User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: January 2013

Jan 31, 2013


* France - Accidents involving trucks and buses fell 15% in 2012   

Paris,France -Autocar and Bus Infos, 19189 (France), by FG -24 Jan 2013: -- The figures dramatic decline in road deaths in 2012 (- 8% according to preliminary figures from the Road Safety) compared to 2011, good news today fell for trucks and buses. Thus, the number of drivers killed at the wheel of their car or their truck went from 67 in 2011 to 57 in 2012, a decrease of nearly 15%. For the record, the number of truck drivers who died in 2000 was 124. Finally: the number of accidents and injuries (all drivers VL, Vul, PL, cars, bikes ...) fell 6.9%...



* France - Strike call of TRM: the response of small carriers remains a great unknown 

Paris,France -The Official Carriers/WK Transport et Logistique, by Slimane Boukezzoula -1 Feb 2013: -- The slogan of unlimited strike of transport services launched in maverick by Alain Spinelli February 4, 2013 Will he follow? The Official Carriers surveyed small carriers that have signed the petition... Small carriers seem torn between the desire to be heard and their unions instructions... It is February 4, 2013 that this action should take place that fits against the establishment of future environmental tax PL, Alain Spinelli seeks annulment pure and simple... The mover Paris said he received support from nearly 400 carriers and movers in its national petition. Because it is completely isolated and it has no relay in the region, it is able to succeed his bet to stand hundreds of smaller carriers worried about their future? Carriers more likely to see, they say, 'breaking their professional organizations with realities on the ground'... Some of these smaller carriers are encartés. And they signed the petition "José Bové TRM". For now, they observe a kind of wait between his approach and strategy (dialog) seen by their respective federations...

* Belgium - Jobs in road transport increased by 1.4% in 2011 - Estimates of 0.7% in 2012

Brussels,Belgium -Autocar and Bus Infos, 19215 (France) -29 Jan 2013: -- The traditional conference on jobs and training in the road transport has confirmed once again that the transport sector (freight, passenger, moving ...) is doing well "contrary to all economic analyzes," said Maxime Dumont, President OPTL. These good results are also valid for the profession of driver, whether freight or passenger, where enrollment rose by 2% and 2.3% in 2011 compared to 2010. In 2011, the number of conductors goods stood at 334,097 and 89,579 travelers. All activities, the transportation industry employed 649,227 people in 2011. For 2012, the estimates are of the order of 0.7%, and Maxime Dumont says "there will be no loss of jobs for drivers in 2012 according to the first analysis," even if the sector goods, in particular, has experienced significant consolidation (acquisitions and sales of trucking firms) and will probably be in 2013...

* France - More precarious in 2011 transport and logistics

Paris,France -WK Transport et Logistics Magazine -1 Feb 2013: ... The OPTL Observatory (Prospective Trades and Skills in the Transport and Logistics) reported a more precarious employees... The OPTL, who has just published its annual report, confirms the good performance of the jobs in the industry in 2011... First conclusion: the transportation and logistics industry employs 649,227 workers in 2011, an increase of 1.4% of the workforce... Despite this rather positive employment insecurity increases the number of temporary full-time equivalent increased by 3% while the share of part-time employees continues to grow to 9.1% of the overall. However, employees of transport and logistics are better off than those in other sectors where the private sector more than 20% of employees are part-time... Logistics providers are the first to benefit from the upturn since the growth of employment in these companies was up 3.7%. Their numbers are younger than in other sectors of the industry: 38 years and 9 months on average against 42 years and 5 months also... Regarding training, OPTL notes the success of professional qualifications, the number increased by 25% in 2011...



* Sweden - Elimination of positions for at Scania

(Photo: Southern Chile roadway)
Södertälje,Sweden -Autocar Bus and Infos -30 Jan 2013: -- Faced with poor figures of the European market PL,  Scania today announced a reduction of its activity in Europe... "Given the weak demand in Europe and the Middle East, production will be reduced by about 15% in Europe in the early first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012. This decision pourait result in the elimination of 700 positions", said the statement from the manufacturer...  Commands and PL bus from the Swedish nevertheless increased by 24% during the year 2012, driven by the dynamic South American market...

* Belgium - The European Market in 2012 VI gloomy

Brussels,Belgium -Autocar Bus and Infos -30 Jan 2013: -- Registrations of new commercial vehicles in Europe fell by 12.4% in 2012, reaching 1,695,173 units, according to figures from the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers released before yesterday... France remains in this sector the largest European market with quarter of immats, despite a decline of 10.6% to 381,233 units...  Registrations under PL 16 t decrease of 9.1% in Europe to 285,809 units, only to - 7.5% in France, with 45,678 units. The market for more than 16 t undergoes a substantial decrease slightly more at - 9.4%, or 214,086 registrations across the EU. In France, the sector declined by 8.5% to 36,461 units... 

* Germany - Electric Vehicles: Daimler, Ford and Nissan signed an agreement to develop a common fuel cell 

 Stuttgart,Germany -Autocar and Bus Infos, 19218 (France) -29 Jan 2013: -- We know the determination of the Daimler Group to develop fuel cell to produce electric vehicles. For over 20 years, Daimler develops cell energy in the bus, including the Citaro, some copies run in Europe. He even presented last year a Freightliner truck with a battery charged energy to provide electricity to the entire vehicle. Only problem with its current use: the cost is exorbitant. To get to make these devices more affordable, Daimler has united around him Ford and Nissan in order to equip their future vehicles ... It is very likely that the device in the joint is quickly applied to utilities...


Jan 30, 2013


* NSW - Study: Is roadside advertising a distraction ?

Sydney,NSW,Australia -Austroads (PR) -January 2013: -- Glancing away from the road to look at an advertisement for more than two seconds can double your risk of accident, according to a new report [PDF] released this week by Austroads, the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities... However, roadside advertising can also help to keep drivers alert on long journeys... The report assesses the distraction risk posed by roadside advertising. It’s estimated that 30 per cent of all crashes involve driver distraction, with almost a third of these cases caused by a distraction from outside the vehicle... The Austroads report included a series of guidelines to minimise dangerous distractions caused by roadside advertising... The guidelines include positioning advertisements so they do not draw road users' eyes away from the road and avoiding digital displays that give the impression of movement...



* North Caroline - Mack offering Twin Y air suspension, mRide with proprietary axles

Greensboro,N.C.,USA -Truck News -Jan 29, 2013: -- Mack Trucks has launched its Twin Y air suspension, which uses a Y-shaped steel design for higher-strength. Offered with proprietary Mack axles, officials say the Twin Y – which is up to 400 lbs lighter than other air suspensions – is designed for highway customers desiring a smoother, more stable ride... Mack has also announced the availability of Mack proprietary axles on its mRide spring suspension, designed “for vocational customers demanding a durable, stable ride with greater articulation,” officials said in a release...

* Washington - Kenworth, Paccar offering extended warranty for Canadian Class 5-7 customers 

Kirkland,WASH,USA -Truck News -Jan 29, 2013: -- Kenworth and Paccar Financial are offering a 2013 extended warranty program for Canadian customers who purchase new Kenworth Class 5-7 factory or dealer stock units financed through Paccar Financial... Kenworth customers may receive a two-year/320,000-kilometre basic vehicle extended warranty by choosing Paccar Financial to finance purchases of new Kenworth Class 5-7 trucks...

* Wiscosin - Oshkosh’s 1Q Income Rises to $46.2 Million

Oshkosh,WIS,USA -Transport Topics -25 Jan 2013: -- Oshkosh Corp.’s first-quarter income rose to $46.2 million from $38.9 million a year ago, the specialty truck maker said Friday. Earnings per share rose to 51 cents from 43 cents, and sales for the fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 6.1% to $1.76 billion on lower defense sales. Oshkosh reported higher sales in all non-defense segments, particularly its access-equipment division, where sales rose 15.1% to $581.2 million. Commercial segment sales rose 3.3% to $177.3 million on higher demand in the concrete-mixer market...



* Michigan - Chrysler reports $1.7 billion net profit for 2012

(Image by Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News: Chrysler Group LLC reported a net profit of almost $1.7 billion for 2012 on Wednesday)
Auburns Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -January 30, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC reported a net profit of almost $1.7 billion for 2012 Wednesday and fourth-quarter earnings of $378 million... That was an eightfold improvement over the $183 million the company earned in 2011 and offered further proof of the automaker's turnaround... It was even better than the $734 million the company would have made in 2011 if it had not paid back its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments early, and it exceeded the company's previous projections... CEO Sergio Marchionne saidboth salaried and hourly employees will receive bonuses as a result, though he did not say how much...

* Michigan - Future 200 to redefine Chrysler design; Challenger up for changes

(Photo: New 200 will reflect input from top Chrysler management, designer says)
Detroit,MICH,USA -WardsAuto -Jan. 18, 2013: -- Chrysler’s chief designer says the redesigned 200 midsize sedan will be unlike anything the brand has produced... When the ’14 Chrysler 200 launches, it will signal a new design direction for the brand, the auto maker’s chief designer says...

* Michigan - Ford workers' $8,300 profit-sharing checks 'good news for Michigan economy'
Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel and Michael Martinez -30 January 2013: -- Ford Motor Co.'s record North American profit in 2012 will have a positive ripple effect on auto-dependent communities across the country — especially in southeast Michigan... About 45,800 hourly United Auto Workers members who worked at Ford U.S. plants last year will receive on average record profit-sharing checks of $8,300 in March... General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC are expected to follow Ford's lead and announce profit-sharing payments alongside their year-end financial results. Chrysler will announce its 2012 earnings today; GM's come Feb. 14... Here in southeast Michigan, about $174 million will go into the pockets of more than 21,000 hourly Ford workers, who will decide whether to save, spend or invest that money...



* Italy / Japan - Fiat, Mazda Agree to Build 2-Seater

(Photo: Mazda MX-5 base of new Alfa Romeo roadster) 
Turin,Italy / Hiroshima,Japan -WardsAuto -Jan. 18, 2013:  ...  Fiat and Mazda finalize their deal to build a 2-seater Alfa Romeo-branded roadster arriving in 2015... The therefore unnamed Alfa vehicle will be produced at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan plant, the auto makers announce today. It will be based on the next-generation Mazda MX-5... Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, tells reporters Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. has been delayed as the auto maker wants to make sure the launch is “just right” ... The first Alfa Romeo vehicle to return to the U.S. will be the 4c coupe...


Jan 29, 2013


* UK - Dreaming of lower costs brings New Year

(Photo from Wikipedia: High Street, Keynsham, on a busy day) 
London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -7 Jan 2013: -- As 2012 drew to a close, the Centre for Economics and Business Research, along with traffic information firm Inrix, published a survey that put shocking scale on the cost of congestion to the UK... It revealed that the economy suffers to the tune of more than £4.3 billion per year, in terms of wasted time and fuel. Delays specifically to business and freight vehicles cost some £1.1 billion every year, at today's prices, with over £426 million wasted on fuel, because of traffic, it suggested...



* UK - OFT to say if it will launch fuel market investigation on Wednesday 

London,EN,UK -Commercial Motor, by Ashleigh Wight -28 January 2013: -- The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will publish its report on its information gathering excercise on the UK petrol and diesel market on Wednesday (30 January)... The OFT invited the industry to share its concerns on the high price of fuel in September, when it began a six month consultation period... The report is expected reveal if there are any competition problems that would warrant the OFT launching a formal investigation... The Road Haulage Association and campaign groups FairFuelUK and PetrolPromise welcomed the news of the information gathering last year, with PetrolPromise particularly keen on a full investigation being launched...



* Truck Wars: Detroit makers battle out in industry’s most profitable market segment.  Asians largely sitting on the sidelines

(Photo: Ford teases its next-generation F-Series pickup with the big Atlas Concept truck)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit Bureau, by Paul A. Eisenstein -Jan.22, 2013: --  American motorists will have to wait a couple more years before they can get their hands on the next-generation Ford F-Series pickup. But that didn’t matter much to Wall Street, investors driving up the maker’s stock following the unexpected unveiling of the maker’s Atlas Concept truck at the North American International Auto Show... The F-Series has dominated the huge pickup segment for 36 years running. But it’s got a tough fight ahead if Ford hopes to maintain that lead. General Motors used the Detroit Auto Show to reveal its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. And during the show’s opening ceremonies, the new 2013 Ram 1500 was named North American Truck of the Year by a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists...



* UK - HGV industry faces driver shortage challenge 

London,EN,UK   - HGV UK -January 23, 2013: -- Alarming figures for the transport and logistics industry have been revealed through a survey about Driver Certificate of Professional Competence training carried out by Milestone Operations... The recruitment business that specialises in finding temporary and permanent jobs for professionals in the transport sector discovered that more than one quarter of its drivers are likely to leave the industry over the course of the next decade because of retirement and career change... The study was conducted last November on a diverse national sample of more than 3,000 HGV drivers who work full and part-time. Its purpose was to assess Milestone’s workforce progress with the new CPC training. It was found that 8% of employees did not have any intention of taking CPC training, which needs to be completed by September 2014 under the latest legislation. The main reasons why drivers decided not to do the training were cost (42%) and career change (42%)...



* Germany - VW will extend cooperation with Mercedes

Wolfsburg,Germany -Kamion-Bus (Croatia) -10 January 2013: -- Cooperation between Mercedes and VW to produce Sprinter and Crafter lasts for several years with the vehicles produced in the Mercedes-Benz factory, a cooperation agreement highlights the 2016th year. Cars are, except the engine and transmission, identical... Although Mercedes wanted to continue to work (and it may include Renault), VW decided next Crafter develop and produce independently (not yet known), since it is a minority partner had little impact on the development and customization of vehicles to different purposes. A new generation of Crafter is scheduled for the 2016th (until then will Crafter come from Mercedes-operation), and it will certainly involve MAN that is already in production VW light trucks. Now that is a MAN in his ownership, VW would have made good use of it...

* China - Dongfeng to tie up with Volvo -co official

(File photo/Xinhua: A Dongfeng truck at an auto show in Shanghai) 
Beijing,China -Reuters, by Jonathan Standing -Jan 23, 2013:  -- Chinese state-owned auto maker Dongfeng Motor Group Co. is set to announce as early as this weekend a strategic alliance with Swedish truck maker Volvo AB, according to a Dongfeng official. He said Dongfeng may gain access to Volvo technology, through the deal. Chinese media reports on Tuesday had said the deal is likely to involve a joint venture to produce and market Volvo trucks in China... Dongfeng is a major exporter of heavy trucks to emerging markets, including Africa and South America, and the alliance would help the company further expand its global reach, the official added... Volvo, the world's No.2 truck maker, said in December it would cut back production in North America due to tough conditions... Dongfeng will hold a media event in Beijing on Saturday to announce the signing of a strategic alliance with one of the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, according to the invitation to the event... A spokesman for Dongfeng declined to give details...

  * Japan - Nissan offers truck drivers an all-round video view

Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi,Japan -The Asahi Shimbun -January 28, 2013: -- Nissan Motor Co. said it has released some versions of its Atlas F24 dry and refrigerated van with video cameras offering the driver greater all-round visibility... Images from cameras positioned at four locations on the top of the truck are relayed to a screen in the upper part of the cab, Nissan said... The images include a view of space to the rear of the truck, considered an aid to the driver when trying to park. Two others show possible obstructions at the sides and the fourth shows clearance above the roof, the company said... It already offers comparable video systems on some passenger cars...

* South Africa - Hino plans to build on 2012’s sales growth in 2013

Spartan Crescent,Marlboro,SA -3D Car Shows, by Gerald Ferreira -January 28, 2013: -- Hino SA, not only had a very satisfactory year as regards sales in 2012, but it is now looking to increase its volume in the local market by 10% in 2013. Last year was the best ever for the Hino brand in SA with 3 295 units sold, while adding in sales of the 1,5-ton Toyota Dyna 4-093 lifts the overall total of trucks sold to 3 631 units for the year. The target for 2013 is to do even better than last year...

* France - First European construction vehicle on 24-inch wheels customized road driving

Saint-Priest,Lyon,France -Kamion-Bus (Croatia) -22 January 2013: -- Renault Trucks has expanded its line of trucks Renault Kerax 8x4 Xtreme in Europe, the new version of the 24-inch wheels. Specially adapted most demanding conditions at the site, 50 t, this Renault Kerax first European car with 24-inch wheels customized road... With enhanced distance from the ground to the front and rear axle, Renault Kerax 8x4 XTREM with 24-inch wheels, is currently the only vehicle with 24-inch wheels in Europe adapted to run on open roads (within legal regulations). With this vehicle customers receive robust workhorse load of 50 tons, which would easily be able to move from one site to another because it is the only such vehicle in the European market with a license for road use, it offers significant advantages in terms of operating costs, as well as terms of ease of distribution vehicles...



* UK - Developing a career path for UK transport technicians 

London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -24 Jan 2013: -- The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) have established a working group to create a career path for UK transport technicians... With rapid advancements in vehicle technology, and Euro 6 engines becoming mainstream for all new commercial vehicles from the end of 2013, training and assessment of technicians is vital, say the partners... However, they are concerned that there is currently a lack of training options available for technicians and fleet engineers maintaining high-tech commercial vehicles... To tackle this career progression problem, the three organisations are to consult with industry throughout this year, with the aim of producing an agreed technical syllabus that is not only relevant to current industry needs but also prepares technicians and managers for future advances in technology... The syllabus will also provide a pathway to registration with the Engineering Council, also addressing the current shortage of registered engineering technicians (EngTech) and incorporated engineers (IEng) in the transport sector...



* DC - Gotcha! Cameras slow rate of red-light violations

Arlington,VA,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Jan. 28, 2013: -- A new study found that the installation of the devices led to fewer people driving through red lights at intersections... A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reviewing the use of red-light cameras at four major intersections within the county of Arlington, VA, over a two-year period determined that those cameras significantly reduced the number of red-light violations – proving, in the eyes of the group’s researchers, that such technology can successfully “modify” driver behavior... Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at IIHS and the study’s lead author, said that one year after the start of ticketing in July 2010, the odds of a red light running violation at those four camera-covered intersections dropped across the board... She said violations occurring at least 0.5 seconds after the light turned red were 39% less likely than would have been expected without cameras, with violations occurring at least 1 second after were 48% less likely, while the odds of a violation occurring at least 1.5 seconds into the red phase fell 86%...



* Japan - Toyota reclaims No. 1 spot from GM

(YOSHIKAZU TSUNO for AFP/Getty Images: Customers walking past vehicles at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo)
Nagoya,Aichi,Japan -The Detroit News (USA), by Christine Tierney -January 28, 2013: -- Toyota Motor Corp. regained the No. 1 ranking, displacing General Motors Co., after selling a record number of 9.75 million vehicles worldwide for 2012... Sales of vehicles under Toyota's Hino, Daihatsu, Lexus, Toyota and Scion brands were up 22.6 percent over the previous year, the automaker said Monday... Japan's second- and third-largest automakers also broke sales record as the industry recovered from a spate of natural disasters and other setbacks... Nissan Motor Co.'s global sales rose 5.8 percent to 4.94 million vehicles, while Honda Motor Co.'s sales surged 19 percent to 3.82 million vehicles...

* Europe -  Opel, Peugeot most vulnerable as financial reckoning looms

(Photo from Opel-Vauxhall: The new Opel-Vauxhall Mokka small SUV, which was launched in Europe last year, is a version of the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax) 
Europe -The Detroit News (USA), by Neil Winton -January 26, 2013: -- Spare a thought for the Europeans as exuberance, rational or not, returns to America's automotive business... The unhealthy state of the industry seeds rumors and fevered theorizing, including the idea that VW will buy Alfa Romeo and Ferrari from Fiat, GM finally loses patience with Opel-Vauxhall, and Renault of France somehow merges with compatriot Peugeot-Citroen... Even if sales in Western Europe level out later this year, many experts see the pain continuing for the foreseeable future...



* Michigan - Ford reports $5.67 billion net income in 2012 
 Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -January 29, 2013: -- For Ford Motor Co., 2013 could look much like 2012. And that means more massive profits in North America, continuing losses in Europe and gains in the company's Asia-Pacific region... Ford posted a net income in 2012 of $5.67 billion, excluding a tax gain from last year, about $300 million less than in 2011, the automaker said Tuesday. The automaker guided toward similar global results this year... Ford posted a strong fourth quarter, making $565 million in its four worldwide regions, including in North America, where it set pre-tax profit — $1.87 billion — and operating margin records. Strong results last year also means that 45,800 United Auto Workers hourly members will receive record profit-sharing checks worth approximately $8,300, which will be paid in March... 


Jan 26, 2013


* Australia - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator opens for business in 

(Video From Youtube, by roundbale7, Feb 16, 2010: ROADTRAINS ON WAY FROM DARWIN TO PERTH)
Canberra,ACT,Australia -NGVR (PR), by David Isaiah -21 Jan 2013: -- Starting on 21 January 2013, heavy vehicle owners and operators in Australia will deal directly with the country’s first National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), with regard to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS). This body will also administer the Performance-Based Standard (PBS) Scheme, approving PBS designs and vehicles on advice from the PBS Review Panel... This it's the first ever national heavy vehicle regulator that will deliver some immediate efficiencies for industry...


Jan 25, 2013


* France - Eurotunnel swing record traffic for shuttle trucks in 2012

(Eurotunnel had never carried many trucks in 2012)
Paris, France -WK Transport Logistique, by Anne Kerriou -24 Jan 2013: -- Unlike the traffic of freight trains which assumes the Eurotunnel truck shuttle traffic jumped 16% in 2012. It touches 1.5 million vehicles, beating a record. Subsidiary Europorte also kept its promises... The economic crisis is not over, competition remains intense in the Channel market, but Eurotunnel is doing well. This is essentially the message of the group management. The total turnover was in fact increased by 14% in 2012, reaching 993.1 million euros... The shuttle activity generates nearly half of its revenues (478.1 M €, an increase of 16%)... The year 2012 was particularly dynamic for shuttle trucks. The number of trucks transported increased by 16%, amounting to 1,464,880 vehicles... According to Eurotunnel, the Channel truck market has been "a year of recovery (+2.5%)," while the remaining 10% below the 2007 level...

* France - Transport of live animals should not last more than 8 hours by the European Parliament

(The number of pigs has increased by 70% between 2005 and 2009) 
Strasbourg,France -WK Transport et Logistique, by Louis Guarino -18 Jan 2013: -- MEPs passed a resolution supported by the animal welfare lobby to limit the duration of the transport of live animals. The question of European harmonization remains raised... This is a resolution that passed almost unnoticed in Strasbourg but that should be talked about in the coming months... The European Commission should submit a report to MEPs to revise regulations on the protection of animals during transport...

* France - Deret group continues to build on its fleet of electric trucks

(Electric vehicles are also used as advertising media) 
Paris,France -WK Transport et Logistique -23 Jan 2013: -- Deret continues to expand its fleet of electric trucks and put on deliveries in town. After an experience in Nantes for teaching Weldom, it will test the early 2013 Maxity electric 4.5t to Paris... The group operates Deret the first fleet of electric trucks in France, with 52 service vehicles (Modec 5.5 t GVW and Smith 10 t and 12 t) for deliveries in the city center... The lack of noise makes the difference Deret announces operating cost of the fleet from 15% to 20% higher than it would be if the vehicles were heat (with a recharge of 24 hours per week at a minimum, to a maximum range of 128 km observed). The group will, in early 2013, test the electrical Maxity 4.5 t (designed with PVI) in Paris...



* DC - Boeing's battery woes could short-circuit e-cars 

 Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit Bureau, by Paul A. Eisenstein -23 Jan 2013: -- The ongoing investigation of faulty lithium-ion power packs on the new 787 Dreamliner could have implications far beyond the aerospace industry, some observers worrying that Boeing’s battery problems could short-circuit the nascent market for plug-ins, hybrids and other electrified automobiles... Investigators in the U.S. and Japan have put a spotlight on the lithium backup power systems used on the new Boeing jet, linking the technology to several recent incidents, including a fire on one of the Dreamliners parked at a gate at Boston’s Logan field... Some observers are pointing to a series of fires involving the battery packs used in various electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma... With the Boeing story getting a lot of airplay, “This is definitely an issue,” said Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting. “This could be particularly bad timing,” the analyst cautioned, considering the push to increase sales of battery-based vehicles in the years ahead...



* Michigan - What can Europe teach the U.S. about reducing traffic fatalities ?

(Photo: Car crash at intersection after running red light)
MICH,USA -The Car Connection, by Richard Read -Jan 24, 2013: -- When it comes to traffic fatalities, there's good news and bad news: Good news: the U.S. fatality rate has reached an all-time low... Bad news: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that rate isn't going to stay low for long... That's a disturbing possibility, but folks at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute suggest that by following the lead of certain European countries, we may be able to reverse course and maintain -- even improve -- America's record-low fatality rates... UMTRI's Michael Sivak, and his colleague, Juha Luoma, suggestions are
 - Tougher laws on drunk driving, including lower legal blood alcohol limits and greater use of alcohol ignition interlocks for those convicted of driving while intoxicated. 
 - Lowering speed limits in urban areas, mandating speed-limiters for big rigs and other heavy vehicles, and more deployment of speed cameras. 
 - Making front and rear seatbelts mandatory, and making seatbelt noncompliance a primary offense (meaning that officers can pull over drivers if they spot someone without a seatbelt, rather than needing to cite them for another offense first). 
 - Improving and shortening commutes through better urban planning, more efficient and attractive public transportation, and encouraging businesses to allow their workers to telecommute.



* Michigan - Toyota Is Test Driving Autonomous Vehicles In

(Image of Toyota's advanced active safety research vehicle, based on its Lexus LS model. Toyota in January 2013 announced it had been developing autonomous, or self-driving, vehicle technology at research facilities in Michigan, USA and Japan) 
Ann Arbor,MICH,USA -TPM, by Carl Franzen -January 21, 2013: -- Toyota and Audi turned heads earlier this month by announcing that they were following in Google’s tracks and developing partially self-driving, or “autonomous” vehicle technology systems of their own. At that time, Toyota noted in press materials that it has been testing one such semi-autonomous vehicle system — the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), which uses short wave radio signals to have cars communicate with other vehicles and surrounding infrastructure to avoid collisions — at a simulated city inside its Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Japan. Toyota also said that further “research and development will continue at Toyota Research Institute, North America (TRiNA), in Ann Arbor, Mich” ... 

* DC - Better than advertised: Fiat 500e rated at 116 mpg-e

Washington,DC,USA -Gizmag, by C.C. Weiss -January 22, 2013: -- When Fiat revealed the 500e at the L.A. Auto Show, it estimated that its first U.S. electric car would score a miles per gallon gasoline equivalent fuel economy of 116 mpg-e city, 100 mpg-e highway and 108 mpg-e. The official Environmental Protection Agency rating is in, and it's significantly better than estimated... The EPA rates the 2013 500e at 122 mpg-e city, 108 mpg-e highway and 116 mpg-e combined. Fiat says that the 108 mpg-e highway figure is the best among U.S.-market electric vehicles... The 500e is powered by a 111-hp electric motor. Fiat added a series of eight aerodynamic improvements to the car to boost aerodynamics by 13 percent... 

* Michigan - Chrysler eliminates shift at Dundee Engine Plant 
Dundee,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -January 25, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC has eliminated one shift at its Dundee Engine Plant, another sign of trouble for the new Dodge Dart... On Thursday, workers at the factory told The Detroit News that several probationary employees had lost their jobs. The company confirmed that 14 probationary employees had been let go and said the other 44 workers on the shift had been reassigned to other jobs at the plant...


* DC - Honda Recalls 748,000 Pilot SUVs, Odyssey Minivans For Airbag Defect

(Photo: 2012 Honda Pilot)
Washington,DC,USA -The Car Connection, by Suzanne Kane -Jan 24, 2013: -- Honda is conducting a voluntary safety recall of 748,000 Pilot SUVs and Odyssey minivans in the U.S. for a potential airbag defect... Its plans to recall certain 2009 through 2013 Honda Pilot and 2011 through 2013 Honda Odyssey vehicles... Honda said to the NHTSA that during assembly, it is possible that not all six rivets affixing the cover were installed. The possible consequence, according to Honda: “The absence of one or more of the rivets could alter the performance of the driver’s airbag during deployment, potentially increasing the risk of injury during a crash” ...


Jan 24, 2013


* Bahrain / UAE - Causeway truck crisis worsens

(Photo: Gulf Daily News) 
Manama,Bahrain -Trade Arabia -24 Jan 2013: -- Truck chaos near the King Fahad Causeway in Bahrain worsened yesterday as scores of frustrated drivers seeking entry into Saudi Arabia argued with Customs staff at the border, a report said... Some drivers were quoted by the Gulf Daily News, as saying that they have been waiting to be cleared by Bahrain Customs since last week... "We have no place to sit, eat or even go to the toilet as many drivers are literally living on the road," said one driver... He said that Customs staff, who were allegedly rude to drivers, cleared just 10 trucks a day to enter Saudi Arabia - resulting in a backlog of commercial vehicles near the causeway and in nearby Janabiya...

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* New Jersey - Mitsubishi Fuso introduces side-mounted tank

Logan Township,NJ,USA -Fleet Owner -Jan. 24, 2013: -- Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) has introduced a new side-mounted fuel tank option. The 33-gal. tank is available on 2013 Canter FEs... MFTA said the tank is mounted on the outside of the frame rail on the left side of the cab-chassis. The optional side-mounted tank replaces the standard 30-gal. tank located between the frame rails aft of the rear axle... The replacement side fuel tank is a no-cost option available on all Fuso Canter FE125, FE160 (both single- and crew-cab) and FE180 models except those with the shortest 110.2-in. wheelbase...

* Colorado - University repowering medium-duties with hydraulic hybrids 

 Denver,COL,USA -Fleet Owner -Jan. 23, 2013: -- Colorado State University (CSU) has announced it will retrofit two 2012 GMC internal-delivery campus trucks with fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid systems,, paid for by a grant from the Colorado Energy Office... Colorado State has selected Lightning Hybrids LLC to provide the systems. The university said the hybrid systems will save up to $1,700 a year for each truck in fuel and maintenance costs... These trucks deliver up to 40% better fuel economy than non-hybrids because they regenerate braking energy, according to Lightning Hybrids. In addition, the vehicles produce lower emissions, furthering CSU’s clean and sustainable initiatives...


* DC - GM Recalls 2013 Chevy Express, GMC Savana Vans for potential rollaway problem

(Photo: 2013 Chevrolet Express Passenger)
Washington,DC,USA -The Car Connection, by Suzanne Kane -Jan 24, 2013: -- General Motors is recalling certain 2013 model year Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana large vans for a potential rollaway problem linked to an issue with ignition interlock systems... A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected at 980... According to GM documentation (PDF) submitted to the NHTSA, these vehicles have a condition where the ignition key can be removed from the ignition when it is not in the OFF position. “This could allow theft of the vehicle or unintended movement of the vehicle, resulting in a possible crash”...