satisfying to drive, wagon roofline be damned, and it's good-looking to boot.

NASCAR: Kyle Busch back in the winner's circle:
NASCAR might want to put this race video in a lead-lined case and bury it for all time: The Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway featured exactly one on-track lead change in 400 laps around a one-mile track.

GAIC starts exports to Yemen and Saudi Arabia (Zawya)
Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Automobile Industry Corp (GAIC), the first UAE producer of an indigenously developed double cabin pick-up, has started exporting some units from its factory in the Abu Dhabi industrial city, said Nasser Hamad Al Hajeri, chairman of the Gulf Automobile on Sunday.

The Report 'United States Insurance Industry - Global Strategic Business Report' Offers a Recapitulation of Recent ... (Centre Daily Times)
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.co has announced the addition of United States Insurance Industry - Global Strategic Business Report to their offering.

Chevy gets new compact car next year:
General Motors will unveil a Chevrolet compact car at an auto show this fall, with production slated to begin early next year, say sources familiar with GM’s product program.

Audi considers another supercar and a small SUV for U.S.:
Audi is considering a small sport/utility vehicle and another supercar as potential additions to its U.S. lineup, a top official said Monday.

Michael Holmes of State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company Elected IASA President (PrimeNewswire via Yahoo! Finance)
SEATTLE, June 2, 2008 -- During the business luncheon of the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association held today during the 2008 IASA Annual Educational Conference & Business Show members elected Michael Holmes of State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company as president of the association for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Auto electronics next driver for embedded system growth (CIOL)
JAPAN & TAIWAN: According to the Japan Embedded Systems Technology Association (JASA), over the following five years, the next powerful driver of growth in the embedded system industry will be automobile electronics rather than 3C products.

Callaway cruiser: When 430 HP isn't enough
You enter the Callaway compound, in deepest Orange County, California, through massive wooden doors that are not unlike those guarding the fictional Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz.

DRIVERS LOG: 2008 BMW 135i:
SENIOR EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: This latest version of BMW's "entry" model eschews some of the $9,000 worth of options that punched the price of our previously tested 135i to $45,000.

Cory Farley: Justify My Love
One of life's little ironies is that the cars I want always stay precisely the same distance out of reach.

HF Automobile becomes one main domestic large-scale aircraft manufacturer (People's Daily)
With its advantages in composite materials research and development, Harbin HF Automobile Industry Group Company Ltd. has been identified as one of the top 5 domestic large-scale aircraft manufacturers by AVIC1 Commercial Aircraft Co., Ltd. ...

Auto bosses to rule on Mosley's future after sex scandal (AFP via Yahoo! News)
The International Automobile Federation meets Tuesday to rule on the future of its president Max Mosley after he became embroiled in a sado-masochist sex scandal.

Auto sales drop by 220,000 units (The Japan Times)
Nissan Motor Co. led a drop in domestic auto sales in May as higher taxes and fuel costs cut demand for new vehicles, an industry body said Monday. Total sales of cars, trucks and buses fell 6.1 percent to 221,377 from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said. The total excludes minicars. Read the full story

Max Mosley wins FIA vote, but controversy continues:
Against most expectations, embattled FIA president Max Mosley won a vote of confidence on Tuesday in Paris during a special meeting of the FIA General Assembly.

South African New Vehicle Sales Decrease In May (INO News)
(RTTNews) - New Vehicle sales in South Africa decreased 12,095 units or 23.4% year-on-year to 39,533 units in May, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, or NAAMSA, reported Tuesday.

Dutch Mandel: General Motors' very smart move: Can it help save the planet? Who cares! At least they're thinking about it
Talk about a smart move.

Commentary: Max Mosley's moral vacuum:
I'm not surprised FIA President Max Mosley won Tuesday's General Assembly vote, and I don't know why anybody else is, either.

Ford F series loses title as top-selling vehicle in May:
The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been dethroned as America’s favorite vehicle for the first time since 1991--by at least two cars.

Fitch Affirms State Farm's Ratings; Outlook Stable (Centre Daily Times)
Fitch Ratings has affirmed its 'AA+' Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings on State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm), State Farm Life Insurance Company (State Farm Life) and State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Cut car taxes to boost sales, industry group head urges (The Japan Times)
Hoping to boost car ownership in a shrinking domestic market, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will ask the government to lower car-related taxes to ease the financial burden on automobile owners, the newly appointed head of the car industry group said Tuesday. "What we are insisting on behalf of car users is . . . a review of the tax rates, if the government will review its ...

Asian Stocks Advance, Led by Sony, Toyota Motor as Dollar Gains (Bloomberg.com)
June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose, led by technology and automobile companies, as the dollar rallied after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled he is done cutting interest rates and the region's vehicle makers boosted U.S. sales.

Calling a spade a sedan: We like the Passat CC even more than the other Passat sedan
There are legends in the marketing world, wizards capable of making consumers believe, among other things, that eating nothing but pork fat can make you skinny and that a four-door car can be called a coupe.

Jetta wagon revival: Volkswagen believes the time is right for its practical and efficient SportWagen
After a short hiatus, a wagon returns to Volkswagen's Jetta model line with the SportWagen. Rising gasoline prices have VW believing that old-fashioned wagon flexibility will lure customers and serve as a loyalty builder for the brand.

Mark Vaughn: Finally, a celebration of the truly awful
Sure, there is the ultra-exclusive Wednesday night party at the Monterey Jet Center to which you can never hope to be invited unless you were actually born on your own private jet.

Motor industry gloom (Daily Dispatch)
THE brakes were slammed on the South African automotive industry during May with new vehicle sales showing a massive 23.4% drop compared to the same month last year.

Letters for Wednesday, June 4, 2008 (The Record)
An important dent in today's gas prices could be achieved by a significant reduction in automobile usage. Government-controlled rationing in World War II performed this task. Today, American industry could realize this without the invasive oversight of government control.

Letters for Wednesday, June 4, 2008 (The Record)
An important dent in today's gas prices could be achieved by a significant reduction in automobile usage. Government-controlled rationing in World War II performed this task. Today, American industry could realize this without the invasive oversight of government control.

Detroit 3, Toyota all post lower monthly sales:
U.S. consumers’ reluctance to buy new vehicles--especially low-mpg vehicles such as light trucks, SUVs and larger cars--accelerated in May.

FIRST DRIVE: Better baby Aston: Engine, chassis and interior revisions freshen Vantage lineup
Three years after Aston Martin's V8 Vantage stormed onto the scene, the automaker is performing some updates to its Porsche 911 fighter.

Power to the puny: Suzuki seeks respect with turbocharged SX4t concept
At 143 hp, the all-wheel-drive Suzuki SX4 crossover already had the most horsepower in its class. So the logical thing to do, of course, was to add more power.

Breckland Beira supercar debuts next week:
Breckland Technology, a UK company specializing in prototype cars for other firms, will launch it own limited-edition, 400-hp, two-seat Beira supercar on Monday, June 9, at the London motorexpo car show.

The Indian Tyre Industry is Expected to Register a Growth of 9-10% in the Next 5 Years (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
DUBLIN, Ireland----Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Indian Tyre Industry 2008" to their offering.

Fuel price hike: Auto industry fears low sales (rediff.com)
"It is a very tough situation for us. As it is we are under tremendous pressure from rising input costs and high interest rates. Initially, in short-term it will have an impact on sales but in the long-term it will be taken into stride by consumers," Hyundai Motors India Senior Vice President Marketing and Sales Arvind Saxena told PTI. "It is a very tough situation for us. As it is we are under ...

Cuts help Canadian auto industry earn profit (Windsor Star)
WINDSOR, Ont. - Increasing efforts by Canadian auto manufacturers to reduce costs will enable the industry to turn a profit of $155 million this year, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Auto industry fears fuel price hike may dampen sales (Express India)
The automobile industry expressed concern that the fuel price hike could impact sales in the short-term.

Porsche tops in initial quality for third year in a row:
Porsche was tops again, Infiniti made dramatic strides, and Honda captured the most individual honors in the J.D. Power and Associates initial quality report released on Wednesday.

Auto industry fears fuel price hike may dampen sales (The Economic Times)
The automobile industry expressed concern that the fuel price hike announced on Wednesday could impact sales in the short-term.

Automobile sector takes yet another knock (Express India)
The hike in fuel prices has come as a further dampener to the automobile industry, which is expected to see a slowdown in demand with potential buyers postponing their buy.

TOM WALSH | J.D. Power survey: U.S. carmakers must get their A.D.D. under control (Detroit Free Press)
"Hubba-hubba, the latest J.D. Power automobile quality study is out, and the Ford, Cadillac, Mercury, Buick, Lincoln, Chevrolet and Pontiac brands all rank above the industry average."

REVS: The real deals: With CXC, you might never need a real racetrack again
This is not an arcade game, it's not a video game, and it's not Grand Theft Auto IV.

Toyota's Bronco: We drive the torquey TRD FJ Cruiser
Driving the TRD-tuned V6-powered Toyota FJ Cruiser, you are immediately reminded of another fine truck, something from way back in the '60s, when displacement was king, something still celebrated regularly on the covers of four-by-four magazines...

Plans, trains and automobiles: Custom Mopar collector has a big piece of Pennsylvania in his garage
Buying a house in 1994 that had an attached garage, one in which the previous owner had installed a commercial-grade hydraulic four-post lift, was just part of Don Williams' plan.

Motorcycling goes mainstream: The Legend of the Motorcycle International Concours d'Elegance
Nearly 6000 attendees watched a magnificent 1908 Indian Torpedo Tank Racer win Best of Show at the third annual Legend of the Motorcycle International Concours d'Elegance on May 3 at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California.

Striker strikes the fancy of open-wheel racers:
The future of road racing could reside in a non-descript building in the tiny north Texas town of Sanger.

Automobile industry makes overall gains in quality of vehicles (The Tennessean)
DETROIT — The quality of new cars improved across the industry this year, with Porsche, Honda, Toyota, General Motors and Ford among the automakers leading the pack, the marketing and consulting company J.D. Power and Associates announced Wednesday.

TOM WALSH: Carmakers have to pay attention (Detroit Free Press)
A conversation with self ... "Hubba-hubba, the latest J.D. Power automobile quality study is out, and the Ford, Cadillac, Mercury, Buick, Lincoln, Chevrolet and Pontiac brands all rank above the industry average." "So what?"

Tony Stewart wins Eldora Speedway charity event:
For one of the few times this year, bad luck did not follow Tony Stewart on Wednesday night in Rossburg, Ohio.

Indian tyre industry to register a growth of 9-10% in the next 5 years Thursday, June 5, 2008 (Rubber World)
Dublin, Ireland -- According to an article in businesswire.com, "Research and Markets has announced the addiiton of "Indian Tyre Industry 2008" to their offering.


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