Jan 21

Hmmh.


Audi, BMW and VW ranked in the bottom 10 of a study into engine reliability



- German cars ‘among worst for engine failures’ (Auto Express, Jan 18, 2013):

German-made cars are not as reliable as many believe, according to new research. Warranty Direct has studied its claims data to compile a list of the manufacturers with the most reliable engines – and Audi, BMW and Volkswagen all finished in the bottom 10 out of a total 36 makers.

In fact, the only firm whose cars had a worse engine failure rate than Audi was MG Rover. MINI wasn’t much better, finishing third from bottom, while its parent company BMW came seventh from bottom. And, despite its reputation for rock-solid reliability, Volkswagen came ninth from bottom.

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May 30

- Volvo’s self-drive ‘convoy’ hits the Spanish motorway (BBC News, May 29, 2012):

A convoy of self-driven cars has completed a 200km (125-mile) journey on a Spanish motorway, in the first public test of such vehicles.

The cars were wirelessly linked to each other and “mimicked” a lead vehicle, driven by a professional driver.

The so-called road train has been developed by Volvo. The firm is confident that they will be widely available in future.

The project aims to herald a new age of relaxed driving.

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Jan 13

- Economy could lose 2M jobs in ’09 – report (CNN Money)

- China’s Exports Decline by Most in Decade on Global Recession (Bloomberg)

- Royal Bank of Scotland May Face LyondellBasell Losses (Bloomberg):
Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — Royal Bank of Scotland Plc is the biggest lender to bankrupt chemical maker Lyondell Chemical Co. and may face losses on its $3.47 billion of loans to the U.S. chemicals company.

- Royal Bank of Scotland Selling Bank of China Stake (Bloomberg)

- Saab, Volvo Must Be ‘Carved Out’ To Win Aid-Swedish Official (CNN Money)

- Commercial property rents collapse in London hedge fund areas (Independent):
Rents for plush offices in Mayfair and St James’s plunged almost 30 per cent last year, hammered by the declining fortunes of many of their hedge funds tenants.

- Stephen King: You can’t buy confidence when the economy is in a state of collapse (Independent): Stephen King is managing director of economics at HSBC

- German bond sale’s fate signals trouble ahead (Financial Times):
A German sovereign bond auction failed (!!!) on Wednesday as investors shunned one of the most liquid and safe assets in the world in a warning for governments seeking to raise record amounts of debt to stimulate slowing economies.

- Bernard Madoff Will Remain Free on Bail, Judge Rules (Bloomberg)

- U.K. Slumps Most Since 1989 as Home Sales Drop, Surveys Show (Bloomberg)

- Zimbabwe introduces $50 billion note (CNN):
HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) — Zimbabwe’s central bank will introduce a $50 billion note — enough to buy just two loaves of bread — as a way of fighting cash shortages amid spiraling inflation.

- Taxpayer will own nearly half of super-bank (Independent):
Taxpayers are set to own almost half of the “super-bank” created from Lloyds TSB’s rescue takeover of HBOS, the two banks confirmed today

- Job losses accelerating to levels not seen since World War II (Memphis Commercial Appeal):
“There is no indication that the job situation would stabilize anytime soon,” said Sung Won Sohn, economist at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University.
“This could turn out to be one of the worst economic setbacks since the Great Depression,” he said.

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Dec 01


The Volvo V70

General Motors and Ford Motor have approached Sweden’s government about financial aid for their lossmaking Saab and Volvo brands.

Related article: Ford Says It May Sell Volvo, Its Last European Brand

GM and Ford want to bolster the two marques’ finances in anticipation of selling them as the Detroit carmakers grapple with a cash crunch that threatens their survival.

Stephen Odell, Volvo’s chief executive, and Saab’s managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson have separately spoken to Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s industry minister, and other officials about securing funds, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

Ford and GM will both tell the US Congress they have long-term plans to dispose of the brands this week when they present detailed business and financial plans to support their request for $25bn of emergency funding.

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Dec 01


The Volvo C70

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. said it may sell its Volvo unit, the company’s sole remaining European brand, a day before the automaker is scheduled to present a survival plan to U.S. lawmakers.

The review of options for Volvo was spurred by the worldwide auto decline and probably will take several months, Ford said today in a statement. Shedding the Swedish unit would complete the unwinding of a two-decade strategy of diversifying by buying European luxury brands. Volvo, acquired in 1999 for $6.4 billion, was retained after a similar evaluation last year.

Related article: Volvo and Saab ask Sweden for aid

Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are to present plans tomorrow demonstrating why they should get $25 billion in U.S. financial aid and that they can be viable businesses. Volvo was once central to a failed strategy by Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford to reap a third of its profits from luxury autos in 2006.

“All of these businesses are being forced to reveal their hand,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto analyst and consultant in Greenwich, Connecticut, in an interview. “Ford can put Volvo up for sale, but there aren’t going to be any buyers. It may come down to the Swedish government taking it.”

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Oct 27


Driven down: sales of Volvo trucks have dipped a staggering 99.7%

The depth of the recession was revealed today as truckmaker Volvo admitted demand across the Continent has crashed by 99.7% as it took orders for just 115 new lorries in the last three months.

That compares to orders totalling 41,970 in the third quarter of 2007. Global orders for Volvo slumped 55% in the last three months while Scania, of which Volvo has majority control, said its western Europe truck orders collapsed by 69%.

Volvo, which also makes trucks under the Renault and Mack brands, reported a 37% plunge in third-quarter earnings to £230m.

‘The downturn in the economy has been significantly exacerbated by the global financial crisis,’ the company said. ‘The important European market has declined significantly while North America and Japan continue to show weak demand.’

Volvo indicated that there could be thousands of job losses. It has already said 1400 jobs are going, and yesterday revealed that 850 jobs would be axed in its division making heavy construction vehicles.

24 October 2008, 2:19pm

Source: Evening Standard

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