User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: February 2006
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2006-02-28

Discounts - UK - Business and Industry Demand Green Discount for Trucks

UK -TNN -28 Feb 2006: -- A group of business and industry groups has called on Transport for London to give commercial vehicles discounts on the London Congestion Charge if they meet certain emissions standards... The discount would help commercial vehicle operators off-set the cost of the any London Low Emission Zone scheme and provides a sensible carrot to encourage companies to invest in the cleanest, greenest vehicles...

TRUCKING'S WORLD NEWS

* OOIDA opposes ATA speed limiter proposal
Grain Valley, Mo.,USA -Trcuk News, by Steven Macleod -27 Feb 2006: -- The Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association (OOIDA) believes a recent proposal by the American Trucking Association (ATA) to set speed limiters at 68 mph on all new trucks could make roadways more dangerous for drivers of all vehicles.The ATA announcement to request the speed of trucks limited to 68 mph at the time of manufacture came in mid-February, as the speed limiter debate was peaking north of the border...


* ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.6 Percent in January
ALEXANDRIA, Va.,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -Feb. 27, 2006: -- The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 0.6 percent in January, marking its fifth consecutive monthly gain... ATA recently revised the index back five years, which resulted in a slightly stronger 2005 performance than previously reported...

Survey - UK - 'Expensive' hybrid cars better than buses

UK -Auto Trader, by Keith Collantine -28 Feb 2006: -- ALMOST half of motorists expect to be powering their cars with alternative fuels within the next 15 years... These are the findings of a survey conducted by Auto Trader with it's business publication Dealer Update... Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 47 per cent said they are ready to take the plunge on an alternative-fuel car. 95 per cent of those who responded said they currently drive petrol or diesel-powered cars...

"Spidermen" - USA/Mexico - Delivering unfinished vehicles across Mexico

TEPEJI DEL RIO, Mexico -Arizona Republic (Phoenix,AZ,USA), by Chris Hawley -Feb. 27, 2006: -- As the sun sets over Mexico's Interstate 57, barreling down the road comes a bizarre sight: a man balanced on a wooden seat, zipping along on what appears to be nothing but four wheels and an engine. It's a "spiderman," one of hundreds of daredevil drivers who shuttle unfinished trucks and buses, or frames, between factories in Mexico. With no windshield, seat belt or even a bumper, it's like riding a go-kart at 70 mph, an adrenaline junkie's dream job... "I used to be a paratrooper in the army. This is the closest I can get to jumping out of airplanes," said Lucio Ceja Hernández, who has been a chassis jockey for eight years... The bare-bones vehicles he drives are called chasis arañas, or spider chassis, because their sprawling axles and exposed wires make them look like giant bugs. Truckers call the drivers arañeros, or spidermen...

Production - Vietnam - First made-in-Vietnam MAZ truck

Vietnam -Nhan Dan -Fef 28, 2006: -- Vietnam’s joint-venture automobile company, Mekong Co Loa in central Thanh Hoa province, has rolled out the first MAZ truck made in the country, thanks to technology transfer by Belorussian experts... The 230 Hp truck has a capacity of 11.5 tonnes. MAZ heavy trucks have proven themselves in operation worldwide in terms of endurance, environmental protection, fuel efficiency and off-road capability, especially in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam...

Big diesels - USA - Dodge's Cummins and Ford's Powerstroke

USA -Autoblog,by Eric Bryant -Feb 27th 2006: -- Until GM grabbed the Duramax from Isuzu a few years ago, there were only two names that needed to be considered when talking about heavy-duty light-truck diesel power - Cummins and Powerstroke. While the Cummins has been through some revamps and the Powerstroke was completely redesigned for 2003, both engines maintain a fierce loyalty that goes beyond the nameplate of the truck in which they're installed. In fact, it's nearly impossible to overstate the importance of these engines in this particular segment of the market. Let's dive right in and see what makes these engines tick (or is that 'clatter and roar?')...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* Delphi posts $115 million U.S. operating loss in January
DETROIT,Mich,USA -Automotive News, by Dave Barkholz -28 Feb 2006: Delphi Corp. posted a $115 million U.S. operating loss in January, bringing the distressed supplier's U.S. operating losses to $862 million in the period between its Oct. 8 Chapter 11 filing and Jan. 31...
* Tower asks judge to void union pacts
DETROIT,Mich,USA -The DetroitNews/Associated Press, by Dee-Ann Durbin -Febr 28, 2006: Tower Automotive Inc. on Monday asked a judge to cancel its union contracts as part of its restructuring in bankruptcy court, a spokeswoman for the auto supplier said...

* Chrysler sees flat 2006 sales
GENEVA,Switzerland -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Chrysler, the U.S. division of DaimlerChrysler AG, expects stable sales in 2006 before a rise in 2007, its president and CEO said on Tuesday. "For the total market in the U.S., we see ourselves as very stable (this year). In 2007, we see our volume going quite a bit higher," Tom LaSorda told reporters at the Geneva motor show...

* Nissan China JV to up output capacity
TOKYO,Japan -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Japan's Nissan Motor Co. said on Tuesday it would spend 600 million yuan ($74.6 million) to raise capacity at its Chinese joint venture car assembly plant by 80 percent to 270,000 units by the end of this year...

* Mazda says February global sales up 10%
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Mazda Motor Corp. said on Tuesday its sales rose 10 percent in February, driven by growth in Europe...

* Dacia to boost sales, models
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Dacia, the Romanian subsidiary of Renault which makes the runaway success, no-frills Logan, plans to boost sales and roll out new models, its managing director, Luc Alexandre Menard, said on Tuesday...

* Toyota eyes move into low-cost cars
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: -- Toyota Motor Corp. is considering making low-cost cars that could help woo customers in emerging markets, President Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters on Tuesday...

* Toyota: Lexus European sales advance
GENEVA,Switzerland -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Toyota Motor Corp. expects sales in Europe of its premium Lexus brand to rise to 65,000 units by 2010 from around 45,000 this year, Toyota Motor Europe Executive Vice-President Takis Athanasopoulos told Reuters on Tuesday...

* BMW CEO sees solid 2006 financials
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Germany's BMW, the world's largest premium carmaker, is confident it will post solid financial results in the current year, its chief executive told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday...

* Peugeot 207 sales will hit 500,000 in '07
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Peugeot aims to sell 500,000 units in 2007 of its 207 compact car that received its world premiere at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday...

* GM expects Europe market share growth in 2006
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: General Motors expects an increase in its European market share this year, the automaker's Europe chief, Carl-Peter Forster, said on Tuesday. "We are certainly (looking) for share growth in Cadillac," he told reporters at the Geneva auto show. "Saab could grow or at least maintain its share"...

* Audi grows deliveries by a fifth in Jan.-Feb.
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: Volkswagen's premium Audi brand increased car sales in the first two months of this year by a fifth to 131,000 vehicles, even before the hotly anticipated launch of its Q7 offroader in March...

* Zetsche: Mercedes Feb. European sales look good
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: European sales at DaimlerChrysler's premium Mercedes Car Group division were pleasing in February after a weak start to the year, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told reporters on Tuesday...

* Audi CEO: SEAT will see profit in 1-2 years
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: The chief executive of Volkswagen's premium Audi unit said on Tuesday he expected its loss-making Spanish unit, SEAT, to return to a profit within the next 1-2 years...

* Smart ramps up ForTwo output
GENEVA,Swiss -Reuters -28 Feb 2006: -- DaimlerChrysler's Smart small-car business is ramping up production of its two-seat ForTwo model, given solid demand, Smart division head Ulrich Walker said on Tuesday...

* Nissan picks site for Russian car plant
TOKYO, Japan -Reuters -Feb 28, 2006: Nissan Motor Co. has picked a site for a planned Russian car plant outside of St. Petersburg, Interfax news agency reported...

* Jerry York convinced Saab good for GM
USA -Reuters -27 Feb 2006: Director Jerry York is now convinced the Saab and Hummer brands are good for the automaker, a month after he suggested GM get rid of them, GM's vice chairman of global product development, ...

* Electric car maker Think Nordic declared bankrupt
OSLO, Norway -AP -Feb 28, 2006: The tiny electric car maker Think Nordic AS was declared bankrupt Tuesday, after failing to meet wage and other payment obligations...

* Nissan weighs strategy for commercial trucks
YOKOHAMA, Japan - Automotive News, by James B. Treece -Feb 27, 2006: Nissan Motor Co. has not decided whether its light-commercial vehicles will be sold through Nissan's U.S. and Canadian dealers... Nissan won't launch U.S. sales of light-commercial vehicles before March 31, 2008...

AUTOS' WORLD COMMENT & OPINIONS

* Guess who's spooking the Europeans?
As Japanese and Korean sales grow, everyone else is left to fight over the scraps
GENEVA, Switzerland: Geneva Motor Show, by Neil Winton -28 Feb 2006: -- European car manufacturers are about to whip the dustcovers off their latest creations at the annual Geneva Motor Show, and although they might not yet be dogged by bankruptcy concerns like General Motors and Ford in the U.S., the industry here is fighting a desperate, uphill battle to fend off the same enemy - competition from Asia... European car sales have stagnated in recent years - moving up about 1 percent one year, then down about the same the next. Investment bankers like Sabine Blumel, European analyst for Banca IMI of Italy, expect more of the same in 2006 - "growth” of not much more than about 1 per cent... But this moribund market masks a burgeoning threat... Asian sales have grown steadily, from a 12 percent market share in 2001 to over 17 percent last year... In 2005, Hyundai sold just over 300,000 cars in Europe and its Kia subsidiary just under 250,000. Hyundai has said it wants to more than double sales to 800,000 by 2010. Kia wants to double sales to 500,000 by 2008... Investment banker Morgan Stanley points out that the traditional barriers to competition in Europe with the elimination of the Block Exemption by the European Union are shaking up the business model. The co-called Block Exemption allowed many monopolistic and protectionists practices, but they were outlawed a couple of years ago... Capital spending by Europeans is at a 10-year low, according to Morgan Stanley... S&P said that the tough conditions in Europe underline the profit performance gap between general and premium manufacturers like BMW, which are likely to retain their above average profit margins...


* GM and Ford roll out new ideas for Europe
GENEVA, Switzerland: Geneva Motor Show, by Christine Tierney -28 Feb 2006: -- General Motors Corp. is putting order into itsEuropean lineup, slotting Chevrolet as an entry-level brand that allows the German Opel nameplate to move a bit higherand strengthen the pricing of its vehicles... At the Geneva motor show Tuesday, GM Europe unveiled the sporty Opel GT built on the same architecture as the Saturn Sky on the first press reviewday as well as a Chevrolet Captiva crossover developed at low cost by GM Daewoo in South Korea... GM's Saab brand displayed the Aero X concept coupe, which it unveiled Monday evening. The striking coupe is not expected to go into production but features design cues that are likely to appear on future Saab vehicles, assuming that Saab has a future...


* It's a thin line between profit and loss
USA -Automotive News, by Edward Lapham -Feb 27, 2006: -- The financial fate of car dealers frequently reflects what's going on with their factories during good times and bad... Right now for example, a lot of Ford, Lincoln-Mercury and Chevy dealers in the United States are finding it tough to make a buck, while most Toyota dealers are having another pretty darned good year... Thinner margins were among the most common gripes during the make meetings at NADA. Sometimes the thin margins are because new-vehicle sales are lousy, and sometimes it's because an automaker has changed its pricing structure and reduced the difference between the wholesale price the dealer pays and the sticker price... When that happens, margins get smaller, and even dealers selling the most successful, upscale brands can get squeezed, whether in North America or Europe... In Germany, for example, franchised BMW dealers are going bankrupt while the factory rings up record profits. Last year six BMW dealerships declared themselves insolvent, and 22 others just went away... The reason for the problem in Germany is simple, according to Automobilwoche, a German-language publication that ir's published by Crain Communications Inc.: Stores owned by the factory are competing aggressively with the independent dealerships. That destroys the profit margin... You see, even in the car business, it's tough to beat the house...

2006-02-27

Warning - Germany - Token strikes planned at 3 big German firms

BERLIN,Germany -Automotive News (USA)/Reuters/Frankfurter Allegemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper -Feb 27, 2006: -- Warning strikes will begin on Wednesday, March 1, at three major German companies as engineering union IG Metall tries to put pressure on employers in wage talks already underway, a senior union leader told a Sunday newspaper... The warning strikes in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg will affect DaimlerChrysler, Porsche and Bosch, which have tens of thousands of employees...

Collaboration - USA - Detroit Diesel and Freightliner LLC Demonstrate EPA '07 Readiness

With Extensive Testing and Close Collaboration

PORTLAND, Ore.,USA -PRNewswire/Auto News -Feb 27, 2006: -- Detroit Diesel Corporation and Freightliner LLC today announced that their joint testing activities are the cornerstone for a successful launch of new engines in 2007 to meet the new emissions standards... Detroit Diesel and Freightliner's testing program is comprised of various components, including: test cell dynamometers, reliability testing, durability testing, and an extensive customer demonstration program. In total across all three engines, more than 24 million test miles will be accumulated before launch in 2007...

AUTOS' WORLD COMMENTS & OPINIONS

* Auto woes cross borders - Like the U.S., Europe faces job cuts, Asian onslaught

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Christine Tierney -26 Feb 2006: -- The models and brands are different, and so are the languages. But the litany of problems sounds the same... As Wolfgang Bernhard enumerated the challenges he's tackling at Volkswagen AG, he could have been describing the difficulties he faced as the former No. 2 at DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group: Bloated costs, vehicle quality that isn't up to snuff, excess production capacity, rigid work rules and relentless Japanese and South Korean rivals... Across western Europe, car manufacturers are under the same pressure as Detroit's automakers to overhaul operations, shift production to low-wage regions and cut jobs to better compete against Asian carmakers... Just as General Motors Corp.'s downsizing plans cast a pall over the North American International Auto Show last month, the looming restructurings in Europe will be a dominant theme at the Geneva motor show this week... (Photo: Output at DaimlerChrysler's Smart plant in Hambach, France is falling well below capacity, contributing to the unit's financial troubles.)



* E85 fuel has big appeal, but do numbers add up?
Detroit,Mich,USA - The Detroit News, by Daniel Howes -Feb 26, 2006: -- Detroit's automakers have a new religion. Its colors are maize, as in corn, and good ol' environmental green... Turbo-charged by the Bush administration's self-evident declaration that "America is addicted to oil," Motown is using newspaper ads, CEO speeches and production plans to build consensus around a new fuel that's not so new... E85 contains 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol that can be manufactured right here at home -- as soon as (if?) more people can be persuaded to invest in the infrastructure to make and sell the stuff... E85 has to be as much as 30 percent cheaper than gasoline to be viable. That's easy if instability and demand keep oil expensive, but less so if prices ebb because global turmoil subsides or ethanol production ramps up in the United States... Two things here: First, if reducing national dependence on Middle East oil is a goal, increasing taxes on gasoline isn't the only way to get there. Gas-electric hybrid vehicles are an option; clean diesel engines are an option; ethanol and bio-fuels distilled from grass to vegetable oil are an option -- and all of them deserve scrutiny... Second, as much as Detroit rightly sees forces aligning in favor of E85, there's equally powerful evidence suggesting the hometown automakers are making it tougher for themselves to be heard in Washington... A new report by JPMorgan says plant closings and job cuts by GM, Ford and Chrysler have "weakened" their "ability to shape political outcomes."... By 2008, only eight states could be home to major Detroit-based plants. As many as six states -- and their 12 senators -- could see Detroit-owned plants disappear...


* Nader Rebukes Domestic Auto Industry for Failure to Innovate, Says Solution to Industry Quagmire is in Safety, Fuel Economy Engineering
WASHINGTON,DC,USA -U.S. Newswire -Feb. 27, 2006: -- Today Ralph Nader issued a stinging indictment of the domestic auto industry's failure to stimulate innovation, "Innovation and Stagnation in Automotive Safety and Fuel Efficiency."... The report details glaring oversights by the auto industry, identifying specific missed opportunities in the areas of safety and fuel economy, and provides a blueprint to jolt the domestic industry out of its downward slide... Nader, a longtime auto safety pioneer, is issuing the report now to call on automakers to reverse decades-long trends of putting marketing hype before engineering quality-ignoring advanced product designs and stifling innovation from parts suppliers. "General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have always preferred to squeeze their suppliers on price rather than seek technological improvements. It's a short-term, bully's approach to a business relationship that should be collaborative, cooperative, and dynamic. Even as some Japanese and European manufacturers prove that advanced technology sells -- especially in safety and fuel efficiency -- the market-shrinking domestic auto industry thinks that the only path to profitability is penny pinching on parts."... The report also underscores the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's foot-dragging on new safety and fuel economy technologies. "NHTSA schedules the standardization of safety technology that's already commercially available -- it doesn't challenge manufacturers to deliver innovative solutions," Nader said...


* Georgia Gets Kia Nod?
USA -THe Car Connection, by Peter Chang and Marty Padgett -27 Feb 2006: -- South Korea's second-largest automaker, Kia Motors, is considering building its planned U.S. plant in the state of Georgia, not in Mississippi, a local report from the latter state said... If Georgia does win the battle of state incentives, it will be out of keen economic need. The state is faced with the loss of about 5000 jobs in the next two years as Ford closes the Hapeville plant that builds the Taurus and the Doraville plant that builds GM minivans. Both plants are in the metro Atlanta area, while the site of the new Kia plant would likely be a Greenfield location on the I-85 corridor linking Atlanta and Montgomery, Ala., the site of Kia sister company Hyundai's new assembly plant. Georgia is also facing the bankruptcy of Delta Airlines and the loss of a huge military base within the city, Fort McPherson..

TRUCKING'S WORLD NEWS

* Peru - "Bus-Trucks" notoriously dangerous
Lima,PERU -The Chicago Tribune (USA) -26 Feb 2006: Flatbed trucks that have been modified into bus-trucks known here as "bus-camiones" are notoriously dangerous and were banned in 2002... Bus companies, however, found a loophole in the law to keep them on the road... When 45 people died in two accidents Feb. 14, one involving a bus-truck, police launched a nationwide raid to confiscate the vehicles, but drivers kept them off the roads... Most buses of any kind here are poorly maintained and risky...

* Judge asked to block P&O takeover

London,UK -Breaking News (Ireland) -27 Feb 2006: A High Court judge in London was asked today to block the controversial takeover of shipping giant P&O by Dubai Ports World (DPW)... Objections to the takeover were raised by Miami-based Eller & Co, which has a joint venture agreement with a P&O subsidiary and claims that the deal will harms its interests...

* Mullen continues acquisition strategy, buying three more trucking companies
CALGARY, Canada -CBC News, by JAMES STEVENSON -Feb 24, 2006: Mullen Group Income Fund, says continued acquisitions are the only way to grow its business in the frenzied oilpatch where its existing trucking and services divisions are already going flat out... Late Thursday, southern Alberta-based Mullen announced that it was buying three more small western Canadian trucking firms for $31 million... The three trucking companies that Mullen hopes to have finalized by the end of February were not named. But they include a Saskatchewan-based crude oil transporter, a Calgary-based heavy haul business and a flat-deck carrier out of Edmonton...

* Summit seeks some solutions
Manitoba, Canada -Brandon Sun, by Matt Goerzen -Febr 25, 2006: Canada’s running short of qualified truck drivers, but a cross-section of Canada’s trucking industry, government agencies and training institutions have banded together to try easing the pain... “We are entering a time in the transportation industry where we are looking at the potential loss of 3,000 drivers per month,” said Roy Craigen, chairman of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council...

* Carrier Transicold award top prize in technical achievement
TAMPA, Fla.;USA -Truck News, by: Adam Ledlow -24 Feb 2006: Deltek hybrid diesel electric technology from Carrier Transicold won top honours in technical achievement from the Truck Writers of North America at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations...

* Dongfeng Honda Completes Auto Plant Expansion - Increases Annual Production Capacity to 120,000 Units
Tokyo, Japan -JCN Newswire via COMTEX -Feb 27, 2006: Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., the automobile production and sales joint venture of Honda and Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. in China, yesterday celebrated completion of the construction to expand its automobile plant in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. The annual production capacity of the plant was quadrupled from the previous 30,000 units to 120,000 units...

* Daimler may launch Smart minicar in U.S.
FRANKFURT,Germany -CNN Money/Reuters -Feb 26, 2006: The car manufacturer is also considering selling the unit... DaimlerChrysler is leaning in favor of launching its struggling Smart minicar brand in the United States, its chief executive told a German newspaper on Sunday... Smart narrowed its operating loss in 2005 from about 600 million euros ($714 million) in 2004, Zetsche told an analyst conference call earlier this month...

* Mazda, Ford eye stake in each other
Shanghai,China -Shanghai Daily, by Jin Jing -28 Feb. 2006: Cooperation between Mazda Motors Corp and Ford Motors Corp in China will become more intensive as both parties are looking forward to acquiring a stake in each other's company... Yin Jiaxu, chairman of Chang'an Motor Corp, the 50-50 joint venture formed by Ford and its only domestic partner, Chang'an Group, said Chang'an Ford would buy a stake in FAW Mazda Motor Sales Corp, Mazda's venture with First Auto Works Corp... Without giving details on the proportion of shares for each side, he disclosed that the stake transfer was under government approval... At the same time, Mazda, one-third owned by the Ford Motor Corp, said it would acquire a stake in Chang'an Ford Motors Corp...

* Ford Sued in Argentina, Charged With Kidnapping and Torture During 1970s and 1980s
BUENOS AIRES,Argentine -Edmunds.com -27 Feb 2006: The Ford Motor Company is being accused of some very grave human-rights violations by former workers in Argentina. In a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages and a public apology from Ford Argentina and the Ford Motor Company, the workers claim members of the Argentine military kidnapped 24 workers from inside a Ford plant in General Pacheco, near Buenos Aires...


Safety - USA - Delphi Provides Advanced Collision Warning System

For New European Ford Models

TROY, Mich.,USA -Rhe Auto Channel -Feb. 27, 2006: -- Delphi Corp. announced that it will provide its Forewarn(R) Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning (with audible and visible warnings) and Collision Mitigation (by pre-charging the braking system) for Ford of Europe's all-new Galaxy and S-MAX family vehicles. Ford will market the optional system to customers as Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert... Delphi's Forewarn Smart Cruise Control measures the distance and relative speed of the vehicle ahead using a radar sensor located in the front of the vehicle...

Discrimination ? - USA - Female driver claims huge gender barrier remains in industry

Manitoba, Canada -The Brandon Sun, by Matt Goerzen -Feb 25, 2006: -- A newly licensed long-haul driver says it’s extremely difficult to land a job with a trucking company in Westman, and it’s not just because firms look for people with at least two to three years experience behind the wheel of a big rig... “I was told 80 per cent of the reason is because I’m a female,” said Brandon resident and long-haul hopeful Sherri Green, who has been sending resumes to trucking companies all over Westman and Winnipeg since August to try to find a job... While she has a job lined up in Winnipeg that could start next month, she said the last six months have been a nightmare...

Plan - Philippines - Color-coded garbage trucks eyed

Baguio,Philippines -Sun Star -Feb 27, 2006: -- The Baguio City Council committee on environment is pushing for the adoption of a comprehensive solid waste management program... In Balajadia's proposal, color-coded garbage trucks would collect the segregated waste in every household or establishment at a given day. Green trucks would collect recyclable waste, red trucks for waste that could be converted into compost and blue trucks, equipped with hydromex machine, would collect toxic waste. A hydromex machine could melt or shred toxic waste and its byproduct could be used as mixture for the manufacture of hollow blocks or other construction materials. Rubber could be melted and used as additive in asphalt...

Cleaner Air - USA - Garbage trucks to smell better soon

SAN LEANDRO,Cal,USA -Tri Valley Herald -26 Feb 2006: -- A partnership between the city and Alameda County Industries will soon result in cleaner air for residents... Through the collaboration, the City Council applied for and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the local air districts Transportation Fund for Clean Air... The filters will reduce particulate emissions by 85 percent, McCrea said...

2006-02-25

Port Security - USA - Dubai firm: We're not a threat

DP World released a statement that the company is a first-rate port operator that doesn't threaten American security

USA -Miami Herald, by Steve Harrison -25 Feb 2006: -- Facing blistering criticism over its purchase of terminals at six U.S. ports -- including the Port of Miami-Dade -- executives of Dubai Ports World have been exporting their own message this week: The firm is a deep-pocketed, skilled port operator that poses no threat to American security... 'We're a poster child for globalization,'' DP World executive Vice President Michael Moore said in a phone interview from Washington D.C.... ``Three of the members of the board are American. Two are Indians. One is a Dutchman. Two are British. Three are Emiratees.''... DP World said Thursday it would hold off taking over the American port terminals even after its $6.8 billion purchase of the British firm P&O Ports closes on Thursday.

Takeover - USA - Dubai Firm May Delay Ports Takeover Deal

Administration, Under Criticism, Scrambles to Gain Support

USA -TTNews/Washington Post -24 Feb 2006: -- The United Arab Emirates company seeking to take over management of six U.S. ports offered late Thursday to delay part of its $6.8 billion deal as the Bush administration said it would agree to a delay for the deal, which is facing intense political opposition... The move by international ports-management firm Dubai Ports World may give the administration to try to sway the takeover plan’s many critics — who range from local to state to federal lawmakers of both major political parties — that the planned deal does not present an avenue for terrorists, reported....

Jobs - Canada - Seek Ways to Retain and Recruit Drivers:

Canada -Truckline Express -24 Feb 2006: -- Canadian carriers have tried everything to hold onto their drivers, including paying their tuition. ATA Safety & Loss Prevention Management Council members can read more in the

Penalties - USA - PHMSA Revises Hazmat Ones

USA -Truckline Express -Feb 24, 2006: -- The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule Feb. 17 revising the civil and criminal penalties as required by the Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Reauthorization Act, enacted on August 10, 2005, as part of the highway reauthorization bill. The final rule implements the following statutory changes: (1) The maximum civil penalty was increased to $50,000 for a knowing violation and to $100,000 if the violation results in death, serious illness or severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property; (2) The minimum civil penalty has been reduced to $250, except a minimum civil penalty of $450 applies to a violation related to training; (3) Criminal penalties now apply to both reckless and willful violations of Federal hazardous material transportation law or the regulations, orders, special permits, and approvals issued thereunder; (4) The maximum criminal penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine in accordance with Title 18 of the United States Code ($250,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a corporation) was retained, except the maximum time of imprisonment has been increased to 10 years in any case in which the violation involves the release of a hazardous material that results in death or bodily injury to a person. The rule also revises PHMSA's hazmat transportation civil penalty guidelines (Appendix A to 49 CFR part 107). The final rule is effective immediately...

TRUCKING'S WORLD NEWS

* Trailer orders positive, but off pre-buy pace of trucks
NEW YORK,NY,USA -Today's Trucking -23 Feb 2006: Trailer orders were better than expected this January, despite lagging behind class-8 tractor sales, according to Bear Stearns, a leading global investment banking, securities trading and brokerage firm in the U.S... Demand is firm, but trailer OEs challenge is earnings... While the news is a positive signal for underlying trailer demand, the firm says total trailer orders were up 4.0 percent from last year's monthly mark compared to class 8, which is up 35.0 percent...

* Navistar Signs $1.5B Loan Agreement
WARRENVILLE, Ill. ,USA -Netscape News/AP -24 Feb 2006: Commercial truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp. said on Friday it has finalized a three-year, $1.5 billion definitive loan agreement... The loan agreement, announced earlier this month and signed on Wednesday, secures a commitment arranged by Credit Suisse. The lender group includes JP Morgan Chase Bank, Banc of America Securities and Citigroup Global Markets... Navistar also said on Friday it has launched a cash tender offer to buy back $220 million in 4.75 percent senior notes due 2009...


* ATA Board Agrees to Seek Increases In Size, Weight Limits
TAMPA, Fla.,USA -TTNews -22 Feb 2006: American Trucking Associations’ board of directors endorsed a new truck size and weight policy that backs larger and heavier commercial vehicles, a move association officials said was a first step toward getting the federal limits changed...


* Truck Repossessions High Again in Fourth Quarter
USA -TTNews -22 Feb 2006: Repossessions and liquidations of tractor-trailer trucks nationwide rose in the fourth quarter, Nassau Asset Management said Wednesday... In November, Nassau reported that overall equipment repossessions and liquidations during the first three quarters of 2005 had increased significantly for the first time since 2002... That trend continued in fourth quarter for tractor-trailers, rising 145%, and construction equipment, up 44%, Nassau said...


* New Penn, USF Reddaway to Provide Transcontinental Service
USA -TTNews -22 Feb 2006: Regional less-than-truckload carriers New Penn Motor Express and USF Reddaway said Tuesday they will offer a new transcontinental service, making it easier for customers to get coast-to-coast coverage...


* Velocity Express Takes Fourth-Quarter Loss
USA -TTNews -22 Feb 2006: Package-delivery and supply chain management firm Velocity Express said late Tuesday it lost $3.7 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a $9.2 million loss a year earlier...


* Nippon Express, Mitsubishi Corp to begin China trucking service
TOKYO,Japan -Kyodo News/MarketWatch -Feb 22, 2006: Nippon Express Co. and Mitsubishi Corp., said Wednesday they will jointly engage in trucking services linking 80 cities in China... The new service will be based on a trucking company set up by Mitsubishi in 1996. MC Nittsu China Holdings Co., which was jointly set up last September by Nippon Express and Mitsubishi, will invest in the Mitsubishi trucking service unit to expand its service network to 80 cities including Shanghai and Beijing...

* Transport sector declared industry: Trucking fleet to be upgraded
ISLAMABAD,Pakistan -DAWN -Feb 23, 2006: The government has decided to elevate the transport sector to the status of an industry and formulate an integrated trucking policy whereby ageing trucks would be replaced with new fuel-efficient vehicles and a minimum standard would be observed for loading purposes... It has also decided to revise downwards customs duty on the import of trucks...

Pricing - Australia - Trucks may carry heavier cost burden

Australia -The Australian, by Katharine Murphy -Feb 24, 2006: -- Trucking companies could pay more to shift goods around the country following a Productivity Commission review into how to cope with a dramatic increase in traffic in the next two decades... The amount of freight carried on Australia's road and rail networks is forecast to double between now and 2020. By then, one in four vehicles on our roads will be a truck or a light commercial vehicle as companies shift freight off the rails... The review will consider whether transport pricing should move from uniform charges, like standard road tolls, to a more flexible system that would take into account factors such as the type of vehicle, where the road is located and the time of day...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* GM top officials to get options
Detroit,Mich,USA - Detroit Free Press, by Michael Ellis -Feb 25, 2006: General Motors Corp. granted on Friday CEO Rick Wagoner and other top executives the same number of stock options as last year, despite the automaker's $8.6 billion in losses in 2005... GM gave Wagoner options to buy 400,000 GM shares at a price of $20.90, above Friday's closing price of $19.99 on the New York Stock Exchange...

* DaimlerChrysler CFO's Contract Extended
FRANKFURT, Germany -News Day/AP -Feb 24, 2006: German-American automaker DaimlerChrysler AG said Friday it has extended the contract for its chief financial officer, Bodo Uebber, by five years... Uebber, who has been a member of the company's management board since December 2004, had his contract extended to December 2011. It was originally set to expire December 2006...

* Nissan recalls 475,400 Primeras, X-Trails globally
TOKYO,Japan -Reuters/AN-ANE -24 Feb 2006: Nissan Motor Co. said on Friday it would recall 475,400 units of its Primera sedan and X-Trail SUV globally to fix a faulty fuel filler tube...

* Toyota to build small cars in China in 2008
TOKYO,Japan -Reuters/AN-ANE -24 Feb 2006: Toyota Motor Corp. will add two small cars to its Chinese production lineup in 2008 to ride growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles amid rising oil prices, Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai reported on Friday...

* Audi sees annual China sales of 100,000 within 3 years
CHANGCHUN, China -Reuters/AN-ANE -24 Feb 2006: Audi AG expects to sell 100,000 units annually in China within three years, a senior executive said, as it banks on continued growth in the world's third-largest vehicle market...

* VW gets at least four Europcar bids
FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters/AN-ANE -24 Feb 2006: Volkswagen is very satisfied with the bids it has received for car rental firm Europcar but has not ruled out a public listing for the business, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday...

* BMW cuts Rolls-Royce stake, will post $356 million gain
FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters/AN-ANE -24 Feb 2006: German carmaker BMW will post a one-off, non-cash gain of $356.8 million (300 million euros) in the first quarter of 2006 by selling shares in aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce Plc, it said on Friday...

* Mazda Donates Tribute Hybrids to Orange County Fire Authority in California
Tokyo, Japan -JCN Newswire via COMTEX -Feb 24, 2006: Mazda North American Operations donated 10 clean-burning, fuel efficient Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicles to the Orange County Fire Authority at a ceremony held on February 22, 2006, at the OCFA headquarters in Irvine, California...

AUTOS' COMMENTS & OPINIONS

* Analysts forecast slight sales gain for February
DETROIT,Ill,USA -Automotive News, by Dale Jewett -Feb 24, 2006: -- The U.S. auto industry is expected to post a slight sales gain in February, compared with the same month last year, analysts say. Japanese automakers are likely to bite off a bigger chunk of the market... Two analysts -- David Healy of Burnham Securities Inc. and Jesse Toprak at Edmunds.com -- foresee February sales rising between 1 and 2 percent above the 1.25 million units sold in February 2005... If they are correct, it would mark a higher level of sales in the latter half of the month. U.S. retail auto sales through the first 12 days of February were down 8 percent compared with a year earlier, the Power Information Network unit of J.D. Power and Associates said on Tuesday, Feb. 21... Among the Big 6 automakers, only American Honda Motor Co. posted a retail sales gain in the first half of the month, the research firm said...


* Downbeat news paints false portrait of industry
Toronto,Ont,Canada -The Toronto Star, by Paul Stern: President of the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association -Feb. 25, 2006: -- During the past six months, the automotive industry has attracted some sensational headlines across North America... High energy costs, restructuring efforts, coming losses of manufacturing jobs and the volatility of the SUV market are some of the big news stories that have generated a lot of press... The media generally do a thorough job covering our industry and providing consumers with balanced reporting and insight into a highly complex sector. When it comes to understanding the ins and outs of the auto business, people today have access to a wealth of information... But is too much information always a good thing, at least where car buyers are concerned?... The only constant in the car industry is change; new-car dealers adapt to new situations all the time. It takes up to four years for auto makers to plan a new vehicle launch, during which time any number of factors could affect the eventual success — or failure — of that vehicle... In many cases, manufacturers get it right and a model's sales are strong. Sometimes, they aren't so lucky... If you feel overwhelmed by the plethora of models out there, try creating a manageable short list of your top choices... Remember, you are the ultimate decision maker when buying a car. Don't allow dramatic news stories or market predictions to interfere with your purchasing decision... Throughout the selection process, your lifestyle, your driving habits and your budget should be foremost in your mind — not the latest headlines...


* GLOBAL TRADE: Tariff on trucks backed
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit Free Press, by Justin Hyde -Feb 23, 2006: -- Thailand pact could result in flood of pickups... Detroit's automotive industry is raising a ruckus over trade talks that it says threaten thousands of American jobs by opening the U.S. market to cheap pickups from Thailand... The carmakers, the United Auto Workers and their allies in Congress are reviving efforts to pressure the Bush administration to retain a 25% tax on imported pickups as it tries to reach a free-trade agreement this year with Thailand -- a deal that would normally do away with all such taxes... The union also notes that 200,000 auto jobs have disappeared since 2001, with GM and Ford prepared to pare another 60,000 this year... But opponents of the tariff note that large foreign automakers already build a variety of pickups in North America, and that the smaller, diesel-powered trucks assembled in Thailand aren't suited to the U.S. market...

2006-02-24

Aging tires USA - Spark new safety concern

Michelin, Continental, latest to set 10-year limit -- Rotate tires as recommended by vehicle manufacturer or every 5,000 miles -- Check tire pressure monthly

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Scott Burgess -23 Feb 2006: -- Major U.S. tire manufacturers have a new warning for consumers and dealers: Any tire made before 1996 should be swinging from a tree... Michelin USA and Continental Tire North America Inc. have become the latest manufacturers to issue technical bulletins to dealers calling for the replacement of all tires 10 years or older... Some automakers -- including Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG -- advise owners that tires be replaced after six years...

Figures - UK - Numbers of eastern European trucks soar

Brinkworth,Wiltshire,UK -Transport Intelligence/FTA -24 February 2006: -- New UK government figures for 2005 indicate an increase in the number of foreign lorries working on UK roads... The UK’s Freight Transport Association estimates that over one in ten of the heaviest vehicles operating in the UK comes from overseas. The latest figures show that most of the increased traffic comes from the new EU accession states which joined in May 2004... Their numbers soared by 62% in 2005 against a 4% fall from other EU member states... The FTA is concerned that foreign vehicles pay zero taxes in the UK, very rarely buy fuel in the UK (because of cheaper duty levels in Europe), operate on relatively cheap labour and are thus able to offer haulage rates impossible for the UK industry to match without endangering their viability... The report is not all bad news for the UK industry, with figures showing journeys by UK international hauliers returning to levels last seen in 2001... However, the relative economy of using foreign haulage to deliver to the UK is demonstrated by the continuing fall in the numbers of unaccompanied trailers arriving in the UK, down again by three per cent. The figures suggest that it is cheaper to send a vehicle, driver and load to the UK than to ship the trailer to a UK port to be collected by a UK domestic haulier subject to UK costs...

Ranking - USA - Toyota Places Among Most-Admired Companies

USA -Forbes/The Car Connection -22 Feb 2006: -- Toyota ranked ninth on Fortune magazine's annual Most Admired Companies list. It marks the first time a non-U.S. company cracked the top 10. The magazine ranked 303 companies... DaimlerChrysler, which made the list, is sort of an American company. General Motors and Ford did not rank in the top half of the motor vehicle segment and weren't ranked in the overall list... The top five in motor vehicles were: Toyota, BMW, Honda, Nissan, and DaimlerChrysler. Ford ranked number six, while GM finished number nine, between heavy-truck manufacturers: Paccar Inc. and Navistar International...

2006-02-23

TRUCKINGS' WORLD NEWS

* Goodyear announces Highway Hero finalists
USA -Fleet Owner -Feb 22, 2006: Goodyear North America has announced the four finalists for its North America Highway Hero Award, which recognizes truck drivers who perform acts of heroism while on the job.... And the finalists are: ** Michael Knott of Casselberry, FL, a driver for FedEx Ground... ** Douglas Crawford of Ashford, AL, a driver for Saia Motor Freight... ** Danny R. Wallen of Conover, OH, a driver for ABF Freight Systems Inc.... ** Robert A. Starr, of North Troy, VT, a driver and owner of Starr’s Transportation...

* CNF contemplates name change
USA -Fleet Owner -Feb 22, 2006: San Mateo, CA-based transportation conglomerate CNF Inc. is proposing to shareholders a name change to Con-Way Inc. and to adopt CNW as the new ticker symbol for the company’s publicly traded stock...

* Hino plant might take root in Canada
USA -AFX News -Feb 21, 2006: Hino Motors Ltd. is considering a plant to assemble trucks in Canada, which would make it the first Japanese company to build trucks in that country, according to an report... Currently Hino is rolling out trucks to the North American market from parent company Toyota Motor Corp.’s plant in Long Beach, CA...

* China and Iran signed biggest ever auto export contract
China -People's Daily News -Feb 23, 2006: China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co., Ltd (CNHTC) singed a $350 million auto exports deal with Iran Khodro Industrial Group on February 21. This is so far the largest export deal inked by a Chinese auto company... In accordance with the contract, CNHTC will export 10,000 Sinotruck-H7 heavy duty trucks to the Iranian car manufacturer this year and will increase the exports by 5% to 20% in the coming 10 years...



* CBP Port Inspection and Surveillance Technologies
USA -Fibre2 Fashion -Feb 22, 2006: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses intelligence and a risk-based strategy to review information on 100 percent of all cargo information entering US ports. All cargo that presents a risk to our country is physically inspected using large x-ray and radiation detection equipment...

* CEO, founder sells trucking firm Comtrak Logistics for $48 million
Memphis, Tenn,USA -The Commercial Appeal, by Jane Roberts -Feb. 22, 2006: Mike Bruns, chief executive officer and founder of Comtrak Logistics, has sold the trucking company he started in 1983 for $48 million to Hub Group Inc., the largest intermodal marketing firm in the nation...

* Bird flu causes heavy loss to truck owners
New Delhi,India -Chennai On Line -Feb 22, 2006:
Truckers have been hit by the bird flu scare in various parts of the country with the restriction on movement of chicken causing losses of around Rs 150-200 crore over the last five days, according to a study of Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT)... The foundation, which carried out a survey over the last five days to examine the impact of bird flu on operations of truck business dedicated to poultry/hatchery trade, said currently there were 70,000 light and heavy trucks engaged in moving the poultry products all over the country... It said as many as 20,000 light trucks with load capacity ranging 7.5-10 tonnes gross load capacity are engaged in ferrying chicken in specially designed cargo body, with cages mounted on them to provide ventilation to the birds. On the other hand, 16.2 tonnes capacity heavy trucks are engaged in moving eggs in crates on closed body structure...

* New Orleans' raison d'être
USA -Strategic Forecasting, by George Friedman -23 Feb 2006: New Orleans is battered and submerged today. But it will rise again because it is — and always has been — the single most important cog in the nation's economy. Today, the Port of South Louisiana is the largest port in the United States by tonnage, and the fifth-largest port in the world. A large percentage of the bulk farm commodities of the upper Midwest are still loaded on barges and shipped down the Mississippi to be offloaded onto cargo ships near New Orleans. Massive cargo shipments come to the United States through the port as well. Steel, cement, rubber — the nuts and bolts of American industrialism — all flow upriver... The alternative shipping routes for these goods aren't a good substitute. There aren't enough trucks or railroad cars to haul these materials long distance, and other U.S. ports don't have the capacity to make up for New Orleans, even if they had the rivers. Only river transport is cheap enough to be economically viable, and only river transport can handle the tonnage involved...

* Bush, Snow Didn't Learn of Port Deal Before Approval
USA -Bloomberg -Feb. 22, 2006: President George W. Bush didn't know of the sale of six major U.S. port facilities to a Dubai company until after the deal was agreed to and federal approval was granted, his spokesman said. Treasury Secretary John Snow said he learned of it ``by reading it in the newspapers.'' ... Bush was made aware of the $6.8 billion sale of London- based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, in ``the last several days,'' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. By that time, congressional opposition already was bubbling up...

Ecologicals - Europe - Volvo Trucks' Belgium Plant to be Carbon Dioxide Free

Volvo Trucks has decided to make its truck assembly plant, entirely free of carbon dioxide

Ghent, Belgium -TNN (UK) -22 Feb 2006: -- Three wind-power generating stations will be built beside the plant along with a new biofuel production facility to supply electricity and heating without making any net contribution to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere... The Volvo Trucks assembly plant in Ghent, Volvo Europa Truck NV, currently relies mainly on natural gas for its heating. In order to make the plant free of carbon dioxide emissions, it will switch entirely to environmentally compatible energy sources...

Alloweds - USA - Appeals court rejects state's ban of big trucks on local roads

TRENTON, N.J.,USA -Associated Press/Newsday, by JEFFREY GOLD -Feb 22, 2006: -- Big rigs passing through New Jersey must be allowed to roll on local roads, according to a federal appeals court ruling that invalidated the state's effort to restrict double-trailer trucks and many tractor-trailers to major highways. The 7-year-old ban violates the U.S. Constitution's "commerce clause" since New Jersey is discriminating against interstate commerce, according to the unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

China News
* Auto export keeps vigorous growth momentum
China -People's Daily News -Feb 21, 2006: The two-way trade of China auto industry in 2005 has witnessed sharp changes: on one hand the market demand on imported cars continued to shrink; on the other hand auto export continued momentum of fast growth... News from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said that the volume of foreign exchanges earned through exporting cars has maintained vigorous growth... Driven by fast auto and parts exports, China has netted a total of 19.715 billion US dollars...

* FAW exports nearly 15,000 vehicles in 2005
China -People's Daily News -Feb 15, 2006: Since topping 10,000 units in export of whole cars in 2004 First Automobile Works (FAW) saw considerable growth of whole-vehicle export in 2005 both in terms of quantity and trade value. According to statistics, FAW exported 14,256 vehicles in 2005, up by 40 percent year on year...

PRODUCTS' WORLD NEWS

* New Shell Donax TX transmission fluid
USA -Fleet Owner -Feb 22, 2006: -- Shell Lubricants has introduced Shell Donax TX, a heavy-duty semi-synthetic automatic transmission fluid. It is designed for use in Allison heavy-duty automatic transmissions and those of other heavy-duty transmission manufacturers... The transmission fluid offers a high performance additive package that allows for extended drain intervals up to 100,000 miles in normal service, said Shell Lubricants. Field trials of equipment with Allison heavy-duty automatic transmissions have shown a drain period of 50,000 miles in severe service to be appropriate...


* ArvinMeritor releases composite spring suspension
USA -Fleet Owner -Feb 21, 2006: -- ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems has announced the availability of its new Meritor SimilAir composite trailer spring, a composite mechanical spring set to compete with air suspensions in linehaul and general service applications...

2006-02-22

Earnings - USA - Navistar may have to restate its

Truckmaker offers to buy back bonds

The Chicago Tribune, by James P. Miller -Feb 22, 2006: -- Navistar International Corp. on Tuesday warned investors that the dispute with its outside auditor means it might have to restate previous years' results and that it remains unable to provide guidance about earnings for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31... The Warrenville-based truckmaker reiterated that it is making progress in resolving its protracted standoff with Deloitte & Touche LLP. A spokesman declined to elaborate on the possibility of a restatement... Navistar also launched an offer to buy back more than a billion dollars of senior bonds that creditors claim are in default...

AUTOS' WORLD NEWS

* UAW warns GM workers of bogus buyout article
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Bill Vlasic -Feb 22, 2006: Fabricated story, purportedly by News reporter, is circulating in at least 5 plants; source is unknown.... The United Auto Workers is warning workers to disregard a bogus news article touting union buyout offers at General Motors Corp. that has been circulating on the shop floor of at least five GM plants in recent days... The article is titled "General Motors Likely to Offer Substantial Buy-Outs" and is supposedly written by Brett Clanton of the Detroit Free Press. Clanton covers the auto industry for The Detroit News, not the Free Press. Neither newspaper has published any story resembling the content of the fake article, dated Feb. 16, 2006... The story purports to quote Gettelfinger as saying a meeting with Wagoner produced "a turning point in the auto industry." It also outlines a specific set of buyout options for workers of various seniority levels...

* Sales of big pickups are beginning to stall
Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Brett Clanton -22 Feb 2006: Half of full-size pickups on the market saw sales decline in 2005; nearly all stumbled out of the gate in 2006... But despite a fiercely loyal customer base, full-size pickups have started to lose steam in what could be a troubling sign for Detroit's automakers... Half of full-size pickups on the market saw sales decline in 2005, and nearly all models stumbled out of the gate in 2006. Unsold trucks are piling up at dealerships, and several automakers, including Nissan Motor Co., have been forced to cut truck production...

* Chrysler ad firm cuts 200 workers

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by Josee Valcourt -Feb 22, 2006: BBDO also will move some assignments related to automaker's accounts out of its Troy office... Chrysler Group's lead advertising agency, BBDO Worldwide, has cut roughly 200 jobs at its Troy office in a streamlining move that mirrors cost-cutting measures being made by Detroit automakers... BBDO also plans to move some creative assignments related to its Chrysler accounts to other sites, including its main New York office...

TRUCKING'S WORLD NEWS

* AWB-owned Queensland trucking company up for sale
Queensland,Australia -Supply Chain Review -21 Feb 2006: A Queensland trucking company owned by embattled wheat exporter AWB has been put on the market... AWB has confirmed it is looking for prospective buyers for Johnstone River Transport , based at Mourilyan near Innisfail, which carts sugar cane, limestone and fertiliser throughout the state... QTA Executive Director Peter Garske agrees drivers must be responsible for their actions on the road... And added "The trucking industry will not tolerate the imposition of penalty points for minor log book breaches which are not an indicator of fatigue risk." ...

HOS - Australia - Trucking industry backs fatigue demerit points plan

Queensland,Australia -Supply Chain Review -21 February 2006
The Queensland Trucking Association has cautiously welcomed moves to introduce demerit points for drivers breaching fatigue and driving hours regulations... State Transport Minister Paul Lucas has called for tougher action against drivers for road accidents ahead of today's road safety summit in Brisbane... "The proposal to impose penalty points will discourage any practice by persons other than the driver paying a fine, to encourage unsafe practice and thus leaving the heavy vehicle drivers taking no responsibility for their actions."... "Our industry travels on state roads as of right. Current road law protects drivers who refuse to break the law if encouraged to do so by consignors. Ultimately the driver is in charge of the vehicle on the road." ...

Controversial - Canada - OTA says 70 percent of Ontarians support speed limiters

Critic says group exploiting uninformed public
TORONTO,Ont,Canada -Truck News -21 Feb 2006: -- The Ontario Trucking Association has released a poll to drum up support for its controversial speed limiter proposal that shows over 70 percent of Ontarians support the idea of capping speed on truckers' engines... The two-question survey, conducted by IntelliPulse research firm in Toronto, indicates 71 percent of people in the province either "strongly support or somewhat support" mandatory speed limiters on all trucks set at 105 km/h; while 79 percent of the Ontario public believes mandatory speed limiters would have either a "major" or a "minor impact" in improving highway safety...

Old - Hong Kong/China - Container trucking drives into its sunset years

Hong Kong,China -Cargonews Asia, by Greg Knowler -Feb 20, 2006 : -- As if Hong Kong's port didn't have enough to worry about. It emerged earlier this month that the majority of Hong Kong's 40,000 commercial trucking licence holders are over 50 and a large percentage of them are fast approaching the age of 60 when a recent mainland law will bar them from holding the licence... Around 15 percent of Hong Kong's cross-border container truck drivers will be too old in five years. Only 14,500 of the 40,000 licenced drivers in Hong Kong claim to make a living hauling boxes across the border, but it still represents another headache for the city's long-suffering Economic Development and Labour Bureau... But we have a simple solution. Just allow mainland truck drivers to transport containers to and from Hong Kong port... So what happens now? The trucking industry has to somehow attract young blood to an industry where driver incomes have dropped almost 60 percent in the last few years as costs have soared; Hong Kong's share of direct exports is declining; and routine four-hour delays at Dongguan Customs points have made it impossible for drivers to complete more than one trip a day, effectively placing a cap on drivers' potential earnings... So good luck with the recruitment drive, boys. But Hong Kong motorists are likely to see grizzled old faces in their rearview mirrors long before they see any eager mainlanders gripping the wheels...

TechnoNews - USA - Ford's hybrid with hydraulic propulsion system


Hybrids making headway
The down side of gas-electric hybrid cars has been cost and complexity. Now the U.S. environmental watchdog says it has found a simpler, cheaper hybrid technology for motor vehicles
Toronto,Ont,Canada -Toronto Star, by TYLER HAMILTON -Feb. 20, 2006: -- The blogosphere was buzzing last week over a posting at NewTechSpy.com, which claimed that Ford Motor Co. is planning to come out with a hybrid version of its top selling F-150 pickup truck that would get the same mileage as the much smaller Toyota Prius... The secret sauce? Ford's hybrid would be based on a made-in-the-U.S.A. hydraulic propulsion system, rather than the high-tech batteries associated with most hybrid-electric imports. The website claims that Ford will introduce the product in August 2008, though no sources were cited... In a hybrid-hydraulic system envisioned by the EPA, a small gas or diesel engine operates at a constant level and pumps hydraulic fluid into high-pressure cylinders. Pressure is then released to provide acceleration. Energy from braking is also captured in hydraulic form, adding more efficiency to the design... Hydraulic systems provide torque and acceleration that battery-based hybrids can't. But he concedes the technology is ideal for larger vehicles — SUVs, pickups trucks, delivery and fleet vehicles — because elements of the design benefit from a larger chassis...

Overweighteds - USA - Trucks do $99M road damage

Raleigh,NC,USA -News & Observer, by Bruce Siceloff -Feb 21, 2006: -- North Carolina's highways receive $99.2 million in pavement damage each year from trucks that are illegally overweight or are exempt from weight standards, the state Department of Transportation said today... Heavy trucks tear up secondary roads in North Carolina, but state laws have allowed heavier trucks on some roads and cut in half some fines for exceeding weight limits. Drivers who try to dodge the scales on interstates are aided by a shortage of weight enforcement officers...