User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: January 2014

Jan 31, 2014

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Sweden & China: Volvo & Dongfeng

* Sweden / China - Volvo, Dongfeng get first green light for Chinese JV

(Photo: Volvo/Dongfeng trucks factory/China) 
-Reuters, by Sven Nordenstam & Niklas Pollard; & Mark Potter -Jan 22, 2014: -- World number two truck maker Volvo has received the first approval by a Chinese authority for its planned joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group... The green light from China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a macro-economic agency, is the first step in a regulatory approval process at the end of which Sweden's Volvo hopes to have gained a major presence in China... Under an agreement struck a year ago, Volvo will buy 45 percent of a new Dongfeng subsidiary for 5.6 billion yuan ($925 million) which will include the major part of the Chinese firm's medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles business... The Swedish truckmaker has estimated the combination of the heavy-duty trucks business of the two companies would have given it a 16 percent share in the Chinese heavy-duty truck market in 2011 and a similar portion of the medium-duty market...



* Washington - Paccar posts higher Q4 profit, lifted by European truck demand

(Photo: Kenworth truck) 
Bellevue,WASH ,USA -Reuters -Jan 31, 2014: -- Paccar Inc reported higher quarterly profit on Friday as the maker of commercial trucks and engines benefited from recovering demand in Europe... The company, which makes vehicles sold under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF brand names, posted a fourth-quarter net profit of $334.2 million, or 94 cents a share, up from $253.5, or 72 cents a share, last year... Sales of trucks, engines and accessories as well as revenue from financial services rose 15 percent to $4.6 billion...

 *  Nevada - Mack Trucks unveils air disk brake option for vocational trucks at World of Concrete

(Photo: Mack brake) 
Las Vegas,NV,USA -Overdrive/Better Roads, by AMANDA BAYHI -JAN 21, 2014: -- Mack Trucks unveiled an air disc brake option for it’s vocational trucks Tuesday at World of Concrete... The new brake option is designed to offer better stopping power and resistance to fade, as well as less maintenance compared to conventional S-cam designs... Mack’s air disc brake design uses two pistons to drive the pad against the rotor, delivering better balanced pressure and even wear. The flat rotor prevents heat distortion, increasing service life...

* DC - Pentagon giving away 13,000 armored trucks. And that's bad news for defense contractors

(Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles -MRAP) 
Washington,DC,USA -MSN Money Partner/AP, by Alice Keeney/The Wall Street Journal, by Bob Tita -Jan 23, 2014: -- The Pentagon wants to give away 13,000 mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks because the vehicles, which cost about $500,000 new, have outlived their original purpose, officials say... Unclaimed trucks are probably destined for the scrap heap -- bad news for the defense contractors that keep the vehicles supplied with suspensions, engine parts and transmissions. Truck makers are cutting jobs as revenue drops... Although the trucks' armored bodies are credited with protecting U.S. troops from roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, military planners want more-versatile vehicles that can be deployed quickly as troop levels decrease. A full-size MRAP weighs about 40,000 pounds, stands 10 feet tall and costs the Pentagon about $500,000 new...


Jan 22, 2014

MEGA TRUCKS * UK - Britain, campaigners warn

* 'Mega trucks' could enter Britain under EU plans

(Photo: Allianz pro Schiene/Kraufmann - Transport groups claim the vehicles could pose a threat if they were allowed on urban or minor road) 
London,EN,UK -The Telegraph, by Nick Collins -20 Jan 2014: -- “Mega trucks” measuring up to 82ft in length could be allowed into Britain under EU proposals backed by Tory MEPs, campaigners have warned... Draft legislation being considered by the European Parliament would permit lorries longer than two double decker buses, and weighing up to 60 tonnes in length, to cross international borders for the first time... The proposals have prompted concerns among transport groups who claim the vehicles could pose a threat to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers, particularly if they were allowed on urban or minor roads...



* California - Tesla pickup truck talk starting to make more and more sense

Palo Alto,CAL,USA -Torque News, by John Goreham -20 Jan 2014: -- Elon Musk continues to bring up a pickup truck as one of the next three vehicles the company plans to produce for sale. The closer one looks at an electric Tesla pickup truck the more sense it starts to make... Elon Musk spoke again this week about an electric pickup truck. That made us take a deeper look at why a pickup truck from Tesla might make sense and we now think a Tesla pickup could be wildly successful... Trucks have a unique location where a large battery pack can be placed that will not impact passenger or cargo area at all. Just behind the cab and in front of the truck bed is the perfect spot. A Tesla battery pack folded in half and then mounted vertically (up and down) would fit perfectly in this area. This would be much better than horizontally under the vehicle as in the Model S. It would be out of the way of rocks and debris that are more likely to be an issue for a work truck. A Tesla truck using a similar electric motor to that now in the Model S would also have plenty of torque, which is the key metric to truck buyers. Power and twist would not even be a challenge...


Jan 21, 2014

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: SC fire truck maker American LaFrance

* South Caroline - American LaFrance closes down unexpectedly

(Photo: an American LaFrance "Pumper") 
Charleston,SC,USA -WBTV -20 January 2013: -- American LaFrance, a fire truck maker that has been in business since 1873 and was based in Moncks Corner, closed for good this week... According to several sources, employees were told at 5:00 p.m. Friday not to return to work this week... There are an estimated 150 employees at that branch of the company... The company has released a statement confirming the closure... The company blames its "unexpected current financial condition" for the closure, but didn't offer specifics...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India: BharatBenz 1217C truck

* India - Commercial Vehicle Maker of the Year

(Photo: BharatBenz 1217C truck)
Chennai,India -3D Car Shows -January 20, 2014: -- Major award for Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV): Only 15 months after its market entry, the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary receives the renowned Apollo CV Award, which named the company “Commercial Vehicle Maker of the Year” ... In addition, the DICV-produced BharatBenz 1217C truck wins the sector award in the category “Commercial Vehicle Innovation of the Year 2013”. Designed for construction work, the vehicle is the first tipper in its weight category in India. This outstanding achievement of Daimler Trucks’ latest brand is further enhanced by the BharatBenz 3128C, which received the award in the category “HCV Cargo Carrier over 25 tons” ... DICV launched its first BharatBenz models on the market in September 2012. It has since then gradually rolled out its product range, which includes dump trucks and freight-haulage trucks in the segments ranging from nine to 49 tons. Another four models will be launched by the end of January, complementing the existing portfolio...


Jan 20, 2014

DAKAR TRUCKS RALLY 2014 * Argentine

* Chile - Andrey Karginov’s crew from the KAMAZ-Master team has won the Dakar-2014 rally in the truck category

Buenos Aires,CABA,Argentine -AMT (Arg) /Video from Youtube by ТТ Вайсбек -18 January 2014: --  Karginov, worthy champion in the Dakar Rally 2014, which was run in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile... The Russian speculated that had the advantage overall, helped dump a car on the road, and ended up devoting despite its unexpected shutdown ...


Jan 16, 2014

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: December Sales - Viridian EV truck

* Indiana - ACT December truck orders climb 51% 31,800 - Best since 2011

Columbus,IN,USA -HDMA -January 13, 2014: -- The Class 8 industry ended 2013 on a high note, as December truck orders surged 51% from year-ago levels, reinforcing manufacturers’ views that more growth could be coming in 2014... North American truck makers last month pulled in about 31,800 net orders, the strongest total since April 2011 and second-highest since the 2006 “pre-buy” event ahead of new federal emissions standards, ACT Research Co. reported... Analysts, including Tam, attributed the spike to large fleets and leasing companies placing big orders, original equipment manufacturers offering incentives and, to a smaller extent, a rush to buy equipment before the year-end expiration of bonus depreciation that allowed fleet owners to write off 50% of the cost of new equipment purchases during the first year of ownership... Ann Duignan of J.P. Morgan said the relative old age of the North American truck fleet also supported higher demand...

* California - Viridian, Green Automotive team up on small EV truck

(Photo: Viridian Motor Corporation EV Work Truck)
Riverside,CAL,USA -AutoblogGreen, by Jon LeSage -Jan 15th 2014: -- Green Automotive Company continued to diversify its electric vehicle portfolio through investment in electric truck manufacturer Viridian Motor Corporation... GAC has acquired 21.63% of Virginia-based Viridian and brings engineering and design experience in the electric truck market from its Liberty Electric Cars business... California-based Newport Coachworks will launching its first electric shuttle bus in February and will utilize Viridian's presence on the East Coast. While little trucks like this aren't exactly the sexiest vehicles in the world, there is a market for practical EVs like this. Viridian's press release cites a recent Navigant Research market study predicting annual global sales for electric and hybrid trucks will rise from under 10,000 in 2013 to more than 100,000 in 2020...

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Jan 14, 2014


* Michigan - GM’s Mark Reuss says big pickup recall getting fixed fast

(Photo: 2014 North American International Auto Show. Reuss says pickup recall fixes going quickly)
Detroit,MICH,USA -WardsAuto, by James M. Amend -Jan. 13, 2014: -- GM on Friday issued the recall of its 14 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, saying an engine fire could occur if exhaust components overheat... General Motors Executive Vice President Mark Reuss says a U.S. recall involving 370,000 of the automaker’s newly redesigned large trucks because of potential for engine fires will be in the rearview mirror within days... Jeff Luke, GM’s chief truck engineer, calls the problem a “rare event” engineering teams did not encounter during development and validation of the trucks, which launched late last year and have won a number of awards...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Detroit wheels

* Michigan - Resurgent Big 3: Faith in state, key investments paying off after near collapse 

Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -January 13, 2014: -- Automakers from the U.S., Europe and Asia are expected to introduce more than 50 new models at the North American International Auto Show, whose press days are today and Tuesday..  What the automakers introduce is crucial because sales growth is starting to slow and new models tend to capture more buyers than older ones. Here’s a look at what’s expected from the show, which opens to the public on Saturday: 

 ■ Ford will introduce its long-awaited remake of the F-150 pickup — the best-selling vehicle in America. Ford will make widespread use of aluminum so the new truck is lighter and gets better gas mileage. 

 ■ General Motors: GM is showing off the new GMC Canyon, one of two small pickups it hopes will win back buyers who’ve shunned the segment in favor of bigger trucks and SUVs.

 ■ Chrysler: Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks have helped Chrysler return to profitability. 



* Sweden - Scania gets U.K. order for 1,500 trucks

(Photo: Scania Euro 6 small truck) 
Stockholm,Sweden -Market Watch, by Dominic Chopping -Jan. 13, 2014: -- Swedish truck maker Scania AB said Sunday that British transport companies Eddie Stobart and A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products have ordered 1,500 Scania Euro 6 trucks... The order, which will be filled over two years, follows a new joint-procurement agreement between Scania and the two companies... The Euro 6 emission standard became compulsory for all new trucks in Europe on Dec. 31, 2013... Repair and maintenance will be handled by Scania's service network in the U.K...


Jan 10, 2014

DAKAR RALLY 2014 * South America

* Argentine - The 2014 Dakar Rally: The Gods must be crazy

(Photo: Lines of trucks running the Dakar Rally 2014 through Argentine's deserts) 
Buenos Aires,CABA,Arg -AMN -January 10, 2014: -- The Dakar Rally has become legendary for its off-road dangers and drama, especially its previous African editions, which began in 1979. When the race moved to South America in 2009, many worried it would lose its rigors, altering the character of what was branded the toughest motorsports endurance event in the world, with Bike, Quad, Auto, and Truck Classes. But there was nothing to worry about -- the first five editions in Argentina and Chile gained notoriety, and this year's event was no less exciting...



* Wiscosin - Cold weather wreaks havoc on semi trucks

(Photo by COTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES - A truck is covered in ice as firefighters help to extinguish blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago) 
Milwaukee,WIS,USA -Fox 6 Now, by A.J. Bayatpour -January 9, 2014: -- The extreme cold weather this past week has been hard on many vehicles, but none worse than semis. One towing company says it has taken several hundred calls since Sunday night just for stalled-out semi trucks... Workers at Homer’s Towing and Service on Milwaukee’s northwest side say they have been receiving calls every couple minutes, adding it’s been nothing compared to Monday morning... “It’s organized chaos and I don’t know how organized it is, but it is chaos,” said owner Homer Schultz. “I’ve been in business since 1965 and never seen a winter like this” ... Schultz says by late Wednesday night, January 8th, his office responded to about 400 calls for stalled semis... Schultz agrees, saying the most common problem he’s been seeing are drivers who didn’t put enough additives to thin out the diesel fuel, which prevents it from gelling up...

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Jan 8, 2014


* Leyland unveils Captain Series of trucks

(Indian cricket team captain M S Dhoni shakes hands with Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland at the launch of 'Captain' truck series in New Delhi on Monday | PTI) 
 Bangalore,India -The Indian Express -7th January 2014: -- Notwithstanding the current slowdown in the Indian automobile sector, especially in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment, truck maker Ashok Leyland Ltd (ALL) on Monday announced the launch of 18 variants under new ‘Captain’ series in 2014. The new series will feature Tippers, Tractors and Haulage vehicles in the 16-49 tonne category... Launching the 2523 Captain truck in New Delhi on Monday, the company announced its plans for new models under the series. The 2523 Captain will be priced at `24 lakh onwards. According to the company, they have spent close to `700 crore in development of the new series...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA - Truck sales fall in December

* DC - US car makers report disappointing December sales 

Washington,DC,USA -Bbc News/The Daily Star -January 08, 2014: -- General Motors (GM) has reported a fall in car sales in December in what was a disappointing month for US car makers... GM shares fell 2.4 percent after it reported a 6.3 percent fall in sales compared with December 2012... Ford and Chrysler both reported rising sales, but not the increases that industry analysts were expecting... Chrysler sold 161,000 cars and trucks in December, up 5.7 percent on the same period in 2012 and Ford reported a 1.8 percent rise in December sales... Analysts said that poor weather in parts of the US kept customers away from dealerships in December... Truck sales tend to increase in relation to home sales, which were strong for much of the year as the US economic recovery spurred long-delayed housing activity...

* New York - Plug gains on U.S. funding to boost range of electric trucks 

NY,USA -Bloomberg, by Christopher Martin -Jan 7, 2014: -- Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), a maker of fuel-cells for warehouse forklifts, rose to a 32-month high after winning U.S. Energy Department funding to adapt its systems to extend the range of electric trucks... The Energy Department will provide $3 million for Plug to develop hydrogen fuel cells for 20 FedEx Corp. (FDX) delivery trucks built by Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., Latham, New York-based Plug said today in a statement... The hybrid trucks will use 10-kilowatt fuel cell systems that double the 80-mile (129-kilometer) range of their lithium-ion batteries. Boosting the range will make the trucks viable for additional applications and may spur wider demand for vehicles that don’t require fossil fuels... Plug has quadrupled since it said Dec. 4 that cost reductions and increasing orders may generate a profit this year after 14 years of losses...

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Jan 3, 2014

AUTOMAKERS NEWS * USA: FIAT & Chrysler affair

* Michigan - Chrysler, Fiat:  Significant challenges remain

(Photo: Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s chief executive and CEO of Chrysler Group) 
Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -January 3, 2014: -- Fiat SpA’s surprise year-end deal to acquire the rest of Chrysler Group LLC from the United Auto Workers has removed a major obstacle to CEO Sergio Marchionne’s dream of forging a global automotive powerhouse... Fiat continues to hemorrhage cash in Europe, where auto sales remain depressed. Auburn Hills-based Chrysler is making money that its Italian parent desperately needs, but there are still limits on how much of that cash Fiat will be able to use... Combining the two companies’ finances — and thereby giving Fiat access to Chrysler’s cash — was the main reason Marchionne was so keen to acquire the rest of Chrysler from the UAW-run trust... Chrysler has had to hire thousands of new workers to bring its factories back to full capacity and beyond, and it has had to rebuild a decimated supplier network. That, combined with the challenge of integrating with Fiat’s global product development and manufacturing system has led to some rocky launches...

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TRUCKS RECALLS * USA: Daimler & Volvos'

* DC - Truck makers issue recall for defective seat belts

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics, by Michael G. Malloy -2 Jan 2014: -- Several truck makers have recalled thousands of heavy-duty trucks because of possible seat belt defects that may make the devices difficult to unlatch... The recall notices, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affect more than 26,000 trucks made by Daimler Trucks North America, more than 5,000 made by Volvo Trucks and 39 Mack units... All were 2014 model year units and were manufactured from August through November. DTNA’s recalled trucks include Freightliner and Western Star models... The seat belts were L9 models manufactured by Westfield, Ind.-based IMMI, NHTSA said... The manufacturer estimated that less than 1% of its recalled belts exhibited a potential partial engagement, making it harder to unbuckle, said James Johnson, IMMI’s vice president of sales and business development... Mack said it will contact the owners of the affected vehicles and inspect and replace, if required, the seat belt buckle according to instructions provided by the supplier. Mack’s sister company, Volvo, said it initiated a voluntary owner notification and recall of the affected units...