User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: December 2011

Dec 29, 2011


* USA - Auto Sales Finish Year Strong

New York,NY,USA -The WSJ/Auto Industry News, by JEFF BENNETT -January 5, 2012: -- Auto makers capped 2011 with a strong December and forecast the recovery in U.S. sales would intensify as long as a stabilizing economy and improved U.S. job gains continue to encourage shoppers... Detroit auto makers reported increases in vehicle sales for December, with Chrysler Group LLC posting a 37% rise, Ford Motor Co. citing a 10% gain and General Motors Co. reporting a 4.6% increase. For the full year, Chrysler's sales rose 26%, Ford's 11% and GM's 13%... All told, auto makers sold 1.2 million cars and light trucks in December, a rise of 8.7% from the same month in 2010...

* Minnesota - Fire truck maker scores $320 million deal with Saudi Arabia

(Photo: A Minneapolis' Fire truck)
Minneapolis,MINN,USA -kstp -December 27, 2011: -- The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior is ordering 1,125 vehicles from Rosenbauer Minnesota, based in Wyoming, Minn. Rosenbauer says it’s the largest order in industry history...


Dec 28, 2011

New HOS Rule * USA

* Will Cause Delays for Manufacturers and Cost the EconomyH

Washington,DC,USA -Truckinginfo -28 Dec 2011: -- National Association of Manufacturers has come out against trucking's new hours-of-service rule, saying the rule will have a negative impact on manufacturers' supply chains, distribution operations and productivity... In a statement NAM said, that the regulation is a prime example of leaders in Washington creating additional uncertainty for the economy at a time when they should be focused on policies to help get Americans back to work...  Adding these new requirements on top of the already cumbersome regulatory burden facing manufacturers will cost jobs and increase the prices of consumer products, NAM President and CEO, Jay Timmons went on to say...

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* UK - Daimler Truck Criminal Cartel Probe Dropped by U.K. Regulator

London,EN,UK -Bloomberg, by Erik Larson / Anthony Aarons -Dec. 22, 2011: -- Britain’s antitrust regulator said it doesn’t have enough evidence to pursue a criminal probe of individuals allegedly involved in a cartel in the truck tmanufacturing industry, including a Daimler AG executive... The criminal case, started in September 2010, was dropped yesterday by the Office of Fair Trading following a “thorough investigation,” the watchdog said on its website. The OFT, which investigates and prosecutes competition violations, is continuing a civil probe of the companies, including Daimler’s U.K. Mercedes-Benz unit, Volvo AB and at least three other truck makers...

* India - DAF Trucks to debut in India during the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo

(Photo: DAF CF Series Tractor trailer front angle)
New Delhi,India -Indiancarbikes -Jan 2012: --  It’s not just new cars and bike that will be making headlines during the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo but, international truck makers like Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek (DAF) a wholly owned subsidiary of the North-American corporation PACCAR Inc. will announce their entry into the Indian commercial vehicle segment....  PACCAR Inc. has launched its new PACCAR Technical Center in Pune with its partner KPIT, a leading technology solutions company which will provide jobs to 200 individuals in the sectors of engineering and information technology...

(Photo: DAF CF Series interior)
DAF will be keen to join the bandwagon of premium commercial vehicles in India. To start with, DAF’s CF Series might be the model that will be available in India. The CF Series is available in either either as tractor or rigid chassis in two, three or four axle models. Also, the CF Series can be ordered in various configurations including tippers, tractor trailers etc.
(Photo: DAF CF Series inline 6-cylinder)
The CF Series can be ordered with different engine configurations. The engines available on the CF Series range from 210 bhp all the way upto 510 bhp. All engines are manufactured by PACCAR Inc. and are designed to be highly reliable and efficient...

* France - Renault continue celebrations

(Photo: The new Renault Magnum Legend with Alcoa Dura Bright® wheels)
Lyon,France -Irish Trucker (Ireland) -22 December 2011: -- Recently a key moment in the celebration of Magnum’s 20 years of success came when Renault Trucks opened the doors of its head office in Lyon... Truck drivers and owner-drivers had been invited to attend after being chosen by competition. They were able to proudly show off their Magnums before setting off on a remarkable convoy to the Solutrans trade show at Eurexpo. The programme also included a VIP visit to the Fondation Berliet Museum, an American themed evening and various Lyonnais meals...

* UK - Mercedes-Benz classics star at bypass opening

(Photo: Mercedes Benz classics star at bypass opening)
Sittingbourne,Kent,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -23 Dec. 2011 : -- Two classic Mercedes-Benz trucks were the first vehicles to venture onto a long-awaited £35.5 million bypass at Sittingbourne in Kent, which opened to the public last Monday (19 December 2011)... The older of the two vehicles was a 1976 Bullnose 1418 belonging to Maidstone-based shared-user distribution specialist Lenham Storage, an operator of Mercedes-Benz trucks since the late 1940s and a leading customer of Sparshatts of Kent. The other was Sparshatts' own 1628 model, built in 1990...

* France - Meritor completes sale of French facility to Renault Trucks

Saint Priest,France -Automotive Business Review -3 January 2012: -- Meritor, a supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, has completed the sale of the assets of its axle operation in Saint Priest, France, to Renault Trucks... The company said that Renault Trucks is expected to perform only final dressing and painting in the St. Priest, France, operation... The divestiture will affect nearly 400 employees at the St. Priest facility who will transfer to Renault Trucks...


Dec 23, 2011


Briefing Weekly News

* Emerging markets drive global pharmaceutical...
- The 'patent cliff' phenomenon, an expectation of sharp revenue decline due to the expiry of key patents, that many drug manufacturers face... Continue Reading

* Panalpina installs three regional CEOs
- Panalpina has announced it is putting in place three regional CEOs (RCEOs) for Europe/Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Continue Reading

* DB Schenker Logistics and Khimji Ramdas to set up joint venture in Oman
- DB Schenker Logistics has announced it is set to establish a joint venture with long-time partner Khimji Ramdas Group in the Sultanate of Oman. Continue Reading

* Tibbett Logistics opens second Bucharest intermodal terminal
- Tibbett Logistics has opened its second intermodal terminal in Bucharest, following a €6.4m investment in the development. Tibbett Logistics is part of the UK-based Keswick Enterprises group. Continue Reading

* Matson parent, Alexander & Baldwin, splitting into two companies
- Alexander & Baldwin announced that its Board of Directors have approved a plan to pursue the separation of the company to create two independent, publicly traded companies. Continue Reading

* Jabil completes acquisition of Telmar Network...
- Jabil Circuit, Inc. has completed its acquisition of Telmar Network Technology, Inc., a global provider of reverse logistics, repair services... Continue Reading

* Echo Global Logistics acquires Trailer Transport...
- Echo Global Logistics, a technology-driven transportation management company, has acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Trailer Transport... Continue Reading

* Damco renews Kingfisher supply chain management...
- Damco's partnership with Kingfisher, Europe's leading DIY Group, has been extended with the signing of a new contract through to mid 2014. Continue Reading

* Newegg to use CEVA's home delivery service
- CEVA Logistics together with Newegg Inc, an online-only retailer, have announced a multi-million dollar contract for home television delivery services. Continue Reading

* Nokia retools its supply chain to regain lost...
- Nokia has announced a new restructuring programme in order to save costs, realign business and refocus its manufacturing The latest cuts, perhaps... Continue Reading


Dec 22, 2011


* India - Truck maker denies Navistar rumor

Mumbai,Maharashtra,India -The Times Daily -19 Dec 2011: -- Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra Limited released an “urgent statement” denying rumors that its line of compact pickups will be built by Navistar in the United States... Last week, Fox News reported that a blog posting indicated the trucks could be built in northwest Alabama...   On Saturday, Mahindra released the following statement from Mumbai on the company's website: “There have been reports in certain quarters of media and online space stating that Navistar USA will produce Mahindra’s T20 and T40 pick ups in Alabama, USA in 2012, which are completely baseless and incorrect. If and when there are any material developments, Mahindra and Mahindra Limited will communicate them directly and transparently” ...

* Sweden - Scania to cut jobs over demand fall

Stockholm,Sweden -Monster and Critics (USA) -Dec 20, 2011: --  Swedish heavy-vehicle maker Scania said Tuesday it was to lower its production rate amid lower demand, and would not renew temporary contracts for about 1,000 employees...  The company said it was to cut production by 15 per cent, mirroring a similar cut in November...  Brazil was another market where Scania was uncertain about demand... A few years ago, the truck maker introduced a system of flexibility agreements with trade unions to cope with swings in demand...  The group has about 35,500 employees...

* Germany - Daimler truck division at capacity into early 2012

Frankfurt,Germany -MarketWatch (USA), by Nicky Redl -Dec. 20, 2011: -- Production at German automotive company Daimler AG's truck division is at full capacity going into the first quarter of 2012, the company said Tuesday...  The company's comments come in response to news that Swedish truck maker Scania AB will cut its production by 15% globally starting in January due to a slowdown in demand...  Truck production cuts aren't an issue for Daimler at the moment, the spokesman said, although no one can say how 2012 will shape up...  

* USA - Mack records another strong month. Truckmaker posts another strong month as customers replace aging fleets

Greensboro,N.C.,USA -The Morning Call, by Tyrone Richardson -December 19, 2011: -- Mack Trucks' November rig production was very strong thanks to customers continuing to replenish aging fleets, the company reported Monday... The truckmaker reported that it produced 2,254 rigs in November, up 67 percent from the same month a year ago... Mack, which produces all rigs at its 1-million-square-foot facility in Lower Macungie Township, has produced 17,851 rigs through November — a tally that's up 52 percent from the same period in 2010... This year, however, has been a turnaround for Mack. Surging truck demand has meant the recent addition of 200 workers at Mack's Lower Macungie plant, which employs more than 1,000 workers...

* Sweden - Volvo Truck sales up 45% in November

Gothenburg,Sweden -InAutoNews (USA) -19 Dec 2011: -- Volvo Trucks’ November deliveries increased 45 percent in November. The Swedish truckmaker has sold 11,349 vehicles in November globally...  In Europe, the company has sold 4,418 trucks in November, up 35% compared with the corresponding period of 2010. Delivery increases were noted in such countries as the United Kingdom, France and Sweden...  In Russia, deliveries rose a full 159 percent to 653 trucks, compared to the same period of 2010. On the whole, deliveries in Eastern Europe rose 72 percent during November 2011...  In Brazil, deliveries rose 15% in November, compared with the corresponding period of 2010...  The company said in North America deliveries rose 85% compared with November 2010 to 2,959 trucks...  During the month, deliveries of medium duty vehicles increased 27% to 217 units, while heavy duty vehicles grew 45% to 11,132 units...


TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - Strong Truckload Demand

Load volumes rose faster than expected in October, trucking analyst says

Washiington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce, by William B. Cassidy -Dec 12, 2011: -- Truckload freight volumes were stronger than analysts expected in the first weeks of the fourth quarter, according to investment research firm Jefferies...  Seasonally adjusted truckload volumes were up 3.2 percent year-over-year in October, according to American Trucking Associations data, Jefferies said Monday. Non-adjusted volumes were up 3.4 percent. The investment firm, in comparison, expected truckload volumes to increase 2 to 3 percent in that period...  That strength was apparent at Landstar System, which said last week said loads in the first 10 weeks of the fourth quarter were up 9 percent from a year ago. According to the ATA, truckload revenue per mile was up 4.2 percent in October, less than the 5.2 percent increase reported in September, Jefferies said... Separately, the ATA reported truck tonnage increased 5.7 percent year-over-year in October, largely thanks to the strength of U.S. manufacturing...

* DC - DOT Freight Transport Index Rises 4%

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -14 Dec 2011: -- The Department of Transportation’s freight transportation services index rose 4% in October from a year ago but took its first month-to-month downturn in five months, DOT said Wednesday...  The freight index dipped 0.2% from September following four increases, DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics said in its monthly report...  Despite the slip, the index, at a reading of 109.4, is at its second-highest level since July 2008. DOT uses a baseline reading of 100 from the year 2000 for the freight TSI...  Freight shipments through the first 10 months of 2011 are up 2.3% over last year, DOT said...  Shipments are down 0.5% in the five years from October 2006, but are up 11.6% in the 10 years from October 2001, despite declines in recent years...


Truckload Driver * USA - Turnover Rate Hits 89 Percent

Carriers struggling to hold onto new recruits as competition for drivers heats up

Arlington,VA,USA The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Dec 12, 2011: -- The driver turnover rate at large truckload carriers rose to 89 percent in the third quarter, as trucking companies struggled to hire and retain experienced drivers... The driver turnover rate increased from 79 percent in the second quarter, hitting its highest point since early 2008, the American Trucking Associations said Monday. The turnover rate at small truckload carriers jumped 10 points to 57 percent, the highest level for those companies since the third quarter of 2008... The rapid increase in driver turnover and associated driver recruitment costs are considered likely to push up driver pay and truckload rates in 2012. Higher driver turnover forces trucking companies to spend more on hiring and recruiting. Costs reportedly can range from $3,000 to $8,000 per new driver... CSA, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration initiative that ties carrier safety scores to driver behavior, is tightening carrier requirements for drivers. High driver turnover is largely a truckload carrier problem. Less-than-truckload carriers have a turnover rate of only 10 percent, according to the ATA...



* UK - Vehicle operating costs track ahead of inflation says FTA

London,EN,UK -HGVUK -December, 2011:  --  The high cost of fuel remains the biggest cause for concern amongst haulage operators, who are continuing to be squeezed by rising operating costs and pressure for earlier payment terms from suppliers, whilst facing downward pressure on haulage rates and lengthening payment terms from customers...  The October 2011 update report of the Freight Transport Association’s Manager’s Guide to Distribution Costs 2011 calculates that, on average, vehicle operating costs for rigid, articulated and drawbar vehicles have risen by 6.2 per cent in the year to 1 October 2011 to reach an all-time high. The largest contribution to the rise came from an increase in the price of diesel, which has risen by 13.9 per cent in the year to 1 October 2011. In addition, tyre costs have risen by 8.3 per cent and overheads by 5.6 per cent in the same period...  In contrast, increases in haulage rates have not matched the rise in operating costs. According to calculations in the update, domestic haulage rates have risen by an average of just 2.8 per cent in the nine months to 1 October 2011 and international haulage rates have risen by an average of just 1.6 per cent in the same period. Forty-five per cent of the contributors to the update indicated that they had not increased their haulage rates since the start of 2011...


* UK - Intelligent cure for congestion?

(Photo: Traffic on Motoray 1,UK)
London,EN,UK -Commercial Motors, by Steve Hobson -14 December 2011:  --  The UK's existing road network can be used and managed more effectively to reduce congestion, especially at peak times, without the need for compulsory road pricing, according to a new report from the Automotive Council and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills...  ‘Intelligent Mobility – a national need?’ calls for greater collaboration between government, car manufacturers, the logistics sector and technology companies to use current road capacity to its full potential...  Instead, the preferred options are to improve voluntary systems that advise drivers of the least congested routes, though take up of satnav systems equipped with this facility among car drivers has so far proved disappointing...  Intelligent mobility will involve vehicles communicating with each other and the road network to direct drivers away from congested routes. It could involve satellite tracking of congestion hotspots as well as existing camera systems and in- car systems that transmit as well as receive data from cloud-based computers...  The working group is planning an Intelligent Mobility summit next April to begin the cross-industry collaboration needed to make the plan a reality...



* Belgium - Goodyear introduces microchip technology for truck tyres

(Photo: Goodyear introduces microchip technology for truck tyres)
Akron,Ohio,USA -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -8 Dec 2011: -- Goodyear's new Regional RHT II RFID (radio frequency identification) 435/50R19.5 trailer tyre features a built-in microchip claimed to enable fleet operators to cut downtime, and improve tyre management and security...  The system connects to FleetOnlineSolutions, Goodyear's Internet-based tyre management system, and enables service provider or fleet operators to quickly scan all tyres and record details electronically...  Several large megatrailer fleets are now using the FleetOnlineSolutions, according to Goodyear, for tyre management, and benefiting from the close monitoring that RFID allows...  The microchip is built into the tyre on the assembly line and programmed with a unique code that identifies the tyre, enabling a hand-held reader to see type and size as well as its identity number...


TRUCKING RULES * USA - Senate Committee Advances Freight Policy Measure

* DC - Senate Panel Approves Multimodal, Truck Safety Bills

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce, by William B. Cassidy -Dec 15, 2011:  -- Legislation would mandate onboard recorders, give FMCSA, PHMSA more authority A Senate committee approved measures on Wednesday that would establish a multimodal freight program, mandate electronic onboard recorders on all trucks, and tighten hazardous materials regulation...  The bills, part of a slew of transportation items led by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act, also would give federal regulators more power to pull unsafe carriers off the road and make it harder for fleets ordered out of service to get new authority under new names...  The bill also includes the FREIGHT Act, which would create a national multimodal freight program, and it would give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration more power to pull unsafe trucking and bus companies off the highway...  The committee also approved the Hazardous Materials Transportation Improvement Safety Act, which would give the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration more power to punish shippers that break its rules...

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Dec 14, 2011


* Smart car maker to unveil tiny pickup truck

New York,NY,USA -CNN Money (USA), by Peter Valdes-Dapena -December 7, 2011: -- Smart, the Daimler division that produces the super-tiny Smart ForTwo minicar, will unveil a pickup truck version at the Detroit Auto Show in January...  It will, of course, be a super-tiny truck. At under 140 inches long, the Smart For-us concept vehicle is about six feet shorter than a Ford F-150 pickup -- the best-selling passenger vehicle in America...  Still, the automaker has not announced any specific product plans. For now Daimler is only providing drawings of the vehicle...  The concept truck is driven with a 55 kilowatt -- or 73 horsepower -- electric motor. The bed is designed to be large enough to hold two bicycles with the tailgate down...



* Carl Icahn: Navistar and Oshkosh Should Merge

New York,Ny,USA -TruckingInfo -7 Dec 2011: -- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told CNBC yesterday that he sees synergy in a merger between the two heavy truck makers... Icahn says he'd like to see the trucking giant merge with rival Oshkosh... In October, Icahn had Wallstreeters wondering if he had set his sights on an amalgamation between Navistar and Oshkosh. He had just acquired 9.8% of Navistar stock on "the belief that the shares were undervalued at current levels," making him the second largest single shareholder in the company... Three months earlier, Icahn had acquired a 9.5% stake in Oshkosh... Icahn has a history of buying positions in companies he considers to be underperforming and then pushing for change... About a month ago, Navistar reached a deal with Icahn that could put its directors up for election each year. In exchange, Icahn agreed not to propose his own slate of directors at the company's annual meeting, CNBC notes... Icahn is currently involved in a proxy fight at Oshkosh...

* Wiscosin - Oshkosh urges shareholders to resist billionaire Icahn
Oshkosh,WIS,USA -CPBJ Now, by Jim T. Ryan -December 12. 2011: -- Truck manufacturer Oshkosh Corp., which has a midstate presence, today is urging its shareholders to resist the advances of billionaire investor Carl Icahn. He is pressing for the January election of six new board members in a bid to gain greater control of the company...  Wisconsin-based Oshkosh sent a letter to shareholders along with its proxy statement calling Icahn a "corporate raider" and urging shareholders to re-elect the current 13-member board at its Jan. 27 meeting.

* Washington - Paccar OK's $300 mln buyback plan

Bellevue,WASH,USA -MarketWatch, by Ben Fox -Dec. 8, 2011: -- Paccar Inc.'s board approved a share buyback program of an additional $300 million, joining a growing list of companies looking to bolster shareholder value...  Earlier this week, the maker of Kenworth and Peterbilt heavy-duty commercial trucks unveiled a 70-cent a share special dividend, on top of its regular 18-cent quarterly payout. The extra payment is expected to cost the company about $250.8 million...  The truck maker recently said it had begun construction on an assembly plant for DAF-brand trucks in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, and opened a new technical center in Pune, India, part of an effort to speed the company's global growth. But the company has said it would scale back truck production in Europe as turbulent economic conditions take a toll on demand...



* Greenhouse Gas Cutting Rules Extended to 2025

Washington,DC,USA -Courthouse News Service, by Travis Sandford -December 6, 2011:  --  Car and light truck makers will have to nearly double fuel efficiency by 2025 to meet stringent new emissions and fuel economy standards proposed by two agencies...  The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration plan to extend rules adopted in 2010 for model years 2012-2016, which would require a corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) of 35.5 mpg by 2016, and result in an average light vehicle tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) level of 250 grams per mile. President Barack Obama had ordered the standards...  To meet that target, fuel efficiency would have to improve by 4.1 percent per year from 2017 to 2021 and then increase to 4.3 percent per year from 2021 to 2025, for passenger cars...

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* What’s the most badass racing truck of all time?

USA -Jalopnik, by Mike Spinelli -Dec 2, 2011: -- It's the 1988 DAF 95 Turbotwin X1!!!   After winning the 1987 Paris-Dakar rally with its 1,000+ hp "Turbotwin II," the Dutch truckmaker (and Dakar-trucking mastermind and driver Jan de Rooy) returned in 1988 with the gorillashit-insane X1!!! How do you make an 11-ton truck go 150 mph? Two 11.6-liter diesel engines, each fed by three turbochargers, producing 1,200 horsepower and a space-time-ripping 3,466 lb-ft of torque. EACH. That's 2,400 hp and near-as-dirt 7,000 lb-ft. It also had a lightweight aluminum spaceframe, which counteracted the weight of all that mid-mounted diesel powah... Sadly, one of DAF's two competing trucks went into a 100-mph somersault during the 7th stage of the 1988 Paris-Dakar Rally. The subsequent crash killed co-driver Kees Van Loevezijn. After that, DAF Trucks withdrew from Dakar competition...



* Sweden - Saving more fuel … via GPS

Södertälje,Sweden -Fleet Owner (USA), by Sean Kilcarr -December 2, 2011: -- Swedish truck maker Scania is preparing to roll out a new global positioning system (GPS) linked cruise control system for its Central and Western European customers in early 2012 — one that will enable trucks to “see” the road ahead when in cruise control mode and thus automatically modulate speed with greater efficiency, thus boosting fuel economy by up to 3%, in Scania’s estimation...  Scania is taking GPS to a whole new level in combination with its cruise control technology. Dubbed Scania Active Prediction, the system is touted as being “intuitive” with the ability to adapt a truck’s operating style to the road’s topography – “looking ahead” some 3 kilometers or 1.86 miles ahead of the vehicle at all times...  Scania added that its GPS-linked cruise control package should also help experienced drivers save fuel when driving on new routes, in the dark or under adverse weather conditions...



* USA - Car makers post strong November sales

San Francisco,CAL,USA -MarketWatch, by Shawn Langlois  -1 Dec 2011:  --  U.S. car makers reported a surprisingly strong month of sales on Thursday, with trucks boosting General Motors and Chrysler enjoying its best November since 2007... Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and Nissan Motors also fared well, while Honda Motor Co. took another hit... Overall, the industry reported a SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales) of 13.6 million units, according to Autodata, up from 12.28 million in November 2010. Total deliveries rose 13.9% from a year earlier...

* USA - We Still Love SUVs: Trucks Drive Auto Sales Growth In U.S.

(Photo from Getty Images - Expensive fuel and economic uncertianty have not kept U.S. vehicle shoppers away from SUVs)
New York,NY,USA -The WSJ/Drivers' seat -December 2, 2011:  --  The sport-utility vehicle is making a comeback...   The rebound was clear Thursday as U.S. auto sales in November hit a 13.6 million annual pace, the strongest in more than two years, with sales of trucks and SUVs surpassing cars at many auto makers...  The demand is replenishing profits and restoring some of the market share losses suffered by the Detroit Three in recent decades. The average vehicle sold last month cost $30,317, up 4% from a year ago. Chrysler, the last of the big auto makers to rebound, earlier this year turned its first profit since entering bankruptcy in April 2009...  The SUV and truck comeback has been building for the past two years, a reflection of the improving economy and greater consumer confidence. A preference for trucks and SUVs may have been suppressed during the downturn, but it never really went away...

* USA - Car buyers not only buying, they're paying more

(Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images: Chrysler, led by sales of its Jeep nameplate, was among the biggest sales gainers in November)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Botom Line, by Joseph Szczesny -2 Dec 2011: -- In the best showing in months, sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers climbed to an annualized rate of 13.5 million during November, several makers — including both Audi and Hyundai—announced all-time records for...  But the impact of the strong monthly showing is being felt well beyond the auto industry. Following a solid October, when sales were driven by so-called pent-up demand, many analysts feared the November numbers would slide along with the rest of the economy. But the strong showing in the automotive market suggests there’s more life to the overall economy than many had anticipated...  Among Detroit’s Big Three, Chrysler Group LLC reported a 45 percent increase in sales last month while Ford Motor Co. posted a 13 percent increase, including a 20 percent increase in its retail sales. General Motors Co. sales increased 7 percent on strong retail sales...  Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen/Audi , Mercedes-Benz also all reported increases of 40 percent or better, while Nissan, Mazda, Suzuki, Porsche and the BMW Group had to be content with double-digit increases... 

* Germany - Rheinmetall MAN Is Preferred Australia Military-Truck Bidder

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg, by Andreas Cremer -Dec 12, 2011: -- Rheinmetall AG, and MAN SE, were named joint preferred bidders in a tender to supply Australia with as many as 2,700 military vehicles... The German companies’ Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH joint venture will enter detailed negotiations with the Canberra-based government to sell medium-size and heavy vehicles as part of an A$7.5 billion ($7.6 billion) fleet overhaul, the Defense Ministry said in a statement... The A$7.5 billion ($7.6 billion) Overlander project will provide Australia’s armed forces with about 7,500 new vehicles over the next decade, replacing the current fleet of Land Rovers, Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks in service since the early 1980s, the ministry said... Besides the 2,700 armored and unprotected vehicles that Rheinmetall MAN would supply, Australia is also seeking options for about 1,000 more unprotected trucks for training purposes, the ministry said. The order will include medium and heavy recovery vehicles and tractors, heavy integrated load-handling trucks and medium-weight crane carriers and dump trucks...

* UK - DAF records sales rise

Belfast,N. Ireland,UK -Irish Trucker -12 December 2011: -- DAF expects to finish the year with 36,000 units sold in the UK and is predicting further growth in 2012...  The manufacturer had sold only 27,500 units this time last year. DAF’s market share for the year to date stands at 26%, up 1.7%, and it was the market leader for the month of November...  DAF is forecasting volumes of 38,000, for the six-tonnes-plus market  in 2012 and believes that the overall market will eventually return to 45,000 units...

* USA - Maverick Orders 350 Freightliner Cascadias

Green Bay, WI,USA -TruckingInfo -13 Dec 2011 : -- Maverick Transportation will begin taking delivery of 350 new 2012 and 2013 trucks in the first quarter of 2012. It's also spec'ing automatic tire inflation on all new trailers purchased in 2012...  The new Freightliner Cascadias will be equipped with electronic onboard recorders, auxiliary power units, and the latest in safety technology, including collision avoidance and roll stability control. The trucks will also contain the latest Daimler engine technology and Eaton electronic-shift transmissions...


* China - Chinese military truck

* China - Chinese military truck shows off its all-terrain chops

Wuhan,China -Autoblog (USA), by Noah Joseph -Dec 10 2011: -- The Chinese automotive industry is an emerging force. Never mind all the foreign automakers setting up joint ventures in the world's most populous country, or the recognized European marques being gobbled up by Chinese conglomerates. The Chinese domestic brands are also capable of making serious vehicles with serious capabilities. Like this off-road military truck, for example...  Built by Wuhan-based Xiaolong Automotive, the XLW2090 is one of a dozen or so configurations the company builds on an adaptable chassis. The three-axle off-road truck packs a 4.5-liter Cummins four-cylinder diesel engine, over 17 inches of ground clearance, a 55.5-degree approach angle and a claimed 7,700-pound payload. That's all well and fine, but what really impresses us is what it can do when the road gets more than a little bumpy...



* Europe - Truck Makers Need Policy Integration to Maintain R and D Efforts, Product Development

Brussels,Belgium -TruckingInfo (USA) -2 Dec 2011: -- Commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe are calling upon EU policy makers to further integrate the Union's policies for transport, industrial competitiveness and future innovation to help spur sustainable growth...  Automotive manufacturers face a challenging environment in Europe, with the prospect of economic growth being only marginal if not negative, in the near and mid-term future. At the same time, the need to sustain investment in R and D remains very high...  The commercial vehicle manufacturers have already committed to a further 20% improvement in fuel efficiency by 2020 (compared to 2005 levels), despite the reverse pressure on fuel economy caused by parallel steps to reduce pollutant emissions. The industry, furthermore, supports the European Commission's efforts in establishing an accurate methodology for measuring full-vehicle CO2 emissions to underpin subsequent reduction policy tools...

* Brazil - Volvo starts production of I-Shift gearboxes, 11-liter engines in

Curitiba, Brazil -ABR -December 2011: -- Volvo do Brasil has started production of I-Shift gearboxes and will start local production of 11-litre engines at its plant in Curitiba, Brazil... The I-Shift gearboxes will be equipped in the FH and FM heavy vehicle lines... The company said that the electronic gearbox reduces consumption of up to 5% compared to vehicles with manual equipment... Apart from this, it provides more durability to the clutch, less tire wear, and increases the comfort and safety levels for the driver...

* Sweden - Volvo says to shorten work week at Renault unit

Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters -Dec 6, 2011: -- Volvo, the world's second biggest truck maker, said on Tuesday it would introduce a shortened work-week for employees at its Renault Trucks unit as it looks to adjust production to an expected fall in demand... "We are making an adjustment in line with the expectation we have that there will be a decline in the total market in Europe of 10 percent in 2012," Volvo spokesman Marten Wikforss said...

* UK - Fedex Express to trial electric Nissan NV200 in London

London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -14 Dec 2011 -- A prototype zero-emissions, all-electric delivery vehicle is ready to start real-world testing on the streets of London...  Fedex Express to trial electric Nissan NV200 in LondonFedEx Express and Nissan are collaborating over a two month period to evaluate how the NV200 electric vehicle (EV) prototype copes with the rigours of daily duties in the UK's capital...  The Nissan NV200 EV prototype uses the EV powertrain and battery originally developed for the multi-award winning Nissan LEAF. To date, Nissan has sold more than 20,000 Nissan LEAFs, making it the best-selling all-electric car in the world...

* China - Dongfeng, Volvo truck plan China JV

China Daily -12 Dec 2011: -- Dongfeng Motor Group Co plans to set up a 55-45 percent manufacturing venture with Swedish truck maker Volvo in 2012, a Chinese newspaper said...  As part of the plan, Nissan Motor, which makes commercial vehicles and passenger cars in a 50-50 partnership with Dongfeng, would stop making medium-to-heavy duty trucks at the venture, the Economic Observer said on its website, without identifying the source...  Years ago, Volvo, the world's second-largest truck maker, pulled out from its truck venture with China National Heavy-Duty Truck Corp due to sluggish sales...

* Thailand - Volvo takes over UD truck operations in

Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post -17 Dec 2011: -- AB Volvo of Sweden has officially taken over the UD truck business in Thailand, ending a two-year legal dispute with Hong Kong-listed Tan Chong International...   Tan Chong, licensed by Nissan Diesel Motor (NDM) of Japan to assemble and distribute UD trucks in Thailand in 2002, charged the Swedish truck maker with breaching various terms of distribution and technical assistance agreements dated Dec 27, 2002...  It was seeking compensation of HK$2.64 billion (10.6 billion baht) for damages early last year...  AB Volvo acquired the UD truck business worldwide by taking over NDM in 2007...

* Germany - MTU Aero Engines Eyes Volvo Aero Bid
Munich Germany -Dow Jones Newswires (USA) -13 Dec 2011: -- German aircraft-engine maker MTU Aero Engines Holding AG plans to make a nonbinding offer for the aerospace operations of Swedish truck maker Volvo AB, which recently said it began a process aimed at divesting its Volvo Aero subsidiary, according to a report in German daily Financial Times Deutschland on Friday...  The report, citing unnamed people close to the situation, said Goldman Sachs is advising MTU. A transaction could be valued at more than EUR800 million, the newspaper said...

* India - Nissan Ashok Leyland to make passenger transport vehicles

Chennai,Tamil Nadu,India -Trucks India/Linkedin -Dec 2011: -- Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies Ltd, a JV between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motors that launched LCVs for cargo transportation this September, has said it will make a foray into the passenger transport vehicle segment in the next couple of years...In its second phase of expansion, the company will launch passenger segment vehicles and goods light commercial vehicles powered by diesel and CNG fuel... The LCV for goods transportation will be of 12.5 GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight), with a pay load capacity of 5-6.5 tonnes. In the passenger segment, the seating capacity would be for eight to 24 passengers. Commencing 2012-13, one new variant would be launched every year for the next 4-5 years...

* India - Truck financing still robust despite fragile economy. Executives at banks attribute the growth in truck sales to freight rates that have remained strong

(Photo: Bloomberg)
Mumbai,India -Bloomberg, by Shally Seth Mohile / Joel Rebello -Dec 8 2011: -- Higher cost of finance, slower economic growth and shrinking industrial production haven’t deterred truck buyers from seeking finance for purchasing new vehicles...  Truck and bus sales—a key barometer of a country’s economic health—expanded by a record 35% to 66,264 in November, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, or Siam, on Thursday...  This is despite the sector’s high dependence on financing; almost all trucks sold in the country are bought on credit. This makes the sales of trucks more vulnerable to changes in interest rates...  The growth in loans and its quality are any indication, the negative macroeconomic factors haven’t dimmed buying sentiment so far...  Truck and bus sales expanded 20% year-on-year to 499,965 units between April and November, according to Siam...

* India - Mahindra Pickups to be assembled in US next year!?

(Photo: Mahindra Scorio Pickup front angle)
Mumbai,Maharashtra,India -Indian Car Bikes -Dec 2011: -- Mahindra and Mahindra seems to have finally cleared their way past all the legal obstacles and numerous lawsuits to enter the lucrative pickup truck market in the United States of America...  Now, that their local partner GV USA has gone bust, according to Mahindra Planet, the car maker is to commence assemblies of the T20 and T40 pickup trucks from the beginning of next year at Alabama, USA...  The report also suggests that Navistar has recently leased out a factory in the state of Alabama to Mahindra for its future US expansion...

* India - TATA launches large vehicles

(Photo: Tata Motors (Thailand) Co Ltd is driving its business growth in Thailand's large commercial vehicle segment with the introduction of the "TATA Novus" tractor trailer and "TATA Starbus CNG" bus)

Bangkok.Thailand -The Nation -December 14, 2011: -- The "TATA Novus" tractor trailer and "TATA Starbus CNG" bus will have their official product launchings in Thailand at the Bus and Truck 2011 event held at the Bitec center, Bangna during December 15-17, 2011...  The 1st generation TATA Novus was launched in 2004 through the joint development between Tata Motors and South Korea-based Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, shortly after Tata Motors acquired Daewoo's commercial vehicle unit. The "TATA Novus" enjoyed positive market gains in South Korea, and in 15 other export destinations...


* China - Sany Eyes Plants in 10 Countries as China Digger Sales Slow

Changsha,Hunan,China -Bloomberg (Japan), by Masumi Suga and Kiyotaka Matsuda -Dec. 7, 2011: -- Sany Heavy Industry Co., the construction-equipment maker run by China’s richest man, plans to build factories in more than 10 foreign countries as domestic demand growth slows... The company intends to add facilities in emerging markets and resource-rich nations as it works to boost the proportion of sales generated overseas to 40 percent from about 10 percent within five years, Nobuhiko Oku, deputy general manager at Sany’s international sales arm, said yesterday. The company has completed plants this year in the U.S., Brazil, India and Germany, he said... The equipment-maker, headed by Chairman Liang Wengen, and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. have begun to challenge Komatsu and Caterpillar Inc. overseas as the China market suffers from slowing demand and rising competition. Sany will likely miss its goal of selling 30,000 excavators domestically this year, Oku said...

* Philippines - Vehicle assemblers report 1.9% drop in 11-mont sales

Manila,Philippines -The Philippine Daily Inquirer, by Amy R. Remo -December 8, 2011:  --  The flooding in Thailand has taken its toll on the local automotive industry, with vehicle sales falling by 1.9 percent to 131,242 units in the first 11 months of the year from 133,739 units a year ago...  A joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed that vehicle sales in November alone dropped by 10.4 percent to 12,090 units, from 13,489 units in the same month in 2010...  Passenger car sales fell by 5.6 percent to 41,789 units in the first 11 months of the year, from 44,252 units in the same period last year, while commercial vehicle sales dipped by 0.04 percent to 89,453 units from 89,487 units a year ago...  Sales of light trucks similarly fell by 0.7 percent to 1,708 units as of end November 2011 from 1,720 units last year...