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Malaysian Automotive Association lowers vehicle sales outlook

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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has revised its total industry volume (TIV) for this year to 670,000 from 680,000 units earlier, owing to declining vehicle sales in the first half of this year. According to MAA, sales from the start of the year to June fell to 322,184 from 333,156 units in the previous corresponding period, mainly due to subdued business optimism and moderation in consumer spending as a result of the economic uncertainties and increased cost of living. MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said on Tuesday that stringent lending practices, especially for hire-purchase loans, also had an…

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Stay safe with Ford

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PETALING JAYA: Ford invites all members of the public to join its‘Future of Safety with Ford’ tour – a fun, interactive and hands-on experience designed to raise awareness of road safety – as it stops in Malaysia. Aimed at both vehicle drivers and passengers, the safety tour features Ford experts sharing tips and advice on a range of topics – from choosing the right child seat, to considerations for driving while pregnant. Participants will also have the chance to try on proprietary suits that Ford engineers use in designing vehicles to address the needs of drivers with specific mobility issues,…

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Toll rate review next year, 5% seen

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KUALA LUMPUR: Toll rates under the biggest highway operator in the country – PLUS Malaysia Bhd – will be up for review next year. However, instead of a 10% rate hike, the quantum that is being looked at is about 5%, said sources. Nevertheless, the final decision on the toll rates proposed by PLUS would depend on the Government. The source also dismissed any possibility of a toll rate hike this year. “For sure there will be no toll rate hike this year as stated in the concession agreement when PLUS Expressways Bhd (PEB) was privatised at the end of…

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MAI and Perodua team up to develop dealer capability

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CYBERJAYA: The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Perodua have jointly rolled out the Dealer Entrepreneurship Enhancement Programme (DEEP) to further increase competitive capabilities of local automotive dealers. DEEP is designed to give homegrown businesses the tool needed to improve their professionalism in the areas of human capital development and business acumen. MAI chief executive officer (CEO) Mohamad Madani Sahari said the collaboration was aimed at enhancing technical skills and entrepreneurship of more than 100 Perodua dealers within five years. “The programme is also an initiative to meet the 2014 National Automotive Policy core strategy to increase competitiveness and capacity in the…

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Asean among key production hubs for Mitsubishi now after US retreat

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TOKYO: The president of Motors Corp (7211.T) said Japan, SouthEast Asia and Russia will become the automaker’s principal production hubs after it calls time on making cars in the United States later this year because of dwindling output there. “Japan, Asean (countries), and Russia will be the main points of production for our company,” said Tetsuro Aikawa, President and Chief Operating Officer of Japan’s sixth-biggest automaker. Aikawa was speaking at a news conference today after his company confirmed plans to end output at its sole North American plant in Normal, Illinois, and serve the US market from factories in Japan…

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Hyundai second in JD Power study

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WASHINGTON: Hyundai finished in second place for this year’s J.D. Power 2015 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study with merely two points away from its closest competitor in the midsize car segment. While the Hyundai Sonata finished in second place – from last year’s first, it was found that the other models from the Korean carmaker managed to increase their scores this year, which included the Elantra, Genesis, Santa Fe, Tucson and Veloster. The study has been around for the last 20 years and examines owners’ assessments of the design, layout and performance of their new vehicle after 90…

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Lexus revs up with world’s first ‘heartbeat car’

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SYDNEY: Driving a great car can stimulate the senses and quicken the heartbeat. Now Lexus has created the world’s first vehicle that directly translates the driver’s heart patterns into a visual display across the bodywork. The one-off RC F high-performance coupe is the result of collaboration between Lexus Australia and the creative agency M&C Saatchi. Different technologies have been integrated into the car to monitor the driver’s heartbeat and use the data captured to send an electric charge through the bodywork. The body panels are finished in an electro-luminescent paint, produced by the US specialist Luminor, which reacts to the…

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Honda opens Silicon Valley facility to advance connected mobility

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SAN FRANCISCO: Honda marked the opening of its new Silicon Valley R&D facility last week, using the occasion to unveil a refreshed 2016 Accord featuring Honda’s first application of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also announced a new open innovation R&D initiative, Honda Xcelerator, which will provide resources to breakthrough technology innovators to help rapidly develop prototypes with the potential to transform the automotive experience. Honda’s Silicon Valley operation, which was first established in 2000, is charged with researching and prototyping innovations and harnessing new ideas and technology. Current areas of focus include connected mobility, novel human-machine interfaces, supporting…

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Daimler to test self-driving trucks in Germany this year, says daily

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FRANKFURT: German carmaker Daimler is planning to test self-driving trucks as early as this year, executive board member Wolfgang Bernhard told a German newspaper. “We are positive that we will get approval for tests on German motorways within the next weeks,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung quoted him as saying. “Then we will start immediately.” First tests of semi-autonomous trucks will take place in Daimler’s home state Baden-Wuerttemberg while the start of production is 2-3 years away, Bernhard, who is in charge of Daimler’s trucks business, told the paper. “We are leaders in this technology and will stand up for ourselves,” Bernhard…

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Fiat Chrysler US to recall vehicles to prevent hacking

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DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO: Fiat Chrysler will recall 1.4 million vehicles in the United States to install software to prevent hackers from gaining remote control of the engine, steering and other systems in what federal officials said was the first such action of its kind. The announcement on Friday by FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, was made days after reports that cybersecurity researchers used a wireless connection to turn off a Jeep Cherokee’s engine as it drove, increasing concerns about the safety of Internet-enabled vehicles. The researchers used Fiat Chrysler’s telematics system to break into a volunteer’s Cherokee being driven…

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