User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: December 2005
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2005-12-24

Sales - USA - Pete reaches record MD sales; weighs in on upcoming trends

The driver shortage is impacting medium as well as heavy truck markets

DENTON, Tex.,USA -Today's Trucking -23 Dec 2005: -- Peterbilt will produce a record number of medium duty trucks this year and expects modest growth for the industry -- about 10 percent more new registrations than '04... Medium duty demand keeps growing... Medium duty buyers are spec'ing more driver-friendly options and automatic and automated transmissions are becoming more popular, the company says. Peterbilt estimated a 12 percent increase this year in medium duty trucks spec'd with the easier-to-use transmissions...

Suspended - USA - Truckers report biodiesel is causing some fuel filter clogs

ST. PAUL,Minn,USA -Associated Press -Dec. 23, 2005: -- Truckers will get a three-week reprieve from the state's 2-month-old biodiesel mandate after complaints that the soybean-based fuel is clogging some fuel filters - particularly in cold weather... The state Department of Commerce on Friday temporarily suspended a requirement to blend 2 percent biodiesel into diesel fuel, giving biodiesel makers and distributors time to fix the problem. During the 21-day variance, stations can sell unblended diesel fuel... The glitch may stem from biodiesel that doesn't meet fuel specifications, and that fuel will be removed during the temporary suspension, the department said in a news release...

Changes - Canada - Truck Transportation Act Soon Repealed

Changes to trust accounts, broker rules, and safety rating included

TORONTO,Ont,Canada -Today's Trucking -22 Dec 2005: -- The Ontario Government has announced that effective January 1, 2006, the Truck Transportation Act (TTA) and the last vestiges of economic regulation of the trucking industry will no longer exist... However, as the Ontario Trucking Association is reminding carriers, under the legislation repealing the TTA certain critical parts of the TTA have been transferred to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)... Carriers who broker freight should also note that the trust account provisions will now apply to everyone who brokers freight, including carriers who broker loads to other carriers, OTA says. Also, effective January 1, 2006, they will also need to comply with the new HTA provisions and ensure that funds received for work that is brokered out are placed in a trust account...

Highest bidder - USA - City buys garbage trucks from Auburn Hills company

FLINT,Mich,USA -WJRT, by By Kevin Holmes -Dec 22, 2005: -- After debating for several months, the City Council has decided to purchase an entire fleet of garbage trucks for the city. But the supplier comes as a surprise to some... For months, the debate in Flint has been whether the city should buy the trucks from a business in the city or look elsewhere... Wednesday Night, City Council decided to go elsewhere... Twenty trucks were purchased from an Auburn Hills company at a cost of more than three million dollars... This was not the lowest bidder, though. The lowest bid was from a company right here in Flint...

AUTOS WORLD NEWS

* Ford Does Well in South America in '05
Brazil -The Car Connection (USA), by Fernando Calmon -22 Dec 2005: Ford South America (FSA) has turned in a positive preliminary report for 2005, the company should produce the best financial results ever in its history, possibly becoming the company's most profitable regional operation the world over... Market share has risen to 13 percent in Brazil, 18 percent in Argentina and 21 percent in Venezuela. Barry Engle, president of Ford of Brazil, said exports have grown seven-fold in six years, to nearly $1.4 billion in 2005...

* Computer with worker data stolen, Ford says
DEARBORN,Mich,USA -Associated Press -Dec 23, 2005: Ford Motor Co. informed about 70,000 active and former white-collar employees that a computer with company data, including Social Security numbers, was stolen from a Ford facility... Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said that there was no product, supplier, customer, engineering or financial information on the computer. She said Ford is working with law enforcement on the investigation...

* Padilla announces acceleration Ford's investment plan in Thailand

Thailand -Automotive News -24 Dec 2005: Ford Motor Company's President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Padilla met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry Suriya Jungrungreangkit today and announced the acceleration of Ford's second phase of investment at its Ford/Mazda (AAT) manufacturing facility. The second phase investment will be made over three years (2005 to 2008) and underpins Thailand's importance as a major international production hub for Ford's one-tonne pickup truck...

* Va. rollover hurts Ford
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit Free Press -24 Dec 2005: A federal jury in Newark, N.J., said Ford should pay $20.5 million to a New Jersey woman who suffered brain injuries in a Bronco II rollover accident in 1995... The jury awarded Valentini $1.5 million for past medical expenses, $13 million for future medical costs, $5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million for past and future lost income...

* GM of Brazil 's Expertise Less Costly
Brazil -The Car Connection (USA), by Fernando Calmon -22 Dec 2005: Engineering services are expected to grow at GM do Brazil, doubling to $400 million in the next two years. The subsidiary bears lower design and development costs that can be up to 70 percent cheaper than those in more economically developed countries...

* GM expands recall of SUVs to additional states
DETROIT,Mich,USA -Associated Press -Dec 24, 2005: General Motors Corp. is expanding a recall of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks with possible antilock brake corrosion to include another 553,000 vehicles in six states and the District of Columbia...

* Korean CKD Exports Rise
S. Korea -The Car Connection (USA) -22 Dec 2005: Knockdown exports of South Korean automakers including GM Daewoo, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, and Ssangyong Motor jumped nearly 30 percent from a year ago to 707,173 units in the first 11 months of this year, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said...

* China's November automobile production sets record
BEIJING,China -Associated Press -Dec 24, 2005: China's car production in November grew 52.1 percent from the same month last year to a record 291,900 units, breaking the previous record set in June of 275,100 units, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Friday... China's car production between January and November totaled 2.65 million units, up 24.2 percent from the year-earlier period, the bureau said in a statement on its Web site...


* Skoda Sold More Cars From January To November 2005 Than The Whole 2004
Checz -Carpages (UK) -24 Dec 2005: As early as a month before the end of the year 2005, Skoda Auto managed to break its own annual sales record achieved last year. From January to November 2005, customers on 85 markets bought a total of 452,973 Skoda cars, which is 43,022 (+10.5%) more cars than during the same period of the previous year and 1,298 more than throughout the whole of 2004...

Litigation provision - USA - States concerned about federal roof crush proposal

Letter signed by 26 attorneys general protests clause barring suits against automakers
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -The Detroit News/Associated Press, by Ken Thomas -Dec 24, 2005: -- Twenty-six state attorneys general, concerned about a federal proposal to strengthen the roofs of motor vehicles, urged the government Friday to abandon language that could prevent people from suing automakers... Questioning the legal grounds for the provision, they argued it would infringe on states' rights and would shift injured motorists' medical costs to states... With rollover crashes killing more than 10,000 people a year, about one-third of traffic fatalities, the issue has been closely watched. Safety groups say the regulation should be much stronger and argue that well over half the vehicles already comply with the standard...

Settlement - USA - DC to Repair Faulty Pollution Controls

USA - The Car Connection -22 Dec 2005: -- DaimlerChrysler will repair about 1.5 million vehicles as a part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over faulty emissions equipment... The company will spend about $94 million to complete the repairs, which the EPA says involved catalytic converters that failed at a higher rate than usual... As a part of the settlement, the company will extend the warranty on about 700,000 of the affected vehicles, with owners of another 300,000 vehicles being notified of the potential problem. A half-million vehicles will have the catalytic converters checked and will have diagnostic systems fixed...

2005-12-22

GreenNews - Europe - EU Seeks Stricter Pollution Limits for Cars, Trucks

Brussels,Belgium -Bloomberg -Dec. 21 2005: -- European Union regulators called for cuts of at least 20 percent in car exhaust, seeking to ease air pollution while making EU automakers the world leaders in clean- car production... The European Commission in Brussels today proposed stricter emissions standards, especially for diesel cars, starting as soon as mid-2008. The agency also proposed quotas for governments to buy low-emissions buses and trucks... Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said government fleets will add at least 13,000 more trucks and buses a year powered by fuels including liquid propane gas, natural gas, electricity and biofuels, which consume less energy and emit less of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming... The commission estimated the plan would save energy and environmental damage worth 1.92 billion euros over 15 years, outweighing 1.61 billion euros extra cost for buying more- expensive vehicles...

TRUCKING's WORLD NEWS - Digest -

* TNT Logistics wins tyre contract from Pirelli in Australia
Australia -Anexa research -19 Dec 2005: Pirelli Tyres Australia recently awarded their domestic logistics activity to TNT Logistics for a minimum 3 year period... Under the terms of the Agreement, TNT Logistics will service Pirelli's customer base from a central warehouse in Sydney with cross dock facilities established in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane...

* Trucking battle triumph
Geraldton, Australia -Geraldton News, by Beatrice Thomas -22 Dec 2005: Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan on Monday announced that any company wishing to truck iron ore within 100 kilometres of an operational rail line would have to apply for a special licence which would only be granted if rail transportation was not a viable option... Iron ore company Midwest Corporation, which had the largest trucking program at an estimated 80 truck movements per day from its Koolanooka mine site to Geraldton Port, will also have its licence granted only until October next year...

* ATA expressed disappointment in the U.S. Senate's vote to uphold a filibuster
ALEXANDRIA, Va.,USA -U.S. Newswire -Dec. 21, 2005: With 60 votes needed to override the filibuster, drilling proponents fell four votes short of invoking cloture as Congress aims to wrap up the legislative session before the holiday recess... Despite the U.S. Senate vote, American Trucking Associations, which considers environmentally sound exploration of ANWR part of a long-term strategy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increase national fuel supplies, expressed optimism for a favorable outcome for the trucking industry and the national economy...

* OTA begins Avian Flu contingency plan
TORONTO,Ont,Canada -Today's Trucking News -21 Dec 2005: Recognizing that the threat of a pandemic outbreak of the avian flu is, in the government's words, "a matter of when - not if", the Ontario Trucking Association and the Canadian Trucking Alliance have begun work on a strategy to help carriers deal with such an emergency... The associations are contacting government agencies and business continuity planning consultants to determine what the industry can do to prepare itself for a pandemic, the OTA states...

* Strong Deliveries from Volvo Trucks
USA -TNN (UK) -21 Dec 2005: Deliveries from Volvo Trucks increased by 9% between January and November this year... In total, 94,693 trucks were delivered and the largest increase was noted in North America, where sales rose by 26% (29,620 vehicles)...

* Mack's November shipments rose 26 percent over last year
Allentown,PA,USA -Allentown Morning Call, by Kurt Blumenau -Dec 21, 2005: November continues to be kind to Mack Trucks, as the Allentown truckmaker again reported double-digit growth in deliveries for the month... Mack said Tuesday it shipped 3,213 heavy-duty trucks to dealers last month, up 26 percent from the year before. The company posted even stronger growth in November 2004, with deliveries up 61 percent year-on-year...

* Ford to hike commercial vehicle production
TURKEY -Reuters/just-auto.com (Bromsgrove,Worcs,UK), subscription -21 Dec 2005: Ford Otosan will invest an extra US$375 million until 2007 to raise commercial vehicle production at its Turkish plants, its general manager reportedly said on Wednesday... Ford Otosan, among top exporters in Turkey, has been producing commercialvehicles such as the Transit Connect and Cargo trucks in Turkey since1998...

Tires - USA - Wider ones could leave mark on trucking sector


Some drivers switch from dual setups, reap fuel and weight savings

GREENVILLE, S.C.,USA -AP -Dec. 21, 2005: -- Take a closer look at some of the 18-wheelers rolling down the nation’s roads lately and you might notice something missing: eight wheels... Some truckers are converting to wider tires that let them replace dual tires with single tires, turning their rigs into 10-wheelers to reap fuel and weight savings... Carl Smith, owner of 3J Fuels Inc. in Champlain, N.Y., has been using Michelin’s tires on his tanker trucks for about a year. His trucks don’t haul fuel long distances, so he said he hasn’t seen much in the way of fuel savings. But the wider tires are helping him stay within legal weight limits and "seem to ride better", he said... (Photo: Michelin North America/AP: New, wider truck tires weigh close to 200 pounds, and cost $1,250 or more when mounted on an aluminum rim.)

Profits - USA - Trucking Revenue Rises

Turnover Remains High, ATA Says

USA -TTNews -22 Dec 2005: -- On a seasonally adjusted basis, truckload and less-than-truckload revenue jumped 2.7% and 5.5%, respectively, from September to October, American Trucking Associations said... Large truckload carriers had an annualized turnover rate of 135% in the third quarter, just shy of the record high 136% rate set in the fourth quarter of 2004... Small truckload carriers reported a turnover rate of 91%s — 10% more than in the previous quarter, ATA said... During the same period, LTL carriers had a turnover rate of only 12%, ATA reported...

End NYC Strike - USA - Union Says Members Will Return Work

NY,USA -AP/TTNews -22 Dec 2005: -- Leader of the union representing New York City’s transit workers voted Thursday to return their 33,000 members to work without a new contract... The announcement of the vote came outside union headquarters about 3 1/2 hours after state mediators said a deal had been worked out... It puts the nation's largest mass transit system back in operation while negotiations resume on a new three-year contract...

Cut - USA - Freightliner Laying Off 130 Workers at Oregon Plant

Oregon,USA -The Oregonian/ TTNews -22 Dec 2005: -- Freightliner LLC said it plans to lay off 130 workers in Portland, Ore., citing the need to juggle the mix of trucks produced at its Swan Island plant there... Chief Operating Officer Roger Nielsen said the reduction, effective Thursday, was necessary because the company plans to build fewer Western Star Trucks and more Freightliner-branded trucks next year, the paper reported... The reduction represents about 7% of the company's work force in Portland, bringing total employment at the plant to 1,700...

Pre-Paid Legal - USA - Low Cost Plans for Commercial Truck Drivers

PLAN SUMMARY
USA -Press Release from: Darren5150@wideopenwest.com -21 Dec 2005: -- The Commercial Drivers Legal Plan (CDLP) provides a wide variety of legal services for commercial drivers and their families. It is backed by Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange company with over 30 years of experience in providing legal service plans. Because of regulatory requirements, three (3) versions of the CDLP are available*: 1) The Basic Commercial Drivers Legal Plan* covers you and your spouse... - 2) Road America Commercial Drivers Legal Plan* - 3) Super Commercial Drivers Legal Plan* ... FOR COMMERCIAL TRUCKING COMPANIES: ... The Commercial Drivers Legal Plan (CDLP) may also be purchased at a discounted group rate and no enrollment fee. It is usually purchased on a payroll or settlement deduction paid for by the drivers, or as a fringe benefit paid for by the company... Why offer the Commercial Drivers Legal Plan (CDLP) to your drivers? Because it means increased profits for you...

2005-12-21

HOS - USA - Hours of Service Disputed. II

Indianapolis,USA -TTNews, Letter by John Cantrell, Vice President Cantrell Logistics -Dec 2005: -- Let me say that with 25 years of driving experience and no accidents or tickets, the hours-of-service rule has never added to my safe driving, so I was glad to hear they were going to make changes... But what they’ve come up with makes no difference in safety. In reality, it makes it unsafe... I speak from experience. I made a run recently just to try it out, and what it does now is to make you drive according to the log book and during heavy traffic times, rather than stopping to let rush hour lighten up... I figure the government met with top trucking executives and they helped them come up with this. But these guys do not drive anything other than their cars and really do not know the pressures of a driver... If NASCAR let the car owners and their sponsors determine how the cars were to be set up to run and how the driver was to perform his driving skills, there would be a lot more crashes... Some days, driving a truck 500 miles can have the same intensity as a NASCAR driver running 500 miles at Daytona... The hours rule needs to be changed again, and we need to see hours set in stone for drivers to rest each day. For the restart, be real. With 30 hours, you’re rested — if you really rested. But a driver can be off 40 hours, spending time at home, and be up with a sick child with only five hours of rest... So it’s simple: Drive 10 or 12 hours, but let it be broken up so that at least you can avoid places like Chicago or Atlanta at 5:30 p.m... The way it is now, stopping for three hours to nap and letting traffic lighten up at the wrong time is totally against the driver. This is not the airlines; this is trucking and we must treat it as such...

HOS - USA - Hours of Service Disputed. I

I pray for the drivers who have to contend with the confusion of the twits who write these rules...
Ponca City, Okla.,USA -TTNews - Letter by Harold HahnDirector, Safety and Compliance, Sullivan’s Trucking Co. -Dec 2005: -- I have been working in highway safety for 30 years plus, including 12 years for a major motor carrier... I have investigated a number of commercial motor vehicle accidents over the years and only two were because of a driver asleep at the wheel... The Ph.D.s who know so much should get a rider pass and ride along with an over-the-road driver for seven days... They would have to stay awake all the time that the driver does and sleep for eight straight hours in the sleeper berth... This very seldom happens. After three to four hours, you are awake and doing things to kill time, some of which are either unhealthy or against the law... When the eight-hour stretch is over, you are in worse shape than when you parked the rig...

Oil - China - China, India Firms Said to Buy Oil Assets

China's biggest state oil company and an Indian firm have agreed to acquire a Canadian company's oil assets in Syria
BEIJING,China -Xinhua News Agency /AP, by JOE McDONALD -Dec 21, 2005: -- The leading oil companies of China and India have agreed to jointly acquire a Canadian firm's petroleum interests in Syria in their first collaborative venture... China National Petroleum Corp. and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. - both state-owned - have agreed to pay $484 million for the Syrian assets of Petro-Canada, citing unidentified CNPC employees and the Canadian firm...

TRUCKING's WORLD NEWS - Digest -

* KAMAZ announced 2006 business plan.
Russia - AKM News -21 Dec 2005: -- The Board of Directors of OAO KAMAZ has approved business plan for 2006 in accordance to which KAMAZ is to realize 34,000 trucks vs. 32.2 thousand this year... It is planned to sell 25.5 thousand vehicles on the domestic market and to export 8.5 thousand vehicles... The realization of diversification produce will increase to 5.6 billion rubles.The profit from selling of goods and services of the Company will total 48.4 billion rubles by the end of 2006...

* Russian Trucks Are Ready for Victory
Kremlin,Russia -Kommersant, by Evgeny Denisov -Dec. 20, 2005: Yesterday, on Vasilievsky Spusk, there was a ceremony of best wishes for Russian rally team “KamAZ- Master”... In January the team will participate in the legendary African rally Lisbon – Dakar... They wished the best luck to KamAZ team for already the fourth time. This has become a custom already, because three previous rallies were won by a Russian team from Naberezhnye Chelny (place where they build KamAZ super duty trucks)...

* VOLVO Trucks sales decline slightly
Greensboro,NC,USA -Triad Business Journal -19 Dec 2005: While November truck deliveries were slightly behind last year, Volvo Trucks North America Inc. continues to see a year-to-date increase... The heavy duty truck manufacturer delivered 2,918 trucks to dealers and customers in November, down 1.5 percent from the 2,963 delivered in November 2004...

* 62 Con-Way Drivers Honored By State Trucking AssociationsTuesday
ANN ARBOR, Mich.,USA -PRNewswire -Dec 20,2005: Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc., announced that 62 of its less-than- truckload driver sales representatives received driver of the month and driver of the year honors from four state trucking associations... "Sixty-two Con-Way drivers being honored in only four states for their safety records and professionalism is unprecedented. They are not only a credit to Con-Way but to the entire trucking industry," said David S. McClimon, president of Con-Way...

* ULSD Use May Spawn More Retrofit Programs
WASHINGTON,DF,USA -TTNews -20 Dec 2005: As ultra-low-sulfur diesel becomes available to meet federal engine emission standards scheduled to take effect in 2007, state and local governments will have an opportunity to run more retrofit programs to clean exhaust emissions of older trucks and buses, air quality officials said...

* Diesel Climbs for Second Week, Rising 2.6 Cents to $2.462
WASHINGTON,DF,USA -TTNews -20 Dec 2005:
The average retail prices of diesel and gasoline each rose for a second straight week by 2.6 cents, with diesel climbing to $2.462 and gasoline to $2.211 a gallon, the Department of Energy reported...

* Vitran Agrees in Principle to Buy Western LTL Carrier
Toronto,ONT,Canada -TTNews -20 DEc 2005: Transportation and logistics firm Vitran Corp. said Monday that agreed it had agreed in principle to acquire the assets of Sierra West Express, a regional less-than-truckload carrier based in Nevada...

* Caterpillar's Truck Engine Sales Decline in November
USA -Caterpillar Web Report/TTNews -20 DEc 2005: Caterpillar Inc.’s engine sales growth slowed to the lowest level this year in November, led by a decline in truck and bus engines, according to figures posted on the company’s Web site...

* Take a Number at the Alabama DMV
USA -TTNews -21 Dec 2005: Alabama drivers might want to take some of their work with them to help ease the wait time at county drivers' license offices. A new software package that checks for outstanding warrants and felony convictions, as part of issuing a renewal or approving a license transfer, is resulting in the entire process taking longer. ATA Safety & Loss Prevention Management Council members can read more in the S&LPMC January Safety Bulletin to be published online in early January at www.truckline.com/aboutata/councils/slpmc.


* New York’s Transit Strike Stretches Into Second Day
NY,USA -TTNews -21 Dec 2005: New York City’s transit strike stretched to a second day, with commuters walking and carpooling as best they could, retailers hurting at the busiest shopping time of the year and delivery drivers struggling to make their rounds, news services reported... With contract talks stalled, a judge fined the Transport Workers Union $1 million for each day of the strike, and lawyers were due back in court Wednesday, the Associated Press reported...

Technologies - Belgium - Tough 3-D Panel Process Combines

Lokeren, Belgium -High Performance Composites(USA), by Sara Black -20 Dec 2005: -- When composite freight trailer manufacturer Composittrailer (Lokeren, Belgium) tried to locate a supplier of strong, impact-resistant structural sidewall and floor panels for its heavy-duty, over-the-road bulk-hauling trailers, it found no manufacturer that could meet its performance specifications... The company, a spinoff of truck manufacturer Group Stevens N.V., decided to design and build its own panels.... Using finite element analysis (FEA), panels were designed to withstand Composittrailer's specified load of 1,200N/270 lb-force applied at the center of a sidewall, without deflecting more than 4 mm/0.16 inch... The result was a sandwich panel with inner and outer laminate skins separated by a structural foam core...

Markets - USA - Japan's Carmakers Find China's Fast Lane

Japanese auto makers are making an extraordinary surge into China's hyperkinetic car market

USA - Business Week, by Brian Bremner -21 Dec 2005: -- Bitter memories of wartime atrocities still work against Honda, Toyota, and the like, but not enough to save VW's market dominanceIt's no secret that China's auto market is the most dynamic in the world and destined to overtake Japan as the world's second-biggest later in the decade, behind the U.S.... How could they overcome the deep historical animosity felt by the millions of Chinese who remember the Japanese occupation and wartime atrocities of the last century? ... Yet late-comer , Japan's six major carmakers operating on the mainland -- Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki -- grabbed 26.6% share of the Chinese market in the January-October period, according to the China Association of Automobile manufacturers. That's a larger share than the U.S. or European rivals have in China, and is slightly less than the combined domestic market share of China's entire domestic auto industry...

Predictions - USA - Toyota's Onslaught

You think things are tough now for the Big Three?
USA -Forbes, by Jerry Flint -21 Dec 2005: -- This is the year of Hurricane Katrina; in the car business 2006 will be the year of Hurricane Toyota. Expect a storm of vehicles with potential to do incredible damage, and not just to General Motors and Ford. Honda and Nissan could be hurt, and the smaller Japanese companies--Subaru, Mazda, Isuzu, Suzuki, Mitsubishi--are particularly vulnerable because they don't have the marketing power to fight back. Even the Germans could be hurt. The new vehicles I'm talking about are coming out in the next 12 months, but we'll see their effect in 2007. Indeed, by the end of 2007 Toyota could pass DaimlerChrysler and even be challenging Ford as the second-largest seller of cars in the U.S... I figure Toyota has the potential for adding 2.5 to 3 percentage points of market share, pushing the company past 16%. By then Toyota also could be the number one car builder in the world, but I think what happens in the American market is more important. It's still where our jobs are, and it's where the profits are...

AUTOS WORLD NEWS

* GM falls to 23-year low after Kerkorian trims stake
SAN FRANCISCO,CAL,USA -MarketWatch, by Shawn Langlois -21 Dec 2005: General Motors shares extended the prior session's losses, falling 1.6% to $19.53 Wednesday after touching a 23-year low of $19.30 earlier. After the market close on Tuesday, Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. disclosed in an SEC filing that it reduced its stake in the automaker to 7.8% from 9.9% by selling 12 million shares over the past few days...

* DaimlerChrysler won't give more money for job cuts
FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters -20 Dec 2005: DaimlerChrysler's designated CEO Dieter Zetsche intends to eliminate around 8,000 more German jobs without adding more money to the 950 million euros ($1.14 billion) set aside to finance 8,500 cuts at Mercedes...

* Mercedes-Benz tops 2005 German car recalls
STUTTGART,Germany -Reuters/Auto Motor und Sport -20 Dec 2005: DaimlerChrysler's premium Mercedes-Benz brand recalled the most cars in Germany this year as it stepped up a campaign to address nagging quality issues...

* Skoda to pay Volkswagen special dividend
PRAGUE,Czech. -Reuters-20 Dec 2005: Czech carmaker Skoda Auto has agreed to pay an extraordinary dividend of 2.916 billion crowns ($121 million) from retained earnings to its sole owner, Volkwagen...

* GM Recalling Vans
USA - The Car Connection -21 Dec 2005: General Motors is recalling about 425,000 vans from the 2003 to 2006 model years for a problem with seatbelt buckles. The company's Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans are involved in the recall announced Tuesday. In the affected models, seatbelt buckles may not latch or unlatch properly. GM says no injuries have been linked to the problem, which will be repaired under warranty...

* Ford completes $15B sale of Hertz
NEW YORK,NY,USA -MarketWatch, by Thomas Middleton -21 Dec 2005: Clayton Dubilier & Rice Inc., Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity said Wednesday they completed the acquisition of Hertz Corp. for $15 billion. Hertz, formerly a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., is the largest vehicle rental company in the world...

* Hyundai to add 600 jobs in state
Detroit,MIch,USA -The Detroit News, by Christine Tierney -21 Dec 2005: South Korea's fast-growing automaker Hyundai Motor Co. will invest $94 million to expand its new technical center near Ann Arbor, adding 600 jobs and bolstering southeast Michigan's effort to become North America's automotive high-tech powerhouse... Like other Asian automakers, South Korean company aims to tap engineering talent...

* Largest Chinese auto supplier aims to take over Delphi
BEIJING,China -Xinhuanet -21 Dec 2005: The largest Chinese auto supplier,Wanxiang Group, aims to take over the partial business of the U.S.-based auto supplier Delphi Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy two months ago, said the China Securities Journal on Wednesday... But the Wanxiang Group said it is still unclear whether it will succeed in the purchase, said the journal...

* Gasoline efficiency readout helpful
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Anita Lienert -Dec 21, 2005: Device on Tahoe lets driver know how many cylinders the vehicle uses... It's a new digital readout that tells you when the SUV's 5.3-liter V-8 engine is running on a fuel-saving four cylinders or is being powered by all eight cylinders... The technology, initially called "displacement on demand," but recently renamed "active fuel management" by General Motors, is offered on nine of the company's vehicles, including the Saab 9-7X and the Buick Rainier...

2005-12-20

Paper - USA - State Illegally Licenses Nonresident Commercial Drivers

SALT LAKE CITY,UTH,USA -5 KSL tv/AP/Deseret Morning News -20 Dec 2025: -- Contrary to state and federal law, the state continues to provide commercial drivers' licenses to nonresidents, a Salt Lake newspaper reported... One of every 12 of the 1,895 people who obtained a Utah commercial license this year listed his or her home address on applications as that of the West Valley City headquarters of C.R. England, one of the nation's largest trucking firms... On Nov. 15, the state attorney's office issued its opinion that issuing the commercial licenses to out-of-state students violates state and federal law...

Sales - USA - November Class 8 Truck Jump 16.6%

Manufacturers Say Production Levels Remain Strong
USA -TTNews -20 Dec 2005: -- U.S. sales of Class 8 trucks jumped 16.6% in November as truck buyers took delivery in a market where freight rates remained strong and truck production showed no signs of letting up, manufacturers said... While most truck makers said purchases were prompted by the continued strength of the economy, at least one analyst said pre-buying before new federal environmental regulations raise the prices of 2007 models was a factor in the current sales strength...

Speed Limits - USA - Raising on Kentucky Interstates

Kentucky , USA -WPSD tv News Channel 6, by Brooks Ware -Dec 19, 2005: -- You may soon be able to drive faster on Kentucky interstates. Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert says he supports raising the speed limit to 70 miles per hour, in exchange for a primary seatbelt law. That's where police can pull you over solely for not buckling up... Here is a look at how Kentucky compares to other states in the region. In Illinois, trucks can drive 55, while the speed limit for other traffic is 65. In Missouri and Tennessee, the speed limit is 70 miles per hour for all vehicles...

Alternatives - USA - Developing Transportation Sector

USA -Green Car Congress/jcwinnie.biz -Dec 19, 2005: -- The headline of the GCC post was discouraging — a 33% increase between 2004 and 2005 in spending on fuel by the US Trucking Industry, which certainly gets passed along to the consumer... The story from reported that further increases are expected, in the cost of fuel and in the cost of more expensive ULSD fuel that must be used beginning in 2006. The “real” price of diesel is back up to its level during the energy crisis in the early 80s... (Photo: LNG Fuel Tank on Tractor Trailer in San Francisco=)

Scholarship Program - USA - Mercedes-Benz USA Announces 2006 "DRIVE YOUR FUTURE"

MONTVALE, N.J.,USA -PRNewswire/Automotive News -Dec. 20, 2005: -- Mercedes-Benz USA announced today that it will make $1.5 million in scholarship funding available to students who are the first generation in their families to attend college.... "DRIVE YOUR FUTURE": The Mercedes-Benz USA Scholarship Program, now in its third year, will grant $10,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for four years) to 100 high school seniors across the country who demonstrate financial need and exceptional achievement in the areas of academic performance, leadership and school and community activities...

Report - USA - Ford Issues Climate Change

DEARBORN, Mich.,USA -The Auto Channel -Dec. 20, 2005: -- In an industry first, Ford Motor Company has issued a report addressing the business implications of climate change, carbon dioxide emissions and global energy concerns... "I am proud to say that Ford Motor Company is one of the first companies to have open discussions about climate change," said Bill Ford, chairman and CEO... With the report's release, Ford hopes to contribute to the larger public dialogue on the decisions, tradeoffs and actions required to address climate change concerns... The Climate Change Report will be available for the public to review by midday today at www.ford.com/go/sustainability.

Invention - USA - Energy That Draws Power from the Environment

Developed for 'Free' and Unlimited Source
CANTON, Mass., USA -PRNewswire/Automotive -Dec. 20, 2005: -- An alternative electric power generating system that draws energy from a seemingly unlikely yet abundant, eminently renewable and virtually free power source has been submitted for patenting by MagCap Engineering, LLC, Canton, Mass., in collaboration with Gordon W. Wadle, an inventor from Thomson, Ill... Wadle has invented a way to capture the energy generated by a living non- animal organism -- such as a tree. Chris Lagadinos, president of MagCap, developed circuitry that converts this natural energy source into useable DC power capable of sustaining a continuous current to charge and maintain a battery at full charge... Basically, the existing system includes a metal rod embedded in the tree, a grounding rod driven into the ground, and the connecting circuitry, which filters and boosts the power output sufficient to charge a battery. In its current experimental configuration, the demonstration system produces 2.1 volts, enough to continuously maintain a full charge in a nickel cadmium battery attached to an LED light...

AUTOS WORLD NEWS

* Battle lines drawn at VW as investors vie for control

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Christine Tierney -Dec 20, 2005:

On this side of the Atlantic, the directors of some large and ailing automakers are coming under fire for their passivity, but across the pond, the leading players at Germany's Volkswagen AG are donning battle gear... The conflict ahead will not only determine Volkswagen's survival as a major global automaker but also has profound implications for corporate governance in Germany...

* Toyota could overtake GM as top automaker in 2006

NAGOYA, Japan - AP, by YURI KAGEYAMA -Dec 20, 2005: Toyota Motor Corp., which is threatening to overtake General Motors Corp. as the world's biggest automaker, is planning to produce 9.06 million vehicles in 2006, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday... Although GM does not give full year production targets, that will put it neck and neck against the U.S. rival and possibly allow Toyota to take the lead...

* Delphi kills offer that riled the UAW
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Brett Clanton -20 Dec 2005: Delphi, with GM's help, will craft a new wage and benefit proposal for the UAW... The UAW must approve the deal... Under Delphi's latest bankruptcy schedule, the union has until Feb 17 to accept any pay and benefit concessions... Bankrupt auto supplier Delphi Corp. on Monday withdrew a contentious proposal to slash the wages of its 33,000 U.S. hourly workers, expressing hope it will reach a "consensual agreement" with its labor unions and former parent General Motors Corp. about how to restructure the company...

* Despite dropping market share, Big Three show slight improvement after a dismal November.
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Josee Valcourt -Dec 20, 2005: According to a survey by the Power Information Network, an affiliate of J.D. Power and Associates, Detroit automakers continued to lose retail market share to foreign rivals in early December but showed modest signs of improvement compared with their dismal performance in November...


* GM, UAW health deal is close to approval
DETROIT,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -Dec 20, 2005: A federal judge is expected to grant preliminary approval Thursday to a landmark deal struck by General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers union to reduce the company's health care costs by $1 billion a year...

* Fitch downgrades Ford debt to junk status
Detroit,Mich,USA -Associated Press -Dec 20, 2005: Fitch Ratings cut Ford Motor Co.'s debt to junk status Monday because of U.S. market share losses and concerns about the company's reliance on slow-selling sport-utility vehicles...

* Hybrid cars race ahead in 2005

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Channel NewsAsia/AFP -20 Dec 2005: Helped by sky-high fuel prices and celebrity endorsement, US sales of hybrid cars more than doubled in 2005, but Japanese rather than home-grown auto makers are cashing in on the boom... Sales of hybrids and clean diesel autos are on course to take 11 percent of total US sales by 2012, from 4.8 percent this year, according to JD Power-LMC Automotive Forecasting Services...

* Ford to Build New Flexible Fuel Engine Plant
Manila, Philippines -The Auto Channel -Dec 20, 2005: Ford Motor Company announced company plans to invest P1.1 billion (US$20 million) to build a Flexible Fuel engine plant in the Philippines... Ford's Flexible Fuel engines are designed to operate on either conventional gasoline or a combination of gasoline and bio-ethanol fuels. The investment translates to production of 100,000 engines over the next five years valued at about US$100 million. Start-up activities will be undertaken in the first quarter next year, with full production to begin before the end of 2006...

2005-12-19

Fines - USA - Cargo Security Task Force At MIA Nets $17,500 In

Several Arrested, Fined For Driving Violations
Miami,FL,USA -Click10 -Dec 19, 2005: -- A two-day multi-agency law enforcement operation conducted by the cargo security task force at Miami International Airport culminated Thursday with the inspection of more than 350 cargo trucks and four commercial airline warehouses that led to numerous arrests, violations and fines, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday...

Opposing - Canada - Can-Am owner-ops join forces against speed limiters

TORONTO, Canada -Today's Trucking News -19 Dec 2005: -- With the Ontario's Ministry of Transportation now actively soliciting input on the Ontario Trucking Association's suggestion that all trucks operating in that province be limited to 105 km/h (65 mph), owner-operator groups on both sides of the border are joining forces in opposing the proposal... U.S.-based Owner Operator and Independent Drivers Association -- which represents about 130,000 truckers -- and Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada have announced they will speak with a single voice in opposition to the move...

Safety - USA - Eaton wins $6.7-million truck contract

KALAMAZOO, Mich.,USA -Today's Trucking News -19 Dec 2005: -- Eaton Corp., makers of the VORAD Collision Warning Systems, was recently awarded a $6.7 million contract by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of a $31.6 million program to develop technologies to help drivers avoid crashes... The Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) Program Field Operational Test is a four-year program that will, for the first time, bring together five automotive and commercial vehicle suppliers, including Eaton Corp., to develop and test a new integrated crash warning system for passenger cars and commercial heavy-duty trucks...

Illegality - Japan - Trucks' fuel tanks changed to pass checks

Osaka,Japan -The Yomiuri Shimbun -19 Dec 2005: -- A subsidiary of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. illegally increased the load capacity of more than 2,000 trucks over the three years to 2004 by installing smaller fuel tanks before vehicle inspections to make the vehicles lighter, construction ministry sources said Monday... The wholly-owned subsidiary, Pabco Co. in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, changed the tanks back to larger ones after the trucks had been registered... The ministry also will file a criminal complaint against the company on suspicion it violated the Road Trucking Vehicle Law by cheating to pass vehicle inspections...

Investments - India - Tata trucks drive into Pak

Mumbai,India -Business Standard -Dec 20, 2005: -- Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, will export vehicles to Pakistan... The company has signed a technical assistance agreement with Pakistan-based Afzal Motors for this purpose... The broad contours of the agreement suggest that Afzal Motors will import completely knocked down (CKD) vehicles from the Tata firm and assemble them in Pakistan...

New Product - USA - Sterling LCF line awaits unveiling


USA - Fleet Owner -Dec 19, 2005: -- Sterling Truck Corp. is planning to introduce a line of low cab-over-engine (LCF) trucks next year at the National Truck Equipment Assoc. (NTEA) annual convention in Atlanta, GA... The truck was developed with Mitsubishi Fuso, an OEM that, like Sterling, is a DaimlerChrysler AG operation...

Infraestructures - S. Korea - After 60 years, Asian superhighway getting ready to roll

PUSAN, South Korea -The Asahi Shimbun (Japan), by HAJIMU TAKEDA -17 Dec 2005: -- People waiting at a bus stop in this South Korean port city were surprised to see a silver-colored Japanese truck rolling down the street one recent morning... But what today is regarded as an oddity may become an everyday sight all around Asia if a long-awaited superhighway linking major regions across the continent goes ahead... The entry of Japanese trucks into South Korea could be a model for the planned "Asian Highway" project that would connect all of the Asian regions with highways... The Asian Highway project consists of 55 routes with a total length of 140,000 kilometers... The 20,000-kilometer Route No. 1 will connect Tokyo with Istanbul, passing through Beijing, Hanoi and New Delhi...

Optimism - USA - Despite facing new rules, trucking industry prospers

The successes of this past year can be seen in fleet investments for the future

Anchorage,AK,USA -Alaska Journal of Commerce, by Rob Stapleton -Dec 18, 2005: -- A busy year for the construction industry has also meant a surge in business for Alaska's trucking industry. At the same time the industry is enjoying more business, it is also facing ever-changing regulations... "Due to construction this past summer, the trucking industry recorded records for tonnage and value despite the record-high diesel prices," said Michael Bell, director of the Alaska Trucking Association... and explained that those companies that built a fuel surcharge into their pricing structure will finish the year in good shape. Those who didn't will face even bigger challenges next year when prices rise again.

Increase - Georgia - Volumes Of Trucking Industry Will By 21 Millions Tones

Tbilisi,Georgia -Prime News Agency -Dec 17, 2005: -- Volumes of trucking industry over the railway will increase by 21 millions tones the next year... The project foresees increase of business-locomotives’ security, attraction of additional trucking industry... Irakli Ezukbaia, general director of the Georgian Railway Ltd., noted that secure movement of trains would promote increase of transportation volumes...

Purchases - UK - Sandwell MBC show ‘true grit’ with their first Volvo Trucks

Chester,UK -Easier -17 Dec 2005: -- Hartshorne Motor Services have supplied the Highways Department of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in the West Midlands with seven new Volvo trucks, five FLE 4x2 rigids and two FLE 6x4 rigids for use across a wide range of applications...

Safety - USA - Highways getting safer for trucks

And ... Nobody died !!

Oakland,CA,USA -Inside Bay Area, by Sean Holstege -17 Dec 2005: -- A national trend will be reported in data to be released by the federal government next week. It will show that 2004 was the safest year on record, measured by the number of fatal truck crashes and the volume of traffic... The rate was 1.96 fatal crashes involving trucks for every 100 million miles driven by U.S. motorists on the nation's highway system. The deadly crash rate is half what itwas until the mid-1980s, and down 2.5 percent from 2003... That doesn't mean truckers are blameless. When the CHP finds them at fault, three times in eight, the trucker was speeding, according to state crash data...

Petroleum - USA - Alaska's crude oil output hits new low, raises fiscal concerns

Decline exceeds energy politics for state residents who get a hefty dividend from the oil tax revenues

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Associated Press, by Tarek El-Tablawy -Dec 18, 2005: -- Alaskan North Slope crude oil production, once heralded as a domestic mother lode, has hit a new output low -- embodying the precarious balance confronting the United States as it struggles for energy security in an era of volatility in the international oil market... The decline in Alaska is led by a slump in output from the once-mammoth Prudhoe Bay field, which has been producing since 1969... At its height in fiscal 1988, the field produced an average of 1.6 million barrels per day; but in fiscal 2005, it was down to 381,000 barrels per day...

Technology - USA - EPA turns innovator with hydraulic hybrids

Government helping industry - Carmakers would get edge in mpg race

ANN ARBOR,Mich,USA -The Detroit News/Washington, by Jeff Plungis -18 Dec 2005: -- Deep inside a nondescript warehouse-like building on the edge of town, researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working on a plan to improve the prospects of the American auto industry... EPA officials say a technology patented by the agency and dubbed the hydraulic hybrid system could give U.S. manufacturers an edge with increasingly fuel-conscious car consumers...

Troubles - Europe - Board rifts threaten VW's profits

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Neil Winton -Dec 19, 2005: -- It's not just General Motors, Ford and Delphi that are sailing through troubled waters. Volkswagen, Europe"s biggest car manufacturer, is also being buffeted on many fronts... VW always had to hurdle obstacles of almost Byzantine confusion because of the German system of corporate governance... Now its finances will be coming under pressure as profits in Europe crumble next year, losses mount in the U.S. and China, and its Latin American operation is crippled by an unexpected exchange rate problem...

AUTOS WORLD NEWS

* In G.M.'s Sight Lines: Washington and Tokyo
New York,NY;USA -NYTimes, by WILLIAM J. HOLSTEIN -Dec 18, 2005: RICK WAGONER, the chairman and chief executive of General Motors, has announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs and to close several factories in an effort to stem the company's losses. He says GM is working hard on a turnaround but that some government policy changes would be helpful...

* GM to see improved revenue in 2006
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich,USA -Reuters, by By Jui Chakravorty/USA TODAY -16 Dec 2005: General Motors hould see improved revenue in 2006, driven by its new line of full-size sport-utility vehicles and trucks, Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said Thursday...

* Car buyers bypass television adverts
Australia -The Australian, by Simon Canning-Dec 19, 2005: CAR makers may be wasting millions of dollars plunging the bulk of their advertising budgets into television, with a new survey claiming magazines, newspapers and the internet are more valued by car buyers for the information they deliver... The survey by AC Nielsen for Time Inc tracked key influences on car buyers for the six months in the lead-up to a car purchase...

* Give us the tech and Hyundai gets the land: Chinese
S.Korea -JoongAng Daily -Dec 20, 2005: Hyundai Motor Co., Korea's largest automaker, and its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. are in a stalemate over the transfer of Hyundai's manufacturing technology, putting on hold the construction of the Korean company's second production plant in Beijing... The chinese state-run company BAIHC has asked it to transfer engine manufacturing technology in return for the land for a second manufacturing plant for the two companies' joint venture, Beijing Hyundai Motor Co...

* China to cut tariffs on cars
Beijing, China -Chinanews -16 Dec 2005: As 2006 approaches, China's tariff adjustment has drawn great attention recently. Jin Renqing, director of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council and the Minister of Finance, revealed that tariffs on imported autos such as sedans, minibuses and cross-country vehicles will be reduced from the current 30% to 28%. Tariffs on auto parts including gear-boxes, absorbers, radiators, clutches and redirectors will be cut from the prevailing 13% to 10%...

* Electronic components maker sets out stall in China
JAPAN -Just-Auto.com -19 Dec 2005: Japanese supplier Omron has opened a new automotive electronic components production and sales base in China... Omron Automotive Electronics will emply 80 in Guangzhou making window controllers from January 2006... Sales projections for the first year are CNY100m (US$12m), rising to CNY5bn yen in 2007 and CNY15bn for FY 2010...

* Honda Motor to mass produce next-generation solar cells
TOKYO,Japan -Nihon Keizai Shimbun -19 Dec 2005: Honda Motor said it will begin mass producing next-generation solar panels for household use from 2007... The Japanese giant declined to disclose the amount of new investment but the daily newspaper said the auto and motorcycle maker would spend some 86.5 million dollars on its factory in Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan...

* BMW Turbosteamer Takes a Page from the Age of Steam
MUNICH,Germany -Global Auto Systems -Dec 16, 2005: BMW’s experimental Turbosteamer is harnessing heat to improve fuel efficiency and power in cars... A steam engine and modern automotive R&D would not seem to have much to do with each other. But BMW is using the same principle that worked for the 19th-century steam engine to improve efficiency in 21st-century cars... that technology ready for volume production within 10 years...

* Blue-collar workers turn backs on UAW
MARYSVILLE,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Louis Aguilar -19 Dec 2005: For more than a month, workers at a small auto supply plant outside Port Huron have fought bitterly to keep the United Auto Workers from organizing their shop... The blue-collar denizens at Schefenacker Vision Systems USA occasionally picket outside the factory -- carrying homemade signs with slogans like "UAW Kills Jobs" and "Proud to be union free"...


* Ford details severance deals
DEARBORN,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -Dec 18, 2005: Ford Motor Co. disclosed newly revised severance packages for salaried employees Friday as the company prepares to lay off some 4,000 white-collar workers as part of a restructuring plan to be announced next month... Salaried workers who lose jobs will get lump sum depending on length of tenure, if they sign a waiver...

* Chinese firm eyes Delphi assets
USA -Automotive News -19 Dec 2005 : Supplier intends to become major player with American-made productsDelphi's pain could be China's gain. Lu Guanqiu, the ambitious chairman of Wanxiang Group, says he is negotiating with Delphi Corp. to acquire some of the financially troubled company's assets in the United States...

More Changes - USA - Detroit Needs More Than Healthcare Cuts?

"Domestic carmakers still have a long way to go to catch their top Japanese competitors"
USA - The Car Connection - 19 Dec 2005: -- Laurie Harbour-Felax, a consultant and analyst who studies the domestic industry extensively, said that domestic carmakers still have a long way to go to catch their top Japanese competitors... During the first part of the 2005, Nissan made $1,826 per vehicle sold while GM lost $1,227, a gap of $3,300. Even the profitable Chrysler Group made only a fraction of Nissan's per-vehicle profit, at $186 per vehicle, said who was a principal in Harbour & Associates... American companies score much better in initial quality surveys but the longer-term quality that shapes public perception of a vehicle and a company still seems to lag behind. Domestic carmakers spend between $200 to $300 more per vehicle on recalls and that has to be eliminated...

Danger - USA - Talking and Driving On the Rise

USA - The Car Connection -19 Dec 2005: -- More of you are talking your way across America's roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of drivers talking on cell phones at any given moment now stands at ten percent, up from eight percent in 2004... Six percent of those drivers were holding the phone to their ears, up one percent, ostensibly leaving the rest in hands-free mode... The NHTSA reports that women and young drivers are more likely to be talking on the phone while driving than other age and gender groups... Three states (Conn., N.Y., and N.J.) forbid cell phone use while driving, as does the District of Columbia...

2005-12-17

Illegality - USA - Seven Arrested In Ongoing Probe Of Driver Licenses

Hartford, CT, USA -Hartford Courant, by DAVE ALTIMARI, & MATT KAUFFMAN -Dec 17, 2005: -- Seven people, including two state Department of Motor Vehicles employees, have been charged with illegally creating and selling thousands of Connecticut driver's licenses that have shown up across the country... The arrests are part of what is now a year-long investigation by a special task force formed to look into the illegal license scandal in the DMV offices in Bridgeport. The task force is investigating 1,584 suspect licenses, with 600 completely investigated and about 1,000 to go...

Fuel Alternatives - USA - Tenn. cities chosen to test cleaner fuel

JOHNSON CITY,Tenn-USA -NEWS CHANNEL 11, by ELISSA BURNELL -Dec 17,2005: -- Local road-maintenance fleets have begun testing a more environmentally friendly fuel source... Johnson City and Knoxville were chosen to participate in a state pilot program to test B20 – a bio-diesel made with 20 percent soybean oil and 80 percent diesel fuel – on maintenance vehicles... The program will test more than 130 road vehicles, dump trucks, snowplows and other maintenance vehicles, about 30 of them in Johnson City...

Sales - USA - Olathe firm to supply de-icing trucks to China

Olathe,MO,USA -Kansas City Star -Dec. 16, 2005: -- Olathe-based Global Ground Support LLC today said it has been awarded a $4.2 million contract to supply 18 mobile de-icing trucks for airports in China... The China Administration of Civil Aviation is purchasing three mobile de-icing trucks for each Chinese airport operation. Global has been selling mobile de-icing trucks in China since 1993 and has secured more than 80 percent of the market share with this contract award, according to a release from the Kansas Department of Commerce...

Sales - Sweden - Scania Gets Order In New Zealand For 200 Trucks

STOCKHOLM,Sweden -Dow Jones, Preess Release -Dec 16, 2005: -- Truck maker Scania AB said Friday its distributor in New Zealand, has received an order for 200 trucks from Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy company. The deal also includes a rolling repair and maintenance contract... The trucks will be powered by Scania 420-hp Euro 3 engines and equipped with the automatic gearchanging system Scania Opticruise...

Technology - USA - Electronic monitoring traces tractor-trailers

System is part of Mexican customs clearing point plan
Laredo, Texas -The Kansas City Star, by RICK ALM -Dec. 16, 2005: -- Hundreds of tractor-trailers loaded cargo in on Thursday morning and hit the road for destinations across North America... One of them was wired by Kansas City-based BV Solutions Group Inc. for high-tech monitoring all the way to the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas... The monitoring is designed to instantly alert authorities to truck break-ins, cargo tampering or route deviations, and represents a 21st century defense against thieves, smugglers and terrorists... The system is a component of a proposed Mexican customs clearing facility scheduled to open in May in Kansas City’s West Bottoms industrial district. Cargo that can pass customs there could reduce or avoid substantial delays at the U.S.-Mexico border...

Delay - China - Trucks outside Beijing endure days-long traffic jam amid crackdown

BEIJING,China -China Daily /Mainichi Daily News (Japan) -Dec 16, 2005: -- A safety crackdown on cargo trucks has triggered a four-day, 20-kilometer-long traffic jam outside Beijing... "It's hard to tell how many more days it will last," Sun Li, a traffic officer in Huailai, north of Beijing in Hebei province, said Friday... The traffic problems started Monday, when city officials banned trucks from using the Badaling Expressway north of Beijing after a heavily laden truck and a bus collided, killing at least 24 people, said... The ban has forced trucks to clog National Highway 101 instead, creating jams made worse by stepped-up weight checks in a bid to stop rampant overloading...

Safety - USA - Seat belt use climbs in 34 states

Michigan's rate grows to 92.9 percent in 2005, among highest in nation
WASHINGTON,DF,USA -Associated Press, by Ken Thomas -Dec 17, 2005: -- Motorists in Hawaii, Washington state and Nevada had the nation's highest rates of clicking their seat belts in 2005, a record year for seat belt use nationwide... Thirty-four states increased their seat belt use this year, the government said Friday. The federal traffic safety agency had said in September that seat belt use overall was a record 82 percent in 2005... Hawaii led the nation with 95.3 percent. Puerto Rico and seven other states -- Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state -- scored rates of 90 percent or better... Mississippi had the lowest rate in the nation with slightly better than 60 percent. It was followed by Massachusetts (64.8 percent), Kentucky (66.7 percent), Arkansas (68.3 percent), South Dakota (68.8 percent) and Kansas (69 percent)...

AUTOS WORLD NEWS

* Ford, plaintiffs finalize manifold suit settlement
DETROIT,Mich,USA -AP, by Dee-Ann Durbin -Dec 17, 2005: Ford Motor Co. has finalized a settlement that requires the automaker to pay at least $735 each to sedan owners who had to replace an intake manifold, attorneys for the plaintiffs said Friday... An intake manifold is a pipe that supplies a mixture of fuel and air to the engine's cylinders... Plaintiffs claimed the intake manifolds are prone to premature cracking, which could lead to coolant leakage and expensive damage to the engine...

* Geely will be first Chinese automaker at Detroit show, displaying a sedan in lobby during media preview days
DETROIT,Mich,USA -AP, by Dee-Ann Durbin -Dec 17, 2005: The Motor City will see some proof of the Chinese auto industry's growing ambitions next month when Geely Automobile Co. Ltd. becomes the first Chinese automaker to have a display at the Detroit auto show... The mid-size sedan might have the less-than-inspiring name of 7151 CK, but it's likely to generate some appeal with its price tag of around $10,000, barely half what comparable Japanese, American, and Big Three models go for, and well under even the South Korean competition. Geely intends to start selling both the sedan and a two-seat sports car in Puerto Rico in 2008...


* Women push for comfort in cars. GM's group seeks better purse holders, updated vanity mirrors and others
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Anita Lienert -Dec 14, 2005: It seems that whenever women get together to talk about cars, the never-ending question comes up: Why hasn't anyone created the perfect purse holder?... The subject was raised at the December meeting of the General Motors Corp. women's affinity group in Pontiac...

* Toyota's car sales in Japan expected to decline in 2005 for first time in three years
Tokyo,Japan -Nihon Keizai Shimbun/Mainichi -Dec 17, 2005: Toyota Motor Corp.'s car sales in Japan are likely to fall by 20,000 vehicles in 2005 to 1.74 million -- the company's first decline in domestic sales in three years -- as competition rises from lower-priced cars... Japan's largest automaker, which holds about 40 percent of the Japanese auto market, had initially projected domestic sales of 1.8 million cars in 2005...

* Ford Introduces Flexible-Fuel F-150 Trucks
USA - canadiandriver.com -16 Dec 2005: Ford has begun production of its first F-150 flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) that will run on gasoline or on ethanol blends up to E85, a mixture of 15 per cent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol... Ford says it is committed to producing 250,000 FFVs in the coming year. This fuel technology will be standard with Ford's 5.4-litre V8 engine and will feature the same torque and horsepower as an ordinary gasoline (petrol) engine...


2005-12-16

Youth marketing - USA - Munster kids rev up GM Web site

Students critique company approach, headed to Detroit
NWIndiana,USA -The NWI Times/MUNSTER, by SHARON PORTA -Dec 16, 2005: -- Most U.S. auto manufacturers n General Motors Corp. included n have had a difficult time appealing to and connecting with customers in the youth market... To help build a relationship among those elusive 18 to 24 year olds, GM has solicited the help of students from Munster High School... Nick Stolarz, 18, said that although the web site is built to appeal to youth, it's not effective at marketing GM products... "There is information about concerts and contests but nothing about GM and their cars," Stolarz said. "If their goal is to get their name out there, they aren't doing the job"...

Fuel Cells Works - USA - First Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle to AC Transit

Hyundai Delivers to Initiate Fleet Testing Program
Emeryville, Cal.,USA -Fuel Cells Works. 16 Dec 2005: -- Hyundai Motor Company delivered the first of 10 Hyundai and Kia Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) today... The ceremony took place at AC Transit's Emeryville Bus Division and marked the beginning of a five-year demonstration and validation project designed to evaluate fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure technologies...

Deal - China - FAW, Chongqing Heavy Vehicle and Iveco to establish heavy truck joint venture

UK -Nanjing Daily/AWKnowledge -15 Dec, 2005: -- FAW, Chongqing Heavy Vehicle and Iveco will enter into a deal for the purpose of boosting sales of heavy-duty trucks in China... Paolo Monferino, Iveco’s president of Global Operations, recently made the announcement...

Cuts - Germany - MAN truck unit threatens to transfer more jobs abroad than planned

FRANKFURT,Germany -Forbes/AFX/Die Welt -15 Dec 2005: -- MAN AG's commercial vehicles unit MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG has threatened to transfer more production abroad than originally planned if workers do not agree to increase working hours to 40 per-week and cut wages significantly... MAN has already announced it will transfer the assembly of some heavy-duty trucks in Krakow, Poland and about 700 jobs in Germany would have to be cut in the process... If the trade union does not bow down to the demands, management plans to increase the number of job cuts to more than 700, the report said...

Purchasing - Uganda - Cleaning firm to buy sh180m garbage trucks

Kampala,Uganda -New Vision, by Kiganda Ssonko -15 Dec, 2005: -- SAFI Cleaning Services is to procure six garbage trucks worth sh180m to enhance garbage collection in Kampala and other areas, the managing director has said... The six-year old firm offers cleaning services, compound maintenance, fumigation, garbage collection, dry cleaning and laundry services and employs over 450 people...

Production - India - MAN AG Invest in India to begin in 2006

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg, by Chad Thomas -Dec. 15, 2005: -- MAN AG, Europe's third-largest truckmaker, plans to set up a venture to build heavy trucks in India as it's trying to expand beyond Europe... MAN will take a 30 percent stake in the 150 million-euro ($180 million) venture with Force Motors Ltd., an Indian maker of small trucks and three-wheelers, to produce vehicles in India beginning in the fourth quarter of 2006...