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Auto News 03/2009

Carmakers look forward at Melbourne Show (The West Australian)
Already, 2009 is shaping up as one of the toughest ever years in the Australian automotive industry. Last year's mass sackings at local manufacturers Ford and Holden, the collapse of components manuf

Detroit's Critics Just Don't Get It (Washington Post)
The nation that invented the automobile has no intention of walking away from it. That nation is Germany, which gave the world its first carriage powered by an internal combustion engine in 1885.

Geneva Motor Show seeks green light out of gloom (Khaleej Times)
GENEVA - The auto industry will put ecology and economy on display when the Geneva Motor Show opens to the public on Thursday, to try to reverse plunging sales, plant closures, lay-offs and threatened bankruptcies.

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/3 (Vietnam Net)
Vietnam consumed 300,000 tonnes of steel in February, an equivalent to the volume in December 2008, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Seattle finds itself at the crossroads as the Great Disruption ends era as banking, insurance center (Seattle Times)
Already the recession has essentially destroyed the old financial-services industry and may claim one or two of the Detroit Three automakers. Seattle is no longer a major banking or insurance center. Aerospace could be at risk.

More auto industry cuts may be needed (National Post)
One in three vehicle assembly factories in North America are surplus at current sales levels, suggesting another massive round of capacity and job cutting is needed as the recession rips away demand for new cars, an economist at Scotiabank Group said.

Ford iosis Max concept may be headed to U.S.:
Ford's iosis Max concept, unveiled at the Geneva motor show, previews a multi-purpose vehicle that could find its way to North America. The concept also offered a foretaste of the company's new global design language.

Aston Martin unveils One-77 supercar at Geneva motor show:
Aston Martin's bid for global supercar supremacy has started at the Geneva motor show with the public premiere of the extremely-limited-edition One-77. Only 77 copies of Aston's $1.

Argentine February Automobile Sales Probably Fell: Week Ahead (Bloomberg)
March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s automobile sales probably fell for a fourth straight month in February, even as the government expanded an $870 million plan to spur purchases and combat the effects of the global financial crisis.

Japan's automobile sales plunge (Channel NewsAsia)
TOKYO: Sales of new cars in Japan plunged last month, industry figures showed Monday, underlining the sector's deepening woes as the economic downturn causes a slump in consumer spending.

Farmers emerge as spur for China's car industry (People's Daily)
As China rolls out its 5-billion-yuan (730 million U.S. Dollars) stimulus for carmakers, one city is pioneering its own package to lure rural buyers – and farmers are coming out strong. &$ &$LIFELINE TO CARMAKER&$ &$ The pioneer is Jilin City, in the northeastern Jilin Province, where FAW Group, China's largest automobile company, counts on farmers to buy more than 70 percent of its Jiabao brand ...

Japan's automobile sales plunge (AFP via Yahoo! Malaysia News)
Sales of new vehicles in Japan plunged last month, figures showed Monday, underlining the industry's deepening woes as the economic downturn causes a slump in consumer spending.

Japan's domestic automobile sales plunge 32.4% in Feb. (People's Daily)
Japan's domestic sales of new automobiles plunged 32.4 percent in February from a year earlier to 218,212 units amid the deepening global economic crisis, according to an industry association Monday. It was the largest drop since May 1974 and the seventh consecutive monthly decline in domestic sales of cars, buses and trucks, excluding minivehicles, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers ...

Mercedes-Benz revives its classic Gullwing two-seater as the SLS:
Mercedes-Benz's gorgeous 300SL--or Gullwing, as it is affectionately now known--has been reborn five decades after the iconic two-seater first sent the motoring world into a spin at the New York auto show in 1954.

Opel uncovers Ampera ahead of Geneva motor show debut:
Opel has released another image of its range-extending Ampera hybrid ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show.

Opel uncovers Ampera ahead of Geneva motor show debut:
Opel has released another image of its range-extending Ampera hybrid ahead of its official debut at the Geneva motor show.

Only the top is soft in new Audi A5/S5 cabriolet:
Audi is bucking the trend among luxury automakers who are churning out hardtop convertibles, as the new A5/S5 cabriolets that will reach these shores in October will be the old-fashioned, soft-top design.

Only the top is soft in new Audi A5/S5 cabriolet:
Audi is bucking the trend among luxury automakers who are churning out hardtop convertibles, as the new A5/S5 cabriolets that will reach these shores in October will be the old-fashioned, soft-top design.

The Duster is back at the Geneva motor show--and it's a Dacia:
Renault on Monday unveiled a concept for a coupe crossover concept from its Romanian subsidiary, Dacia.

Japan auto sales plunge in February (San Francisco Chronicle)
Japanese auto sales plunged 32.4 percent in February, the biggest monthly drop since 1974 on sinking demand as the global economic downturn deepens, an industry group said Monday. Japanese consumers bought 218,212 vehicles for the month, the Japan Automobile...

UPDATE:EU Sees No Problems With Spanish,Italian Car Aid Plans (Nasdaq)
(Adds detail.) BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The Spanish government's plan to provide a EUR4 billion aid package to its ailing automobile industry doesn't seem to contain protectionist measures, the European Commission said Monday.

Vehicle sales dive in Japan (The West Australian)
New automobile sales in Japan plunged 32.4 per cent last month from a year earlier in the face of a severe recession in Asia's largest economy, an industry association reported.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Standardizes on Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter Technology (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
PLANO, Texas & BEIJING----Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management software and services, today announced that Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Motor Corporation Ltd., one of the largest automobile enterprises in mainland China, standardized on Teamcenter® software, Siemens PLM ...

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Standardizes on Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter Technology (Centre Daily Times)
Siemens PLM Software , a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced that Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor Corporation Ltd., one of the largest automobile enterprises in mainland China, standardized on Teamcenter® software , Siemens PLM Software’s ...

Perana shows LS3-powered Z-One at Geneva motor show:
One American not having trouble finding work is General Motor's LS V8 engine. Its latest assignment comes under the hood of Perana's new Z-One sports car that debuted at the Geneva motor show.

Volkswagen uncovers new Polo at Geneva motor show:
Though not officially confirmed, it's widely expected that the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo will go on sale in the U.S. sometime in 2011.

Faster, lighter Lamborghini Murciélago rolls into Geneva motor show:
This is just what the doctor ordered: A lighter, faster Lamborghini Murciélago--the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce--revealed for the Geneva motor show.

2010 Ford Fusion: The Blue Oval sells cars again:
Ford is going to take a fairly novel approach to sell its latest entry in the midsize car segment, the 2010 Fusion: It's going to talk about the car.

SPAIN: Industry and government quarrel as sales collapse (just-auto)
This article is locked. You need to be a Full Member of just-auto to view this article. Existing users, please login at the top of the page. Summary: Spain's automobile industry and the government continue to trade blows about the best strategy to boost sales which plummeted almost 50% in February and are set to fall to Europe's lowest levels this year.

Report: Auto industry's heyday is gone (UPI)
TORONTO, March 2 (UPI) -- A new report said U.S. automobile sales may not recover this year or the next or the next or the next, or perhaps ever.

Infiniti Essence joins luxury coupe scene at Geneva motor show:
Infiniti looks to make a splash in the European luxury coupe market with the Essense concept, a curvaceous rear-drive, two-seat, hybrid-powered car.

Maruti Feb. Sales Up; Hero Honda, TVS Motors Post Higher Sales (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - The automobile industry in India showed a positive growth trend in February, after about eight months of flat or negative growth. The growth was mainly driven by the stimulus packages announced by the Indian Government and easier auto loans by public sector banks.

Auto-Industry Meltdown May Not Be Enough to Force Consolidation (Bloomberg)
March 3 (Bloomberg) -- The auto industry has slashed half a million jobs, shed 4 million customers and lost $50 billion. That’s still not enough to force consolidation among carmakers such as BMW, General Motors Corp.

63% Won't Buy A Car From A Bankrupt Company (Rasmussen Reports via Yahoo! News)
Billions of taxpayer bailout dollars just don't seem to be helping the image of America's stumbling automobile industry.

Indian automakers enjoy strong February sales 3rd March 2009 (Platinum today)
The Indian automobile industry has reported positive sales growth for February in its first move upwards for eight months, it was revealed today (3rd March).

Investigation Report on China's Automobile Industry (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
NEW YORK----Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue.

National Automobile Dealers Association spent $888,000 lobbying government in fourth quarter (Canadian Business)
The National Automobile Dealers Association spent $888,000 in the fourth quarter to lobby on an economic rescue plan for the struggling industry,

27-year low in auto industry sales (KABC-TV Los Angeles)
The U.S. automobile industry had its worst sales month in 27 years.

Geneva motor show: Lagonda reborn as SUV concept:
Big, brash and bold, Aston Martin pulled the wraps off a super-luxury $210,000 Lagonda SUV at the Geneva motor show with plans to relaunch a brand dormant since the 1990s.

Saab boss identifies 5 potential bidders; Chinese deny interest:
Saab aims to identify a new owner for the brand within two months, Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson said Wednesday.

Spied: A slightly new look for the Lincoln MKS:
The Lincoln MKS sedan hasn't been on the market all that long, but Ford Motor Co. designers are locking down a freshening, likely for the 2011 model year.

Geneva motor show: Audi allroad quattro may return to North America:
Audi is considering a North American comeback for its allroad quattro, this time as the new A4-based model that was unveiled at the Geneva motor show.

The future is coming! Run!: A column by Mark Vaughn:
Whenever I get smug and complacent and thinking maybe everything's going to be all right with the world--despite our worst efforts and hey, maybe we're not all going straight to hell on a hydrocarbon--along comes the Art Center Summit on Expanding...

Infiniti celebrates anniversary at Geneva motor show, far from where it started:
Like every auto show on this season's circuit, Geneva's annual gala at the Palexpo seems to have caught a bit of a cold this year, brought on by the global economic plague.

Air Charter International arranges VIP charter for Automobile Giant (Zawya)
04 March 2009 Air Charter International a premier Aviations Solutions Provider recently arranged a series of private jet charter flights for one of the biggest automobile giants in order to launch their newest Elite car.

2010 Lotus Exige S breaks cover at Geneva:
The 2010 Lotus Exige S is breaking cover at the Geneva motor show with some subtle styling changes that improve aero and drag, while giving the pocket rocket an even more muscular stance.

Research and Markets: 2009 U.S. Automobile Body & Trailer Manufacturing Industry Report (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
DUBLIN, Ireland----Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "2009 U.S. Automobile Body & Trailer Manufacturing Industry Report" report to their offering.

Don't build the Lagonda: A plea from Dutch Mandel:
March 4, 2009

Geneva motor show: NLV Quant by Koenigsegg:
Leave it to Koenigsegg to help bring a high-performance all-electric car to market. The Swedish supercar manufacturer--known for creating green E85-burning versions of its 1,018-hp CCX--is partnering with NLV Solar AG to produce the Quant.

2009’s 10 most fuel-efficient cars in America: The AutoWeek list:
Toyota Prius Hybrid


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