User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: April 2012
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2012-04-30

ENGINE MAKERS * WORLDWIDE

* USA - Cummins beats Street, sees slow emerging markets 

Columbus,IND,USA -Reuters -May 1, 2012: -- Engine maker Cummins Inc reported a 33 percent rise in quarterly profit and beat expectations due to strength in North America and mining, but its shares slid as the company signaled weakness in emerging markets and left its guidance unchanged... Cummins shares fell 3 percent to 112.30 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange... The company posted net earnings of $455 million, or $2.38 per share, up from $343 million, or $1.75 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had projected $2.22 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S... Sales rose 16 percent to $4.5 billion, compared with analysts' expectations of $4.4 billion... The company affirmed its forecast that earnings before interest and taxes would represent 14.5 percent to 15 percent of sales in 2012, or nearly $3 billion. That compares with $2.56 billion in 2011... 


* India - Greaves Cotton eyes bigger play in diesel engine space 

Mumbai,India -The Economic Times, by Ketan Thakkar -Apr 24, 2012: -- Greaves Cotton, the country's largest small engine supplier to the three wheeler space is proposing to diversify into making small diesel engines for the fast growing passenger car space and bigger engines for light, medium and heavy duty trucks in the country... The company had recently conducted a feasibility study to make an entry into passenger vehicle space (cars, utility vehicles and vans) and it has already started talking to some of the big players in the market...

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2012-04-29

AUTO & TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDDE

* USA- Strong April car sales forecast. Analysts point to demand for smaller cars, better economy

Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Jaclyn Trop and David Shepardson -April 28, 2012: -- April auto sales are expected to be the month's strongest since 2007, driven by consumer demand for smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, several analysts predict... Many automakers and analysts this month hiked their overall forecasts for auto sales, citing growing consumer need and a strengthening economy. Automakers will release their April sales figures on Tuesday... The industry is on pace to complete 14.6 million new car sales this year, up from 13.2 million last year, according to TrueCar. Edmunds.com forecasts 14.4 million for 2012...


* USA / Michigan - Chrysler posts $473 million profit in first quarter 

Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -27 April 2012: -- Chrysler plans to ship between 2.3 million and 2.4 million cars and trucks in 2012 and now estimates full-year net revenue of approximately $65 billion... Chrysler Group LLC posted a net profit of $473 million for the first three months of 2012 Thursday— more than four times as much as the company made during the same period a year ago... Net revenue for January, February and March was up 25 percent to $16.4 billion as Chrysler's global sales increased 33 percent to 523,000 units and it gained two whole points of share in the critical U.S. market...


* USA / Michigan - Ford may buy out retiree pensions. Company says 90,000 former workers qualify for lump sum offer 

Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Jaclyn Trop -April 28, 2012: -- Ford Motor Co., which posted a $1.4 billion first-quarter profit Friday, is offering to buy out the pensions of white-collar retirees to reduce its debt... The move could put Ford closer to an investment grade credit rating that would help it reclaim the assets its mortgaged five years ago — including its Glass House headquarters in Dearborn and the iconic Blue Oval logo... The automaker said it will give 90,000 U.S. salaried retirees and salaried former employees the choice to continue receiving their monthly pension payments or take them in a lump sum. General Motors Co. said it is considering a similar plan...


* USA / Michigan - GM to chop 100 R and D positions

(Photo: The Detroit News, file: Warren Tech Center)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -May 1, 2012: -- General Motors Co. will cut about 100 positions at its global research and development headquarters in Warren and will close a research and development facility in Bangalore, India, as part of a global restructuring, a source familiar with the plans said Monday. GM officials began giving notices to affected Warren Tech Center salaried employees after a meeting Thursday and will continue this week, according to the source. The company has 400 R&D workers at the Tech Center. The layoffs will impact about 25 percent of that work force. Scientists and other employees will have 30 days to apply for other jobs at GM and if they aren't placed in another position, layoffs will occur in early June, according to the source...


* USA / California - Google pitches self-driving cars. Firm in talks with carmakers to develop autos in near future 

Mountain View,CAL,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -April 26, 2012: -- Search-engine giant Google Inc. thinks self-driving cars can be on U.S. roads in the next few years and is in talks with automakers to roll out the cutting-edge technology... Google, is eager to see self-driving vehicles on the nation's roads, and the company could make an announcement about the technology as early as next year... The company could partner with one automaker to offer the technology or it could retrofit a small fleet of vehicles. Google is in talks with major automakers, Anthony Levandowski, Google's driver-less car project manager told reporters after his speech...


* USA - Japanese boosting car output in North America. Automakers step up vehicle launches to tap reviving demand 

Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Christine Tierney -26 April 2012: -- Japan's automakers are leading the increase this year in North American vehicle output as they rebuild their inventories and step up launches of new models to recapture business lost in 2011 when they were struck by natural disasters... The U.S. auto market's stronger-than-anticipated expansion in the first quarter also is driving up demand for Japanese vehicles... Led by Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., Japanese automakers increased their North American vehicle output by 19 percent last month from a year earlier, to 449,000 vehicles. That was more than twice the rate of the industry's 7 percent rise in overall production in the region to 1.38 million vehicles, according to an analysis by J.P. Morgan...

 
* Japan - Auto Sales Surge 

Tokyo,Japan -The WSJ/Auto Industry News, by YOSHIO TAKAHASHI -1st. May 2012: -- Japan's auto sales surged 92% in April from a year earlier, sustaining a strong upward trend as government subsidies helped accelerate the recovery in demand from the lows seen after last year's natural disasters... Japan's domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses swelled to 208,977 vehicles from 108,824 a year earlier in April, outstripping the 78% jump in March with the eighth straight month of increase, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday. The figures don't include sales of mini cars and trucks... 


* Japan - GM, Isuzu to talk on capital tie-up: Nikkei 

Tokyo,Japan -Reuters/The Chicago Tribune (USA) -29 April 2012: -- General Motors Co will begin talks about taking an around 10 percent stake in Isuzu Motors Ltd , as the two carmakers look to jointly sell commercial vehicles in Asia and in Central and South America, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday... If realized, the deal would revive a 35-year capital alliance that was scrapped during GM's 2006 restructuring. It may also prompt Toyota Motor Corp to sell its 5.9 percent stake in the Japanese truck maker because the GM link-up would compete with its own established markets in Asia... Isuzu will end capital tie-up talks with Volkswagen, although it will continue negotiations on supplying pickup trucks to Volkswagen in Thailand, the paper said...


* India - Maruti, Mahindra Post Higher Sales 

New Delhi,India -The WSJ (USA), by NIKHIL GULATI -May 1, 2012:  --  India's car makers began the current financial year on a mixed note with some of them posting higher vehicle sales for April, benefiting from continuous demand for diesel-run models, while recent price increases dented sales at a few others... Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Toyota Motor Co.'s local unit Tuesday reported higher sales in the past month as they cleared pending orders for some of their bestselling diesel-run models...

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2012-04-27

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Germany - Daimler CFO Rejects Takeover Speculation; Earnings Rise 

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 Frankfurt,Germany –Dow Jones Newswires/Fox Business (USA) -April 27, 2012: -- Daimler AG Chief Financial Officer, Bodo Uebber, remained tight-lipped Friday about a possible exit of the German auto maker's largest single shareholder and insisted the company isn't a takeover candidate... German monthly Manager Magazin reported last week that Daimler's largest shareholder, Abu Dhabi's sovereign-wealth fund Aabar Investments PJS, plans to sell its stake though Daimler said it hasn't held any talks with the emirate about a possible exit... Aabar holds a direct stake of 3.1% in Daimler, which rises to about 9% when including shares it lent to third parties related to financing transactions, according to Daimler's corporate website... The emirate of Kuwait is Daimler's second-largest shareholder with a 6.9% stake. Institutional investors held almost 67% and private investors another 20% of Daimler stock as of Feb. 6... A spokesman for Aaber declined to comment... 

 * Germany - Daimler Net Up as Tax, Interest Charges Fall 

Frankfurt,Germany -The WSJ (USA), by CHRISTOPH RAUWALD -April 27, 2012: -- German auto maker Daimler AG's first quarter net rose 26% over a year ago as higher sales, lower interest expenses and a favorable tax rate overcame rising costs of new vehicle development... Daimler reiterated it expects full-year revenue to improve compared with 2011, fueled by higher vehicle sales. It forecasts full-year earnings before interest and taxes, a closely watched measure of operating profit, to be flat with last year as costs for broadening its product lineup ...

* Germany - Daimler to complain over rules confusion 

Frankfurt,Germany -Financial Times, by Chris Bryant and James Wilson -April 29, 2012: -- Daimler is poised to complain to Germany’s financial regulator about new rules on reporting of financial options that the car and truckmaker says have brought confusion among investors... Daimler was obliged to notify investors this month that Deutsche Bank held a 3.6 per cent direct stake in the carmaker but that additional financial instruments in theory granted it a total of almost 18 per cent of the voting rights... The German Securities Trading Act was amended to improve transparency following anger that in 2008 Porsche was able secretly to build a large position to acquire VW shares without informing the market...  


* Sweden - Scania First-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates on Job Cuts 

Soedertaelje,Sweden -Bloomberg, by Ola Kinnander -Apr 24, 2012: -- Scania AB, the Swedish truckmaker controlled by Volkswagen AG, reported first-quarter profit that beat estimates after the company eliminated jobs to prepare for slowing demand and raised prices on some models... Net income fell 29 percent to 1.79 billion kronor ($266 million) from 2.51 billion kronor a year earlier, the Soedertaelje, Sweden-based company said in a statement today. Profit was more than the 1.54 billion-krona average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined 3 percent to 20.1 billion kronor... 


* Germany - MAN SE Q1 profit falls 23 percent 

Munich,Germany -InAutonews, by DUDU -April 20th, 2012: -- German truck maker MAN SE posted first-quarter operating profit of around 250 million euros ($332.5 million) – down 22.9 percent from the prior year, due to the strong competition in several markets... The company confirmed its 2012 forecasts, which include declining sales and returns... Industry-wide European truck sales have tumbled this year as central bankers in countries using the euro predict a recession for the region... Deliveries of heavy trucks dropped 9.2 percent in February, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ...

* Germany - MAN SE has no order cancellations in Europe -CFO 
Berlin,Germany -Reuters -Apr 20, 2012: -- German truck maker MAN SE has no signs of order cancellations in Europe despite the economic slowdown in the region, Chief Financial Officer, Frank Lutz, said on Friday at the company's annual general meeting in Munich...


* India - Daimler opens Indian plant, takes on local rivals 

(Photo from AFP, by Manan Vatsyayana - Bharat Benz trucks are seen on the assembly line in Chennai)
 Oragadam,Chennai,India -AFP, by Francois Becker -Apr 18, 2012: -- Germany's Daimler AG opened its first truck manufacturing plant in India on Wednesday to grab a share of the fast-growing market and challenge top Indian vehicle makers. The plant, at Oragadam near the southern port city of Chennai, will have an initial capacity to manufacture 36,000 vehicles but will eventually nearly double capacity to 70,000...  The German company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, will be going head-to-head against Indian companies Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland... 


* Sweden - Truckmaker Volvo Posts Record Q1 Sales 

Stockholm,Sweden -The Associated Press/ABC News, by LOUISE NORDSTROM -April 26, 2012: -- Swedish truck maker AB Volvo said Thursday that higher costs contributed to a 2 percent drop in profits in the first quarter even though a buoyant performance in North America helped it record its strongest-ever sales for the period... The Goteborg-headquartered group recorded a net profit of 4.01 billion kronor ($595 million) for the first three months of the year, down slightly from the 4.08 billion kronor earned in the same period a year earlier. Costs, and especially those linked to research and development, dragged the bottom-line figure down compared with last year... However, revenues jumped 10 percent to 78.84 billion kronor however — the highest Volvo has ever recorded during a first quarter. They were boosted primarily by sales in the company's key truck unit in North America. The trend in Europe stayed more or less unchanged from the previous year after a fall in demand in the fourth quarter, it said... 


 * India - Volvo-Eicher rolls out medium-duty truck 

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New Delhi,India -The Hindu Bussines Lines -April 20, 2012: -- Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has launched a new medium-duty truck in the 9-9.5 tonne payload segment under its Eicher brand of vehicles...  VECV is an equal joint venture between Eicher and the Swedish truckmaker... Called the ‘Eicher 11.14’, the company expects this to be a “game changer” in the segment because of better operating economics. It sports a modern design and strong features list – power steering, bigger tyres and more power. It also claims best-in-class fuel efficiency...  The new truck aims to bridge the gap between the 12/13 T and 16 T segments, thereby creating a new segment which will attract customers of the 16T market by providing them the benefit of a heavy duty truck with the savings of a medium duty truck...  The Eicher 11.14 can be used as a tanker, for parcel service, machinery transport, pharma and also moving gas cylinders... 


 * UK - IVECO completes MOD truck order
(Photo: An Iveco Trakker Self-Loading Dump Truck with protection)
London,UK -RAC -17 April 2012: -- Truck maker IVECO has completed the final stages of a 206-unit order for the Ministry of Defence (MOD), according to company officials. The Trakker vehicles, will come equipped with a reinforced metal cage around the driver's cab, designed to protect the occupants from RPG and rifle fire. Like their civilian equivalents, the dumper trucks are equipped with a controllable arm for digging and lifting debris from hard-to reach surfaces. While the MOD's new vehicles are likely to be protected covering fire rather than insurance cover in warzones, commercial drivers on the UK's roads are reminded that car insurance is a vital part of vehicle ownership...

* Viet Nam - Thaco takes 51 per cent of Korean special vehicles maker 

Ha Noi,VietNam -Viet Nam News –23 April, 2012: -- The country's largest truck and bus maker Thaco Truong Hai (Thaco) said it had acquired a 51 per cent share in Korean special purpose vehicle maker Soosung... The US$3.5 million deal will help Thaco to expand its production scope to special purpose vehicles like crane trucks, dump trucks and cement mixer trucks... Based in the Korean city of Incheon, Soosong employs 500 people and has an annual sales volume of $10 million... Thaco recently invested US$104 million on a diesel machine production factory using Hyundai technology in an effort to increase the local content in its products... The Quang Nam based company sold 32,000 vehicles last year, accounting for 29 per cent of the local automobile market and earning VND11 trillion ($ 527 millions) in revenue...

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2012-04-26

NEW EMISSIONS RULES * Canada

* Ottawa - Canada Unveils heavy-vehicle emissions rules 

 Ottawa,ONT,CAN -Reuters, by David Ljunggren -Apr 13, 2012: -- Canada, heavily criticized for its environmental record, unveiled long-delayed regulations on Friday that aim to make big trucks and buses up to 23 percent less polluting by 2018... The greenhouse-gas emissions rules - designed to fit with measures already set in the United States - will come into effect starting with the 2014 model year. They will apply to full-size pickups, heavy trucks and buses as well as to cement, garbage and dump trucks... Environment Minister. Peter Kent. said in a speech announcing the rules, new heavy-duty vehicles would be able "to use features like fuel-efficient engines, aerodynamic cabs and idle-reduction technologies that are available right off the shelf" ...

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TRUCKS COMPONENTS TROUBLES * WORLDWIDE

* Germany - Auto and Truck Output Threatened by Resin Shortage After Explosion

(Photo by Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images: Officials are searching for options after a March 31 explosion at chemical maker Evonik Industries AG halved the global source of an ingredient used to make the resin, called PA-12) Marl,Germany -Bloomberg, by Craig Trudell and Mark Clothier -Apr 17, 2012: -- A year after Japan’s tsunami sent global automakers and suppliers into triage mode, another disaster is sending the industry into a search aimed at salvaging this year’s car production... Executives from the world’s largest automakers met today at a summit near Detroit to find alternative sources of resin used to make brake- and fuel-system components. The officials are searching for options after a March 31 explosion at chemical maker Evonik Industries AG halved the global source of an ingredient used to make the resin, called PA-12... At stake is whether automakers can keep assembling cars and trucks after another breakdown in supply chains that are stretched taut around the world to minimize investment and parts inventory. Lost output of parts such as Renesas Electronics Corp.’s semiconductors and paint pigments made by Merck KGaA after Japan’s March 2011 tsunami resulted in disruptions that cost production and sales for automakers around the world... No automaker has announced canceled production yet as a result of the resin shortage, and officials have said they are monitoring their supply chains. GM has a global work team of purchasing and engineering executives looking for alternatives...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA

* Ohio - Slowing Orders Hit Paccar's Kenworth 

Chillicothe,OH,USA -NASDAQ, by BOB TITA -April 11, 2012: -- Heavy-duty truck maker Paccar Inc. plans to cut 10% of the work force at its Chillicothe, Ohio, assembly plant in response to weakening orders for the company's Kenworth trucks... The plant's manager said orders have fallen by 10% recently, causing the company to scale back production at the central Ohio plant. A spokesman for Kenworth confirmed the 10% work force reduction... Industry analysts estimate the plant's headcount at 2,000 to 2,500 people, or about 10% of Paccar's total work force. Washington-based Paccar also makes Peterbilt trucks...


* Illinois - Navistar to expand partnership with Chinese truckmaker JAC 

 Downers Grove,ILL,USA -CCJ (USA) -April 25, 2012: -- At the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2012), Navistar Inc. announced its plans to expand its collaboration with Chinese truckmaker Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC). At a signing ceremony in conjunction with the tradeshow, Navistar and JAC signed non-binding letters of intent (LOI) to partner on new commercial vehicle opportunities: 
• Light-duty truck export opportunities from JAC in China to Navistar dealers in Brazil; and 
• Design, development, manufacturing and distribution of school buses for the Chinese market...
 
 Navistar and JAC are exploring new export opportunities for certain models of JAC’s light- and medium-duty truck line to select Navistar truck dealers in Brazil...

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2012-04-25

TIRES MAKERS NEWS * USA

* USA - Tire Makers' New Home Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental Shift Tire Industry Locus to South Carolina 

New York,NY,USA -The WSJ/Auto Industry News, by JEFF BENNETT - April 16, 2012: -- French tire maker Michelin is breaking ground on a new North American tire plant that likely will make South Carolina the tire-making capital of the U.S. by next year... On Tuesday, Michelin disclosed it would invest $750 million to build a new factory in Anderson County, S.C., and expand an existing Lexington, S.C., plant to build heavy tires used in the construction and mining industries... Expanded output from those two plants combined with production gains from two factories now being built in the state by Bridgestone Corp. and Continental AG will roll South Carolina over current leader Oklahoma... 


* DC - 36,000 light truck tires under recall for sidewall defects 

Detroit,MICH,USA -7KWWL, by Janelle Haible -Apr 10, 2012: -- Multistrada Arah Sarana, an Indonesian tire maker, is recalling more than 36,000 light truck tires because flaws in the sidewall can cause them to lose air, increasing the risk of a crash... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says blisters can develop in the sidewall of the Achilles tires. The Radar tires have a design defect in the sidewall that can cause the tread to separate. The flaws mean that the tires could lose air suddenly, increasing crash risk...

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TRAILER MAKERS NEWS * USA

* South Dakota/USA - Worker Shortage Dogs Trail King as S.D. Jobs Go Begging 

Mitchell,South Dakota,USA -Bloomberg, by Jennifer Oldham -Apr 9, 2012: -- The painter who taught Trail King Industries President Inc., Bruce Yakley, to wield a spray gun, the welder whose daughter is state golf champion and the metal worker who’s careful to wear a face shield are all laboring around the clock... That’s not enough to keep pace with demand at the truck trailer maker’s plant in rural Mitchell, South Dakota, 75 miles (121 kilometers) west of the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls. Employees plan to assemble 1,700 units this year, up from 1,350 last year... As the rest of the country struggles to create jobs for the long-term unemployed, South Dakota businesses are looking for 10,000 accountants, information technicians, engineers and welders to help fill millions in lost orders. The state’s thriving agriculture industry also needs employees...

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ELECTRIC TRUCKS * USA

* Kansas/USA - Smith Electric Vehicles’ losses grow in 2011 

Kansas City,KS,USA -The Kansas City Business Journal, by David Twiddy -April 5, 2012: -- Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. saw losses multiply last year even as it continued to ramp up production... The all-electric truck maker lost $52.5 million in 2011, compared with $30.3 million in losses the year before, the Kansas City-based company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Wednesday... Revenue from vehicle sales and maintenance rose 40 percent to $49.9 million...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Sweden - Truck Maker Volvo Signs agreement with DEUTZ to Look at Extending Cooperation into Asia 

Copenhagen,Sweden -Scancomark -5 April 2012: -- Swedish truck maker Volvo AB said Thursday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with DEUTZ AG to look at extending their long-term cooperation on jointly developing medium-duty engines for off-road applications... The plan is to explore possibilities of establishing a single joint venture in China. The investment in the production of medium-duty engines for construction equipment will be part of the deal, Volvo writes in a press release... The agreement is non-binding and any implementation requires both companies to agree on final terms and conditions in a binding contract. Volvo's shares closed Thursday at Skr90.50...  

* Germany - Volkswagen hikes majority stake in truckmaker MAN 

Berlin,Germany -Reuters/Yahoo -Apr 13, 2012:  --  Volkswagen further increased its holding in German truck maker MAN SE as Europe's biggest car manufacturer is pressing ahead to forge closer ties between its two major commercial vehicle operations... VW raised its holding of ordinary shares in Munich-based MAN to 73 percent, giving the German car maker control of 71.08 percent of total share capital, MAN said in a statement on Friday. VW previously held 55.9 percent of voting rights and 53.71 percent of share capital... VW is seeking to integrate MAN more closely with Swedish rival Scania, which the Wolfsburg-based company also controls, to save at least 200 million euros ($263.49 million) annually in procurement, production and research and development... 


* Brazil - Truck Production May Keep Dragging Down Industrial Output 

Sao Paulo,SP, Brazil -Dow Jones/NASDAQ -April 25, 2012: -- Brazil's drop in truck production, which has been dragging down the country's industrial output and economic growth as a whole, may not recover this year after a sluggish first quarter, the auto maker's association Anfavea said Thursday... Truck output has fallen 33% so far this year, due in part to stricter emissions rules in the country. Brazil began transitioning to the so-called Euro 5 emission standards this year, requiring truck makers to produce only Euro 5 vehicles starting in January. January truck production slumped 76% from the year-earlier month, and in the month of February fell 29% on a yearly comparison. March production rebounded somewhat, growing 3.5% from a relatively weak month in 2011...


* Japan - Fuso unveils fuel efficient truck, new design concept truck 

Saiwai-ku,Kawasaki-shi,Kanagawa,Japan -ABR -6 April 2012: -- Commercial vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus (MFTBC) unveiled a ‘fuel efficient truck’ and ‘FUSO-Concept II’ design concept... The fuel efficient truck features new drag foiler and side spoilers which enhance the aerodynamics, implementation of alternator power generation control and generation of power through solar battery... Its light weight, and low-resistance tires contribute for achieving an enhanced 10% fuel efficiency... The company has also unveiled FUSO-Concept II which is the design concept model of a heavy-duty truck developed focusing the commercial vehicles market in 2032... 


* Sweden - Scania and Doosan Infracore extend their cooperation 

Södertälje,Sweden -VW's PR -11 April 2012: -- Scania and the South Korean equipment manufacturer, Doosan Infracore, have agreed to further increase their current cooperation. According to a Letter of Intent, Scania, from 2014, will not only supply engines for Doosan’s articulated dump trucks and large wheel loaders but also other products within the Doosan range... Doosan Infracore is well positioned within the Chinese market. Several models from a total of over 20,000 machines sold annually in China will be powered by Scania engines... 


* Belarus - BelAZ Truck to hold first Belarusian IPO 

Minsk,Belarous -RIA Novosti -7 Apr 2012: ... Truck maker Belarusian Autoworks hold an initial public offering, the first time a Belarusian enterprise has gone to the markets... BelAZ had planned last year to trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in cooperation with Deustche Bank, but the bank later pulled out of the project and curtailed its cooperation with Belarus...


* Russia - Largest truck maker Kamaz to profitability last year 

Moscow,Russia -Agile News, by Jacky Lau -April 16,2012: -- Russia's largest truck maker Kamaz, in 2011 achieved net profit of 971 million rubles (about $ 32.37 million). In 2010, KAMAZ Group losses amounted to 2.204 billion rubles ($ 73,470,000)... The results, KAMAZ Group's total revenue last year to 118.598 billion rubles ($ 3,953,000,000), an increase of nearly 50 percent over the previous year. Last year, the Group achieved a truck sales of 4.5284 million. Analysts pointed out that the expansion of market demand, Kamaz improve the quality of the truck and launch new models and initiatives such as the promotion of the revenue growth last year. Kamaz is Russia's largest truck manufacturers, truck production in the world 11 diesel engine production in the world 8...


* UK - Ashok Leyland, Czech truck arm enter UK market 

Stoke-on-Trent,EN,UK -Rediff -April 12, 2012: -- Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland, part of the London-based Hinduja Group, is to enter Britain's mid-range truck market through a tie-up by its Prague-based subsidiary, Avia Ashok Leyland... Initially the new company would importing the trucks from Avia's factory in Prague (Czech Republic). There are plans to later build an assembly plant in Longton it self...  Leyland, based in this city and India's second largest maker of commercial vehicles (CVs), had acquired the truck business unit of Avia in 2006, as part of a plan to grow in the European Union and eastern European markets. It was also interested in access to a modern international vehicle for its light and medium CV range for India and other export markets...


* India - Asia Motor Works plans to raise $100 million for expansion 

Mumbai,India -The ET, by Ketan Thakkar -Apr 13, 2012:  --   Asia Motor Works Ltd (AMW), India's third-largest heavy truck maker, plans to raise $100 million to fund its expansion in the next two to three years through a mix of debt and private equity. The funds will enable the company to build capacity to make new cabs, next generation trucks and expand manufacturing. The truck maker proposes to produce cabins locally, which were so far imported and assembled...

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TRUCKS & AUTOMAKERS NEWS * USA & WORLDWIDE

* Michigan/USA - Fitch upgrades Ford to investment grade for first time since 2005 

(Detroit News file: The Dearborn automaker had previously had its debt at junk status since 2005) Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News -April 24, 2012: -- The Fitch Ratings agency on Tuesday restored its credits ratings for Ford Motor Co. and the Ford Motor Credit unit to investment grade... Both were given a rating of BBB- from Fitch, up from a BB+ rating. The Dearborn automaker had previously had its debt at junk status since 2005... When Ford gets two of the three major ratings agencies back to investment grade, it gets the blue oval back. The company mortgaged most of its assets, including its trademark, to borrow $23.5 billion and avoid bankruptcy...


* New York/USA - New vehicles come fully loaded with technology 

(Photo from Cadillac: Cadillac's CUE system includes infotainment, navigation and communication tools such as natural voice recognition and greater customization to provide a more intuitive connected driving experience) 
New York,NY,USA -The Detroit News, by Larry Printz -April 22, 2012: -- You're going for a surprise when you walk into a new car showroom. Even if it's been only five years since your new set of wheels, you'd be amazed at the technology missing in your car... Today's cars can tell you the exact tire pressure on each wheel or report your average fuel economy. But that's small potatoes given that on average, new cars and trucks have 23 CPUs on board. Knowing that, you may not be surprised that your next car will be able to read your text messages, adjust the suspension on a windy day, or recharge itself wirelessly... These are some of the options you'll find on new cars and trucks: 
* Hands-free text messaging ... 
* Rear-seat iPad docking ... 
* Wireless induction charger ... 
* Ambient night lighting ... 
* Automatic start-stop ... 
* Capacitive switching ... 
* Cross-traffic detection ... 
* Crosswind stabilization ... 
* Customized instrument cluster ... 
* Front center side airbags ... 
* Panoramic sunroofs ... 
* Push-button transmission ... 

  * China - Beijing Auto Show 

 * Ford debuts mini-SUV in Beijing
Beijing,China -The Detroit News (USA) -April 24, 2012: -- Ford unveiled a three-cylinder mini-SUV and Chrysler showed a dragon-themed Jeep on Monday as automakers rolled out models designed for Chinese buyers at the Beijing auto show... Automakers are looking to China to drive revenue amid weakness in the United States and Europe. But explosive sales growth that hit 35 percent in 2010 fell to just 2 percent in the first quarter of this year...

* Lamborghini reveals first SUV in nearly two decades
Beijing,China -The Detroit News (USA) -April 24, 2012: -- Lamborghini SpA unveiled its first sport-utility vehicle in almost two decades as the Italian supercar maker looks to expand its lineup to tap rising demand from emerging markets... The Volkswagen AG unit unveiled the concept SUV, called the Urus, in Beijing before this week's auto show in the Chinese capital... 

 * Hyundai to produce revamped SUV, expand dealers in China 
Beijing,China -The Detroit News (USA) -April 24, 2012: -- Hyundai Motor Co ., South Korea's largest automaker, will produce a revamped Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle in China and expand the number of dealerships as part of plans to expand in the country... The Seoul-based carmaker, which also unveiled a China-only version of its Elantra sedan Monday, it currently has 720 showrooms... 

* Bentley aims to sell 3,000 SUVs a year starting in 2015 
Beijing,China -The Detroit News (USA) -April 24, 2012: -- Volkswagen AG's super-luxury Bentley unit, which introduced a concept sport-utility vehicle in March, aims to sell 3,000 annually when production starts in 2015... Bentley showcased the silver-blue concept model in Beijing this week, after a global introduction at the Geneva International Motor Show in March. Bentley sold 37 percent more cars in 2011 as demand for the automaker's models doubled in China, helping make the brand profitable for the first time since 2008...

* GM unveils EN-V concept 
Beijing,China -The Detroit News (USA) -April 24, 2012: -- General Motors Co . showed off a Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 concept rendering during the Beijing auto show Monday, and expects to pilot prototype models throughout the country. The automaker revealed the two-seat EN-V (electric networked-vehicle) concept at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai...

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TRUCKS MARKET * USA

* Tennessee - Survey Finds Few Truckers Ready to Add Capacity 

Nashville,TN,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, William B. Cassidy -Mar 29, 2012: -- Most truckload carriers don’t plan to expand, TCP says, but more think about it... A quarter of the carriers surveyed by Transport Capital Partners said they expected to increase capacity 6 to 10 percent over the next 12 months, compared with 7 percent a year ago... Overall, truckload capacity continued its long contraction in 2011... Larger carriers are more likely to expand. TCP found 33 percent of carriers with more than $25 million in revenue plan to expand capacity 6 to 15 percent... Those most likely to expand are highly profitable carriers such as Knight Transportation. Knight boosted its truck count 2.9 percent in 2011... Demand for Class 8 trucks is high, with manufacturers struggling to fulfill orders. In January, the truck order backlog rose to 125,000 units, according to ACT Research... Most of new vehicles ordered this year will replace older trucks, many purchased before tighter federal diesel engine emissions regulations took effect in 2007... Research firm FTR Associates sees tightening truck capacity and rising rates ahead this year for North American shippers as freight demand outstrips GDP...

 * USA - Truck Market Hasn't Hit The Skids --Eaton CEO 

New York,NY,USA -Dow Jones Newswires -April 24, 2012: -- The U.S. commercial truck market should generate solid growth this year after truck makers align their production with moderating demand, Eaton Corp. (ETN) Chairman and Chief Executive Alexander Cutler said Monday... Cutler, whose company is a major supplier of transmissions to the truck market, dismissed recent assessments by analysts that the North American truck market has stalled after three straight months of lower year-over-year orders. Rising fuel costs, scattered reports of orders being cancelled and factory production cuts have added to the bearish outlook for the truck industry...


* Illinois - Navistar, Clean Energy deal: Devil is in details. Success of oil-to-natural gas programs for truckers depends on "unknowables"  (?)

Lisle,ILL,ISA -DC Velocity, by Mark B. Solomon -April 14, 2012: ... In early February, Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar and Seal Beach, Calif.-based Clean Energy, cofounded by energy baron T. Boone Pickens, unveiled a joint program to provide incentives to truck owners, renters, and lessors to purchase new and more expensive vehicles powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG), both of which are considered cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional diesel fuel... At this point, no companies have signed up for the joint program. Jerry Moyes, CEO of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation Co., the nation's largest truckload carrier by sales, attended the Feb. 1 program launch event at Navistar's Lisle headquarters. According to published reports, Moyes said Swift is testing 16 natural gas-powered trucks, and said the success of the program depends on the density of the refueling infrastructure...


* NY - Small Stocks Lead a Fall in a "Risk Off" Mood 

 New York,NY,USA -Barron's / The Trader, by VITO J. RACANELLI -April 14, 2012: ... Over the winter, the drop in natural-gas prices to decade lows fueled the idea that truck owners will eventually switch to natural gas from diesel. That has boosted the stock. Westport has a 50/50 joint venture with diesel-engine maker Cummins (CMI), called Cummins Westport, to adapt Cummins engines in sizes from 5.9 to 12 liters to run on natural gas. This profitable division is the bulk of parent Westport Innovation's business, and in 2011, some 5,500 engines were retrofitted... The drop from 50 came after Cummins and Navistar (NAV), another maker of diesel truck engines, said they will begin making natural-gas-fired engines. On March 21, Cummins announced it will begin producing a 15-liter engine, for big 18-wheelers, by 2014. That will compete with Westport Innovations' own 15-liter engine, which isn't included in the CWI joint venture... While this can be viewed as a validation of natural gas as truck fuel in the future, little Westport will now be competing with two of the best and biggest engine makers in the business...

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2012-04-05

ENGINES R & D * USA

* California - Three-cylinder engine is making noise. Carmakers look to unleash fuel-efficient drive systems with surprising zip on U.S. market

(Photo: Toyota Ecoyota three cylinder 4 stroke aircraft) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Los Angeles Times, by Jerry Hirsch -April 5, 2012: -- Imagine a car that gets more than 40 mpg in everyday traffic and 50 on the highway. It isn't an expensive hybrid, and it doesn't require special fuel... Get ready for a new generation of cars equipped with surprisingly powerful three-cylinder engines that, according to early reviews out of Europe, have both the zip and zoom Americans expect in the four-cylinder compact sedans they buy today...

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2012-04-04

TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT STUDIES * USA

* DC - Study: FMCSA lacks resources to take on chameleon carriers 


Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by David Tanner -28 March 2012: -- The federal government lacks the proper resources to detect chameleon carriers, a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found. In addition to the findings, the authors say the FMCSA could cast a wider net by implementing relatively simple changes to its new entrant program... Under the current program, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not even attempt to identify chameleon carriers in the freight sector, choosing instead to focus limited resources on passenger carriers... Chameleon carriers are those that assume new identities to evade detection after having had revoked or been denied authority... The GAO suggests the FMCSA could adapt its new entrant screenings to detect common addresses, phone numbers and company officers of freight carriers. The screening could also detect motives for reincarnation including unsatisfactory safety ratings, severe crash involvement, fines, OOS orders, imminent hazard order or bankruptcy...


* DC - Traffic Congestion Costs Billions in Wasted Fuel, Time, Report Says 

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -28 March 2012: -- Traffic congestion costs drivers more than $100 billion annually in wasted fuel and lost time, and American drivers waste about 1.9 billion gallons annually sitting in traffic, according to a new Treasury Department report... The report — released in support of President Obama’s plan to upgrade and expand U.S. infrastructure in the coming year — comes amid Congressional debate on an extension of federal transportation funding, USA Today reported Monday... 


* DC - FMCSA study finds ‘profound safety benefit’ to speed limiter use 

Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by Deborah Whistler -Mar. 28, 2012: -- Trucks equipped with speed governors have a 50% lower crash rate than trucks not equipped with speed control devices, according to the results of the second phase of a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on the impact of the use of speed limiting devices in commercial vehicles... The study represents the most comprehensive investigation that has ever been conducted on speed limiters (SL), according to FMCSA. The study included data from 20 truck fleets, approximately 138,000 trucks and analyzed more than 15,000 crashes. The findings showed “strong positive benefits for speed governors.” Results indicated that trucks equipped with speed limiters had a “significantly lower SL-relevant crash rate (approximately 50%) compared to trucks without SLs,” the study found...

* DC - Study on speed limiters 'tortures' data into submission 

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by David Tanner -28 March 2012: -- A little more than a year after failing to reach a conclusion that speed limiters would enhance safety in large trucks, the group that prepared the study for the FMCSA has rewritten its final report to show the desired result. OOIDA says the changes, including points about limitations and uncertainties that were omitted from the final report, show bias and manipulation. OOIDA released in December 2010 and the “final report” released in March 2012 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The two versions use the same data but show different conclusions about safety and speed limiters...

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