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

Feb 28, 2013


* UK - International truck of the year prepares for CV Show

London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -27 Feb 2013: -- A trio of International Truck Of The Year-winning Stralis tractor units will take pride of place on Iveco's stand at the upcoming CV Show... The feature vehicle will be a Euro 6 example of Iveco's new long-haul Stralis Hi-Way 4x2 tractor unit – the first of its kind to arrive in the UK and making its public debut at the NEC. The truck will be positioned alongside a pair of EEV-rated Stralis trucks, including a 6x2 Stralis Hi-Way powered by a 500bhp engine, and a 460bhp 6x2 Stralis Hi-Road, the preferred model for distribution and fleet operations, as well as medium to long-haul domestic missions...

* Sweden - Volvo Trucks makes major improvements to the air quality inside the new Volvo FH cab

Stockholm.Sweden -MHW Magazine (UK) -28 February 2013: -- Volvo Trucks has made major improvements to the air quality inside the new Volvo FH cab, primarily by using textiles and components that contain and emit fewer chemical substances. The result is that the air inside the truck is considerably cleaner than in the surrounding traffic environment... Cab air quality has been part of Volvo Trucks' research and development work for many years and has been the subject of increased focus over the past decade. In recent years, this work has been co-ordinated with the development of the new Volvo FH...



* Washington - Electronic logging, sleep apnea screening requirements still on US lawmakers' radar 

Seattle,WASH,USA -Truck News (CAN), by James Menzies -Feb 27, 2013: -- It could be 2015 or 2016 before the US mandates the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track hours-of-service, according to former FMCSA administrator and current principal of TransSafe Consulting, Annette Sandberg... However, there are good reasons for carriers to consider using ELDs or electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) before they are mandated, she added, when speaking during a Zonar-sponsored Webinar on coming regulatory changes... A rulemaking on ELDs (the terminology was changed from EOBRs at the behest of industry, to ensure the regulations would pertain only to the collection of HoS data, and not other information collected by EOBRs) is likely to be published by October of this year, Sandberg said. That would be followed by a 60-day comment period, with a final rule posted sometime in 2014. It would take another one or two years to fully implement the new requirement, Sandberg added... 

* DC - FMCSA tells ATA it will not delay HOS enforcement 

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -26 Feb 2013: -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it will not delay enforcement of the latest changes to the hours-of-service rules for truck drivers, saying that American Trucking Associations did not demonstrate enough harm to the industry and law enforcement to merit such a delay... ATA had asked FMCSA in a Jan. 25 letter to hold off enforcing the rule until three months after ATA’s pending lawsuit is decided... The federation, which is suing in federal court to have the rule overturned, said the industry and law enforcement would need months to train and prepare for the changes...   American Trucking Associations said Thursday the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s decision not to delay implementation of FMCSA’s hours-of-service rule will cost the trucking industry about $320 million between now and July 1...



* Ontario/Canada - Trucking success with natural gas may depend on fuel pricing

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Feb. 27, 2013: -- If the cost of natural gas remains cheap due to the ongoing “boom” in U.S. shale gas production, the trucking industry may very begin favoring it over diesel, according to recent analysis conducted by global bank RBC Capital Markets. However, if natural gas exportation drives up fuels costs, it may slow down any such changeover process, the firm noted... John Barnes, RBC’s transport and logistics analyst, told that if the natural gas refueling infrastructure is developed – and efforts are already underway – and the industry decides on a common standard for natural gas powered engines, especially for heavy-duty Class 8 truck purposes, then it is likely to become more prevalent. Yet that also depends heavy on the eventual price for natural gas compared to diesel, he said...

* UK - Truck fleet in Swindon running on household waste

(Photo: Planning permission for a biomethane gas filling station has been approved)
Swindon,Wiltshire,EN,UK -BBC News -27 February 2013: -- Rotting household material is being used to fuel a fleet of lorries at a distribution centre in Swindon... The B and Q depot, in South Marston, is running 50 dual fuel lorries on biomethane gas from composted waste... The natural waste gas is produced at a landfill site in Surrey and purified for use as fuel... The alternative fuel, made up of liquid biomethane and liquefied natural gas, is designed to reduce carbon emissions... The cost of converting a lorry is around £25,000 but with the cheaper eco-fuel, the investment could be recouped within two to three years...


1,000 km-range high-performance EV * Republic of Malta

* Malta Republic - Silex Power announces 1,000 km-range Chreos high-performance EV

    Valletta,Malta -Gizmag, by James Holloway -February 27, 2013: -- Alternative energy company Silex Power has announced its intention to enter the electric car market at the very top. The company intends to make a limited run of 300 units of its luxury Chreos EV by 2015, and, judging from the press release, the car boasts luxury, if perhaps aspirational, statistics to match – particularly with respect to range and charge times... The car, which Silex Power describes as an upmarket electric fastback sedan, will apparently be 5.42 m long, 2.16 m wide and 1.49 m high (17.78 x 7.09 x 4.89 ft) of carbon fiber... Silex says that the car will be driven by four electric motors (yes, one in each wheel) delivering 640 bhp (477 kW) and 4,400 Nm (3,245 foot pounds) of torque. The company reckons that this will see the Chreos from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 2.9 seconds. The Chreos will be limited to a comfortable top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph)... Clearly, renderings and numbers do not an EV make, and it's hard to tell to what extent we're looking at smoke and mirrors. Silex has pledged to reveal more information, including interior shots and technological specifics in April... Silex indicates that other non-luxury EVs may follow...

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* Saudi Arabia - Isuzu launches new truck in

Riyadh,Saudi Arabia -Trade Arabia -27 Feb 2013: -- Alissa Universal Motors, the authorized dealer for Isuzu Motors in the central region, has launched the 2013 Isuzu D-MAX, the latest newborn truck in the family of Isuzu series in Saudi Arabia... The new Isuzu truck that manufactured in Isuzu Motors factory in Saudi Arabia will reserve its place in our new showroom ready to be sold, along with extensive marketing campaigns to promote the Saudi auto manufacturing industry with the objective of gaining the long-term trust of companies and individuals in Saudi Arabia... The 2013 Isuzu D-MAX it's considered as the ideal vehicle for work and family... Able to accomplish heavy duty tasks for long periods, the truck was test-driven for a distance of 4 million kilometers...



* UK - ... Since the beginning of the year, says RHA

London,EN,UK -Commercial Motor, by Ashleigh Wight -26 Feb 2013: -- The Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the National Business Crime Intelligence Bureau (NBCIB) has warned that there has been a spike in truck thefts since the beginning of the year... In one particular week there were 40 reported LGV and light tipper thefts across the UK, 26 of which were Ford Transit tippers. Hotspots include Essex, West Yorkshire and the London metropolitan area... RHA security manager, Chrys Rampley, said, that the reborn anti-crime initiative TruckPol is set to relaunch at the end of March after the original January launch was delayed... The RHA has already received support from a number of police and crime commissioners after the association wrote to them last week, urging them to crack down on crime targeting hauliers...



* Indiana - Monarch Beverage ordering more Kenworth T440 CNG models

Indianapolis,IND,USA -Fleet Owner -Feb. 26, 2013: -- Just eight months after deploying 27 Kenworth T440 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, Monarch Beverage is committing further to the fuel. The Indianapolis-based beer and wine distributor has announced it will convert 85% of its trucks to CNG power by 2015... Fred Dufour, senior vice president of Monarch, said, the company’s fleet consumes nearly 1 million gals. of diesel per year. He said Monarch expects to cut its fuel costs by 60% once the conversion is complete...



* India - High OEM discounts hit resale value of trucks - Daimler India: The discounts go as high as 25%, which was never offered in the history 

Chennai,India -The Business Standard, by T E Narasimhan -February 26, 2013: -- The German automajor Daimler today said that the high level discounts offered by few commercial vehicle majors is hitting resale of trucks... The company, which narrated that discounting is a reflection action by OEMs to the slowdown in the commercial vehicle industry, but it doesn't solve any problem. Speaking at the 'Commercial Vehicles Megatrend India' conference in Chennai today, organised by Automotive World, Marc Llistosella, CEO and Managing Director, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said that the industry has been offering high discounts in the last five months and it affects the resale value of trucks...



* Indiana - Trailer orders drop in January from 'unsustainable' December levels 

Columbus,IND,USA -Truck News (CAN) -22 Feb 2013: -- Trailer orders continued their roller coaster ride in January, declining month-over-month from December’s “unsustainable level,” according to ACT Research...  A total of 20,357 net orders were booked in January, down 34% from December... Despite the decline, orders were still strong enough to generate a small gain in January backlog, according to ACT. January backlogs increased to 5.3 months...


“A car for the President” ... * Russia

* Russia - Marussia and reveal concepts for new car for President Putin

(Images:, Transportation Design - Concept by Yaroslav Yakovlev and Bernard Weel)
Moscow,Russia -Gizmag, by David Szondy - February 25, 2013: -- It appears that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, doesn’t like his car... 
Tired of seeing Russian officials being carted about in Mercedes and BMWs, Mr. Putin ordered that a Russian domestic limousine be designed to replace them... 
Unfortunately, according to the Moscow Times, Mr. Putin apparently didn’t much care for the Zil-4112P that Russian car maker Zil came up with, and told them to have another go...  
Seeing a chance to get in on the action, car rivals GAZ and Marussia Motors are jumping into the game with Marussia and teaming up for a public competition to find “A car for the President” ...



* California - Firms sue Ford over fuel efficiency claims for 2 hybrids 

(Photo from Ford - The Ford C-MAX Hybrid, along with the Fusion Hybrid, doesn’t live up to its fuel efficiency claims, hundreds of owners claim in lawsuits against Ford Motor Co.)
Sacramento,CAL,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -February 28, 2013: -- Two California law firms are consolidating lawsuits against Ford Motor Co., alleging the automaker has led a "false and misleading" marketing campaign for its 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid vehicles... Redlands, Calif.-based McCuneWright, which on behalf of "hundreds" of C-Max and Fusion hybrid owners is seeking punitive damages because of potentially overinflated fuel-efficiency claims, said it will consolidate with a similar lawsuit filed by San Diego-based Robbins, Geller, Rudman and Dowd... The new filing will have between five and 10 class-action representatives — real-world Ford hybrid owners who say that their vehicles are not living up to fuel-efficiency claims — from various areas of the country... McCune said the law firm has spoken to "literally hundreds" of hybrid owners from across the country, and not just those clustered in colder regions with higher speed limits, two factors that can significantly diminish fuel efficiency...

* DC - Feds probe 724K Ford models over power loss

(Photo from Ford - The 2010 Ford Escape is among the vehicles being studied for loss of power)
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -February 26, 2013: -- Federal safety regulators have opened a new safety investigation into 724,000 Ford Escape, Fusion and Mercury models over hundreds of reports of sudden loss of engine power... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it has opened a preliminary investigation into the 2009-11 Ford Escape and Fusion, and Mercury Mariner and Milan... NHTSA said it has 123 reports indicating allegations of reduced power or vehicle stall in Escape vehicles under investigation... Ford made a design change in 2009 to address complaints but did not recall the vehicles... NHTSA said there have been 27,500 warranty claims for the issue, along with reports of three crashes and one injury...

* DC - NHTSA considering investigating Toyota Prius over steering shafts and braking on Honda Pilot SUVs 

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -February 25, 2013: -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations said Monday it will investigate whether 561,000 2004-09 Toyota Prius hybrids have defective steering shafts... NHTSA said it will decide whether to grant a defect petition claiming the steering column linkage was improperly assembled... Toyota has issued two recalls for steering issues in the Prius. In November, Toyota recalled 669,000 2004-09 Prius vehicles to replace the steering shaft extension assembly. In 2006, Toyota recalled 170,000 2004-06 Prius vehicles because the intermediate shaft in the electric power system can crack, which could result in a loss of steering control...   Separately, NHTSA said it has also opened a new engineering analysis into unexpected braking in 87,000 2005 Honda Pilot SUVs from the vehicles "Vehicle Stability Assist" system. NHTSA said it has 205 reports of the issue that may result in unexpected severe braking that could be because of a faulty sensor...

* DC - Hyundai deal settles claims of exaggerated mpg. Lump-sum payouts for owners to settle exaggerated claims 

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News -February 28, 2013: -- Hyundai Motor Co. has reached a deal to settle dozens of class-action lawsuits over the Korean automaker's overstating of miles per gallon claims... In a federal court filing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Hyundai said it has agreed to a deal in principle to offer owners lump-sum payments. The amount to be paid will be disclosed when the settlement is finalized... The proposed settlement would also allow owners to get a voucher worth twice as much as the cash settlement toward the purchase of a new Hyundai. Or, they could opt for a voucher worth 150 percent of the cash settlement toward dealer service... 

* DC - Kia reviewing the settlement 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News -February 28, 2013: ... In November, Hyundai and Kia Motors — two Korean automakers controlled by the same conglomerate — admitted overstating mileage on nearly 1.1 million vehicles sold in North America since 2010, including about 900,000 in the United States. The company withdrew its claims that four of its models — the Elantra, Accent, Veloster and Sonata Hybrid — got 40 miles per gallon. Those claims were a key part of advertising campaigns in recent years... Kia said it is still reviewing the settlement and hasn't yet decided whether to take part...


* DC - Hyundai Veloster recall for shattering sunroofs expands

(Photo: 2012 Hyundai Veloster)
Washington,DC,USA -The Car Connection, by Suzanne Kane -Feb 28, 2013: -- In an expansion of an earlier recall of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster for the potential of panoramic sunroofs to shatter without warning during vehicle use, the Korean automaker is now recalling an additional 6100 2012 model year Velosters over the same issue... A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website said that the build dates for the expanded recall population are from July 4, 2011 through October 31, 2011... In Hyundai documentation (PDF) submitted to the NHTSA, Hyundai said that 5,835 2012 Hyundai Velosters equipped with panoramic sunroofs in the U.S. and 236 units in Puerto Rico have been added to the original recall population, bringing the total number recalled to date to approximately 19,600 vehicles...



* Kansas - Snow storm causes Ford to cancel shift at Kansas City plant

Kansas,KN,USA -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -February 26, 2013: -- The incoming winter storm has caused the cancellation of some production at Ford Motor Co.'s Kansas City Assembly Plant, home to the F-150... United Auto Workers Local 249 said the Tuesday day shift at the plant has been canceled... The storm, the second blizzard in a week to pound the central part of the United States, is also expected to pass through Michigan, bringing with it 3 to 5 inches of snow in Metro Detroit...

* Georgia - Second Midwest Winter Storm Closes Roads, Brings ‘Crippling’ Conditions 

Atlanta,GA,USA -CNN/Transport Topics -25 Feb 2013: -- Days after a winter storm closed roads throughout the Midwest, the National Weather Service said another storm is expected to bring “crippling” blizzard conditions... The storm brought blizzard conditions with freezing temperatures to portions of south Kansas, northwest Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle overnight, and is on track to move into eastern Kansas and northern Missouri... The Texas Department of Public Safety closed portions of U.S. Highways 87 and 187 because of whiteout conditions expected to continue through Monday afternoon... The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said it was in the process of closing all highways in the state’s panhandle region, CNN reported. The storm follows blizzard conditions last week that closed roads that had also prompted authorities to warn drivers to stay off the roads...


Feb 23, 2013


* Oregon - Freightliner Trucks' terrific 70 Years of Innovation and Historical Friday heritage!

Portland,ORE,USA -Freightliner Trucks (WR) -21 January 2013: -- Freightliner Trucks have created a super celebration of 70 years of Innovation with a terrific heritage section of the Freightliner website ... So go on, check out the Freightliner 70 years of Innovation website you'll be in for a real treat! They've really made history come alive...


Feb 22, 2013


* Russia - Now: Meeting with the new Russian trucks !! Moscow,Russia -Biglorryblog (UK) -15 February 2013: ... The Ruskys have an impressive range of communism-born heavy good vehicles... Here two MAZ, for example, manufactured with a joint venture with Germany's MAN...

* Mexico - DTNA looking to move the needle on new truck innovations

(Photo: Freightliner Cascadia Truck wallpaper)
Cabo San Lucas,MEX -Truck News (CAN), by Lou Smyrlis -Feb 21, 2013: -- Halfway through the SuperTruck program, a partnership between the US government and truck OEs aimed at moving the needle on truck innovation, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) today announced it has validated 25% freight efficiency improvement in real world testing conditions... Sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, DTNA and other project partners including national labs, universities and suppliers are examining opportunities that significantly improve freight efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of Class 8 trucks... DTNA is using its 2009 Cascadia model as its baseline for improvement comparisons... TJ Reed, director of product strategy, said, he expects about 30% of the targeted improvement in freight efficiency to come from enhancements to the tractor-trailer combination and the remaining 20% from the engine...

* Germany - Euro 6 Mercedes range and behold the Atego 

Stuttgart,Germany -Truck and Business (Belgium), by Claude Yvens -6 Feb 2013: -- It is more than a facelift new model, but also renewed its range Mercedes Atego from May... Mercedes-Benz has already leaked some technical details of this 'new' range: 
 - Range covering 6.5 (rather than 7.5) to 16 tons
 - New driveline 100% Euro 6
 - OM934 4-cylinder engines (5.1 liters) to replace the OM924 (156 to 231 hp)
 - 6 cylinder OM936 engine (7.7 liters) to replace the OM926 (238 to 299 hp - already available on Antos)
 - Automatic transmission Powershift3 6 or 8 series reports
 - Assistant ESP stability serial
 - Maintenance-free permanent retarder Mercedes-Benz promises a reduction of 5% of the fuel consumption... 

* Sweden - Dynamic Steering: Volvo adds another layer to the hi-tech FH

Gothenborg,Sweden -Truck and Business, by Claude Yvens -19 Feb 2013: -- In the new strategy of AB Volvo, Volvo Trucks brand must position itself as 'premium'. A new proof is given by the new steering system will be available as an option on the new FH... The Volvo Dynamic Steering comprises an electric motor with electronic control connected to the steering shaft. This engine operates in conjunction with the steering of the vehicle hydraulic and develops a maximum torque of 25 Nm, under the control of an electronic control unit... According to Volvo Trucks, this system offers outstanding precision and unrivaled driving comfort, especially at low speeds and even a plain construction vehicle to load and difficult grip conditions...

* Germany - Mercedes's Future Vision from 2001 and its groovy truck designers! 

Stuttgart,Germany -Biglorryblog, by Brian Weatherley -8 February 2013: -- Ever wondered what the future will be like--especially when it comes to trucks? Well back in 2001 those hip future-gazers in Mercedes' truck design department came up with their 'Future Vision' and here's what they had in mind...groovy in-cab showers, front entry cabs, sexy streamlined artics, wow-factor delivery rigids...what a wonderful world...



* Ontario - Driver shortage report quantifies overall problem, threat to economy

Ottawa,ONT,CAN -Truck News -Feb 21, 2013: -- A report released today indicating Canada could experience a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers by 2020 “reflects what the industry has been warning for years – that Canada is on the cusp of a serious shortage of truck driver capacity,” according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance... The study, commissioned by the Conference Board of Canada, funded by the CTA, and titled “Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap and Implications for the Canadian Economy,” puts the “magnitude of the emerging gap between the supply and demand for professional truck drivers” into perspective, according to CTA president and CEO, David Bradley...



* Italy - Former Exor advisers convicted in 2005 Fiat swap case

Turin,Italy  -The Detroit News/Bloomberg News, by Tommaso Ebhardt -February 21, 2013: -- Former Exor SpA advisers Gianluigi Gabetti and Franzo Grande Stevens were convicted of market manipulation charges relating to a transaction that allowed the Agnelli family to keep control of Fiat spa... Prosecutors alleged that two Agnelli family companies, Giovanni Agnelli and C. Sapaz, and IFIL Investments SpA, later merged into Exor, and their advisers misled investors by failing to disclose a swap in two statements in 2005... The court sentenced Gabetti and Grande Stevens to a 16-month jail term and acquitted the companies, said an Exor spokesman. The jail sentences were suspended, he said... Gabetti, Exor's honorary chairman, and Grande Stevens denied any wrongdoing Thursday at the hearing, the spokesman said...

* Germany - Volkswagen prepares to build the world's most fuel efficient production car

  (Photo: The Volkswagen's XL1, 'world's most efficient production car') 
Stuttgart,Germany -Gizmag, by C.C. Weiss -February 21, 2013: ... Volkswagen showed the XL1. Now is readying the production version for next month's Geneva Motor Show... Volkswagen calls the XL1 the most aerodynamic production car ever and uses a 0.19 drag coefficient to prove it. For comparison, the carefully aero-optimized, cost-is-not-an-issue McLaren P1's drag coefficient is 0.34. ... Aerodynamic measures include a narrowed rear-end, wheel covers over the rear wheels, and rear-view side cameras in place of mirrors. It doesn't exude conventional auto aesthetics, but if you're the type that appreciates function over form, it's an absolutely gorgeous design... The second pillar of the XL1's lofty fuel economy is weight savings. Thanks to a build that's more than 20 percent carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), including the monocoque structure and body panels, along with a thin-glass windshield, polycarbonate side windows, and other measures, the XL1 barely twitches the scale needle to 1,753 pounds (795 kg). It measures 153.1 inches long, 65.6 inches wide, and 45.4 inches high (3,888 x 1,665 x 1,153 mm), which is comparable to the Polo's width and length, but more than 10 inches (254 mm) shorter...

* Germany - January passenger car markets in USA, China and Brazil show double-digit growth 

Berlin,Germany -Automotive World (UK) -19 Feb 2013: -- As the new year started, as expected trends on the world’s passenger car markets varied. Sales showed marked double-digit growth in China (+59 per cent), the USA (+14 per cent) and Brazil (+18 per cent). The Russian market also expanded (+5 per cent). New registrations of passenger cars in Western Europe, by contrast, were down by 9 per cent owing to the weak demand in key countries. Western Europe remains weak in January as expected...



* Michigan - Jeep unveils '14 Cherokee to replace Liberty

(Photo Chrysler)
Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -February 23, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC is resurrecting another name from its glory days, announcing Friday that its new mid-size Jeep sport utility vehicle will be called the Cherokee... The 2014 Cherokee, which is slated to be unveiled at the New York International Auto Show next month, will replace the Jeep Liberty... The Cherokee will be built at Chrysler's Toledo Assembly Plant in Ohio. It is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of this year...


* DC - Michigan car thefts down 6.5% in 2011; 2000 Dodge Caravan most-stolen vehicle in state 

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -February 21, 2013: -- Auto thefts in Michigan were down 6.5 percent in 2011, according to just-released numbers. Nationwide, they hit their lowest since 1967... That's due in large part to better anti-theft technology in newer cars... Sophisticated key-code technology stops many would-be thieves from hot-wiring vehicles. Intrusion-sensing systems deter smash-and-grabs. Ford Motor Co. offers perimeter alarm systems that guard against unauthorized entry via doors, the hood or the trunk... Despite those advances, the National Insurance Crime Bureau says there have been growing numbers of thefts of newer vehicles... The most popular car in the state with thieves? The 2000 Dodge Caravan...


* DC - Chrysler recalls mid-size cars for possible fuel tank issue

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -February 21, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC is recalling nearly 2,000 new mid-size cars to fix a handful of vehicles with damaged fuel tank control valves... The Auburn Hills automaker said it will repair 16 of 1,934 model-year 2013 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans built over a five-day period last fall and sold in North America. A routine maintenance operation led the tank supplier to discover it had shipped damaged goods... Of the vehicles being recalled, 1,785 are in the United States... Chrysler dealers will inspect all vehicles subject to the recall. If damaged control valves are found, the vehicles' fuel-tank assemblies will be replaced...



* New York - Bloomberg endorses preparing parking spaces for E.V. Charging

  (Photo: Prototype of 2012 Nissan Leaf as New York city taxi cab) 
NY,USA -The New York Times, by JIM MOTAVALLI -February 14, 2013: -- In his final State of the City address on Thursday, Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, announced plans to make New York City a “national leader” in electric vehicles. He said he would work with the City Council to amend the building code and require up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces be set up for electric vehicle charging, which could lead to “10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years” ... New York City has 100 public charging stations, the administration said, and at least 50 will be added this year... In his speech, the mayor said the city’s goal was to make a third of its taxi fleet electric by 2020... The city will also add 50 new electric cars to city fleets this year. The new vehicles will be operated by the departments of Parks, Transportation and Education, among others. The mayor’s office said that New York City operated 458 plug-in electrics, including 102 Chevrolet Volts... City fleets are served by 120 charging stations, and an additional 30 will be added as part of the new initiative, the city said...

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SAFETY ROADS * Australia

* NSW - Heavy vehicle spreeding slashed 

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -22 Feb 2013: -- The number of heavy vehicles detected speeding at more than 105 km/h on NSW roads has fallen by 79 per cent, according to NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)... The figures follow a number of joint heavy vehicle enforcement operations by NSW Police and RMS in 2012. More than 2,600 heavy vehicles were inspected through these operations, with 93 trucks being grounded for having non-compliant speed limiters... The graph above shows the decline in speeding trucks over the past two years...



* Study - TRM crisis continues in Spain and Portugal. DBK expects a downturn from 1% in 2013

Madrid,Spain -The Official Carriers/WK Transport et Logistique (France), by Daniel Solano -20 Feb 2013: -- The Spanish and Portuguese road plunged into recession in 2012 and activity is expected to decline further in 2013. Even if the number of operators falls, the spray continues and occupation weakens... After two years of growth, the total turnover of the companies road haulage in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) fell by 3.5% in 2012 to 16.6 billion euros, according to the latest edition study on this sector regularly publishes the Spanish consultant DBK... The profession has been impacted by the recession, according to the latest available estimates, the GDP in 2012 would have declined by 1.2% in Spain and 3% in Portugal... Spain, which represents the bulk of the market (84%), the decline in the activity of Transport Rutiere (TRM) was 2.8% in 2012 (13.9 billion €), while Portugal has recorded a drop of 7% (€ 2.7 billion)... Consequence of the crisis, the fabric is fading. In 2011, 113,522 companies were identified in the Iberian Peninsula (-0.5% compared to 2010), including 104,872 in Spain and Portugal in 8650... The fleet increased from 432,629 units in 2009 to 373,913 units in 2011 (-8.6%). The Iberian Peninsula is characterized by weak fleets (3.3 vehicles per company on average)... Despite this decline, the atomization remains...

* The Netherlands - TNT Express has reduced its losses in 2012. Europe remains the spearhead

  (Photo from TNT Express: Clouds remain on economic conditions in 2013) 
Hoofddorp,Netherlands -WK-transport-logistics, by Anne Kerriou -19 Feb 2013: -- TNT Express is in the red in 2012 with a net loss of 83 million euros in 2012 (against € -270 million in 2011). The group will present March 25, 2013 a plan to improve its profitability... A few weeks after the failure of its merger with UPS, TNT Express announces poor results and weak outlook... The net effect remains negative at -83 million euros (M €). In contrast, the turnover grew by 1.1% to € 7,327 million, while operating income increased from -105 M € in 2011 to 89 M € in 2012... The recovery owes much to the improvement of the situation in Brazil, where the operating loss is limited to -73 M € -332 million against € in 2011. But in this country, "the objectives of turnover have not been met," laments TNT Express... Revenues declined 1.6% effect at 304 M €...