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Ford offering Raya goodies

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PETALING JAYA: In conjunction with the upcoming Raya festivities, Ford and local distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) today announced attractive cash rebates of up to RM12,000 on select models nationwide through July 31. Customers can choose between cash rebates – up to RM12,000 for the Fiesta, up to RM10,000 for the Focus, and up to RM8,000 for the EcoSport – or 0% interest for up to five years. Buyers who confirm their bookings through July 31 will also receive exclusive Ford merchandise, while stocks last. In addition to this Raya sales promotion, Ford is offering all customers a free…

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New Fiat 500 makes appearance

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ROME: Its time to “boogy” with Italian carmaker Fiat, after the company introduced its third-generation 500, which now takes over the torch of continuity after it was officially revived in 2007. Eight years on, the 500 has garnered more than 1.5mil in deliveries, but now it’s back with a refreshed interior and exterior, gotten a little more rounded, a little more mature and a little more technologically advanced. Still maintaining its size, the new 500 will be sold in the UK starting this September and prices will range upwards from £10,890 OTR (RM66,000). There are only two body styles -…

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Next up: A 7-seat BR-V crossover from Honda

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JAKARTA: While the HR-V has given Honda lots of reasons to smile, the BR-V ( Bold Runabout Vehicle) could soon step up the joy. From Indonesia comes the first official sketches of the all-new BR-V Prototype which will make its world premiere at the upcoming Gaikindo Indonesian International Auto Show 2015, scheduled for Aug 20 – 30, in Tangerang, Indonesia. The 7-seat BR-V was jointly developed for the Asian market by Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd., in Thailand, and P.T. Honda R&D Indonesia. This model will be introduced to the Indonesian market as Honda’s new generation crossover utility vehicle…

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Don’t run the risk of car theft and identity theft

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BOSTON: Vehicle thefts may be falling in the US and the UK, but the emergence of a new generation of smarter car has also seen with it the emergence of an equally smart car thief. “The FBI reports in its 2013 Uniform Crime Report that a vehicle is stolen every 45.1 seconds in the United States, which amounts to more than US$4.1 billion in lost assets each year,” said Patrick Clancy, Vice President of Law Enforcement, LoJack Corporation a company that develops anti-theft and tracking devices for vehicles. “With only 54.8 percent of stolen vehicles being recovered, auto theft is…

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Denmark is streets ahead when it comes to smart roads

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COPENHAGEN: Danish holidaymakers planning a roadtrip this summer may find that the journey is less stressful and gridlocked than usual. That’s because Denmark has just become the first country to adopt GPS probe data to monitor traffic and congestion levels on a national scale. The system, provided by INRIX, allows the Danish Road Directive to track the real-time movement of vehicles on a road network stretching 4000km, meaning that it can alert drivers immediately to unexpected congestion, accidents or other road problems, as well as more effectively deploy its own recourses. However, what makes the system truly smart is that…

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Is an electric car battery breakthrough on the horizon?

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LONDON: Demand for the current crop of plug-in electric cars may still be weak but Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen are all confident that a mass-market electric car is just around the corner. This week Nissan added a new model to its range of LEAF electric cars. The LEAF Acenta+ Grade adds special 17-inch alloy wheels and a 6.6kW charger as standard, meaning that it can be recharged in just four hours. And these practicality features come on top of a telematics system, reversing camera and cruise control and speed limiting system. The extra creature comforts will go some way to…

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BMW showcases its future green driving tech

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MUNICH: From direct water injection systems to hybrids and full hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, BMW is leaving no stone unturned it its search for increased efficiency and reduced pollution. BMW has been testing the feasibility of hydrogen fuel cells as an eventual replacement for the internal combustion engine for 15 years and its latest prototype, unveiled last week, suggests that the company is as focused on speed and performance as it is on environmental well-being. The company has taken its flagship i8 hybrid supercar and transformed it into a fuel cell sportscar. Currently capable of a top speed of just…

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25 Mazda apprentices graduate

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SHAH ALAM: Twenty-five students have graduated from the Mazda Apprenticeship Programme (MAP) and will soon start work as technicians in Mazda’s After Sales Service Centres throughout Malaysia. They were awarded the Malaysia Skill Certificate (Level 3, K-Worker), Diploma in the Institute of Motor Industry Awards Limited (IMIAL-UK) and Mazda Master Level F. Bermaz Motor set up the apprenticeship in 2010, and the 25 graduates represented the third batch to have completed the course successfully. The graduates received their scrolls at a buka puasa gathering here on Friday. The MAP is an automotive skills training programme for school leavers with SPM/SPV.…

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Porsche Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS enter

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KUALA LUMPUR: Porsche franchise holder Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has revealed two new additions – the Porsche Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS. Separating the Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS is not just their starting base prices (including all duties – excluding insurance) of RM660,000 and RM700,000 respectively, but also a difference of 10hp and 10Nm in performance. Both cars have the same wheelbase at 2,475mm, as well as overall length (4,404mm) and width (1,978mm) with the exception of height – the Boxster GTS stands at 1,273mm-tall, while the Cayman GTS is taller at 1,284mm. Both cars get a new spoiler…

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Dr M focuses on Proton

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PETALING JAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks candidly about the national automaker’s product quality and the direction ahead for the auto company. Proton is marking its 30th anniversary this year. Do you feel the marque could have done better? It has been 30 years. We have made considerable progress. The first Proton car had only 18% local content. But now, we can have practically 100% local content – design, testing, clay models; everything can be done in-house now. Currently, we are not doing so well, for various reasons. Now, we want to change the image of…

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