Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fiat, Sberbank Plan EUR850 Million JV To Build Jeeps In Russia

Fiat SpA will form a joint venture with Russian state bank OAO Sberbank to build cars and vans under Jeep and other brands in a EUR850 million investment, marking the Italian automaker's latest effort to establish a bigger presence in the country's quickly expanding market.

Fiat issued the statement after its chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, announced the signing of the agreement to reporters at an event in Brussels earlier in the day. Marchionne didn't provide any further details.

Fiat said the intention behind the joint venture would be to build vehicles at a plant in St. Petersburg and later in Moscow.The Italian company would have 80% of the venture and Sberbank the remaining 20%.Jeep is a brand owned by Chrysler Group LLC, Fiat's U.S. subsidiary.

t didn't say how much of the EUR850 million would be put up by each partner, nor did it say whether it was earmarked just for the first plant.The letter of intent is the outcome of an initiative by the Russian government to promote direct investment in country's automotive industry.In June 2011, it received proposals from various manufacturers, including Fiat, which had offered to invest $1.1 billion to build two factories.Fiat had previously tried to form a partnership with OAO Sollers. It failed, losing out to Ford Motor Co.

The most powerful Ferrari ever, F12 Berlinetta is launched - Videos & Images

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo finally unveils the most powerful Ferrari, F12 Berlinetta ever.  The new F12berlinetta (not called 620 GT as was previously thought) is the fastest and most powerful road car that Ferrari has ever created.

Billed as the fastest and most powerful regular production Ferrari in history, the F12berlinetta sports a 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated V12 engine that produces 730HP (740PS), which translates to a specific output of 116HP per liter. It also delivers a peak torque of 690Nm or 508.9 lb-ft, 80 percent of which is available at just 2,500 rpm, while it can rev up to 8,700 rpm.

Like the 599 GTB Fiorano which it replaces, the F12's undoubted USP is that thumping great V12. A reworked version of the unit that first appeared in the FF, it shares the same 6262cc capacity and 65 degree configuration, but its power output is increased by approximately 80bhp to just over 730bhp (740CV), and it produces 509 torques. In other words, the F12 is the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever. Factor in a dry weight of 1525kg and you can imagine what sort of performance this thing delivers: 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.5, and a top speed of 211mph. So, quite fast, then. Fast enough, in fact, to blitz Ferrari's Fiorano test track in 1min 23 seconds, a time that outpoints even the Enzo supercar to make this the quickest Ferrari road car to lap the famous circuit

Measuring 4,618mm long, 1,942mm wide and 1,273mm tall, the new top Ferrari is 47mm shorter, 19mm narrower and 63mm lower than the model it replaces, while the Italian company said it rides on a shorter wheelbase, without announcing the precise figure.

With reference to the interiors, Ferrari says it has optimized the cabin to ensure maximum usability of the interior space with additional luggage capacity behind the seats.

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Chinese Automobile giants, FAW aggressive towards India - Joint Venture signed with Bharat Forge

The foundry wing of Chinese automobile major First Automotive Works (FAW) is interested in setting up an iron casting facility in India, preferably through the joint-venture route, to tap the growing demand from automotive sector.

According to Mr Sun Feng, President, FAW Foundry Co, the Indian automotive sector, including such segments as passenger cars, trucks and trains are witnessing a major growth.

“We plan to set up a facility for casting to tap this growth. We are also exploring the possibility of entering into a joint venture with any Indian casting company,” Mr Feng told newspersons on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here on Tuesday.

The company already has a joint venture with Bharat Forge Ltd, to make forged automotive components for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, railways, mining, steel and petroleum industries.

FAW Foundry plans to be present, with an eight-member delegation, at the 8th International Exhibition on Foundry Technology, Equipment and Supplies in Bangalore in the first week of March. The Chinese company is also scheduled to visit the Tata Motors facility in Pune “for technical discussions”.

Tata Motors confirms Tata Nano with 3 cylinder 800-900cc engine delivering 60-80bhp

Imagine a Tata Nano with a bigger engine. Donot imagine, this might be a reality soon. Tata Motors has finally got the catch of Nano's Sales actually getting Nanoed every month. We are sure there must be lots of brainstorming sessions on this one, lots of market surveys and finally Tata Motors are out with new strategy to boost Nano's Sales for the Indian market.

Apart from cosmetic changes, Tata Motors is planning more powerful engines to further enhance the appeal of the car. “We have variants coming out with a three-cylinder engine developing 60bhp or 80bhp and we will also give the Nano larger tyres and wheels,” says Ratan Tata, company chairman, whose brainchild the Nano is. However, the timeframe for these upgrades is not clear. Tata says, “They won’t be coming out very soon, but it’s in our interest to get them out as fast as possible.”

Tata Motors have finally thought of changing the image and branding of Tata Nano, the name now would no more be a synonym to the "Cheapest Car" or "Poor man's car". The car will be having larger tyres which will give this one a macho look. Imagine a bold colored Nano with Rail Roof and larger tyres just zooming across your Maruti 800 or Maruti Suzuki Alto or Hyundai Eon for that matter. Its afterall 800-900cc engine delivering 60-80 bhp power and an Alto delivers 47 bhp.

We will get in touch with Tata Motors officials more often to get more details on New Tata Nano for our readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Bollywood actor Fardeen Khan’s sister killed in south Delhi car crash

Two persons, including actor Fardeen Khan’s half sister, were killed and three others injured in a road accident on August Kranti Marg in south Delhi early on Monday, police said.

Fardeen Khan’s sister Sonia Sethia and Mohan Kumar lost their lives and Rakesh Kumar, Keshav Sharma and 12-year-old Anjay Kumar were injured.

“The accident was reported at 1:30 a.m. when 48-year-old Sonia was riding in a Honda City car with a driver (Ramesh Kumar) along with Keshav Sharma. The car was rammed into by a Maruti Swift Dzire from behind whose driver was Mohan Kumar,” said a police official.

All the victims were taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where Sethia, 48, and Kumar, 50, were pronounced dead. The rest were discharged later after treatment

The Dzire's driver, Mohan Kumar, a technical officer at All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), and was going back to his home at Ayurvigyan Nagar from a relative's wedding with his son Anjay. He was 50.

Pininfarina Cambiano Concept Images & Video leaked ahead of Geneva Motor Show 2012

The complete images of the Pininfarina Cambiano concept have been leaked online. The dramatic Italian exotic is set to be officially revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next month.

The stylish three-door coupe features reverse-swinging rear doors on one side, providing a grand French-door experience, exposing a cream leather interior decor brightened by light coming through the mostly glass skylight roof.

Power comes from a range-extended electric drivetrain which consists of four 82 PS (60 kW / 80 hp) electric motors and a small diesel engine that acts as a generator to recharge its batteries. This setup enables the 1,700 kg (3,748 lb) concept to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, hit a top speed of 275 km/h (186 mph) and travel more than 200 km (124 miles).

The advanced drivetrain gives Cambiano a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250km/h and a driving range of 500km (although you'll need to keep the top-speed runs and acceleration sprints to a minimum).

Stay tuned for more information straight from Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. In the mean time, Click here to view more Images on our Facebook Page. Do not forget to Click Like on our Page to get more Updates on Automobiles,

Also, watch the Video of the same.

Goodyear recalls 41,000 Wrangler Silent Armor tires on potential tread separation go

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co said Saturday it would recall about 41,000 of its Wrangler Silent Armor tires produced in 2009 over concerns that a small number could tear, leading to crashes

wo people died in one 2011 rollover crash in Texas involving a vehicle equipped with the tires, Goodyear spokesman Scott Baughman said.

Goodyear acknowledged last month that tread separation involving its 16-inch Load Range E light-truck tires has been linked to 120 injuries and 15 deaths. Company officials have said a recall wasn’t necessary because it found no defects in the tires.

"A small number of tires within this population may experience a partial tread area separation under certain severe usage conditions," Goodyear said in a February 22 letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Use of these tires in severe conditions could result in partial tread separation which could lead to vehicle damage or a motor vehicle crash."

New Ford Fiesta Automatic Launched at Rs 8.99 Lakh - Images

Carmaker Ford India, Tuesday launched an automatic transmission variant in petrol mode of its sedan Fiesta, priced between Rs 8.99 lakh and Rs 9.70 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The base variant with Automatic transmission is 'Style' and high-end is called 'Titanium +' variant.

"The all new Fiesta powershift automatic will further open up this segment. This new variant comes with a very affordable pricing and better fuel efficiency than the manual one," Ford India President and MD Michael Boneham told reporters here.

Features of the Ford Fiesta AT

  • 1. PowerShift technology
2. Class-leading Fuel-economy: of 16.97 Km/L
  • 3. Voice Control feature can control Mobile Phone, Radio, CD, USB, iPod and Climate control
  • 4. Hill-Launch Assist and Ford Grade-Assist functions: Prevent rollback on inclines and ease of driving in city    traffic as the transmission disconnects from the engine when the brake is applied.
  • 5. Electric Power Assisted Steering
  • Cruise Control
  • 6. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Front dual airbags, Rear Parking Sensors and Climate Control

Currently being offered only with the 1.5-litre Ti-Vct petrol engine that produces 109PS @ 6,045rpm and 140Nm@ 4500rpm, Ford claims its intelligent AT box needs no maintenance and comes with a life expectancy of 2,40,000km or 10 years whichever is earlier.

This new product is a part of the company's plans to introduce eight new models in India by 2015.

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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi Recalled By Bajaj To Replace Faulty Starter Relay

Bajaj has recalled one of the finest bikes in India, Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi claiming it to be a technical glitch with the starter relay. Since the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi is an electric start-only motorcycle, it would be advisable to replace the starter relay as soon as possible as the relay’s failure could leave you stranded without the starter functioning.

The company is using text messages to inform Pulsar 220 owner about the recall and to get the replacement done they will have to reach specified service stations. The replacement job is less time consuming and would take less than 20 minutes which means an owner can spare some time out with interrupting his work.

For replacing your starter motor, you have to be aware of your Pulsar’s Chassis Number which you can find at the following:

Step1: Your 220’s manual should have the chassis number printed on the cover.
Step 2: Under the fairing, on the headstock you locate the chassis number.
Step 3: Contact your nearest Bajaj Showroom, and they will let you know the number.

Secret Revealed - Why did Ford and Peugeot selected Gujarat(Sanand) and not other States ?

This thought must have crossed across your mind many a times, either you would have ignored it or you would have thought over it and have got different replies. Well, even we had came across this question several times, but the only reply our mind could give to us, may be the ease of port location in Gujarat would have attracted the car makers to set up a base for domestic as well as Export base.

Congress president Arjun Modhvadia in the assembly today asked Saurabh Patel about the same to which he replied and the things were crystal clear now. Below appended are some reasons due to which Ford and Peugeot made such a big but quick decision to set up their manufacturing base in Gujarat.

  • Exemption from paying stamp duty
  • Exemption from paying registration charges
  • Refund of the Value Added Tax (VAT) that the cos. would be paying for the next 15 years.
The big cost savings which will impact these Global auto makers cut down their overall cost and will make them more competitive than the already present auto makers like Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors was more than enough to attract them. 

Now, following this discussion in Assembly today, we ask you for the feedback, if the Car makers in India exempt the registration charges and other taxes that the State government levy while you purchase the car along with Exempted Insurance charges, which the companies already do it attract you to buy a particular car from the auto maker than the other manufacturers ? - Big Question !!!

World's first Convertible SUV from Land Rover to be launched/unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in March 2012

If you are looking to get a Convertible Utility Vehicle, the only option available till now is the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet, a Crossover. That may soon change as Land Rover unveils its Range Rover Evoque convertible concept at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

The worl's first cabriolet version of the 'baby' 4X4 Range Rover Evoque is expected to cost between £35,000 and £50,000 - depending on trim level - when it hits showrooms within two years. Due to the lack of a solid roof, the convertible variant weighs in 165 lbs heavier than its non-convertible counterpart.

"The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible, said Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern. “This study is not a traditional convertible design execution; instead we have worked with the balance of the Evoque's lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable."

nside, the concept is packed with Evoque's award winning technology including Terrain Response, surround cameras, Park Assist and class leading infotainment featuring an 8-inch dual view touch screen and a sound system from British audio experts, Meridian. The Evoque Convertible Concept features unique 21-inch Titan silver wheels and is finished in a new metallic Causeway Grey paint. The interior is in Lunar and Ivory with leather seats featuring sporty perforated panels and Ivory contrast stitching.

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director said: "The Evoque Convertible Concept is a new twist to the Evoque story and explores the potential to further extend the nameplate's appeal by giving existing customers more choice, whilst at the same time reaching out to a completely new customer base. We are excited to see the response to this concept as we assess the potential for building on the Evoque's exceptional success so far."

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Mercedes Benz integrates iPhone, SIRI in new A Class - Updated COMMAND infotainment

At next month’s Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes will show off the next A-Class and with it, its updated COMAND infotainment system. The user interface has undergone a complete overhaul, ditching the black and beige color scheme for a sharp, modern, three-dimensional design and a range of new features and functions, nearly all of which are centered on the iPhone 4S.

What does this mean exactly? For one thing instead of memorizing the car’s commands for controlling things like music and twitter, you will be able to use Siri commands, which should certainly make things a little easier.

It will also allow a special driver controller knob to change music from the iPhone and even post things to the net. Which applications can actually be used will largely be up to Mercedes-Benz, but we do know that Twitter, Facebook and Aupeo! Personal Radio (similar to Pandora) have been tested and seem to work with the new system. The app also adds Garmin navigation which seems to replace CD or DVD-based systems.

Mercedes Benz is the first auto maker to introduce the Siri in its range of vehicles.

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2012 Ferrari F620GT, the most powerful Ferrari ever built leaked ahead of its launch schedule

The Ferrari F620 GT which was scheduled to be launched at Geneva Motor Show on 06th March 2012 and was to be officially displayed on 29th Feb 2012, but the spy shots have already been leaked over the Internet and the images are here too.

The 2013 Ferrari F620 GT offers a 740hp output from its 6.3 liter V12 engine. The powerful engine is linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and rear-wheel-drive setup. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is done in three seconds dead, 0-200km/h takes just 8.5 seconds. That is 0.4 seconds faster than the 700hp-strong Lamborghini Aventador. The top speed of the new Ferrari F620 GT will exceed 340km/h.

Stay tuned for more Information during its Launch.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Hi-Bird launches luxury rickshaw for European markets at Rs 1.5 lakh, Indian markets for Rs 25,000

Ludhiana bicycle maker Hi-Bird Group on Thursday said it has developed a high-end rickshaw, priced between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, for the European and the US markets, and aims to sell about 500 units in the next fiscal.

"We have developed a super luxury rickshaw which will be priced between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh and will be only for export market of Europe and USA...we target to sell 500 units of such rickshaws," the group Managing Director R D Sharma said today.

The 21-speed rickshaw, developed in the Ludhiana factory, is completely aluminium-based compared to traditional iron and steel based ones prevalent in the Indian market, he said. "The high-priced rickshaws are meant only for the niche markets and will be used for high-end tourism and hospitality sector of overseas markets," he said.

The company has also announced that it will also launch rickshaws for the Indian market that will be rolled out tomorrow, priced at Rs 25,000-30,000.

"The rickshaw for Indian market is steel-based, which will be suitable for Indian conditions. We will target country's major tourist destinations like Taj Mahal and Golden Temple for marketing our product," he said

Executive Director of the group, Suresh Sharma, said the company has in-house R&D centre and state-of-the-art manufacturing plants with production capacity of 20 lakh bicycles per annum.

Danica Patrick crashes in Daytona 500 - walks off uninjured - VIDEO

Danica Patrick walked away okay after taking a hard hit to the wall in her qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. Patrick was caught up in a crash on the final lap of the first of two 150-mile qualifying races, sending her car into the wall on the backstretch. The wreck ripped the front end off Patrick’s car, and she’ll have to use a backup car in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

"It was really impressive to watch how he just kept picking her way through the field," said Stewart, who will field Patrick's car for 10 races this season. "She got up to sixth at one point. I thought she did a good job. … There wasn't any doubt in my mind that she would do that."

“I’m just very disappointed that the car got crashed with two corners to go,” Patrick said. “It’s not how we wanted to roll into Sunday. We wanted to just be cool, calm and collected with no damage. But like I said, maybe that backup car’s fast.”

“It happened really quick,” Patrick said. “When it gets down to the end of the race, everybody’s on each other’s doors really close. That’s what happens. Unfortunately, I was part of it.”

Honda releases Images of Honda CRV(European prototype) ahead of Geneva Motor Show

Honda released images of the European version of its new CR-V to be built at HUK, Swindon. It’s not any different than the American version, although the engine lineup will probably be, but compared to the old CR-V, it’s a whole lot different. It’s bigger, more aggressive, and on the whole sportier and more fun. The lower front bumper wraps smartly upward to convey SUV capability, while the lower front bumper design now integrates more smoothly into the fascia for improved aerodynamics.

The new CR-V also offers more space inside the cabin for passengers and their luggage. Honda has set its sights on the Kia Sportage then, a massively successful crossover by the Korean car maker.

Technical details are yet to be confirmed, but we’d expect the next CR-V to use a development of the current car’s four-wheel-drive system, which only sends power only to the rear wheels if they start to slip.

The new CR-V has a similar side window profile to the current car, but there’s a bolder look at the front and rear. The new CR-V has also grown slightly, so it should be more practical; rumours of a seven-seat version have yet to be confirmed.

See the new European Honda CR-V at Geneva on 6 March 2012.

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New Mercedes Benz S Class out from the covers - Spy Images

Codenamed W222, the new S-Class is the time machine of the passenger car market with new enhancements in driving aids, active suspension system, material and design used in the interiors, infotainment system, etc.

If we believe the media reports, it says not even a single switchgear or controls have been carried over from the current model. This means its a complete make over of the previous Mercedes Benz S Class. 

Mercedes is rumored to be developing more hybrid and pure electric drivetrains for the new S to improve fuel economy and passenger comfort. The short wheelbase variant comes out this year while additions like a convertible and coupe are learned to be on the discussion table.

Stay tuned for more news on Mercedes Benz S Class.

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Hero MotoCorp ties up with US based Erik Buell Racing to make Superbikes

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp said it has entered into a strategic partnership with US-based Erik Buell Racing for technology and design collaboration to develop high-speed motorcycles.

"As part of the partnership, (Hero) will receive support in terms of cutting-edge technology and design to develop future models from EBR," the company said in a statement.Hero exited a 26-year-long joint venture with Japan's Honda Motor Co last March.

Speaking at the announcement, Pawan Munjal managing director and chief executive officer of Hero MotoCorp said, “The Indian two-wheeler industry is set to evolve and it is only natural that as the a market leader, we are driving this change.

As part of the plan, Buell will play an integral part in giving shape to some of my dream two-wheelers for the discerning youth of today. “Erik F Buell, chairman and CTO of EBR said, “EBR is delighted to partner with a company as iconic as Hero MotoCorp. Both Hero and EBR share the common commitment of manufacturing world class two-wheelers with technology of the future.”

Lamborghini celebrates the production of 12,000th Gallardo

First launched in 2003, the Gallardo remains an object of desire for supercar fans the world over, and Lamborghini recently marked the production of the 12,000th Gallardo model with a post on Twitter.

Even though it might not seem much for carmakers like Ford, Volkswagen, Chevrolet or BMW, it took Lamborghini 10 years to reach this result and the explanation is quite simple: all cars built by Lamborghini are manually assembled at the company’s plant in Sant’Agata and the Gallardo has received a lot of special editions throughout its life, which meant small pauses in the production process had to be made.

Through the years, various variants of the car have been offered, most notably the LP560-4 facelift which came in 2008 and since then it seems as though dozens of special edition have been created, even though the real number is around the 10 figure mark. Nevertheless, building 12,000 examples of any high-end automobile is impressive so Lamborghini truly does have reason to celebrate.

KTM Duke 200 deliveries started in Mumbai and Pune - Images

Bajaj-KTM have started delivering the vehicles to the early bird customers, much before than that anticipated by the customers and even promised by the company officials.

Deliveries of the KTM Duke 200 have just begun across major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune, with the first owners of the Duke 200 riding off with their steeds. The Duke 200 will soon head to other countries in South East Asia and Latin America.

Earlier, Bajaj Auto Limited has launched the KTM Duke 200 in India at an introductory price of INR 1,17,500, ex-showroom Delhi. This terrific pricing, albeit an introductory one has Bajaj and value-for-money written all over it.The KTM Duke 200, assembled at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant is a motorcycle designed and developed by both Bajaj Auto and an Austrian motorcycle brand, KTM, a firm in which Bajaj holds a 40% stake in. The KTM Duke 200 will also be launched in other developing countries like Malaysia and Brazil very soon.

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Ford India to launch the new Fiesta Automatic Transmission on 28th February

Ford India is all set to launch the new and much awaited Ford Fiesta Powershift Automatic in the domestic market on February 28th. Fiesta is the leader in the C segment sedan series in terms of technology used. The new Fiesta in the automatic version is expected to hold an edge over its competitors in C segment.

However, as per the sources the automatic transmission will only be launched in Petrol version and not in the diesel variant. The other features which would be launched in Fiesta Automatic will be:

  • Hill Launch assist
  • Grade assist
  • Micro Slip
  • Creep forward function
  • Neutral coast design
  • Improved Fuel efficiency
  • Leather Upholstery

More of the details would be revealed on 28th of February when the car would be unveiled for the Indian market.

Ford India introduces "Titanium Plus" package for Rs. 15,990

Ford Figo has found out an alternative to the facelift. Ford is providing an external kit at much cheaper price which would serve the purpose of a facelift with ease to both the car maker and the customer. The new kit for Ford Figo can be purchased at any Ford showroom across India at just Rs. 15,990.

The Titanium Plus pack includes:

  • Elegant Roof Rails
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Vinyl Seat Covers
  • Chrome Body Side Protection Moulding
  • Door Scuff Plates
  • Plus Decal
Also, watch the Video below for more details on the Titanium Plus package.

Audi A3 Images leaked ahead of Geneva Motor Show 2012 - Images

Images of the new Audi A3 appear to have been leaked on the internet – two weeks ahead of it planned debut at the Geneva motor show.

We already knew that the new Audi A3 was slated to make its official debut at the Geneva show and had gotten a glimpse at the car’s interior, but now we have the full monty. Thanks to Russian news site ZR.RU, images and details of Audi’s new compact hatch have leaked online. Previewed by the A3 Concept at last year’s Geneva show, the all-new A3 maintains the Four Rings’ corporate six-sided grille and front and rear LED running lights. The interior is decked out in black leather with contrasting bright orange stitching and bolsters. Dressing up the A3′s design are wheels that mimic the five-spoke grey alloy wheels, which are also found across Audi’s RS lineup.

The new Audi A3 is also the first car to ride on Volkswagen Group’s new modular MQB platform that will underpin the majority of future VW models, ranging from the subcompact Polo up to the midsize Passat.

The images include cabin images, confirming rumours that the next A3 makes a bigger step inside than out. The new fascia appears smaller than before, freeing up cabin space, and the sat-nav screen looks as though it emerges from a slot in the top of the dashboard. After it is deployed, the screen will ‘float’ above the fascia in a manner that's similar to systems in more expensive Audis such as the A7.

Other features include a further development of the A1-esque circular air vents, and cupholders sited in front of the gearlever, almost underneath the dashboard. There’s also one notable absentee – a handbrake lever – suggesting that the A3 is switching to a button-operated electric brake.

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New Hyundai Sonata 2012 Fluidic first details

The new Hyundai Sonata is based on an all new platform. Code named GDL. Engine is a new petrol with both manual and auto transmission options.

The Hyundai Sonata Fluidic sedan will be powered by a 2.4 litre engine. This engine uses Hyundai’s gas direct injection technology which involves directly spraying fuel charge into the combustion chamber and helps to boost power, fuel economy and engine response while cutting down on tail pipe emissions. This engine has a peak power output of 201 Bhp and a peak torque output of 255 Nm. The engine will be mated to a 6 speed gearbox, manual or automatic transmission depending on the liking.

The Hyundai Sonata Fluidic is loaded with many features such as the projector HID xenon headlamps, luxurious interiors, Cruise control, Paddle shifters, 10 way power seats with lumbar support for the driver and a 4 way adjustable seat for the co driver, smart key with push button start.

Hyundai Sonata Fluidic is equipped with many safety features which include ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) with EBD, ESP(Electronic Stability Program) and 6 airbags. A reverse guide camera is also present.

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Ssangyong Rexton caught again while testing - Details including features and Spy Shots inside

Mahindra is gearing up to launch the Ssangyong Rexton SUV in India. The new SUV from Mahindra and Ssangyong has been spied numerous times in India and the latest addition to the spy shots include clear shots of the Rexton SUV. The SUV was also unveiled at the recent Auto Expo in New Delhi. The detailed features of the SUV expected to be in India include :

Exterior Features
• Extremely low loading lip for the hatch
• Rear wiper and demister
• Roof rails
• Rear and front parking sensors
• High mount brake warning lamp
• Real Time All Wheel Drive
• Wraparound quarter glasses flanking the rear windscreen for style
• Fog lamps
• Projector headlamp
• Stepping board for easy ingress
• Side rub rails, with chrome strip below it
• Body colored door handles
• Flared wheel arches, for a brawny appearance
• 10 Spoke 18 inch alloy wheel P255 / 60R 18 (for the top spec version caught testing). Lower spec models come with 16” wheels

Interior Features
• 7-seater
• A/C vents for second and third row
• Third row has decent leg room, though does not have proper seats
• Cruise control
• Electric windows (front & rear)
• Power folding door mirrors
• Electrically adjustable door mirrors
• Leather steering wheel
• Headlight leveling system
• Centre storage console
• Two 12V DC power outlets
• Heated windscreen
• Remote keyless entry
• Space saver spare wheel
• Seatbelt reminder
• Auto climate control air conditioning
• Steering wheel audio controls
• Kenwood Double Din single CD, RDS Radio with USB – 6 Speakers
• (Optional) Kenwood Full touch-screen single CD, RDS Radio with navigation
• Leather upholstery
• Front seat 4-way head restraints
• 60:40 split folding 2nd row of seats
• Luggage cover & net barrier
• Front sun visors with illuminated passenger mirror

• ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution)
• ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with ARP (Active Rollover Protection)
• HDC (Hill Descent Control)
• Door impact beams
• Dual airbags (front)
• Side airbags (front)
• Disc brakes on all 4 wheels
• Speed sensing power assisted steering
• Alarm & immobilizer

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

China based Chery's A1 hatchback spotted in New Delhi - Spy Images

With India slated to become the fourth largest automobile market in the world over the next five years, a host of Chinese automobile manufacturers such as Jianghuai Automobile Company, Brilliance Auto, Chery international, Build Your Dreams and Beiqi Foton are all exploring opportunities to set up shop in the country.

There were couple of cars which were rumored to be launched in India in early next year and were said to be under testing stages in India. One such Chery's A1 hatchback was spotted in New Delhi today. Seems like there is lots of competition yet to be seen and faced by Indian OEM's.

The specifications of the car include a 1.3 L Manual as well as an automatic transmission in the China market. Let us wait and see what the car maker has in place for the Indian market.

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Official : Ford Mondeo/Focus to be launched in India in 2013 - Images/Video

The car in the pic is the new Ford Fusion which the Blue Oval showed at the 2012 Detroit Show. This car is identical to the new Mondeo, with the company intending to share as much as 80 per cent of the Fusion with the Mondeo. The merger of the two names is part of the One Ford global vehicle programme. This very car is part of Ford's launch plans for India, we expect the car to go on sale here towards the end of 2013 wearing the familiar Mondeo name. Ford will show the Mondeo later this year at the Paris show and in Europe, as per tradition, there will also be a hatchback version featuring styling from the four-door sedan and an estate version will also join the Mondeo line-up.

The latest model Fusion which is mainly designed for American customers has a venturesome design and has a lot of similarities with Jaguar and Aston Martin which are ex-Ford brands. Evos concept has made an influence in Fusion’s design which clearly evident from the first look itself. Fusion is a little bigger than the current version Mondeo with a large boot space. Front grille looks exactly similar to an Aston Martin and when comes to the rear part the tail lamps are a bit flattened which deliver a mature look and resembles an Audi.

Ford has already set Fusion for the making, in Mexico for North America and in the case of Mondeo they will chose one in Europe and the other in Asia. Since Mondeo is a global version, it’ll be available in India only after the full model range is being able to be obtained. In India, like the other international markets, Modeo will compete with Honda Accord and Toyota Camry which seems the price of Mondeo will be in between Rs.20-30 lakhs.

Stay tuned for more Updates.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Guest Post : How Automotive Insurance works ?

Automotive insurance is very effective and can provide protection in times of unexpected occurrences. It protects the insured from the financial loss associated with an auto accident and, as a result, helps the insured person avoid huge personal expenses. These plans also provide benefits that save drivers money and time, car rentals and lawsuits, as well. Automotive insurance is required in most states for vehicles to be on the road.

How Automotive Insurance Works
Automotive insurance works like life insurance, health insurance and almost all other types of insurance. Automotive insurance companies provide liability coverage to the insured in certain amounts. They also have certain limitations in exchange for a fixed payment called a premium. They cover many different auto owners and gather their premiums into one large fund, which ensures that the insurance company will have money in the general fund to pay for any claims made by one customer

Automotive Insurance Premiums
An insurance premium is the amount of money an insured person pays to his insurance company for active coverage. Premiums can be paid monthly or yearly, though monthly payments are the industry standard. Insurance premiums can vary significantly among insurance companies, depending on criteria such as gender, age, driving record, the car's make and model, geographical location, and coverage amounts. This is why it is advisable to get several quotes before choosing an insurance policy. When you apply for insurance, insurance brokers or agents will take your information and calculate the insurance premium you will charged based on several factors. Several quotes are usually provided to you so that you can make your choice. If you fail to make a premium payment by the due date, the insurance company can decide to cancel the policy entirely.

Types of Automotive Insurance Coverage
All automotive insurance is not the same. There are different types of coverage available. These coverages include comprehensive, collision, liability, uninsured motorists, and medical
* Comprehensive coverage helps pay for all expenses or losses to an insured vehicle, generally up to the limit set in the insurance policy. Comprehensive automotive insurance will cover acts of vandalism, or damage caused by a hit-and-run driver. Other events which are usually covered by comprehensive insurance include earthquakes, fires, floods and other acts of nature. Theft is also covered by comprehensive automotive insurance coverage.
* Collision coverage, on the other hand, doesn't cover nearly as much. Collision coverage will pay for the repair of damages due to a car accident you cause. But if it was the other driver's fault, then their insurance policy will be responsible for the cost of your car repair.
* Liability covers damages an individual causes to another individual's vehicle or body.
* Uninsured motorist pays for damages to your car when an automobile accident is caused by someone who doesn't have liability insurance.
* Medical covers injuries to the people in the insured vehicle that occur due to a covered auto accident. Rental covers the cost of a rental car and towing for a tow truck. You can also add features to cover roadside assistance and car rentals. Many insurance providers will have some differences in their policies, of course, so it is important to do some research to know exactly what is or isn't covered.

Drivers who have automotive insurance plans can use their insurance coverage on rental cars. This will help the drivers save money, instead of paying for the rental car insurance which provides essentially the same coverages. But, before deciding to use your personal automotive policy, you should make sure your plan has enough coverage to pay for damages; you would be liable for all expenses that exceed your coverage limits out of pocket. Also, if you are involved in an auto accident, your policy's premium can be raised as a result.

Ron Belham ( with over 30 years of experience.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan promotes Agent Vinod in Dubai, drives Ferrari

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan put his speeding skills to test here as he took a blazing red Ferrari for a spin around a local driving centre. The 41-year-old actor was in town Saturday to promote his Rs 50 crore venture, 'Agent Vinod', which releases on March 22 in the UAE.

"Agent Vinod is a spy-action film and there are many car-chases so I asked my director if we could have a flashy car in that too," said Saif also adding that he took several lessons to master the art of making car-chase sequences look authentic on-screen. "Apart from learning how to drive cars and bikes fast, I learnt how to jump off high buildings too," he said.

He travelled to Vietnam to learn martial arts in preparation for his stunt-filled role in the film, also starring girlfriend Kareena Kapoor.

"It's not Mr And Mrs Smith and it's not a cheesy Bond rip-off. It is about a RAW agent who has his own personality. Yes, it has influences from various films ¿ it's a little bit Bond, little bit Jason Bourne and a little bit 24 and Tin Tin. But it is also original," said Saif. He also said he would never do a role on the lines of what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie did in spy-drama 'Mr & Mrs Smith'."It just doesn't make sense for Kareena and I to do such a role in India. I think she has done a wonderful job with the action. She said she doesn't like doing action but she is very good at it," he told the newspaper.

Agent Vinod, which is co-produced by Saif and Dinesh Vijan, is expected to release in 2,500 screens in India and over 700 screens overseas.

Lamborghini car accident with Cyclist in New Delhi, BRT collidor : One killed, one injured

A young realtor driving a Lamborghini was killed when his sports car hit a cyclist and crashed into a bus stop railing in south Delhi early Sunday, police said. The cyclist was injured. The incident took place on the BRT Corridor in Chirag Dilli at around 5:15 am and the deceased has been identified as Anukul Rishi (27), son of a businessman. The cyclist Kisan (45) was injured in the incident.

Police said Anukool lost control of the vehicle, which climbed a lane separator before ramming into the railings at the Krishi Vihar Bus stand near Panchsheel on the Bus Rapid Transit stretch.

A senior police official said Rishi was coming from Khanpur side and tried to overtake a truck. He allegedly hit the cyclist and then lost control of the vehicle. "He rammed the vehicle into the railing. He was not wearing the seat belt and was injured. He was rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared brought dead," the official said.

Kisan is undergoing treatment in AIIMS Trauma Centre.

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Have you seen the new Tata Sumo tv advertisement - VIDEO

Tata Sumo Gold's new Video is here and it says Old need not necessarily means Gold every time.

Continue watching the Video now.

Maruti Suzuki Ritz(Suzuki Splash) facelift - spy shots & Video from Gurgaon

Earlier spotting of a lightly camouflaged Ritz test mule gave rise to a speculation that Maruti Suzuki is in the process of revamping the Ritz for 2012. The speculations were indeed true as our friends at have managed to click the front fascia of the Ritz test mule revealing some startling details.

The changes as compared to earlier Ritz are :

  • No change in the rear end of the car.
  • Wider front grill and slightly  changed style of bonnet. 
  • The headlamps will also get minor changes to make the car look fresh and upgraded.
  • Maruti Suzuki will probably introduce VVT technology on the KB12 motor of the Ritz. The VVT is already present in the new Swift which uses the same engine as the Ritz.
  • Steering mounted audio controls may be introduced on top variants
  • Changes in dashboard including Cup holders like we saw in New Swift are also possible.
  • A 4 speed automatic transmission could also be in place for top variant and could compete with i10
Stay tuned for more Udpates on Maruti Suzuki Ritz facelift. In the meanwhile, do watch the Spied Video on NH8 Highway while going to Delhi-Gurgaon Toll bridge.

Honda to launch new 150 cc Sports bike (CBR 150R) at Rs 1.15 Lakh in India in March 2012

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is readying for the launch of a new sports bike next month. The forthcoming product, the country's third largest two-wheeler producer said, would take on Bajaj Auto's freshly-introduced product under the KTM brand.

The CBR 150R of the Japanese subsidiary to be launch in March is priced at about Rs 115,000, pitting it directly against the KTM Duke 200 (Rs 117,000). Only last month had Bajaj Auto, India's second largest two-wheeler maker, launched the Austrian-brand street bike.

The CBR 150R, powered by engine of around 150cc, is a downsized clone of the popular CBR 250R that HMSI sells at little over Rs 145,000. The new bike will also compete against Yamaha's R15 sports bike, which recently received a face-lift and is priced at Rs 107,000.

The CBR 150R, powered by engine of around 150cc, is a downsized clone of the popular CBR 250R that HMSI sells at little over Rs 145,000. The new bike will also compete against Yamaha's R15 sports bike, which recently received a face-lift and is priced at Rs 107,000.

Though Bajaj's KTM bike offers better power with a slightly bigger engine in straight comparison, HMSI chose to price its CBR 150R at a premium than Yamaha and fractionally lower than KTM Duke.

HMSI had showcased the CBR 150R at the Auto Expo early last month without disclosing price details. The bike, which will be fully built in India, had received strong response from the visitors, according to company officials.

The company hopes to sell more than 3,500 units of the CBR 150R every month after its launch. Currently, Yamaha's R15 version 2.0 clocks sales of around 3,000 units per month.

Besides the commuter segment bikes, the company is lining up latest versions of imported models, such as the CB1000R and the CBR Fireblade for launch.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

BMW opens 8.6-acre flagship showroom in Abu Dhabi - Largest ever showroom, Images

Abu Dhabi Motors, the exclusive importer of the BMW Group in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, will launch the world's biggest BMW Group showroom in Abu Dhabi on 14 February.

The Persian Gulf emirate is the location of a new showroom that was just opened this week after a three-year construction project that cost 300 million dirhams – equivalent to over $80 million. All in all, the showroom measures a massive 35,000 square meters. That works out to some 377,000 square feet or 8.6 acres of space, allowing BMW to lay claim to the largest showroom in the world. That's a whole lot of elbow room for the company's 7 Series range, the company's most popular model line in the Middle East.

The new showroom facility that will be the biggest worldwide for BMW Group will be divided between Rolls-Royce, BMW, MINI, Motorrad and BMW Premium Selection, the company’s pre-owned vehicle division.

This will be joined by a range of pre-owned vehicles, as well as a service area that will be able to handle 120 vehicles at a time, with the facility also including a shopping and boutique area, which will sell BMW and MINI fashion items, as well as original parts and accessories.

The UAE remained the biggest market, accounting for 47 per cent of BMW Group Middle East’s 2011 sales. Abu Dhabi was the highest volume selling market, with a 23 per cent growth and 4,436 cars sold while Dubai also witnessed an increase of 23 per cent with 4,395 cars sold.The company’s flagship BMW 7 Series remained the highest volume selling model with 4,511 cars sold.

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Lexus launches TORI 500 iPhone app racing game - VIDEO

Being the Official Automotive Marketing partner of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit property was just the excuse Lexus needed to get in touch with swimsuit model Tori Praver. Lexus knew what they wanted and they did exactly the same.

The multifaceted campaign includes iOS apps, print and video ads and some other stuff, but the coolest part of it is a race track, called TORI 500, Lexus has designed based on the actual curves of SI supermodel Tori Praver.

"The Lexus team began," reads the press release, "by photographing Tori -- being sure to capitalize on her curves -- in poses that mimicked the angles and curvature of a true racetrack."

Unfortunately, only two professional drivers were allowed to race around the 1-to-12000-inch scale form of a giant bikini model. Now everyone (with an iOS device) can! Nothing creepy about that. Not even a little.

The game is available now in the app store and rated 12+ fr "infrequent/mild sexual content or nudity"

Also, watch the accompanying Video for more details.

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Maruti Suzuki Ertiga brochure released before launch - Images

The country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki is foraying for the first time into the MUV segment of the Indian auto industry with its product Ertiga. The company had formally unveiled the model at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo to give the visitors a feel of what they are going to expect in coming months. An official launch of the model is expected to happen sometime in the month of March this year. However, even before the launch of the product officially into the Indian market, the company has made up its plans to sell it in other countries like Indonesia.

The salient features of the Ertiga MPV are:

  • Marks the entry of country’s leading car maker in the Utility Vehicle segment
  • A sub-segment created in Utility Vehicles
  • Powered by next generation K-series 1.4litre VVT engine, first offering in the Suzuki portfolio to have this engine
  • Reinforces that what is displayed at Auto Expo is launched in India
  • Redefines space utilization in compact vehicles
  • Built on theme of togethernessFuel efficiency (Indian cycle) Diesel 20.77 and Petrol 16.02 Km per litre
  • Compact dimensions for easy parking and maneuver
The Ertiga will be launched in India with an aim to pioneer a new market of compact 3-row vehicles. The company’s designers have tried to build the features and attributes of a sedan. Built on the central theme of ‘togetherness’, Ertiga has ‘young dynamic confident’ Indian who want to retain individuality yet retain Indian custom of ‘togetherness’ as it’s TG.

Here are the brochures of Ertiga launch. Stay tuned for more Images & Updates.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Mercedes Benz Trophy in Bangalore on 17th &18th of February 2012

The greens at the Eagleton Golf Course will play host to the invitational and the regional rounds of the 12th edition of the Indian leg of the Mercedes-Benz Tournament on the 17th and 18th of February.The global Mercedes-Benz tournament brings together over 58,000 avid golfers from across 43 countries.

An annual event, Mercedes-Benz has been using this tournament as a platform for stakeholder satisfaction since 2000, strengthening their association with their customers through the luxury and prestige of the tournament and brand.In India, the tournament will be held across 10 cities- Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chandigarh.

The Bangalore leg will consist of an Invitational Tournament for prospective Mercedes-Benz customers to be held on February 17th. The Regional round of the tournament will be held on the 18th of February when Mercedes-Benz owners in Bangalore tee-off against each other to compete for six spots in the National Final.The Bangalore leg of the tournament will also include golf clinics with renowned golf coach Gaurav Diwan, gala champagne lunches on the course and a luxurious after-party at the Skyye Lounge to be held on the 19th of February.

The Regional Round in Bangalore will have contestants competing in three different handicap categories and scoring will be done on a Double Peoria Format. Six winners from each regional round, two from each handicap category, will compete in the National Final to be held in April. The winners from the National Final will then get a chance to compete in the International Final to be held in Stuttgart, Germany.Also to be recognized for their golf this weekend will be the individual in the tournament with the 'Straightest Drive'.

The winner of this competition will participate in the lucky draw at the National Final for a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a round of golf on the course which will play host to the British Open Championships 2012.

Over the past 11 years, the Mercedes- Benz tournament has built a reputation for organizing an event, for its potential and current customer, as glamorous as the brand itself. This weekend promises to continue with tradition.

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Bollywood actor Imran Khan hops on to a Royal Enfield Classic 500 Motorcycle to perfect his riding skills - Images

In order to perfect his riding skills on reel, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj has gifted a brand new bike to Imran Khan for their next film, Maatru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. The bike is a Royal Enfield 500 cc and is estimated to be around R 2 lac.

It is learnt that Imran's character in the film is required to ride a heavy-duty motorcycle in several scenes. Our source associated with Bhardwaj's film says, "Vishal arranged to acquire a brand new Royal Enfield 500 cc motorcycle for Imran, so he can perfect his riding skills for his role."

Imran apparently was very busy promoting his recent film and did not get a chance to improve his riding skills then. The source adds, "Imran had been pre-occupied with the promotions of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu.

And soon after its release, he had to start shooting for Maatru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. So he had not got any time to enjoy his film's success, forget acquainting himself with riding a motorcycle."The actor confirms practicing his skills on the bike. He says, "I was learning how to ride the Bullet in the middle of the shoot."

Kia reveals Toronto FC Special Edition Optima Turbo SX sedan at Canadian International Automotive Show 2012 - Images

The award-winning 2012 Kia Optima premiered a one-of-a-kind vehicle at the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show with the unveiling of the Toronto FC Special Edition vehicle. Toronto FC alumni pulled the silk off the special edition Optima that will catch the eye of both soccer fans and car enthusiasts at the 2012 Toronto Auto Show. In a collaborative effort between Kia Canada and the Toronto FC, the vehicle exudes an athletic design that embodies the two organizations similar goal of competing to win.

"The customized Toronto FC Optima is a vehicle specifically designed to commemorate the on-going spirit of our partnership since 2007," said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing for Kia Canada Inc. "The Optima has been recognized with numerous highly respected Canadian awards this year, and with its competitive spirit it was a natural choice to celebrate with our long term partnership with the Toronto FC."

The Optima TFC Special Edition vehicle was specifically designed and crafted with close attention to details in order to showcase both brands in their highest forms. Three areas of the vehicle were individually designed, which allowed for the common theme that envelopes the vehicle - exterior, interior and engine bay.

2012 Kia Optima SX Toronto FC Special Edition
Custom matte black paint
Custom gloss black hood, roof and trunk
Custom gloss black hexagon pattern with matte black TFC logo on the sides of the vehicle
Custom gloss red accents along windows, front grille, front fender, fog lights and trunk line
Hand painted pin stripe details
TFC badge on the grille
Custom Optima Toronto FC badge on rear of vehicle
Custom Toronto FC leather seats
Custom Toronto FC logo embroidered head rests
Custom Toronto FC logo floor mats
Custom Toronto FC logo embossed on centre armrest
Custom Toronto FC branded gear shifter
Custom red stitching and piping throughout
Customized machined brake and gas pedals with Toronto FC branding
Wheels/Rims/Suspension/Brakes/Engine Bay
18-inch rims and tires
Toronto FC logo on wheel centre caps
Customized brake caliper covers feature the Toronto FC logo
Custom painted Toronto FC logo engine cover
Sound System
Toronto FC logo on speaker covers
Stock Infinity sound system
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Thursday, 16 February 2012

General Motors records highest profit ever at $7.6 billion

General Motors earned its largest profit ever in 2011, two years after it nearly collapsed into financial ruin.

Strong sales in the US and China helped the 103-year-old carmaker turn a profit of $7.6 billion, beating its old record of $6.7 billion in 1997 during the pickup truck and SUV boom.

GM is a vastly different company than it was back then. It’s smaller, has less debt and its contract with the United Auto Workers is less costly. But it took a government bailout and a trip through bankruptcy protection in 2009 to cut its bloated costs. The company made record money last year even though U.S. auto sales were near historic lows at 12.8 million cars and trucks.

But problems surfaced in its 2011 results. GM lost $747 million before taxes in Europe, and its South American operations lost $122 million. Sales growth slowed in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, even as more Americans bought cars and trucks.
Also, GM’s fourth-quarter profit fell 8 percent and results missed Wall Street expectations.
GM’s stock price fell 8 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $24.85 in premarket trading.
The U.S. government still owns 26.5 percent of the company and is waiting for the share price to rise before selling in an effort to recoup the bailout money.
Last year, GM made the bulk of its income in North America, where its pretax profit totaled $7.2 billion. International Operations, which includes Asia, made $1.9 billion before taxes, but that was down.
During the year, GM’s global sales rose 7.6 percent to 9.03 million vehicles to help it reclaim the title of world’s largest automaker from Toyota Motor Corp.
“We will build on these results as we bring more new cars, crossovers and trucks to market,” CEO Daniel Akerson said.
This year, GM expects to increase its revenue as global auto sales grow and it charges more for models. However, it will make less money per vehicle as the mix of sales continues to shift to cars from trucks, which have bigger sticker prices. It also expects to invest $8 billion on new products and technology, and says pension expenses will rise. The company wants to keep expenses down by freezing its underfunded U.S. pension plan for salaried workers.
Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said the company’s restructuring in Europe cut pretax losses by more than $1 billion from 2010, but it didn’t go far enough.
He hinted that GM will have to cut factories and jobs in the region, saying the whole auto industry has too many factories there.
“We clearly have work to do in Europe, we have work to do with the South American business,” he said.
The 2011 profit of $4.58 per share was 62 percent higher than a year earlier. Full-year revenue rose 11 percent to $150 billion.
GM said 47,500 blue-collar workers in the U.S. will get $7,000 profit-sharing checks in March. The checks are based on North American performance and are a record for the company.
The company has placed Vice Chairman Steve Girsky in charge of the European management board and is adding executives in preparation for restructuring. Factory closures and layoffs are likely but could provoke a fight with powerful labor unions.
Girsky has said GM intends to fix the European unit, made up of the Opel and Vauxhall brands, and keep it in the company. GM came close to selling the unit in 2009.

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