Jul 31, 2008

Ford to display new & classic vehicles at Woodward Dream Cruise

Ford Motor Company will be at the heart of the action when 1.5 million car and truck enthusiasts flock to the city of Ferndale, Mich. for the start of the 2008 Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug.16.

"It's a great place for us to be because it truly reflects the essence of Woodward -- car lovers coming together and cruising, just like they've done for decades," said Robert Parker, Ford car marketing manager. "The Dream Cruise originated in Ferndale 14 years ago, and the city has been the home to MustangFord WoodwardDreamCruise Alley for the past 10 years."

Ford's display of new and classic vehicles will be the largest and longest-lasting of any automaker along Woodward Ave. It will spread more than a mile along 9 Mile Road east and west of Woodward, and it will be open from Aug. 15 through Aug. 17.

On Aug. 16, Mustang Alley - the single largest display of Ford Mustangs in the country - will feature an estimated 450 different muscle cars.

"This year marks the 45th anniversary of Mustang, and we're hoping to have a Mustang from every year from 1964 to 2008," said Parker.

"Hundreds of enthusiasts have already registered their cars for this year's show," said Michael Gorden, Ford Product Development supervisor, who has been organizing Mustang Alley for the past several years. "Every year, we line up hundreds of Mustangs on five blocks along East 9 Mile Road. It's a pretty impressive sight."

As in previous years, organizers of Mustang Alley will hold a raffle and auction for special Mustang merchandise, such as a Shelby GT hood autographed by automotive legend Carroll Shelby. All of the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In addition to Mustang Alley, the 2008 Ford area will feature a Model T display celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic car credited with "putting the world on wheels," as well as an array of new vehicles, including the new Ford F-150, Flex and Focus Coupe.

"It will give people an opportunity to see our new products and also learn a little bit about our history all in one space," said Parker.

Unlike other venues along the Dream Cruise route, Parker says the Ford location will be user-friendly.

"The area is large, but we tried to make it very compact so that people won't need a shuttle bus to get from one end to the other," he said. "It should be easy for families and enthusiasts to navigate."

The Ford area will also feature live classic rock and roll entertainment, two food courts and a kids' play zone, which will include an interactive bus from The Henry Ford and a "pop-up music studio," presented by Fender.

"There will be a tent full of Fender instruments and amplifiers next to the stage where people can have their own jam sessions," said Parker.

Ford's monster truck "Blue Thunder" will make a special appearance in the Ford area on Aug. 17.

In addition to the company display, Ford will also have a strong presence in Ferndale's 14th Annual Classic Car Show.

"Ferndale will have a car show within our car show, and half of the vehicles in the display will be Ford vehicles," said Parker.

Woodward Dream Cruise is the world's largest one-day celebration of classic car culture. The event attracts more than 1.5 million visitors and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom collector and special interest vehicles.

Mustang owners who would like to register for Mustang Alley should log into www.motorcityterminators.com.

In conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford will sponsor and participate in a new automotive event called NextCruise, which is making its inaugural debut this year. NextCruise is designed to add an environmentally-friendly and future-looking dimension to the Woodward Dream Cruise by expanding the relevance of this event from what is primarily a retrospective of automobiles from the past to include vehicles for the present and future.

NextCruise takes place August 15-16 in Pleasant Ridge. Ford will showcase several sustainable technologies including hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell power, and advanced powertrain, as well as have vehicles on hand for test drives.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Scion launches new brand campaign

Scion recently launched its "United by Individuality" brand campaign, which reinvents the brand's distinctiveness by communicating several of its core philosophies - creativity, personalization, authenticity, and community.

The campaign also celebrates Scion owners as it demonstrates Scions as blank canvases for customization through unique treatments of actual owner vehicles in cinema, cable, print, online and out of home advertising.

Scion, a laboratory for experimentation, used the United by Individuality campaign as an opportunity to approach casting talent differently. Scion asked owners to submit images of their xA, xB, tC or xD, whether stock, or mildly to wildly customized. Scion then chose hundreds of these vehicles from more than 20 states to participate in its United by Individuality campaign.

"As owners and creativity are core elements of Scion, we wanted to generate an advertising campaign that integrated those aspects in an innovative way," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "We think the United by Individuality campaign will engage our owners as well as show others what the brand is about. I can't wait for owners to be surprised when they see their cars in their favorite magazines, on a billboard or at the movies."

While over 300 Scions were busy being stars at the photo shoot in the Nevada desert, more than 600 select owners and their guests enjoyed activities that embodied the brand - art, music, racing and tuning. Scion owners also valued meeting each other as the group often converges online, but rarely has the opportunity to meet other owners from across the nation in person.

This unique casting call allows the brand to demonstrate the endless and authentic personalization possibilities. As Scion owners are always the heart of the brand, owner vehicles are the focus of the United by Individuality campaign. The promotion will feature numerous combinations of individual and group vehicle images.

Scion also partnered with Tokion magazine to create a personalized September cover for subscribers and Scion owners who participated in the United event. The custom cover art will feature a Scion vehicle with the subscriber or owner's name printed on it. Inside, the magazine will have several creative executions including a poster shot of the vehicles used for the campaign.

"Word of mouth is so strong for us," said Hollis. "Yes, our vehicles are polarizing, but we are confident our United by Individuality campaign will spark positive conversation among Scion enthusiasts. Each vehicle in the campaign is so unique, owners will know who a vehicle belongs to or reach out to the Scion community to find out. Our owners are definitely united by individuality and we will continue to support them as they tell us what the brand needs to be."

Scion continues to use an unbundled approach for its marketing and advertising efforts, allowing it to work with the best specialized partners in the industry. Scion and its partners were able to create an advertising evolution with this campaign by blending Scion advertising, marketing, owners and product.

"We will maintain our course for adventurous and authentic marketing efforts," voiced Hollis. "We're Scion and that's what we do to stand out and engage consumers."

United by Individuality launched with cinema the week of July 21, and will follow with print, internet, and out of home placement. Spots on select cable programs will air by August 4. Interviews with select United event owners will also be featured in the winter/fall Scion magalog. Images of the event are also on Scion website.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Grand Opening of Online Gifts Store at Infibeam.com

Sending gifts to near and dear ones, has never been easier. The online retail giant Infibeam.com launches its new online gifts store. Cakes, Sweets, Chocolates, Combos and Exquisite Bouquets are the categories of gifts available. Visitors can just sit back and browse through the categories of these solicitously assorted gifts and click to avail the advantage of buying gifts online and presenting it to loved ones. The launch of the online Gift store by Infibeam.com has paved way for easy online purchase of gifts.

Send Gifts to IndiaIndia's leading Online Store - Infibeam.com has come up with its new Gifts Store and it is all set to make waves with the carefully chosen items on display.

Speaking at its launch, Mr. Vishal Mehta, Founder & CEO says, "Infibeam.com today shows how to spread love among near and dear ones, any where in India from within or abroad."

"We have set up our online store offering choicest cakes, sweets, chocolates, flowers and combo gifts to be shipped for free in majority of Indian cities within 72 hours of placing order," informed Mr. Mehta.

The gift items that could be purchased online include cakes, chocolates, combos, dry fruits, flowers and sweets. The cakes available are mainly of two types. The exotic variety includes Black Forest and Truffle Cake. Pineapple, Chocolate and Vanilla are the other flavors available at the store.

The other gift items namely combos are an assortment of carefully chosen gifts. Chocolate box combined with a soft toy, flowers accompanied with soft toys, flowers and a box of sweets are a few combinations that undeniably add a creative touch to gifts.

The sweets section has authentic Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Sohan Papri, Milk Cake, Kaju Burfi and Kaju Rolls. Gifting flowers has never been easier. Flowers like Roses, Carnations and Lilies are elegantly arranged in spectacular looking bouquets.

Infibeam.com has come a long way since its inception and the opening of the gift store is indeed another step towards potential growth. For Infibeam.com customers, looking for innovative present, their gifts store might have just the appropriate gift to select from.


About Infibeam.com:
Infibeam.com is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, bikes, mobiles, watches, books, apparel, cameras, health equipment and gifts today.

Infibeam.com allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Jul 29, 2008

Axon Automotive unveils new 80mpg green car

The British Midlands Development Corporation announced the launch of a new eco-friendly car, whose combination of reduced weight and excellent dynamics dramatically improves mileage and emissions from conventional fuels.
Axon Automotive, based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK, aims to be the most sustainable car manufacturer in Europe. Their new compact car will be capable of delivering 80 miles per gallon with sub-120g per mile CO2 emissions, while still capable of a top speed of 90 mph.Axon Green Car

The compact car features a carbon fiber body to create a lightweight vehicle that combines good performance with fuel efficiency that is better than any car currently on the market.

The company has patented a mass-production technique to make a range of structural elements and body panels from carbon composites. The products are made from carbon fiber "ropes" each braided over a foam core and infused with epoxy resin and are as strong as steel, with only 40 per cent of the weight.

Steve Cousins, Managing Director of Axon, said: "This approach halves fuel consumption whichever fuel you use and we get phenomenal economy from a small petrol engine combined with an IVT (infinitely variable transmission)."

"From a consumer's viewpoint, a small petrol engine is both low cost and a familiar technology, making it easier to maintain."

The Axon car is a multipurpose vehicle built for two adults and two children.

"The British Midlands is known for being one of the major hubs of the European automotive industry," said Vern Sebby, President and CEO of British Midlands Development Corporation, "The region is known for high-performance automotive innovation and for its excellent academic infrastructure."

Home to Toyota, Jaguar, Land Rover, and AstonMartin, the Midlands produces over 40% of the UK vehicle output. The region is a world leader in a number of specific growth areas, including the adoption of aluminum bodies, the development of telematics and satellite navigation based applications and the expanding market for low-volume premium vehicles.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Audi Taiwan to begin operations in February 2009 with ambitious goals

Audi is continuing on its course of worldwide growth and has founded its own sales company in Taiwan – just as it has in markets such as Canada, Australia and Korea. Audi Taiwan Limited will begin operations in February 2009 with ambitious goals: The number of cars delivered to customers in Taiwan is to be more than doubled by 2015.

“We see great potential for our fascinating products in this dynamic growth region,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG responsible for Marketing and Sales. “With a highly qualified and motivated Audi team, we will offer our customers an exclusive brand experience in Taiwan.”

The premium manufacturer from Ingolstadt has been represented on the Taiwanese market by an independent importer for over 20 years now. Approximately 1,900 Audi vehicles were delivered to customers in Taiwan in 2007. Audi has set ambitious goals for itself in the future and is now getting ready to reach them with its own sales company. The brand with the four rings wants to more than double its sales figures in Taiwan – and establish itself as the most attractive premium manufacturer by 2015.

“Our cars are very popular with customers in Taiwan, who have a high appreciation of design and technology. We will significantly expand our model range here,” says André Konsbruck, Head of Sales Overseas. Audi will be introducing four new models on the Taiwanese market in 2009 – including the recently presented Audi Q5 and the Audi R8 sports car.

In addition, Audi is investing heavily in its dealership and service network. The brand with premium service wants to be the customer satisfaction leader and the most attractive employer in Taiwan as well. Eleven exclusive new dealerships will be opening in the coming years on this Asian growth market; three new Audi dealers are planned in the metropolis of Taipei alone.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 26, 2008

Chrysler reports Q2 loss

Daimler AG reported on its 19.9 percent share of Chrysler Holding LLC's first quarter 2008 results under IFRS. Daimler AG's results for Chrysler Holding LLC include net losses of euro 65 million on a U.S. GAAP basis, of which a euro 55 million net loss is attributable to the automotive business of Chrysler LLC.

The difference between the loss of euro 373 million reported by Daimler AG related to its 19.9 percent interest in Chrysler Holding LLC and the euro 65 million of net losses is attributable to the following:

- Adjustments for differences between U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) - (euro 130 million loss)

- Daimler AG adjustments related to Chrysler LLC's 2007 restructuring actions - (euro 73 million loss)

- Other Daimler AG adjustments not related to Chrysler Holding LLC results - (euro 88 million loss)

- Daimler AG impairment of its rights related to Chrysler vehicle residual values - (euro 17 million loss)

Chrysler Holding LLC is comprised of Chrysler LLC, the automotive company which manufactures and sells Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles worldwide and Chrysler Financial which provides financial services for these vehicles in the North American region.

Source: Infibeam.com

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New Fiesta ECOnetic debuts in London

Bringing style and new levels of low-CO2 efficiency, Ford of Europe’s most frugal car ever – the new Fiesta ECOnetic – makes its world premiere today at the British International Motor Show in London.

Powered by a specially-calibrated version of the 90 PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi, combined with coated Diesel Particulate Filter, Ford’s most economical Fiesta can travel 100 kilometres usingFord Fiesta ecoNetic just 3.7 litres of fuel, on the EC Combined Cycle. This impressive fuel economy is matched with a class-leading CO2 output of 98 grams per kilometre – making Fiesta ECOnetic the lowest CO2 vehicle in both its segment and Ford’s European range.

Compared to previous-generation Fiesta 1.6-litre TDCi, Fiesta ECOnetic will use 160 litres less fuel over 20.000 km, offering genuine savings in daily driving, at a time when saving fuel means saving even more money.

Extra-urban highway fuel economy is even better – Fiesta ECOnetic requires just 3.2 litres to cover 100 kilometres. Yet this efficiency is not at the expense of driving quality or performance, with Fiesta ECOnetic reaching 0-100 km/h in 12,3 seconds and a top speed of 178 kph.

This is because Fiesta boasts the same attention to detail as earlier ECOnetic models, with improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tyres and enhanced lubrication to achieve best possible CO2 and fuel consumption. Lowered ride height and aerodynamic details such as wheel covers and wheel deflectors build on Fiesta’s already streamlined drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.33.

At the same time, low rolling resistance tyres in an economical 175/65 R14 profile, a longer final drive gear ratio and special lubricants drive efficient powertrain performance, especially in highway cruising. In conjunction with energy partner BP, Ford has developed low-viscosity transmission and low-friction engine oils for ECOnetic models.

Such modifications create Fiesta ECOnetic’s class-leading efficiency, without sacrificing the driving quality, style or practicality of the core Fiesta range.

Fiesta ECOnetic’s London debut is no coincidence – its ultra-low CO2 rating will also exempt it from UK road taxes.

It is not just the ECOnetic version of new Fiesta that benefits from Ford of Europe’s sustainability efforts – all new Fiestas feature Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS), using far less fuel and engine power than a standard hydraulic power assist system, without compromising driving dynamics or steering feedback.

Extensive use of high strength steels and a focus on weight saving has also reduced the mass of new Fiesta by 40 kilogrammes versus the previous model, despite improved safety equipment and sound insulation.

Sustainability has influenced not only new Fiesta’s development, but also the facilities behind its manufacture. Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre in Britain produces Duratorq TDCi engines for new Fiesta and derives all its electricity from renewable sources, with two dedicated wind turbines and plans for a third.

Ford is also sourcing renewable electricity to cover the full electric power demand of its Fiesta manufacturing and engineering facilities in Cologne, Germany. Through this initiative, the company will reduce its CO2 emissions by 190.000 tonnes per year.

Dr Wolfgang Schneider, Ford of Europe Vice President, Legal, Governmental and Environmental Affairs said: “The new Fiesta is the strongest example yet of Ford of Europe’s commitment to and investment in sustainable mobility. Fiesta ECOnetic is a compelling, stylish yet no-compromise choice for customers, offering class-leading low CO2 and genuine savings, while also benefitting from our investment in efficient production facilities.”

New Fiesta ECOnetic will be on sale across Europe later this year and completes an initial trilogy of models in the company’s European vehicle range that also includes a 139 g/km Ford Mondeo ECOnetic and a 115 g/km Ford Focus ECOnetic.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 25, 2008

Skoda Auto sales down 1.6% in first half of 2008

The first-half 2008 economic results published today show that, Skoda Auto, the largest company in the Czech Republic, has not been able to compensate for losses caused by the strong Czech Koruna despite a considerable increase in production volume.

For the first half of 2008, the Skoda Auto Group has contributed to the overall profit of the Volkswagen Concern with an operating profit of 381 million €. The increase in turnover of 25 million €, (+ 7 %) compared to last year, was negatively affected by the development of the Czech Koruna exchange rate.

The influence of the strength of the Czech Koruna in comparison to other world currencies has been manifested even more clearly in a local financial statement. Turnover reached 111.7 billion CZK (-1.6 %) and the operating profit, 9.6 billion (- 3.9%).

“For the first time since we began reporting according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Methodology in 2005, a decrease in the values of all significant financial parameters has occurred,” Board of Directors Member Holger Kintscher commented. Kintscher continued, “Naturally, the strengthening exchange rate of the Koruna against all important world currencies slows us down as the biggest exporter in the Czech Republic. Therefore, although our sales volume has increased, we have experienced some drop in revenue. Compared to the first half of 2007, our current operating profit is burdened by negative exchange rate effects worth 2.3 billion CZK.’

For the first half of 2008, vehicle production has increased 11.2% (353,818 cars) compared to the same period in 2007. There was a considerable rise in the production of the Skoda Fabia and Skoda Octavia model series. It is expected that the production volume of Skoda Superb, which was temporarily reduced by the shift to a new generation model, will be balanced in the next few months.

In the reporting period, deliveries to customers increased by 17.9% compared to last year, to a total of 366,666 cars. The Skoda brand was most successful in Eastern Europe (63,684 cars; +40.1%),where the markets of Russia with 23,950 cars (+83.7%) and Ukraine with 15,964 cars (+51.2%) confirmed the expected growth pattern. The Group also sold 31,566 cars in the world’s fastest growing market, China, (where sales began in July 2007) and 9,556 cars in India (+61.6%).

“The situation is complicated. Apart from traditional negative external effects (such as the price of oil, steel and precious metals), we need to consider the development of the Czech Koruna as another significant risk factor. Our priority now is to minimize the impact of all these extreme influences,” Holger Kintscher sums up.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Honda produces 10 millionth transmission in Ohio

Honda’s large transmission plant in west-central Ohio reached a major milestone when associates built their 10 millionth automatic transmission. Honda Transmission Mfg. of America supplies these transmissions to Honda’s auto engine plant in Anna, Ohio, where they are mated up with the engines for delivery to Honda auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio, and in Canada and Mexico.

Located in Logan County near Russells Point, Honda Transmission has manufactured transmissions for nearly 12 years. The 10 millionth transmission was produced for a Honda Accord and will remain on display in the plant. Nearly every department was involved in its production through its final assembly and quality inspection, including casting of the aluminum case, and forging and machining of its high-precision gears.

More than 1,000 associates at Honda Transmission are being recognized at an internal ceremony for their contributions to the production milestone. “Our team has worked very hard to achieve this milestone,” Honda Transmission President Nobuyuki Sanui said. “Working together as one team to exceed our customer expectations is the driving force behind our successes.”

Since starting transmission production in 1996, Honda Transmission has steadily expanded operations to keep pace with Honda’s growth into new passenger car and light truck models. In addition to the Accord, the plant produces automatic transmissions for the Honda Ridgeline, Element and CR-V, and the Acura TL, MDX and RDX.

The plant’s growth would not have been possible without the contributions of each associate, said Jeff Tomko, the company’s vice president. “What we are celebrating goes well beyond a production milestone,” Tomko said. “Our associates have worked as a strong team to satisfy 10 million customers, and they are continuing to build on that success as we increase our capabilities with the additional production of gears and differentials.”

The result of a $100 million expansion project, Honda Transmission associates started producing high-precision transmission gears in 2006, followed a year later by four-wheel-drive rear differentials for the Acura RDX and MDX. That 263,000-square-foot expansion was part of a major North American drive-train initiative that Honda announced in late 2004 that also included investment of $100 million for Honda Precision Parts of Georgia, a new plant that now supplies automatic transmissions for the light trucks produced at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. At the same time, Honda invested $70 million to expand engine machining at the Alabama plant.

More recently, Honda invested $75 million at the Anna Engine Plant in Ohio to increase the production of steel engine parts previously imported from Japan. That project included a 135,000-square-foot expansion to manufacture camshafts, crankshafts, cylinder sleeves and connecting rods. Honda’s largest auto engine plant in the world, the Anna plant celebrated production of its 15 millionth engine last year.

Honda Transmission’s predecessor company, Bellemar Parts Industries, started producing auto parts for Honda of America Mfg. in 1982 as the Marysville Auto Plant was making history as the first Japanese auto plant in America. The company was formally incorporated as Honda Transmission Mfg. in 1997. Investment in the 651,000-square-foot facility exceeds $325 million.

Among five Honda plants in Ohio, Honda Transmission has the capacity annually to produce 750,000 automatic transmissions, 288,000 gear sets and 110,000 rear differentials. Honda’s two auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio, produced a record 700,000 cars and light trucks in the state last year, making it the largest auto manufacturer in Ohio.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 22, 2008

Peugeot highlights its green credentials at ExCeL

Peugeot has a wide range of its ever-green cars on display at the forthcoming London ExCeL Motor Show (which runs between 22 July – 3 August), from the latest ‘cheap to tax’ (at just £35 per year) 107 KISS SE to the show debut of the 308 RCZ concept. These low-emissions vehicles and many others are a central part of the Peugeot stand, situated in the North Hall (N3), covering some 900 square metres, and packed with new, fascinating and special new models.

The newest car on show won’t actually be on UK roads until 2010, as the 308 RCZ Concept, making its UK show debut, has only recently been confirmed to enter production. Its attractive appearance is a product of the design inspired by the 908 HDi FAP Le Mans Series race car, with its double-hump roofline for low-drag aerodynamics. The lightweight carbon-fibre roof also saves weight and helps achieve low-emissions of just 160g/km CO2. Such is the special interest in this car a special hourly reveal is planned during the entire show.

Other exciting exhibits on the Peugeot stand include the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMS (Le Mans Series) race car. So far this year the 908 has won every race – at Barcelona, Monza and Spa. After a race in Germany in August, the final is at Silverstone on 14th September.

The recently announced 207 CC ELLE Special Edition is displayed in two of the magazine-readers’ chosen favourite colours and colour interior specification.

In a refreshing move – that is fitting with Peugeot’s strong environmental credentials – there is a ‘free water bar’ for all visitors, sited on the ‘access-allareas’ upper deck, next to the ‘Peugeot environment zone’. Inside the zone, a number of environmental displays promote the company’s ‘Blue Lion’ standards with exhibits that include the futuristic 308 Hybrid Simulator.

For those enthusiasts looking for something a little more ‘extreme’ they may be fascinated by a design interpretation of the 207 GTi THP 175. This particular car features ‘scissor-opening’ doors and a special bespoke leather trimmed interior. On one corner of the Peugeot stand, to promote the 107 KISS Special Edition, there will be a DJ from KISS radio playing the latest music, while on another side of the stand there will be a ‘giant MP3 player’ for visitors to select their own tunes.

Peugeot also has a driving experience of its range of vehicles available outside the halls, plus for those too young to drive an electric ‘pedal car’ driving zone experience. Finally visitors to the Motor Show can view the Peugeot stand early by going to Peugeot website for a virtual tour. It won’t beat seeing the stand for yourself, but may provide an insight into how cool the Peugeot stand will be. Cars on display include:

107 KISS SE in Laser Red
107 Sport in Apollo Blue
207 GTi THP 175 in Shark Grey with special gull wing/scissor doors
207 GT HDi 110 5-door in Flamenco Red
207 SW Sport HDi 90 in Neysha Blue
207 CC ELLE SE with additional body-kit, in Thorium Grey with Lilac leather trim
308 RCZ Concept in Carbon Grey
308 GT THP 175 3-door in Thorium Grey with body styling kit
308 SW Sport HDi 110 in Aluminium, displaying its 7-seat configuration
308 SW SE HDi 136 in Babylon Red (which has 7-seats as standard)
308 SE HDi 110 ECG 5-door in Lacerta
308 SE 5-door in Aegean Blue
407 SW GT HDi 170 (2009MY) in Thorium Grey
407 Coupe HDi 136 (2009MY) in Nera Black
4007 GT HDi 156 with bodykit option in Pearl Black
207 Spider racecar in White & Red livery
908 HDi FAP Le Mans Series race car

Source: Infibeam.com

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NICE decade is far from behind us - Mervyn King

Commenting on the economy last week, Bank of England governor Mervyn King said the nice decade is behind us. But in terms of low-cost, sustainable motoring, NICE is very much the way forward.
Industry heavyweight Carlos Ghosn recently joined government adviser Julia King in pointing to electric cars as the route to sustainable motoring. London’s NICE car company, launched at the 2006 British Motor Show, agrees. And it has allelectric cars on sale today.

“The NICE decade is just beginning for electric vehicles,” said co-founder Evert Geurtsen. “Even in the midst of a credit crunch and with soaring prices, NICE car owners are laughing. No congestion charge, no road tax, parking concessions and 2p per mile motoring. It doesn’t get much nicer than that.”

While the financial benefits of owning cars like the NICE Mega City are clear, saving money is far from the only reason to own one:

- The cars are small and stylish
- They emit no CO2, no NOX and no CO (carbon monoxide). In fact, there’s no tailpipe at all!
- Low noise and the cars are easy to park
- They are voluntarily crash tested, for front, side and rear impacts
- They are nearly 100% recyclable

For the first time, NICE Car Company is taking part in SMMT’s Test Day. As well as bringing one of its current Mega City models for test on Millbrook’s city route, the company will be showcasing the Super Light Electric Sport Car.

This research project was developed in partnership with Cranfield’s power and drive systems group, based in Shrivenham. Featuring striking gull-wing doors, it was designed around a carbon fibre cell, with advanced electronics replacing traditional mechanical assemblies.

“This is not a production car, but it does show what is possible when design starts from the principle of electric-drive upwards,” added Geurtsen, an engineer by trade. “When integrated with advanced, lightweight materials, the benefits of this approach become very clear.”

The Super Light Electric Sport Car will follow Test Day with a starring role in the electric car pavilion at this year’s London Motor Show. NICE Car Company will also have a stand at the event. This will showcase a new stylish face for the Mega City car, as well as a host of brand new electric models from the company. More details will be announced closer to the event.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Eternal bond of brotherly love - Rakhi features on Infibeam.com

They say it's a mere thread, but the essence of Rakhi transcends all love and affection shown by a sister to her brother. This expression of tying Rakhi reveals the depths of rich India social tradition that is exhibited through a variety of Rakhis and Gifts that are exchanged during the festival.

Send Rakhi Gifts to IndiaUnveiling Online Rakhi Store, Mr. Vishal Mehta, Founder & CEO of India's leading website Infibeam.com said, "We offer Rakhis in all hues - gold, silver, pearl, zardosi, fancy, kids and many others to select from. For this, we have completely geared up our logistics to overcome the festive rush."

Infibeam.com has lined up a wonderful range of Rakhis for sisters to get them couriered to their brothers, anywhere in India on the eve of this festival.

Besides Rakhis, Infibeam.com has a selection on Gifts and perfumes that can be a value added gift to make this occasion memorable during this festive season.

About Infibeam.com:
Infibeam.com is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, designer cars, bikes, mobiles, watches, books, apparel & accessories, jewellery, and Rakhis.

Infibeam.com allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Jul 17, 2008

Mitsubishi to unveil new Pajero Sport SUV at 2008 Moscow Motor Show

MitsubishiTokyo — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will unveil its new Pajero Sport SUV model at the Moscow Auto Salon 2008 (The Moscow Motor Show) to be held at the Crocus Expo in Moscow between August 26 and September 7 (opens to the public on August 29). The new Pajero Sport will be phased in selected regions such as Russia, the ASEAN area, the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania starting in the fall this year.

• The model will carry a different name in different markets: Montero Sport in South America, Nativa in Latin America and Challenger in Australia.
• The new Pajero Sport will neither be sold in Central & Western Europe nor in North America, where other types of SUVs are favored.

The new Pajero Sport features dynamic and sporty exterior lines, complemented by a stylish and vast interior space that engenders a sense of comfort, purpose and safety. This cabin, available in either a 2-row (5-passenger) or 3-row (7-passenger) seating configuration is also very practical with water-repellent seats and a waterproof luggage compartment floor, ideal for leisure use.

Mitsubishi's latest SUV will be powered by a choice of three engines which all deliver outstanding motive performance and fuel economy: 2.5-liter and 3.2-liter common rail direct injection diesel units and a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline unit.

In terms of architecture, the body of the Pajero Sport is mounted on a new ladder frame to realize high levels of durability and reliability, consistent with the needs of its target markets.

Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control philosophy, forged through its participation in the Dakar Rally and other contests, informs all of the company's 4WD systems. The new model will use the Super Select 4WD system, also used in the Pajero SUV, which transmits drive torque effectively to all four wheels on all types of surface. The body, frame and driveline not only give Pajero Sport outstanding off-road performance but allow it to deliver excellent drive dynamics over all surfaces.

The choice of the Moscow Motor Show to unveil the new Pajero Sport is a clear indication of Russia's eminent position within Mitsubishi Motors. In fiscal 2007 Mitsubishi Motors sold some 100,000 vehicles on the Russian market, boosted by the ever successful Lancer line-up and a popular range of SUVs.

MMC is confident that the new Pajero Sport SUV will make a strong addition to its SUV range, which also includes the Pajero and Outlander. Coming on the heels of the introduction of the Lancer sports sedan last year, this will allow MMC to expand SUV sales and hit a total sales volume of 140,000 units on the Russian market in fiscal 2008.

• Russian-spec vehicle will only be available with the 3.2-liter diesel engine and 2-row, 5-passenger capacity seating arrangement.
• "Montero" in Spanish-speaking countries and "Shogun' in the UK.
• 5 Galant Fortis in Japan.

MMC will hold its Press Briefing at the Mitsubishi Motors stand at 17:20 on Tuesday August 26.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Ford of Europe June sales up 16.9%

COLOGNE, Germany -- Ford of Europe's sales in its main 51 markets rose by almost two percent to a record 1,003,700 vehicles in the first half of this year.

"Surpassing the one million mark after only six months of the year is confirmation of how well our products are being received by an increasing number of customers," said Ingvar Sviggum, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. "We are also very pleased that despite a general softening of the industry and the challenging economic environment we increased our market share to 8.8 percent in the Euro 19 markets.

"With the new Kuga compact crossover currently arriving in European dealerships and the all-new Fiesta going into production next month, we are preparing the groundwork to further improve our market position," he added.

The top-selling models in June across the Euro 19 markets were the Focus (33,200 vehicles), Fiesta (30,600 vehicles) and Mondeo (14,300 vehicles). The Kuga continued its strong start with sales of 2,800 vehicles.

The Fiesta was the best-selling imported car in Italy with 6,700 vehicles sold, and Ford was Italy's best-selling imported vehicle brand, achieving a 7.9 percent market share. In France, the Fiesta, S-MAX and C-MAX were the best-selling vehicles in their segments.

Britain was the company's top market in June, with 37,200 vehicles sold for a market-leading share of 15.3 percent.

Sales in Germany increased by 16.9 percent to 23,900 vehicles, while France improved by 9.5 percent to 15,700 vehicles.

In the first six months of this year, Ford of Europe sold 823,400 vehicles in the Euro 19 markets. Twelve of those markets posted increases. Britain was the company's top region, selling 235,500 vehicles for a share of 16.2 percent. Among other successes, Germany sold 118,500 vehicles, an increase of 5.8 percent, and France sold 80,900 vehicles, up 13.7 percent. Ford leads the market in Spain this year, with a share of 10.0 percent, up 0.5 percent from 2007.

First-half sales in Russia increased 19.8 percent to 97,300 vehicles. Turkey improved by 3.8 percent, to 38,700 vehicles, while sales in Ford's 30 European Direct Markets soared by 39.4 percent to 44,400 vehicles.

In the first half of the year, Transit sales were up 7,500 to a record 99,400 vehicles sold in the Euro 19 markets.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 16, 2008

Stuttgart - Fuel-efficient and environmentally-sustainable premium automobiles from Mercedes-Benz, without the need to forego the characteristic brand features- safety, comfort and refined driving pleasure. This is the strategy of the Stuttgart based vehicle manufacturer. One emphasis within the development strategy is on modular powertrain technologies that can be utilized either individually or in combination, depending upon vehicle class, usage profile and customer requirements. With its “Road to the Future” Mercedes-Benz has presented details on the product implementation. Mercedes-Benz offers a tangible outlook into the future of the combustion engine with the innovative DIESOTTO engine in the research vehicle F 700.

World population, and thus the need for individual mobility, is set to grow dras-tically over the next few decades. At the same time, natural resources are be-coming increasingly scarce as well as consequently more expensive for both consumers and vehicle manufacturers. Add to this, legislative requirements for the environmental sustainability of vehicles differ dramatically from region to region across the globe. For example, many European cities have now established environment zones and the state of California has legislated quotas for zero-emissions vehicles.

Individually tailored solutions for diverse requirements:
These developments are already having a noticeable impact on customer behavior. Alongside economic factors- primarily increasing fuel prices- the environmental sustainability of vehicles is gaining importance in the purchasing decision.

Everyday customer requirements are becoming increasingly differentiated and more individualized- those who drive long distances cross country have different vehicle requirements than those who travel largely or exclusively in and around congested urban areas. Therefore, Mercedes-Benz is convinced that, in the future, one single technology will not prevail on the road to sustainable mobility. Instead, to these multi-faceted demands the company is offering equally multi-faceted individually tailored solutions. The benefits of individual technologies in respect of optimal fuel consumption and emissions values are played to their best advantage in specific fields of application. The approach taken by Mercedes-Benz as a premium manufacturer is therefore based on vehicle concepts with modular powertrain technologies that ensure that both customer benefit and environmental sustainability always take center-stage for the brand with the three-pointed star.

The company’s development strategy is centered on securing its leading position within the premium vehicle segment. Thus, three key fields of action were defined in the roadmap for sustainable mobility:

- Optimization of vehicles with the very latest combustion engines- such as downsizing, gasoline direct injection, turbocharging and BlueTEC- as well as specific vehicles optimization initiatives in areas such as aerodynamics, lightweight design and energy management (BlueEFFICIENCY).
- Further efficiency improvements via individually tailored hybridization in a number of stages- from the start/stop function through to the Two-Mode hybrid with full electric drive capability.
- Zero-emissions driving with fuel cells and battery-powered vehicles.

Furthermore, the company is also pursuing the development of clean and alter-native fuels that do not present a competitive threat to food crops- one particular example being SunDiesel made from waste plant material.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Mitsubishi introduces new 'Racing Lancer' (MRX09) for 2009 Dakar

Mitsubishi LancerTokyo — Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has developed a new competition car, the Racing Lancer, whose mission will be to target victory on next year's Dakar which breaks new ground in 2009 with a switch from Africa to South America. For Mitsubishi Motors, not only does the Dakar serve as a platform for the sales and marketing of the Pajero/Montero but it also provides a unique proving ground for powertrains and 4WD transmission systems.

In light of the corporate decision to focus the firm's cross-country rallying activities on the development of a new diesel engine, Mitsubishi Motors sees it as a natural step for the Lancer (known in Japan as Gallant Fortis), a commercially and globally important model powered by the diesel powerplant, to take over the competition baton from the Pajero/Montero and the Pajero/Montero Evolution. The technological expertise accumulated thanks to the firm's cross-country rally program - which includes the Dakar - will be applied to its diesel engine development, including the new-generation clean diesel that will power the future production cars. Meanwhile, as was previously the case, the 4WD systems technology will also be carried over to the production versions after their configuration has been optimized as a function of their end-use.

Under its new corporate communication tagline 'Drive earth', Mitsubishi Motors has a commitment to providing the joy of mobility for customers worldwide while at the same time taking a responsible stance on the environment. Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart will also play an important role as an integral part of the automobile research and development program.

The Racing Lancer is a Super Production Cross-Country Rally car, which has been developed in compliance with the FIA's Group T1 regulations (modified cross-country rally cars). It also complies with the new rules due to come into force in 2010. Needless to say, the new rally car has profited from the technical expertise and experience gained with the Pajero/Montero and the Pajero/Montero Evolution which secured 12 outright Dakar wins during its uninterrupted 25-year participation on the celebrated African event, a sequence which began with the fifth edition of the rally in 1983.

The MRX09 features a new, multi-tubular steel frame which has benefited from advanced CAE analysis with a view to optimizing the layout and dimensioning of the tubing. The car will be powered by the 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged diesel engine which the company is currently developing on qualifying rounds of the 2008 Dakar Series and the 2008 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup. The carbon-fibre bodywork of the MRX09 is redolent of the Lancer Sportback, a new sporty hatchback due to be released on the European market this summer. The new car will be equipped with the same 4WD system, drive train, suspension and brakes following their modification in accordance with the new technical regulations and as a function of the characteristics of the diesel turbo powerplant.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Infibeam.com Launches Beauty & Perfume Products Online

Perfumes are loved by all men and women who use it as an essential fashion and beauty accessory to enhance their personality and dressing for all occasions.

However, selection of perfumes if matched with wonderful buying experience will be an icing on the cake as they need to be selected carefully. The newly opened Beauty Store at http://www.infibeam.com offers just that!

"The choice is yours," says Mr. Vishal Mehta, Founder CEO of one of India's largest and most frequented online shopping portal - Infibeam.com

"We are always looking for ways to improve the Infibeam.com shopping experience. We want our customers to come to us to find anything and everything that they might want to buy online" adds Mr. Mehta.

He says, "Today's launch of beauty store on Infibeam.com is a big win for our customers. We are making it easier and more convenient for customers to shop for beauty products on Infibeam"

Infibeam.com beauty store has stacked genuine perfume products from leading manufacturers and labels of the world that are priced reasonably and shipped to any destination in India, for free.


About Infibeam.com:
Infibeam.com is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, bikes, mobile phones, watches, books, apparels, jewellery and now beauty products.

Infibeam.com allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Jul 15, 2008

Micro hybrid drive to feature in smart models

From October 2008, the smart models will include micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology featuring a user-friendly start-stop system.

NEDC consumption is reduced by about eight per cent with city-traffic savings reaching as much as 20 per cent.

A closed diesel particulate filter will also be fitted to the smart fortwo cdi that can all but eradicate particulate emissions.

The smart mhd automatic start-stop technology has only been available in the 71 bhp model but now the 61 bhp petrol models will also be fitted with the function.

In addition, designers are making the car even more attractive and comfortable.

Inside, the upholstery and fabric elements have been re-designed and an enhanced LCD display appears on the instrument panel.

The fuel gauge has been moved to appear centrally at the bottom and a digital clock and an exterior temperature indicator also appear.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Mazda launches Biante Minivan in Japan

Hiroshima, Japan - Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the sales launch of the newly developed Mazda Biante for the Japanese market. Mazda’s mid-size tall ‘high-roof’ minivan goes on sale today at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealerships throughout Japan. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (including consumption tax) range from 2,199,000 to 2,650,000 yen for the front-wheel-drive (FWD) models. The target sales volume is 3,000 units a month.

The Mazda Biante was developed exclusively for the Japanese market under the concept, ‘Look, then experience the Zoom-Zoom Tall minivan as it expands your dreams.’ It offers a spacious and functional clean interior, distinctive, athletic styling, and superb driving performance that provide an enticing blend of security and excitement.

With the longest and widest interior dimensions in its class, the Biante boasts best-in-class interior space. The cabin’s feeling of spaciousness is amplified by the ‘living mode’ function for the second row seats, which enables the seats to be adjusted backwards by an outstanding 863 mm. To ensure the interior is comfortable even with a full complement of passengers, the Biante features wide aperture dual sliding doors, a low floor in the passenger compartment and flexible seating arrangements. Additional features that provide a clean and comfortable cabin space include a ‘nanoe ion’ air purification system, an Alleru [Allergy] Buster unit (a particulate filter to aid allergy sufferers), a deodorizer in the cabin ceiling and easy-wipe seat fabric.

The exterior design of the Biante is unlike anything seen in the minivan segment before. The styling is intended to maximize visibility of the surroundings and the feeling of interior space for passengers. These impressions are emphasized by the flowing interior fittings, expansive side windows with low sills, and large triangular A-pillar windows.

Driving performance attributes were based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, with the Biante being developed to provide a balance of driving pleasure with safety and peace of mind. Effective use of high tensile steel produced a highly rigid body, helping the Biante achieve top class aerodynamics, quietness and safety levels. The direct-injection naturally aspirated engine delivers excellent environmental performance, fuel economy and a powerful ride. The electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission ensures lively acceleration from low speeds.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 14, 2008

Hyundai releases improved Santa Fe

Hyundai has released details of its enhanced Santa Fe range. Already renowned as Australia’s most economical medium SUV, the revised Santa Fe extends its appeal with a revised model lineup and additional safety equipment.

Enhanced Santa Fe - specification summary:

ESP Stability Program incorporating Traction Control System (TCS), front and rear curtain airbags (to protect all outboard occupants) and side front (thorax) airbags have been added to entry level ‘SX’ trim variants; these features are now standard across the entire Santa Fe range. SX variants continue to have a 5 seat configuration, 17” alloy wheels, Anti-skid Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, blue-hue instrumentation, dual front airbags, 6 speaker audio and a standard roof rack system with ‘one touch’ sliding bars.

The mid range ‘SLX’ trim gains full auto dual zone climate control system with external temperature display.

Other features over and above ‘SX’ trim include a 3rd row of seats that fold independently into the boot floor (total 7 seat configuration), cool box, conversation ‘parent’ mirror, front fog lamps, mesh sports seat fabric, trip computer and heated door mirrors.

The top of the range ‘Elite’ trim continues with a very high standard of features (over and above the ‘SLX’ trim) that includes power front seats, 18” alloy wheels, auto headlights ‘on’ system, chrome inserts in the door and boot handles, electro chromatic interior mirror with integrated digital compass, electric glass sunroof, 6 stack in-dash audio with separately mounted amplifier and 7 speakers, leather seat facings, rear spoiler and stainless steel scuff plates.

Two new exterior colours are available for the enhanced Santa Fe - Blue Titanium and Gun Metal (both metallic), whilst the interior colour theme across the range is now an ‘Espresso Black’ finish.

The Santa Fe comes with Australia's First 5 year Warranty with Unlimited Kilometres, and acomprehensive 12 months Hyundai Premium Roadside Assist package, giving customers additional peace of mind.

Enhanced Santa Fe – model range:

2.7 V6 petrol AWD powertrain (available in ‘SX’ trim):

- 138 kW of peak power @ 6,000 rpm
- 248 Nm peak torque @ 4,000 rpm
- 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic
- Fuel consumption* 10.4 litres / 100 km (man), 10.6 litres / 100 km (auto)

2.2 CRDi turbo Diesel AWD powertrain (available in ‘SX’, ‘SLX’ and ‘Elite’ trims):

- 114 kW of peak power @ 4,000 rpm
- 343 Nm peak torque @ 1,800 to 2,500 rpm
- 5 speed manual or 5 speed automatic with Selectronic manual shift
- Fuel consumption 7.3 litres / 100 km (man), 8.2 litres / 100 km (auto)

3.3 V6 petrol 2WD powertrain:
- The 2007 Santa Fe 3.3 V6 2WD will continue at run-out pricing until new models arrive in the 4th quarter of 2008.

The 2.2 Common Rail Direct injection (CRDi) turbo Diesel engine makes Santa Fe the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the Medium SUV segment.

Enhanced Santa Fe – retail prices:
Changes to retail pricing have been made to ensure that Santa Fe retains its position as Australia’s best value Medium SUV:

- 2.7 V6 AWD SX 5 seat 5 speed manual $33,990 RRP
- 2.7 V6 AWD SX 5 seat 4 speed auto $35,990 RRP
- 2.2 CRDi AWD SX 5 seat 5 speed manual $36,990 RRP
- 2.2 CRDi AWD SX 5 seat 5 speed auto $38,990 RRP
- 2.2 CRDi AWD SLX 7 seat 5 speed auto $41,990 RRP
- 2.2 CRDi AWD Elite 7 seat 5 speed auto $46,990 RRP
- Optional Metallic / Mica paint $375 RRP

Source: Infibeam.com

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Fiat launches Scudo in New Zealand

FiatCustomer interest in the new Fiat Scudo has forced Fiat to release New Zealand market details and pricing, even though it will not arrive until the Spring, so that potential customers can start planning business purchases and placing orders for the award-winning model that slots into the range under the full size Fiat Ducato van.

Like the Ducato, the Scudo is available in a myriad of versions and sizes, allowing Fiat New Zealand to pick a variant that is ideal for local conditions and market requirements. Powered by an advanced Turbo Diesel 2.0 litre 88 kW engine with a six speed gearbox, the New Zealand market Scudo has a standard roof and a long wheelbase body, to provide maximum space and accessibility to space-deficient loading areas. At the same time, with a six cubic metre load space and a 1200 kg payload accessible through rear barn doors and twin sliding side doors, the Fiat Scudo offers unrivalled accessibility.

Included in its recommended retail price of $44,990 is a wide range of standard equipment, including essential safety features such as twin front airbags and ABS brakes with EBD; the convenience of electric front windows, twin mode central locking and electric mirrors and the comfort of powerful air conditioning, full size cloth-covered front seats and a spacious, comfortable cab that is designed as the ideal working environment.

In addition, the working capabilities of the new Scudo range may be further enhanced through pneumatic or self-levelling suspension, a fixed, full width steel bulkhead, a double front passenger seat, modular second and third row seating, and a unique.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 12, 2008

Fascinating look at the future of the car

Wolfsburg - When will vehicles communicate with traffic lights? Will there be traffic jams in the future? Can driving emission-free vehicles be fun? Automobile fans of all ages can find informative and entertaining answers to these and many other questions at Volkswagen2028 website.

The Wolfsburg-based automaker presents its vision of the automotive world 20 years from now in this ground-breaking Webspecial. The lavishly designed website centers around a short interactive film which gives the viewer an informative and entertaining introduction to the subject. In the film, which takes place in 2028, a father tells his son about the automobile world of 20 years ago, while the present-day Internet user can select any of numerous links to take a look at the automotive future. Developers and designers from Volkswagen Research accompany users on their journey and explain the visions of tomorrow’s automotive world in simple language, providing fascinating insights into today’s technological approaches aimed at paving the way for a sustainable and innovative future. At the same time, these insights underscore the Volkswagen brand’s claim to already epitomize "Das Auto." and the brand’s vision to be the world’s most innovative high-volume automaker.

"Our designers and developers have created three innovative vehicle concepts exclusively for this Webspecial in order to illustrate the automotive world of tomorrow. We have called them ‘one’, ‘ego’, and ‘room.’ They give an idea of the shape that our visions of the future could take. They demonstrate how the cars of the future can communicate with traffic lights, how holographic displays in the cockpit can assist the driver and how we can generate even more driving pleasure and still keep our cars emission-free," Jochen Sengpiehl, Head of Marketing, Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, explained.

Intuitive navigation guides the user through the website, which combines classical film sequences with 3D effects. A "talk to us" feature giving users the opportunity to share their comments and create their own individual information packages for downloading rounds off the Volkswagen2028 website offering.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Toyota to build Prius in US

ERLANGER, Ky. -- Toyota is responding to changes in consumer demand and improving the production efficiency and stability of its North American operations by adjusting production mix at three plants. The changes include the addition of the Prius hybrid sedan toits North American lineup.

The changes are as follows:
- Prius will be built at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Miss. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Prius, which will join the Kentucky-built Camry Hybrid as the second Toyota hybrid built in North America, enables Toyota to better respond to increased consumer demand for hybrid vehicles.

- The Highlander mid-size SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Ind., beginning in Fall 2009.

- Production of the Tundra full-size pick-up truck, currently built in Indiana and Texas, will be consolidated at the San Antonio plant in Spring 2009.

In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning August 8 due to the declining overall market for full size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November. Team members at both facilities, as well as the Huntsville, Ala. plant that builds Tundra and Sequoia engines, will continue to be provided work.

"The truck market continues to worsen, so unfortunately we must temporarily suspend production. But this good news about production mix demonstrates our long-term commitment to our North American operations and to our team members, supplier partners, and communities where our plants are located," said Jim Wiseman, vice president/external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). "By using this downturn as an opportunity to develop team members and improve our operations, we hope to emerge even stronger."

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 11, 2008

Volvo Cars publishes its seventh sustainability report

Volvo Cars has published its seventh Sustainability Report. The report describes activities and improvements within the sustainability area for year 2007. This year's report is divided into three main areas: environment with focus on climate change, safety with focus on active safety and leadership as a means to improve performance.

Volvo Car Corporation publishes a Sustainability report each year. The purpose is to highlight different activities within the field of sustainability over the past year. The company's efforts to fulfill the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, which Volvo Cars signed in 1999, are also a focal point of the report.

Reporting on sustainability is both a way of informing about progress in this area and a way of promoting dialogue with other stakeholders in society (such as authorities, non governmental organisations, academia and suppliers). The process for developing this report was to carry out internal and external stakeholder dialogues resulting in a priority list of issues to be reported on for the year.

This year, the report focuses on how Volvo Cars works to lower climate impact through efficiency, alternative fuels and hybrid technologies. Also included in the report is work on vehicle safety, Volvo Cars' most important asset. The goal is to protect all people in traffic situations including the driver, passengers and pedestrians.

The third main area in the report is the importance of management and leadership for improvement. In this context, the focus is on how the company works with health and safety, diversity, suppliers and quality. The report describes how continuous improvements within these areas will bring sustainability both to the company's business and to society as a whole.

"We are convinced that sustainability is a goal which we will achieve only if we continue to improve our ability to cooperate across borders both regarding disciplines, backgrounds and cultures. By doing so, we believe we will find the most cost-effective and creative solutions to the challenges we share", says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Ford accelerates R&D of active safety features

Dearborn, Mich. - Ford Motor Company is strengthening its commitment to active safety with plans to offer more new product features and technologies that consumers increasingly want as well as ramping up research and development into next-generation accident avoidance safety technologies.

In the next year, Ford will introduce three new active technologies including Adaptive Cruise Control, BLISTM (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert and a third to be named later in 2008. These features will complement Ford’s industry-exclusive AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control) system that is standard on millions of Ford products.

Futuring experts say consumers are seeking safety in all aspects of their lives, including the vehicles they drive. In a recent survey, consumers listed vehicle safety technologies as more than half of their Top 20 wants. At the same time, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research show teens and older drivers, the two driving populations that are involved in the most accidents, now constitute a growing majority of motorists in the United States.

“Consumers today are constantly bombarded with safety scares -- from food contamination to lead paint in toys to violence -- and that means they seek more safety in things they can control, such as the vehicles they want,” said Sheryl Connelly, global trends manager, Ford Motor Company. “Ford is delivering more safety features to give them peace of mind and, at the same time, developing features that may help drivers avoid accidents.”

More safety, please:
Vehicle safety technology is second only to fuel efficiency on consumers’ purchase considerations wish lists, according to a recent study by RDA Group Global Market Research of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Among consumers’ top desires for safety features are collision warning and prevention, greater traction controls, entrapment prevention, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

“Over the past several years we’ve seen drivers’ attitudes change regarding safety technology,” said Jim Thomas, senior vice president, RDA. “It used to be that they didn’t want to release control of the vehicle at all, but now they’re looking for the vehicle to be more proactive and taking over in instances where the vehicle can react faster.”

Active safety technologies such as forward collision warning systems may provide drivers additional help in accident avoidance. Awareness and acceptance of such technologies means more consumers will be looking for “smart vehicles” equipped with those technologies for themselves and their families, said Michelle McQuaid, Ford cross vehicle product marketing manager for features and technologies.

Older, younger drivers proliferate:
Demographic trends show teens and older drivers, the two driving populations that are involved in the most accidents, are increasing. In the years between 1996 and 2006 the number of U.S. licensed drivers 65 and older increased by nearly 20 percent. Their numbers are expected to increase another 25 percent in the next decade as oldest members of the huge Baby Boomer generation turns 65 in 2011. By 2020, the number of 65 or older drivers is expected to reach 40 million strong.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum are the teen and 20-something members of Generation Y (or “Millennials”), who add at least 40,000 licensed drivers to U.S. roads each year and number more than 70 million in total. These young drivers represent approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population, making it the largest consumer group in U.S. history.

According to NHTSA, teens and older drivers are involved in accidents for different reasons. Drivers 65 or older are prone to a gradual decline in cognitive, perceptual and motor abilities.And the younger drivers lack experience and are more likely to take risks such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, or without wearing a safety belt.

“Baby boomer soccer parents drove many of the auto safety advancements of the past two decades,” said Priya Prasad, Ford Technical Fellow for Safety. “But their size in numbers could become a major safety issue over the next decade as their collective driving skills may fade. At the same time, their grandkids will be hitting the roads to create the largest population of teen drivers ever. There may be a greater need for active safety systems as the number of older and younger drivers increase.”

Smart Research:
Researchers at Ford’s advanced driving simulator, Virtual Test Track Experiment (VIRTTEX), are devoting much of 2008 to study how active safety technologies in vehicles may better alert drivers of potentially dangerous driving incidents.

“New technologies such as radar, cameras, lasers and GPS may enable us to offer more safety and convenience features in the future,” said Jeff Rupp, manager, Active Safety, Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center. “A key is identifying the kinds of warnings that drivers will find both more effective and easier to understand.”

Ford recently used VIRTTEX to examine driver preferences and reaction times with advanced early-warning systems such as Forward Collision Warning, a radar-based system designed to help avoid or mitigate the effect of front-end collisions. Research to date has shown drivers respond more quickly to certain audible alerts that are more intense, thus more authoritative. Early research also shows some preference for a combination of warnings -- audio alerts backed up by visual warning reinforcement.

Ford also is studying the optimal moment to warn a driver in a potentially dangerous situation. Initial studies show early warnings can be useful for distracted drivers, but can frustrate attentive drivers by warning of dangers they’ve already anticipated.

Ford’s smart intersection research focuses on wireless communications between vehicles and infrastructure, as well as “active safety” technologies that can help warn drivers about potential hazards at intersections where 40 percent of all traffic accidents and 20 percent of crash-related fatalities occur. The collision avoidance system receives information such as traffic signal status communicated to the vehicles from intersection infrastructure to assess potential traffic hazards and provide warnings to drivers if necessary.

New smart features:
In the next year, Ford will introduce three new active technologies that will be available on many Ford products, starting with the 2009 Lincoln MKS.

- Adaptive Cruise Control: Conventional cruise control allows the driver to set the car’s speed and maintain that speed without using the accelerator pedal. The new Adaptive Cruise Control radar-based system monitors traffic in front (up to 600 feet) and adjusts the speed of the vehicle to keep it a safe distance behind the lead vehicle. Four settings accommodate different driving styles for trailing distances. The feature is offered optional on the 2009 Lincoln MKS and is a major building block for next-generation systems such as Forward Collision Warning.

- BLISTM (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert: Ford’s new Cross Traffic Alert feature will help warn drivers of impending traffic while backing out by using radars to pick up moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. Two warnings are given: an indicator lights up in the corresponding outside mirror and an audible alert is sounded. The feature works in conjunction with Ford’s radar-based Blind-Spot Monitoring System, utilizing this system’s two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels – one per side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.

- A third active technology will be announced later in 2008.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Jul 10, 2008

Citroen’s new creation C3 Picasso

With the C3 Picasso, Citroen is once again shaking up conventional automotive ideas, introducing an innovative concept that is sure to play a leading role in the B2 MPV segment.

The C3 Picasso bears all the hallmark creativity of Citroen and stands out with its bold styling, innovative architecture and outstanding ingenuity. It does more than simply sublimate the qualities of an MPV. The high-set seating and onboard visibility will delight all passengers, while the vehicle’s complete and intuitive modular design will make their day-to-day life a charm. And the newcomer’s nimble roadholding will satisfy drivers looking for pleasure and involvement at the wheel.

The new C3 family body style will be presented at this year’s Paris Motor Show, ahead of launch in first-quarter 2009.

Devilish charm:
Citroen has skilfully played off the opposing qualities of round vs. square, strength vs. charm, modernity vs. retro, and large volume vs. flowing lines to design a vehicle with breakthrough styling and an appealing, impish personality.

The C3 Picasso’s pure and functional body styling expresses its fundamental purpose: passenger comfort at all times in all situations.

Small outside, big inside:
The C3 Picasso’s particularly innovative architecture makes it small outside and cavernous inside. Measuring 4.08 m long, 1.73 m wide and 1.62 m tall, it has a surprisingly compact front end and a strictly vertical rear end. These original proportions provide an incredible amount of cabin room. The boot is equally capacious, boasting up to 500 litres VDA under the parcel shelf with all five seats in place.

Making life easier:
The C3 Picasso revolutionises user-friendliness with its intuitive modular design that allows owners to optimise interior space in record time. The split-fold rear seats slide independently over 150 mm for the comfort of all passengers, whatever their shape or size. The seats can be folded away with one hand in one simple movement using controls on the upper part of the rear seat backs. Combined with a mobile boot floor, this function provides a completely flat loading space right up to the seatbacks in row one.

Load length can be further extended by folding the front passenger seat back down into desk position.

Wide-angle view:
The driving position offers unrivalled wide-angle vision thanks to the innovative, three-part windscreen with slim pillars and the high seating position that gives drivers a commanding view of the road. Wrapped in a striking glass envelope, the cabin is flooded with light. At up to 4.52 m with the panoramic roof, the glazed surface on the C3 Picasso is one of the largest in the segment.

The MPV as “pleasuremobile”
C3 Picasso drivers get a whole new experience of driving pleasure that sets the bar high in the segment.

The car’s compact dimensions and tight turning circle make it impressively agile and able to dodge obstacles with ease. The C3 Picasso has a vehicle attitude worthy of a saloon, bringing drivers complete peace of mind in all driving conditions.

The C3 Picasso is also fitted with a range of high-performance, economical engines. It will ship with two new-generation petrol units – the VTi 95 and VTi 120 – and two diesels, the HDi 90 and HDi 110 DPFS, renowned for their driving pleasure and efficiency. These engines provide low CO2 emissions, with the HDi 90 unit emitting just 125 g/km.

C3 Picasso models fitted with HDi engines carry the Airdream environmental signature that identifies the Citroen models with the best environmental credentials.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Audi to launch super sports car R8 in India

The spectacular model carries the name and the genes of the five-time Le Mans winner and combines its superior performance with the unmistakable design proportions of a pure sports car and a high degree of day-to-day drivability.

"Audi R8 is the epitome of Vorsprung durch Technik - it embodies everything it stands for - through technology," explains Benoit Tiers, Managing Director AudiAudi R8 India. "It also symbolises progressive design, our pursuit of perfection and unrivalled handling built from Audi’s motor sport history." About launching the Audi R8 in the Indian market, Benoit Tiers said: “India is an important market for Audi, and there has been a tremendous interest in the Audi R8 up to pre-orders by our exclusive customers in India, so it was inevitable that we launch the Audi R8 here."

With its mid-engine sports car Audi right away took the lead in the most demanding automotive segment. The brawn of 420 hp of its 4.2 V8-FSI engine, along with its quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the all-aluminum Audi Space Frame body, not to mention its perfection in quality and finish to be expected by Audi, puts the Audi R8 in a formidable market position worldwide.

The interior of the Audi R8 offers the racing feel at a luxurious level. Its design is of no less sporty elegance than the shape of the body. The Audi R8 combines its superior performance not only with a surprising degree of day-to-day practicality, but also with exclusive equipment and a wide variety of customized interior options.

The Audi R8, which already won several awards in Germany and Europe, along with the double victory at the famous 2008 World Car of the year awards, winning both the “World Performance Car” and “World Car Design of the Year” awards will be available at the seven exclusive Audi dealerships in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The Audi R8 4.2 V8-FSI at a glance:

Engine: displacement 4,163 cc, power output 309 kW (420 hp) at 7,800 rpm

Maximum torque: 430 Nm between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm

Performance: 0-100 km/h: 4.6 seconds, top speed 301 km/h

Drivetrain combination: quattro permanent all-wheel drive with manual six-speed transmission or six-speed R tronic

Source: Infibeam.com

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Infibeam.com Announces Online Jewellery Store

Online retail giant InfiBeam.com has proudly announced the launch of an online jewellery store, offering wide range of jewellery and accessories. Margins in online jewellery sales are traditionally high; Infibeam's effort is to corner substantially lower margins on these sales.

Online Jewellery Store India
Infibeam.com, today announced the grand opening of its new Jewellery Store (http://www.infibeam.com/Jewellery/) -- a single shopping destination committed to offering low prices on a large selection of high-quality rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and earrings. To provide the large breadth of selection, Infibeam.com has teamed with jewelry merchants and designers to offer fine jewellery, fashion jewellery, designer jewellery and accessories.

"We are thrilled to offer Infibeam.com customers an unparalleled jewellery shopping experience by making it easy to find and discover thousands of unique items, including diamond necklaces, gold earrings and silver bracelets among other finest jewellery at lower prices than other retailers -- online or offline," said Vishal Mehta, CEO of Infibeam.com

Traditionally, jewellery product margins are high, in order to cover the costs of holding inventory, renting store space, and providing display cases, a professional sales force and security. Because Infibeam.com does not incur many of these costs, the company is able to significantly reduce the margin on its products. While the average margin in jewellery retailing is approximately 45 to 50 percent, Infibeam.com targets substantially lower margins on jewellery sales.

Each piece of jewellery sold by Infibeam.com is inspected to verify quality attributes and ensure an excellent product. Since Infibeam.com wants their customers to be fully satisfied with their purchases, they have an excellent policy. This way a customer is a winner in either way.


About Infibeam.com:
Infibeam.com is making waves on the Internet as a leading one-stop source for online secured buying of new, used and rental facility providing cars, bikes, mobile phones, watches, books, apparels, beauty products and now jewellery.

Infibeam.com allows easy and fast selection and buying with its unique presentation of product bouquet that offers unmatched quality, prices, reliability and execution in the shortest possible time.

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Jul 9, 2008

Mopar to unveil its Dodge challenger drag race package car

CENTER LINE, Mich. -- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the factory-built drag race package cars from Dodge and Plymouth. To commemorate those HEMI(R)-powered drag cars, Mopar announced it will unveil its new Dodge Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 29th Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. on Sunday, July 13.

Featuring separate paint schemes, the first two Challenger Drag Race Package Cars built by Mopar will be revealed at approximately 2 p.m. MDT, following Sunday's Mile-High race eliminations and before the final rounds. Mopar, Chrysler LLC's original equipment parts manufacturer and distributor, announced its Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Oct. 2007.

The first drag-race-only, factory-prepped package car built in 40 years, the new Challenger Drag Race Package Car by Mopar builds on the heritage of the 1968 HEMI-powered Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas. The limited-edition '68 package cars represented a significant point in Mopar's history -- solidifying the brand as a quarter-mile force. A watershed moment in drag racing history, they were also a major milestone in the evolution of the second-generation HEMI powerplant (426 HEMI engine). Some of drag racing's biggest names drove the crowd-favorite '68 package cars -- like Ronnie Sox, "Dandy" Dick Landy and Jack Werst, just to name a few. Mopar's popular HEMI Challenge racing series, operated in conjunction with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), features these '68 package cars in quarter-mile competition all over the country today.

Based on the Challenger SRT8, Mopar's modern, factory-prepped Challenger Drag Race Package Car will begin with a special Body-in-White (BIW) from Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, Canada assembly plant. It has been updated for modern racing conditions. Special weight-reduction modifications were made by eliminating unnecessary components and systems. To accentuate the weight savings, it will also feature added composite, polycarbonate and lightweight components designed for drag racing. The engine was repositioned and the wheelbase was shortened to improve the driveline angle/clearance and weight distribution.

"Mopar worked with the NHRA -- the world's largest and loudest auto racing organization -- to approve our race-prepped Challenger for drag race competition," said Sunil Lahoti, Senior Manager -- Mopar Marketing and Brand Strategy, Chrysler LLC. "Engineered to race, our Package Car has what an NHRA drag racer needs to thunder down the strip in competition. It's made for straight-line, drag-strip acceleration -- and is prepped to score victories off the Tree."

Drag racers will have a choice of three engines to power the Challenger Drag Race Package Car for race competition. Mopar will build a minimum of 100 Package Cars to meet NHRA requirements. Each will carry an identification plate with sequential serial number.

Mopar built the first two Challenger Drag Race Package Cars for development and testing. Each Package Car ran successfully in June as proof-of-concept and for NHRA certification.

At the Mile-High reveal, Mopar will announce details including vehicle modifications, engine options, NHRA/IHRA categories and class eligibility, pricing, availability and distribution. A build book/owner's manual will be available as well as a collector's "coffee table" book.

70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Originally used in the 1920s, Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It was also widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s -- the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "Special Parts" for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

Today, Chrysler LLC's Global Service & Parts division is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 250,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components, restoration parts, accessories and performance parts for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.

Source: Infibeam.com

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GM adds world's largest rooftop solar photovoltaic power installation to Zaragoza Plant

Zaragoza, Spain - General Motors announced today it is adding the world's largest rooftop solar photovoltaic power installation to its car assembly plant located in Figueruelas, Zaragoza, Spain. When the project is completed in the fall of 2008, the Zaragoza solar installation will cover about 2,000,000 sq. ft. of roof at the plant and comprises about 85,000 solar panels.

When fully operational, the Zaragoza solar installation will generate about 12 megawatts of power at its highest output. The installation will generate about 15.1 million kWh of power annually, which is equivalent to the demand of 4,575 households with an average annual consumption of 3,300 kWh in Spain.

"The Zaragoza project demonstrates proof that GM is actively accelerating our efforts to be part of the solution to the environmental issues and challenges facing our world," said Gary Cowger, GM group vice president of Global Manufacturing and Labor Relations. "We are proud to be a global leader in the usage of renewable energy."

GM currently has two of the largest solar power installations in the United States on the roofs of its Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, California parts warehouses. The Rancho Cucamonga project was the first public solar project in the U.S. over 1 mega watt, when it began operating in the fall of 2006. The solar panels provide about 50 percent of the electricity to the facility.

The Fontana project, also 1 megawatt, became operational in December 2007. It generates about 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which is about the amount needed to power 200 homes yearly.

"As we develop new solutions in vehicle propulsion to reduce carbon emissions, we are also making significant progress in reducing the impact our facilities have on the environment," said Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "Our commitment to expanding the usage of renewable energy sources is part of our coordinated global effort to reduce energy, water consumption, waste and CO2 emissions."

On the Zaragoza project, GM has partnered with Clairvoyant Energy, Veolia Environmental and the Government of Aragon to develop the renewable energy project. United Solar Ovonic will provide UNI-SOLAR thin film flexible solar laminates for the project.

GM will lease their roof space to Clairvoyant Energy and Veolia Environment, who will build, own and operate the rooftop solar installation. The project helps GM reduce costs, while providing "green" energy to the local community's power grid.

"Clairvoyant Energy is delighted to be working with GM as we share their vision of reducing greenhouse gas emissions," stated David Hardee, CEO of Clairvoyant Energy. "Our company goal is to create a variety of solar electricity solutions as compared to fossil fuel electricity processes by 2014 and the way to get there is through lower costs and higher efficiency."

Veolia Environment, a world leader in environmental services, applies its technical and overall management expertise in the project's engineering, construction, approval process phases, as well as system operations maintenance.

Additionally, GM is one of the largest corporate users of landfill gas in the U.S. Landfill gas is the natural by-product of the decomposition of solid waste in landfills. Six GM facilities, including assembly plants in Fort Wayne, Ind., Shreveport, La., and Orion, Mich., have a portion of their energy needs filled through landfill gas. The sum of the landfill capacity at the six plants is equivalent to the energy needed to heat over 25,000 households per year. Additionally, landfill gas installations at GM plants generate annual savings exceeding $5 million.

The Zaragoza, Spain plant builds the Opel Corsa, Opel Meriva and the Opel Combo for the European marketplace.

Source: Infibeam.com

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Infibeam - Automobile Industry News