Renault goes to China
Having a factory in China is an obligation if you want to be considered as serious by Chinese car dealers and customers. Renault currently sells four models — Scenic, Megane, Vel Satis and Laguna — in the Middle Kingdom but 740 vehicles found an owner last year. In the middle of last year, Renault teamed up with Dongfeng, which produces the old ZX, the Xsara, Picasso and the 307 in a joint venture with PSA.
The purpose of this joint-venture is to produce 300, 000 Logan per year but talks took longer than planned and Carlos Ghosn has clearly expressed the will to focus on core markets. This difficult situation for Renault, which won’t unveil any new model before 2007, could lead to them postponing the Chinese project. They might even cancel it.
See also : Renault
Daihatsu Esse : forbidden for men
Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, the new Esse from Daihatsu is being sold in Japan from today. Its name, an acronym for Economic, Simple, Smart and Easy summarizes the characteristics of this new kei-car. In Japan, kei-car is a particular segment which allows the owner to get some tax and insurance relief and most importantly an exemption from the usual requirement for a parking space certification.
See also :
V12 for Connaught
If the United Kingdom has no carmakers, the country is at least full of dedicated craftsmen, who spend their lives designing and producing handmade cars. Even if life is harder since the EU passed stricter safety laws, there is a crop of new companies every year. This year the most important and original one is Connaught. Some craftsmen – such as Morgan – have produced the same car since the 1930s.
See also :
GL-Class: die Cayenne die!
The success of the Porsche Cayenne didn’t exactly please Mercedez-Benz. So the supervisory board decided to mix the R-Class and the M-Class and give birth to the new GL. Like the R-Class whose platform it uses, the GL is a bit closer to an Audi Q7 or Chevrolet Tahoe than a Porsche Cayenne: 200 inches long, 75.5 inches wide and 71.2 inches high. These dimensions can accomodate up to seven passengers at a level of comfort similar to the R-Class. Inside there is enough room for six Schwarzeneggers -a measure of roominess on the American market- but if you want more space for the luggage compartment, the individual rear seats can be stowed -of course- at the push of a button, either individually or in tandem to provide a capacity of 1240 litres. If you need more capacity, you can still the second row of seats to reach 2300 litres.
See also : Mercedes
Hyundai Accent Hybrid
It’s a big step for the Hybrid technology. Hyunday unveiled last week at the Guangzhou Motor Show a hybrid version of its Accent, The vehicle is equipped with a 1.4L CVVT engine producing 90 hp and a 16-hp electric motor. According to the Korean manufacturer that should net the car a 44 percent gain in fuel economy.
See also : Hyundai
Happy birthday Butzi!
Butzi celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday. Why should this be noteworthy when he’s neither the first nor the last to celebrate his 70th birthday? As he retired from all professional involvement in the past few months, it’s an opportunity to look back over a career dominated by the Porsche 911.