User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: August 2012

Aug 31, 2012


* Sweden - Scania wins SEK1.5B truck-and-trailer contract 

Stockholm,Sweden -MarketWatch -Aug. 29, 2012: -- The Swedish truck maker Scania AB said Wednesday it has entered into a long-term contract worth 1.5 billion Swedish kronor ($227 million) contract for road transportation of iron ore concentrate from Northland Resources SA's  ore-mining operation at Pajala, Sweden... The agreement will begin late this year and last until 2021... Scania will deliver a total of about 400 complete truck-and-trailer combinations and service-related products tailored to the mining industry's very strict demands in respect of load capacity, uptime and delivery precision... The order was placed by the mining company's general contractor Swerock, which is a subsidiary of the Swedish construction and civil engineering company Peab AB... Scania's overall undertaking covers delivery of truck combinations with specially built trailers, driver training and coaching, vehicle monitoring, maintenance and repairs of trucks and trailers, including tires, supplies and service. The deal will be financed by the Swedish subsidiary of Scania Financial Services...

* India - 10,000 trucks per year may push us into manufacturing 

Bangalore,India -My Digital FC, by G Balachandar -Aug 31 2012: -- Swedish commercial vehicle maker Scania, which is controlled by Volkswagen, recently started work for establishing its truck assembly plant near Bangalore... Scania's Henrik Fagrenius outlines his company’s growth plan for India: "We have revised our initial investment figure to $2.5 billion to set up our own CKD facility in India. We aim to manufacture 2,000 trucks and 1,000 buses per year within the next five years. We also plan to upgrade the facility into a complete manufacturing plant at a later stage when we achieve annual sales mark of 10,000 units. We also plan to employ up to 800 people in this facility over the next five years... This facility will assemble trucks and buses for the Indian market and the first rollout is expected in early next year" ...

* Sweden - Volvo Keeps on Trucking 

Stockholm,Sweden -Barrons' (USA), by Jonathan Buck -Sept 1, 2012: -- Cost savings could offset sluggish sales at the Swedish truck maker, whose shares could rise 20%. Also, why Spain's bond yields are spiking... Swedish truck maker Volvo has the power to rumble through the bumpy economic landscape. Investors who jump on the back now could pick up gains of 20% or more in the next 12 months... Volvo is looking to wring more efficiencies and savings from its operations, which are focused on trucks but include buses and construction equipment. However, a lot of the optimism surrounding the company's prospects is dependent on a better global economic outlook for 2013 than many observers currently expect...

* Turkey - Ford Turkey to Raise Truck Exports Sixfold as It Adds New Model 

Istanbul,Turkey -Bloomberg, by Ercan Ersoy and Benedikt Kammel -Aug 31, 2012: -- Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AS, the Turkish van and truck maker co-owned by Ford Motor Co. and Koc Holding AS, plans as much as a sixfold increase in truck exports to 6,000 vehicles by 2016, helped by a new heavy truck it will start selling at the end of this year. Ford Otosan, as the company is known, will produce 3,000 Cargo 1846T heavy trucks annually starting in 2013 at a plant in Inonu in western Turkey with a $75 million investment...  The new model will help double Ford Otosan’s truck production to 20,000 units annually eventually... Ford’s share of Turkey’s truck market will probably rise to 25 percent this year from 22.8 percent last year...  Trucks will be exported to 65 countries. Ford Otomotiv exported 1,000 trucks in 2011. Ford also has a van-making plant in Kocaeli, near Istanbul...

* India - Ashok Leyland launches 'Dost' in India

New Delhi,India -The India Today Online -August 31, 2012: -- Ashok Leyland, made entry into India'€™s fast expanding LCD segment by launching 'Dost' in Mangalore on Thursday... The Executive Director of Ashok Leyland Limited, Nithin Seth, said: "'Dost'€™ is the first vehicle to be launched from the joint venture between Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motar Company"... The new vehicle, which has a payload capacity of 1.25T, will be available in three versions with the top-end version featuring air-conditioning, power steering, dual-colour beige-gray trim and fabric seats... Ashok Leyland has an oversized share of the market at 41.78 per cent, and, along with Tata, which has 41.94 per cent, rules the universe of buses in India... AL is also planning to introduce the JanBus, a single-step, front-engine, fully-flat floor bus for which the company has 16 patents. The bus has an automated manual transmission and is targeted at STUs...

 * South Africa - Ford creates 800 new jobs in

(Photo 2013_Ford_Ranger)
Pretoria,South Africa -Media.Ford -24 August, 2012: -- Due to continued strong demand for the award-winning Ford Ranger pickup truck, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will add 800 new positions to increase production at its Silverton Assembly Plant and its Struandale Engine Plant on 3rd September... FMCSA will add a second shift to its Silverton and a third shift at its Struandale Engine Plant. Training of potential employees to fill the new positions began in June this year...

 * India - Mahindra reva inaugurates its new electric car manufacturing plant in Bangalore

(Photo: Solar Parking Station outside the manufacturing plant)
Bangalore.India –EVhub.IN -22nd Aug 2012: -- Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman M and M has inaugurated Mahindra Reva’s new electric car plant today in Bangalore... The unique feature of the manufacturing plant is that it was awarded the IGBC Platinum rating for utilizing natural resources like day light during day time, solar energy for powering electrical gadgets and last but not least used for charging newly manufactured electric cars. The plant also uses the rain water harvesting for recycling water. It also has solar parking stations for charging electric cars. Mahindra Reva is the second automotive company in the world to get this honour of IGBC platinum rating for green building and it is the first company in Asia to get this honour... 

* Sweden - Hong Kong-owned firm finishes Saab purchase 
Stockholm,Sweden -The Detroit News -September 5, 2012: -- A Hong Kong-owned company says it has completed the acquisition of bankrupt carmaker Saab and will move ahead with its business plan to make electric cars under the Swedish brand... National Electric Vehicle Sweden, or NEVS, said it expects to introduce its first electric vehicle "in approximately 18 months" ... Saab, which has more than 3,000 workers, filed for bankruptcy in December last year... NEVS said will make electric cars under Swedish brand name without using GM technology. It will use the Saab name but not the present logo for its electric cars... It didn't disclose what it paid for the acquisition, which included Saab's factory in Trollhattan, southwestern Sweden...


Aug 29, 2012


* Illinois - Navistar shares up 2% on EPA engine ruling - Agency doubles fine but allows sales of units that don't meet emissions standards 

(Photo by Chuck Berman / August 7, 2012: Some of Navistar's vehicles on display in 2010 in Lisle,ILL) 
Lisle,ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune, by Alejandra Cancino -August 31, 2012: -- Shares of Navistar International Corp. closed up 2.38 percent Friday, at $21.98, the day after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will allow manufacturers to sell diesel engines that don't meet federal emission standards... The ruling will allow Navistar International Corp. to sell its non-compliant engines by paying a maximum fine of $3,800 each -- double what it has been paying. The fines will not be retroactive, so Navistar will not have to pay extra for the non-compliant engines it has already sold... Navistar has non-compliant engines because technology it developed failed to meet 2010 emission standards to reduce smog-causing nitrogen oxide. That technology cost it approximately $700 million since 2001. Navistar changed its course after reporting a second-quarter loss of $172 million. This month, the Lisle-based company said it would combine its technology with the approach used by its competitors to further lower emissions and get its engines certified. Navistar is also buying a competitor's engines to meet the standards... The EPA issued an interim rule in January that allowed manufacturers to sell non-compliant engines as long as they paid a fine of $1,919 per engine. Navistar competitors, including Mack Trucks Inc. and units of Daimler AG and Cummins Inc., successfully sued federal regulators, claiming that the agency was giving Navistar preferential treatment... So, the EPA increased the fine Thursday...

* Philadelphia - Ford accused of infringing fuel-injection patent with F-150 

Pennsylvania,PHIL,USA -Bloomberg/The Detroit News, by Sophia Pearson -August 30, 2012: -- Ford Motor Co. was accused in a lawsuit of infringing a 2008 patent covering a fuel-injection system in its F-150 trucks... Ford allegedly began selling vehicles, including the F-150, which incorporated the patent's fuel system design after telling the inventor the company had no interest in the technology, according to the complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Philadelphia by TMC Fuel Injection System LLC. The company, based in Wayne, Penn., is seeking a court order barring Ford's conduct, in addition to unspecified damages... Ford's discussions with Shou L. Hou, the patent inventor, began in December 2004, more than two years after an application was filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the technology, TMC said in the complaint...  Ford's F-150 is available with a fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine. EcoBoost, introduced in 2009, uses direct fuel injection and turbocharging to increase fuel economy...Ford last year introduced its first EcoBoost engine for F- Series pickups. Trucks equipped with that engine accounted for 42 percent of the model line's retail sales in July, the company said in its latest sales statement issued Aug. 1... 

* Michigan - Flagging GM pickup sales may spur incentive war. Company expects demand to pick up in second half of year

(Photo by Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News: GM trucks sit at the Flint plant on Bristol Road and Interstate 75. Inventory levels are increasing as sales are down, but the automaker has no current plans to change production strategy)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -August 28, 2012: -- General Motors Co., which ended July with a hefty 41/2-month supply of full-size trucks, may be forced to cut production or boost incentives. That, in turn, could lead to an incentive war among truck competitors... The Detroit-based automaker has said for a year that it planned to build up truck inventory in 2012 to ensure it had enough pickups while it retools plants for all-new pickups coming next year. GM even warned that pickup inventory would exceed a 100-day supply at times... But some analysts are concerned about the inventory level, which at 136 days at the end of July was nearly double the 73-day supply that GM had at the end of December. Analysts consider less than a 100-day supply ideal for full-size pickups... July incentives on GM's Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra at $4,200 and $4,800, respectively, were down substantially from the same month a year before, according to But they were higher than incentives Ford Motor Co. offered for the F-150 and what Chrysler Group LLC offered for Ram 1500, says. Pickups are highly profitable for automakers, generally bringing in about $10,000 per unit...

* Louisiana - Last GM midsize trucks roll off La. assembly line

(Photo from GM: At its peak, the Shreveport facility employed more than 2,500 and produced GM’s first Chevrolet S-10 pickup, the Chevy Blazer SUV and Hummer H3, above. Tuesday was the last day for most of its workers)  
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -August 29, 2012: -- General Motors Co. ended production Tuesday of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks at its Shreveport Assembly Plant in Louisiana, which the Detroit automaker is closing after three decades in operation... The last truck, a white Colorado, rolled off the line Tuesday, one of more than 4.5 million vehicles built during the plant's lifetime. The plant, into which the automaker invested $1.2 billion about 10 years ago, had been eyed to close since 2009, as part of General Motors Corp.'s bankruptcy... GM hasn't said when it will launch production of its next-generation midsize pickup truck. That could leave some buyers of midsize trucks with limited options, at least for now...

* Indiana - Commercial Vehicle Group to make seats for Chinese truck maker

New Albany,Indiana,USA -Columbus Business First -August 28, 2012: -- Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. has landed a contract to provide seating and bunk systems for a truck manufacturer in China... The deal with Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. could provide $12 million to $15 million in revenue to Commercial Vehicle Group a year once full production is reached in 2016-17, the company said... In 2011, Commercial Vehicle Group had about $832 million in revenue, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission... The New Albany-based company will supply a custom driver seat with air suspension and develop passenger seats, center seats and a sleeper bunk for Jianghuai Automobile’s new truck platform...



* Texas - Hybrids, electrics moving some big trucks - slowly 

(Photo: Freightliner Electric Truck)
Dallas,TX,USA -The Dallas Morning News, by Terry Box -August 26, 2012: ... Once the soot-belching, big-foot monsters of the highway, giant commercial trucks are slowly becoming more eco-friendly — out of necessity... Commercial trucks — ranging from growling 80,000-pound tractor-trailer rigs to much smaller delivery trucks — face the same head winds that continue to reshape the auto industry... Diesel fuel doubled in price four years ago. Although it has dropped some, costs remain as volatile as gas prices... In addition, federal regulations will require big trucks, many of which average only 6 or 7 miles per gallon, to improve their economy and emissions by 3 percent in 2014 and another 3 percent in 2017... Most truck manufacturers expect to meet the 2014 standards with relatively minor revisions. But the requirements in 2017 and beyond may be a challenge... As in the car world, hybrids are a hard sell. They cost $20,000 to $30,000 more than an average $100,000 truck... Typically, a hybrid powertrain will bump up a big truck's fuel economy from about 6 miles per gallon to 7 or 8 mpg, officials said...



* Michigan - Study: Drivers desire assisting devices 
 Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -August 29, 2012: -- Nearly 9 in 10 drivers say they are interested in driver-alert and driver-assist technologies in their vehicles, according to a study commissioned by Ford Motor Co... But more than half said they still aren't comfortable with the idea of self-driving automobiles... The study of 2,506 drivers age 18 and older, conducted by market researcher Penn Schoen Berland, found that drivers overwhelmingly crave driver-assist technology... But many don't know that some technologies — including the ability to choose top speed limits and block incoming text messages and phone calls — already exist... Those surveyed were less interested in self-driving automobiles... Only 54 percent of those said they were interested; only 39 percent said they would be "comfortable" driving one...

 * Michigan - 9 of 10 drivers want assist technology, but fewer than half want self-driving cars

Detroit,MICH,USA -Autoblog, by George Kennedy -Sep 2nd 2012: -- Do you want a car with the latest in lane-departure warning, parking sensors, and the like? ...  According to the study, 60 percent of drivers blame blind spots for accidents, while 40 percent are actually afraid of parallel parking. Additionally, nearly half of the drivers surveyed have admitted to falling asleep while driving or know someone who has. The study was conducted by market-research firm Penn Schoen Berland, and found that while drivers want driver-assist technologies, many are not aware of some that are already available. Since Ford was the automaker to commission the study, it was quick to point out that the 2013 Fusion offers 10 such driver aids, such as lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and a rear view camera, among other features. It should also be noted that many of these features are also available on new Nissan, Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota vehicles.



* DC - White House finalizes 2025 'historic' fuel rules for automakers 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -August 29, 2012: -- The Obama administration gave the final green light Tuesday to landmark 2017-25 fuel economy rules that will nearly double the efficiency of the nation's cars and trucks over the next 13 years, to a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon... The new rules will reshape what Americans drive and prod automakers to implement fuel-saving technologies more quickly... As a result of the new requirements, the price of a truck will rise $2,059, on average and about $1,726 for cars. But motorists will save on fuel costs: The government estimates a vehicle buyer in 2025 will save $3,400 to $5,000 over the life of the vehicle, after accounting for the higher purchase price... In all, and including 2012-16 mileage increases already on the books, motorists will save $1.7 trillion at the pump, the government estimates. That's far more than the costs of more expensive autos...



* Michigan - Big 3 push U.S. factories to capacity

(Image by Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News: The first 2013 Cadillac ATS luxury sedan rolls off the assembly line July 26 at GM’s Lansing plant, which had a $190 million upgrade and added 600 jobs and a second shift, bringing capacity to 100 percent)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman and Melissa Burden -August 28, 2012: -- The rebound of the American automobile industry has plants across the country running all-out... By the end of the year, all three Detroit automakers will be operating at more than 100 percent capacity in North America — a major turnaround for an industry that saw plant utilization fall below 50 percent three years ago... An analysis conducted by Harbour for The Detroit News shows that Ford Motor Co. is making the best use of its factories, with North American capacity utilization on track this year to reach 113 percent. He put General Motors Co.'s capacity utilization rate at 108 percent, assuming it follows through with plans to shutter its Shreveport, La., factory later this week. Harbour estimated that Chrysler Group LLC would use about 104 percent of its capacity... Those figures are based on the industry-standard definition of two eight-hour shifts working five days a week, excluding holidays... The increase in capacity utilization means more factories are adding a third shift and more workers are putting in overtime... 

* Michigan - GM to idle, retool Detroit Hamtramck plant 
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson and Melissa Burden -August 28, 2012: -- General Motors Co. will halt production at its Detroit Hamtramck Assembly plant, where it builds the extended range Chevrolet Volt, for four weeks for retooling starting in mid-September, sources said Monday... The assembly line shutdown will begin Sept. 17 and continue through Oct. 15, as GM readies for production of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala, the brand's flagship full-size sedan... About 1,500 workers will be idled during retooling because the automaker builds multiple models on the same assembly line... 

* Michigan - 2013 Buick Encore rated at 28 mpg combined, best in domestic class

(Photo: 2013 Buick Encore) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -August 28, 2012: -- The 2013 Buick Encore's 28 miles per gallon combined city/highway fuel economy estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency ranks it the most fuel-efficient crossover offered from a domestic automaker, General Motors Co. said Tuesday... The luxury crossover Encore will get an estimated 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with a standard six-speed transmission and front-wheel drive. That beats the combined fuel economy ratings of the 2013 Ford Escape and Jeep Compass with an automatic transmission, which are rated at 26 mpg and 25 mpg, respectively, GM said... 


Aug 28, 2012


* USA - Mercedes shipping SUV kits to Asia

(Photo by Dusty Compton/Tuscaloosa News: Quality specialist Teri Evans, left, and packer Wendy Jackson, right, check a window pane as quality manager Sebastian Kahle looks on during a tour of the SKD packaging facility at BLG Logistics Inc. in Vance on Monday. Mercedes is building semi- assembled car kits for India, Indonesia and Thailand. The move will help increase the presence of Mercedes-Benz products in the SUV segment of these markets)
Vance,SC,USA -The Tuscaloosa News, by Patrick Rupinski -August 13, 2012: -- Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. has started sending kits containing all the parts of M-Class sport utility vehicles to three Asian countries where the vehicles will be assembled for sale in those nations. Marcus Schaefer, president of MBUSI, said Monday that the move will increase Mercedes sales in India, Indonesia and Thailand. Those countries have protectionist trade policies that include high tariffs, import fees and customs restrictions. Those have made the Mercedes sports utility vehicles made in Vance extremely expensive, even for luxury car buyers, in those countries, he said...  Schaefer said the kits will increase production for Mercedes' U.S. automotive suppliers and result in more jobs for the suppliers and at the Tuscaloosa County Mercedes plant, which will build and paint the vehicles' bodies... 

* Germany - Volkswagen Group to build own engine plant in Russia

Wolfsburg,Germany -Green Car Congress -28 August 2012: -- The Volkswagen Group is expanding its capacities in Russia with the construction of a new engine plant in Kaluga, Russia. The Volkswagen Group will invest approximately €250 million (US$314 million) at the new location, where a a 1.6-liter gasoline engine from the EA 211 series will be produced locally as of 2015. The capacity is set at 150,000 engines a year... The engine plant is being built directly next to the Volkswagen vehicle plant in Kaluga... As of 2015, the engine plant will supply engines for the vehicle production of the Volkswagen Group Rus in Kaluga as well as the contract production in the GAZ plant in Nizhny Novgorod. Crankcases, cylinder heads with assembly integrated, crankshafts as well as the complete engine assembly are all part of the planned scope of production...

* USA - Ford to add its sixth plant in China 
Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -August 28, 2012: -- Ford Motor Co. is investing another $600 million in China, this time for a new manufacturing facility in Chongqing, the company's largest global manufacturing location outside of southeastern Michigan... The expansion by Ford, announced Monday, along with its joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, will be the automaker's third assembly plant in Chongqing and sixth manufacturing facility overall... The new plant — Chongqing 3 — should begin production in late 2014 and will have the capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles annually, Ford said... The Dearborn automaker's capacity is expected to reach 1.2 million in China by 2015... In total, Ford has invested about $5 billion in China, the world's fastest-growing economy...

* USA - Eighth company pleads guilty in auto industry price fixing 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -August 28, 2012: -- An eighth company has agreed to plead guilty as part of the Justice Department's wide-ranging investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry... Nagoya, Japan-based, Nippon Seiki Co. Ltd. on Tuesday agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $1 million criminal fine as part of a conspiracy to fix prices of instrument panel clusters installed in vehicles sold in the United States and around the world, the Justice Department said... Nippon Seiki manufactures many auto parts, including instrument panel clusters. Instrument panel clusters are the mounted instruments and gauges housed in front of the driver of an automobile... Including Nippon Seiki, eight companies and 11 executives have been charged as part of the government's ongoing investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry. Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., DENSO Corp., Yazaki Corp., G.S. Electech Inc., Fujikura Ltd. and Autoliv Inc. have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $785 million in criminal fines... Last month, TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH agreed to plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing...



* UK - Pirelli helps to reduce tyre-related breakdowns 

W.Yorkshire,UK -HGV UK -August 21, 2012: -- Pirelli has helped one of its customers halve the number of tyre-related breakdowns across its fleet of 84 trucks and 135 trailers... Bedfords Transport swapped to use Pirelli new and remould tyres at the end of December 2011 and during the first seven months of the contract, the company recorded an average of just 3.4 roadside tyre failures per month... Prior to appointing Pirelli, Bedfords Transport tendered the contract and evaluated options from a number of different tyre manufacturers and service providers. It elected to reappoint ATS Euromaster, building on a relationship between the two companies established more than a decade ago. At the same time Bedfords Transport opted for Pirelli’s new and remould tyres... The revised contract ensures that all elements of tyre servicing are conducted by ATS Euromaster, including routine tyre fitting, pressure monitoring, twinning and turning tyres on the rim... 

* Germany - DEKRA recognition for Hankook e-cube heavy truck tyres

Klettwitz,Germany -Transport Engineer -24 Aug 2012: -- Hankook's 'consumption-optimised' e-cube tyres, for heavy trucks, have achieved top results in a fuel test, conducted by DEKRA at its test centre in Klettwitz, Germany... The test, commissioned by Hankook, was designed to determine the influence of different tyre sets on fuel consumption for trucks... Average consumption of 29.4L/100km, was recorded on an e-cube-shod Scania G420 4x2 tractor with a fully loaded Schmitz Cargobull semi-trailer... This figure is a reduction, compared with standard Hankook models, and stacks up well against Michelin X-Energy tyres, which were also tested during the consumption testing...

* UK - Continental focuses on economy and efficiency 

Cambridge,UK -HGV UK -August 27, 2012: ... Continental will present numerous innovative technologies, products and services, with which the manufacturers of commercial vehicles can make their vehicles safer, more economical and cleaner, as well as network them more intelligently and make them easier to opera... Along with its extensice commercial tyre line up the companyt will also exhibit its technological innovations for the automotive megatrends of Safety, Environment, Information and the industry trend of Efficiency... Innovative driver assistance and braking systems, vehicle networking and operating concepts, drive technologies, sensors, interior trim materials and tyres are just some of the innovations on display...



* Bribed transport officials let rogue trucks unleash on Delhi roads

(Image: Trucks have become the biggest nuisance for Delhiites who need to drive late at night)
New Delhi,India -India Today, by Kumar Vikram -August 26, 2012: -- Trucks have become the biggest nuisance for Delhiites who need to drive late at night. The trucks drive dangerously, ply in no-entry zones and often break down causing snarls, not to mention the accidents they cause on Delhi's roads. But don't blame it on the driver alone for your road travails at night. A cabal of corrupt officials - from transport department personnel and traffic police officials to PCR staff who are easily 'bought over' by the drivers, is responsible for unleashing these rogues on the capital's roads... Officials of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) want only take bribes from drivers of overloaded or unfit trucks and allow their entry into the city, which routinely cause jams and often topple over crushing motorists... As transport officials stop trucks to line their pockets, traffic policemen also demand a share of the bribe pie as the trucks cause jams... While RTO officials, demand bribes ranging from Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000, traffic policemen satisfy themselves with Rs.100-200 from a truck driver. This is so because RTOs are all powerful, authorised to inspect a truck's cargo and the vehicle's fitness certificate to the driver's licence and the vehicle's permit. Policemen demand bribes from the drivers citing traffic rule violations... After a driver pays up, he is issued with a 'sticker' or 'code' by RTO that allows him to drive overloaded or unfit vehicle within the capital without being challenged by lower-rung authorities...



* NY - Decoding Traffic In a Jammed City. A Picture of New York Congestion Emerges From Taxi Data

(Image from Getty Images: A line of yellow taxi cabs, cars and trucks clog Ave of the Americas as seen in this 2009 photo) 
New York,NY,USA -The WSJ, by TED MANN -August 19, 2012: -- It was almost a year ago, but by definition, many motorists missed it: Aug. 28 was the easiest date in 2011 to drive through Manhattan. That Sunday, the city's yellow taxis sped through Manhattan's central business district at an average of 16.3 mph, according to the New York City Department of Transportation... The slowest date: Jan. 28, a Friday after the city had been crippled by a blizzard that dumped nearly two feet of snow over three days. The average groundspeed was 6.9 mph... The city's slowest and fastest traffic days and a trove of other data were measured by the Department of Transportation using Global Positioning System data from the city's fleet of more than 13,000 taxi cabs. The data is included in the department's Sustainable Streets Index, an annual report to be issued Monday that describes in rare detail how people move through the nation's most densely packed city... In a town where walkers often outpace crosstown buses, dealing with congested streets is a tie that binds the city. An average of about 778,000 vehicles converge each day in Manhattan's central business district, defined as all of the island south of 60th Street... The report provides an uncommon amount of empirical data, from the percentage of commuters who walk or take public transportation to work (65%) to how many fewer pedestrians were injured along East 180th Street after street improvements (67%)... And it sheds light on what many motorists consider something of a dark art: discerning when they can best dodge traffic...



* Panama Canal: Expansion draws concern about heavier trucks 

(Photo: The Panama Canal Expansion)
Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -23 Aug 2012: -- The proponents of longer-heavier trucks are attempting to exploit the expansion of the Panama Canal to lobby for their cause. OOIDA says it’s just another tactic to get truckers to haul more freight for the same pay... The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association supports the federal freeze on 80,000 pounds on five axles. Heavier trucks require permits and extra fees... State officials in Texas stated on Aug. 15 that they are preparing to ask federal officials to allow trucks to weigh up to 97,000 pounds on six axles in anticipation of the giant cargo ships that will be allowed through the Panama Canal once the expansion is completed in 2015...

* California - Driver tracking by insurers sparks privacy debate 

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Reuters/The Bottom Line, by Ben Berkowitz -17 Aug 2012: -- California is turning into a battleground for technology that allows auto insurers to track their customers' driving behavior and offer them lower premiums, but that privacy advocates reject as an excessive intrusion with serious consequences... Insurance companies are increasingly installing small boxes in clients' cars that monitor everything from how much customers drive to their average speeds to where they drive. Auto insurer Progressive Corp, which leads the market for so-called usage-based insurance, estimates that about 70 percent of the people who sign up for the program drive well enough to get a discount. But privacy advocates say the lower premiums are not worth the tradeoffs, because the data could be used for unexpected purposes like penalizing drivers who visit unsafe neighborhoods. That argument holds sway with the California Department of Insurance, which is opposed to expanding the technology...



* China - Approves Engine Joint Venture Business License for Navistar and Chinese Truck Maker JAC

(Photo: The world renowned, technologically advanced MaxxForce 7.2 diesel engine) 
Beijing,China -School Transportation News -23 August 2012: -- Navistar International Corporation and Chinese truck maker Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) announced this week that the two companies have received formal approval from the Chinese government to move forward with their commercial engine joint venture... The joint venture will focus on meeting the emerging needs of the Chinese commercial truck market by providing JAC with access to Navistar's Euro IV and Euro V compliant technology. The JV also sets the stage for global export opportunities of JAC's light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks... The products slated for the joint venture include Navistar's MaxxForce® 3.2, 4.8, 7.2 and JAC's 2.8 4DA1 liter engines. The engines offer up to 118 kW power and 45.9 kgf.m torque @ 1,500-2,200 rpm; 140 kW power and 73.4 kgf.m torque @ 1,200-1,600 rpm,243 kW / 132.6 kgf.m @ 1,200-1,600 rpm, and 88wW/28.5 kgf.m @ 2,000-2,200 rpm respectively. All engines deliver quiet, fuel efficient operation...



* New York - Navistar board ousts CEO Ustian after failed engine bet 

New York,NY,USA -Reuters/CNBC, by Soyoung Kim, Scott Malone, Bijoy Koyitty/Lisa Von Ahn, Matthew Lewis and Gunna Dickson -27 Aug 2012: -- Navistar International Corp replaced Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Ustian, with former Textron Inc CEO, Lewis Campbell, on an interim basis, after the truck maker's bet on a new generation of diesel engines failed to live up to its promise...Ustian, who spent 37 years at Navistar, was ousted over the weekend after the board lost confidence in him and his engine strategy, a person familiar with the situation said. The source was not authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be named. After an independent probe, the board concluded that Ustian had made a wrong bet on a new generation of diesel engines and his technology solution would not work on trucks, the person said...  For much of the past year, Navistar had been struggling to win approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a novel diesel engine technology that would cut emissions of nitrogen oxide, a pollutant linked to asthma, without using urea. Urea is a raw material used in the manufacture of many chemical compounds, including ones used in automobile systems.Last month, Ustian reversed course and said the company would begin using urea, adopting the dominant technology and one used by rivals including Paccar Inc. and Volvo AB . To do that, Navistar will begin selling trucks with engines made by Cummins Inc early next year.Navistar won a temporary reprieve in early August after U.S. regulators submitted a final rule allowing it to continue to sell engines that do not meet U.S. emissions standards as long as it pays fines...  Navistar has also become a target of activist investors, with about 45 percent of its outstanding stock held by three big investors: billionaire Carl Icahn, hedge fund MHR Fund Management and asset manager Franklin Resources Inc.Icahn, which has not yet detailed his agenda at Navistar, did not return calls for a comment, while representatives of MHR, founded by former Icahn associate Mark Rachesky, declined to comment on the executive changes...  Fiat Industrial SpA CEO, Sergio Marchionne, in June publicly flirted with the idea, but one of his deputies said later Navistar's engine strategy was "completely different" from Fiat's approach.Volkswagen AG has also been named as a logical buyer for Navistar, since a purchase could allow the German carmaker to gain its market share in the key North American truck market. But people familiar with the industry said that no buyer is likely to emerge in the near term, while Navistar is working to sort out its engine technology problems and the big positions held by activist investors are adding to the uncertainty surround the company's strategic direction...

* Illinois - Navistar opts to combine EGR, SCR technology moving forward

Warrenville,ILL,USA -Land Line, by Charlie Morasch -23 Aug 2012: ... About six months after most Navistar employees moved into the new facilities, they heard the announcement many had been waiting for: The company would switch to SCR. Despite the suspected inevitability of that change, the announcement has prompted many to ask whether a bankruptcy or other major changes would consume Navistar... Focused or not, Navistar has been roundly criticized for sticking with its in-cylinder engine gas recirculation treatment system while every competitor switched over to selective catalytic reduction with urea-based diesel exhaust fluid. The company also received more negative headlines in early August after it disclosed the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining accounting and disclosure issues at Navistar dating back to 2010... Navistar will begin rolling out trucks with 15-liter Cummins engines and Cummins urea-based exhaust after-treatment systems later this year. By spring 2013, Navistar plans to begin rolling out its own 13-liter engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction or SCR after-treatment. Company leaders, including Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American Truck Group, say using both technologies now may provide the competitive advantage Navistar sought by being the lone manufacturer that didn’t require truck drivers to add urea-based fluid...

* South Caroline - Western Star offering factory-installed SPIF option

(Photo: Western Star trucks) 
Fort Mill,SC,USA -Truck News (CAN) -Aug 24, 2012: -- Western Star is now offering trucks that comply with Ontario’s Safe Productive Infrastructure Friendly (SPIF)requirements, straight from the factory... The SPIF-compliant Western Star features a 22,000-lb Watson/Chalin steerable pusher axle with 72-inch customized tandem spacing that maintains full axle capacity, the company announced... The SPIF Option Package provides body builders and upfitters with the hardware required to comply with the regulation and reduce upfit time and complexity, according to the company... The system automatically deploys the lift axle when the truck is loaded...

* Michigan - Eaton UltraShift Plus now available with Westport's 15L LNG engine

(Photo: Eaton UltraShift PLUS Linehaul Series Transmissions) 
Galesburg,MICH,USA -Truck News (CAN) -Aug 24, 2012: -- Eaton has announced its UltraShift Plus automated transmission is now available in trucks spec’d with the Westport HD 15-litre liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine... The transmission and engine combo can be spec’d on Kenworth T800 and Peterbilt 367, 386 and 387 model vehicles... The engines and transmissions are rated at more than 110,000 lbs GVW...