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Off-roaders on track for Frankfurt

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FRANKFURT: Automobile sales continue to climb, and across carmakers’ ranges SUVs and crossovers are contributing more and more to these record numbers. Therefore expect them to be the star attractions of the upcoming Frankfurt motor show. BMW on Tuesday reported that global sales of its X5 SUV have climbed 25.9% over the past six months, despite its premium price tag. What’s more, its even more expensive coupe sibling, the X6, has also experienced a 22.7% bump in popularity since January. In the US, where manufacturers revealed their monthly sales this week, Land Rover set a new July sales record of…

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Electric cars charging up the ranks in Europe

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BRUSSELS: European consumers have snapped up 143,595 alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) over the last three months, a 17.4% jump over the same period in 2014 — according to new figures from the European Automotive Manufacturers Association. AFVs as a group include plug-in electric, hybrid vehicles, and those powered by propane or natural gas, rather than petrol or diesel. And while a 17.4% sales boost to 143,595 vehicles may not sound like much — especially considering that in May alone, some 1.5 million cars and vans of all shapes and types of propulsion were sold across the same continent — when…

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Harman says car hacking risk restricted to Fiat Chrysler

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NEW YORK: Harman International Industries Inc, which supplies car infotainment systems to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and many other manufacturers, said the hacking risk that led to the recall of 1.4 million Chrysler vehicles last month seemed to be restricted to the Italian-American automaker. “We do not believe this problem exists in any other car outside of Fiat Chrysler,” Harman chief executive Dinesh Paliwal said on Tuesday. Harman Kardon-branded infotainment products are part of Fiat Chrysler’s Internet-connected Uconnect telematics system, a collection of driver aids and entertainment services. Two veteran cybersecurity researchers recently used a software vulnerability in Uconnect to…

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Federal Highway BRT proposal sparks debate

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PETALING JAYA: A healthy debate has been sparked among experts, builders and motorists with the news that a Bus Rapid Transit system will be built along the Federal Highway to end road congestion. The highway, built in 1967, was initially a four-lane road and expanded in 1992 into six lanes. Spanning 45km from Seputeh to Klang and connecting major cities such as Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya, the highway experiences traffic snarls even past midnight. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had announced recently that a ground-level BRT would be built along the Federal Highway to end…

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Lotus builds Elise GREAT Britain

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KUALA LUMPUR: Lotus Cars Malaysia has today announced the limited edition Lotus Elise GREAT Britain for sale locally. The car is based on the recently introduced Elise 20th Anniversary and is equipped with standard and additional options exclusive to the Malaysian market. It was introduced in conjunction with the GREAT Britain marketing campaign by the British High Commission to Malaysia. The campaign is the biggest British international marketing initiative to woo tourists and investors to the country. Weighing in at 924kg, the special edition Elise is touted as a sports car designed for the performance enthusiasts. The GREAT Britain package includes…

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Dealerships huff and puff to keep up with car owner demands, says study

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SINGAPORE: Vehicle owners in Malaysia are expecting more out of their dealer service experience, and authorised service centres are struggling to keep pace with those rising demands, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 Malaysia Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM released last week. The study, now in its 13th year, measures overall service satisfaction among owners who took their vehicle to an authorised service centre for service maintenance and/or repair work during the first 12 to 24 months of ownership. Service satisfaction is examined exclusively in the mass market segment. The study evaluates new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the service…

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Perodua launches loyalty programme

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PETALING JAYA: Perodua launched its latest and most comprehensive customer loyalty programme which rewards purchases for all its products, services and even by participating in official Perodua events. “This programme, which we named ‘UFirst: Perodua’s passport for brighter and better days’ aims to offer the best programme for our valued customers. The name UFirst represents our commitment in placing our customers’ needs first in our offerings and in building lasting relationships with them,” said president & CEO of Perodua, Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh. Aminar said that to be a part of this programme, a customer must register at Perodua’s website for…

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Hyundai cuts prices on SUVs to counter China slowdown

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BEIJING: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co cut the price of two sport-utility vehicle (SUV) models in China by as much as 11.8 percent, the company said on Tuesday, the latest carmaker to do so as a sales slowdown grips the world’s largest auto market. Hyundai said the price cuts of up to 30,000 yuan (RM18,600) on the larger Santa Fe model and 20,000 yuan (RM12,400) on the ix35 SUV were aimed at increasing its competitiveness in China, where it is due to launch the new Tucson SUV in September. The South Korean automaker’s shipments in China fell 14 percent in…

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German carmakers buy Nokia maps to fend off digital rivals

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FRANKFURT/HELSINKI: German carmakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes, will pay around €2.5 billion  (RM10.6bil) to buy Nokia’s maps business, a transformational deal that will help them to develop self-driving cars. Daimler BMW and Audi will each hold an equal stake in the business, known as HERE, keeping it from falling into the hands of a new rivals which are emerging from Silicon Valley. The premium carmakers agreed to pay €2.5 billion. The deal has an enterprise value of €2.8 billion (RM11.8bil), including liabilities worth nearly 300 million euros (RM1.3bil), Nokia said. The transaction is likely to close in the first quarter…

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Hello Taiping, Nissan 3S centre is here

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PETALING JAYA: Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM) recently launched the Nissan 3S Centre in Taiping, its 19th 3S Centre in the country and  the second Nissan 3S centre to open this year after the Johor Jaya Mega 3S Centre in May. The new ETCM Taiping 3S Centre has a total build-up area spanning over 17,846 sq ft, and is strategically located to provide convenience to the surrounding community. This one-stop centre offers customers the ease of being able to test drive and purchase a range of new Nissan models, get them serviced, and obtain spare parts for their Nissan vehicles –…

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