International news agency
International News Services archives articles supplied to clients one year or more after initial publication. These articles are protected by a password and not made available to readers without permission from clients. They are used as a background resource by agency journalists. Upon client requests, International News Services will remove such articles from the archive or not upload them in the first place. They are included to demonstrate the breadth of topics undertaken by the agency and also to help promote clients’ coverage.

Search Results for: cars

1077 results out of 1077 results found for 'cars'.

DSC04313.JPG-by-Dinesh-Cyanam-is-licensed-under-CC-BY-SA-2.0

INDIA: BANKNOTES FOR VOTES CORRUPTS BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

INDIAN authorities have seized more than US$120 million worth of unaccounted cash during the six-week long general election that concluded in May. Law enforcers have warned that this could be for vote buying, making a future government susceptible to corruption, promoting graft in business. Raghavendra Verma reports from New Delhi.

AS the afternoon heat ebbs in the middle of this Indian summer, a police team block a major highway outside the city of Nashik, in the western state of Maharashtra, rolling in wheeled yellow-coloured barricades. Soon a traffic jam builds up and policemen move from one car to another in search for cash, often hidden in door cavities or spare wheels.With…

Read more

NASCENT HYDROGEN CAR MARKET STARTS TO DEVELOP IN EUROPE



THE DEVELOPMENT and use of hydrogen-fuelled automobiles is starting to gather pace in the European Union (EU), with the EU’s executive, the European Commission encouraging growth in this environment-friendly segment as it pursues a goal of achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.…

Read more

SALES OF LARGER PASSENGER VEHICLES IN CANADA CONTINUE TO GROW, BECOMING DOMINANT OVER STANDARD CAR PURCHASES SAYS LATEST DATA



SALES of light trucks – SUVs, CUVs, pick-ups and minivans – are rising in Canada, and the big question is how dominant this segment may become in this north American market. Sales hit 70.9% of the passenger vehicle market according to new 2018 data from Ontario-based DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.…

Read more

MALAYSIAN BUDGET SEEKS TO CONSOLIDATE REFORMS OF NEW PAKATAN HARAPAN GOVERNMENT



MALAYSIA’S Pakatan Harapan government has released its 2020 budget, its second since gaining power in 2018, and one that aims to consolidate reforms undertaken by an administration headed by veteran Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This was not a budget bringing major change, indeed finance minister YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng stressed when delivering his budget speech to the Malaysian parliament on October 11 how the government has been tying up earlier major reforms, such as scrapping the unpopular goods and services tax (GST).…

Read more

CANADIAN AUTO EXPORTS TO EUROPE ON THE RISE



WITH Canadian auto exports to the USA falling in 2018 and the new USMCA trade agreement between the USA, Mexico and Canada still unratified (only Mexico has done so), the Canadian auto sector has been eyeing Europe for overseas sales.

A report from the Canadian government’s chief economist released in June (2019) gave grounds for optimism as regards future EU sales.…

Read more

VIETNAM’S CAR IMPORTS SURGE AS THAILAND, INDONESIA-BASED MANUFACTURING FINALLY COPES WITH RED TAPE – INDICATING MAJOR POTENTIAL AS FUTURE MARKET



A sharp increase in imports of cars into Vietnam has underlined how this south-east Asian country of 96 million people, could become a major auto market, especially as Vietnamese drivers move from motorcycles to cars.

At present, the motorcycle is king in Vietnam.…

Read more

GERMANY TO PROD AUTOMAKERS INTO INVESTING IN BANGLADESH



THE GERMAN government has signalled that it could encourage its luxury carmakers to establish plants in Bangladesh, especially if the south Asian country invests in its energy, power and transport infrastructure.

“We agreed it would be great if a German carmaker would invest in Bangladesh,” Peter Fahrenholtz, German ambassador to Bangladesh tweeted, after a meeting with Bangladeshi finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the capital Dhaka on September 9 (2019).…

Read more

PAKISTAN AUTOMAKERS FACE DECLINE IN SALES BECAUSE OF NEW EXCISE DUTY ON NEW VEHICLE SALES



THE IMPOSITION of excise duties on automobiles sold in Pakistan from July 1 has already had a significant depressing impact on the market. Figures released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) indicate that this July (2019), 10,968 cars made by the key Pakistan-based manufacturers owned by Suzuki, Toyota and Honda were sold, well down on the 18,875 sold in July 2018.…

Read more

AUTO DEALERS SERVING CANADIAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES MAY BENEFIT FROM TAX BREAKS, BUT CAN FACE SIGNFICANT DELIVERY AND AFTER-SALES LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES



IT’S no simple business serving Canada’s indigenous community market, even though this includes 1.67 million people. A majority have official residency in 3,100 reserves (the Canadian term for reservation), many of whom live in the far north, where average January and February highs can be minus 21C/minus 6F.…

Read more

WORK ON SAFETY STANDARDS FOR EMERGING AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES IS NEEDED, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TOLD



THE DEVELOPMENT of uniform safety standards to help reduce the number of reputation-damaging accidents occurring as automated vehicles are rolled out commercially is of key importance, a CAV Canada conference (connected and autonomous vehicles) in Canada has been told.

Sasha Ostojic, a board member of California-based autonomous vehicle company Zoox, and a former senior vice president engineering at GM’s Cruise Automation, said of the current American system, where manufacturers are protecting their CAV IP and not sharing safety information: “I truly think this is a problem.…

Read more

ELECTRIFICATION OF SHIPS A KEY STEP IN DELIVERING PARIS CLIMATE COMMITMENTS



Described by environmental campaigners as “the elephant in the COP21 negotiations room” when climate change proposals were agreed in Paris during 2015, today – the electrification of shipping is moving ahead apace.

From inland ferries to cargo barges and cruise ships, vessels are being built or retrofitted with renewable power propulsion sources, curbing the shipping industry’s major emissions.…

Read more

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT PLAYS WAIT-AND-SEE ON EMISSIONS RULES, AWAITING WASHINGTON’S LEAD



THE CANADIAN government has told wardsauto that it will wait for the release of a US final rule on federal automotive emissions before making any decisions on whether to follow the lead of the Trump administration on freezing emissions limits or imposing tougher tailpipe rules for Canada.…

Read more

CHINA IMPOSES RETALIATORY TARIFFS ON USA AUTO SECTOR – MOST PAIN COMES IN DECEMBER



THE AMERICAN automotive sector is today (Friday Aug 23) counting the cost of the latest round of automotive tariffs to be imposed on its vehicle and parts exports to China. It is the latest round of the increasingly punishing trade war between Washington DC and Beijing.…

Read more

SOUTHEAST ASIA’S AUTO SECTOR STYMIED BY BURGEONING TRADE RED TAPE, EXPERTS WARN



REMOVING non-tariff-barriers (NTBs) impeding the trade in automobiles, parts and materials between the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is key to unlocking the regional automotive industry’s full potential, experts argue. However, they agree that such moves cannot be achieved without short-term pain.…

Read more

EUROPE IN TWO-SPEED SHIFT TO ELECTRIC CARS



Europe’s transition to electric vehicle ownership is developing at two clear speeds, with richer countries headed for mass market penetration in the early to mid 2020s but poorer countries lagging. 

This is posing a regulatory challenge for manufacturers – EV sales have to increase Europe-wide for carmakers to meet tough European Union (EU) CO2 emissions limits.…

Read more

EU-MERCOSUR DEAL OFFERS EUROPEAN AUTO AND PARTS EXPORTERS MAJOR NEW MARKETS



THE EUROPEAN automobile manufacturing sector will be hoping that the newly negotiated European Union (EU)-Mercosur trade deal is ratified quickly, given it scraps import duties imposed by Brazil and Argentina on EU automobile exports of 35%.

This agreement has been welcomed by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which noted that the South American trade bloc, which also includes Uruguay and Paraguay, is home to around 270 million people, where 3.3 million new cars were sold during 2018.…

Read more

NESTLÉ’s EMENA RESTRUCTURE IS PAYING DIVIDENDS, SAYS SETTEMBRI



GLOBAL food and beverage company Nestlé’s restructure in the EMENA (Europe, Middle East and North Africa) region, which began in 2017, has delivered improved efficiencies and performance, according to Marco Settembri, Nestlé’s executive vice-president and EMENA zone CEO.

“It’s always a question of evolution,” Mr Settembri told just-food before the opening session of the July 4-5 2nd European Entrepreneurship Education summit in Lille, northern France,* in which he was to speak.…

Read more

SMALL SLOVENIA RETAINS DOUGHTY PLASTICS MANUFACTURING SECTOR WITH STRONG EXPORT FOCUS



Slovenia’s plastic industry has made a virtue out of the nation’s geographical position, located between the markets of central and western Europe and those of the Balkan states and the former Soviet Union. 

Drawing on these geographical – and historical political ties – the sector is geared towards exports, with these accounting for 62% of the value of the plastics industry, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS).…

Read more

PAINT PRODUCERS FOCUS ON EXPORTS IN STILL STAGNANT ITALIAN ECONOMY



Industry forecasts for Italy’s paints and coatings market are expected to remain relatively stable through 2019, mainly sustained by stability in the domestic construction and automotive sectors and continuing sales growth in foreign markets. Data from market research provider Euromonitor International released last December (2018) projected production turnover in Italy to grow by 0.5% in the 2018-2019 period, with an estimated value of just over EUR6.1 billion in 2019.…

Read more

NEW EMISSIONS STANDARDS WILL PROMOTE SHIFT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES, EXPERTS SAY



THE NEW CO2 standards approved by European Union (EU) legislators for cars, vans and trucks being driven in its territory will lead to more electric vehicles (EVs) and alternative drivetrains including hybrids and fuel cells, experts have told wardsauto.

On April 18, the European Union (EU)’s elected legislative body the European Parliament, approved the first EU regulation on emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.…

Read more

EXCHANGING BANKNOTES FOR VOTES IN INDIA’S ELECTIONS CORRUPTS BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT



INDIAN authorities have seized more than USD120 million’s worth of unaccounted cash during the six-week long general election that concluded in May [2019]. Law enforcers have warned that this could be for vote buying, making a future government susceptible to corruption, promoting graft in business.…

Read more

USA INCREASES TO 25% ADDITIONAL DUTIES ON CHINESE AUTO PARTS EXPORTS



THE US government has increased its existing 10% additional duties on imports of automotive parts, engines and chassis from China to 25% from today (May 10), citing a lack of progress on ongoing trade talks.

These duties cover a wide range of China-made engines, chassis, and parts, although not assembled vehicles.…

Read more

MOTOR VEHICLES SECOND MOST COMMON SUBJECT OF CONSUMER SAFETY ALERTS CIRCULATED BY THE EU LAST YEAR



MOTOR vehicles and their parts were the second most common category of goods reported in safety warnings by consumer regulators in the European Union (EU) last year, according to a new annual report from the EU Safety Gate system. This involves European consumer regulators receiving safety warnings about products, including from auto manufacturers, and circulating these alerts via this central European portal.…

Read more

CANADIAN AUTO SECTOR WANTS GOVERNMENT TO BE QUICK TO EXPLAIN EMISSIONS TAX IMPACT ON INDUSTRY



THE CANADIAN auto sector wants the country’s federal government to recycle payments made through its carbon tax system back to Ontario’s automotive manufacturing sector, so it can reduce emissions and related energy costs. Executives want the government to hasten an announcement on how the system will work in detail to enable the industry to plan and mitigate costs.…

Read more

GERMANY CHARGES EX VW CHIEF WITH FRAUD OVER DIESELGATE



German prosecutors have charged the former CEO of car giant, Volkswagen, and four other unnamed executives with fraud, unfair competition and breach of trust over their role in the dieselgate scandal that broke in September 2015. It involved European auto makers being caught out deliberately cheating polluting emissions tests.…

Read more

COATED, LAMINATED AND PADDED TEXTILES AT FOREFRONT OF INDUSTRY INNOVATION, CONFERENCE HEARS



Coated, laminated and padded textiles play key roles in a vast range of emerging products, with experts explaining at a Berlin conference how the technical textile sector has been continuously developing cutting edge technology to make such materials.

The International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating (TCL2019), held in mid-March in Berlin, Germany, had a special focus on bedding developments.…

Read more

EU EXPANDS TIRE LABELLING REQUIREMENTS TO BOOST VEHICLES’ ENVIRONMENTAL AND SAFETY PERFORMANCE



THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is trying to use marketing rules to improve the safety and environmental performance of tires that are sold into Europe, with ministers approving a proposal that expands’ manufacturers and retailers’ duties regarding tire labelling.

Under a new regulation backed by the EU Council of Ministers earlier this month (March 4) stickers would have to be fixed to more types of tires and would include more information – the goal being to persuade consumers to not just use cost as a guide to buying tires.…

Read more

EGYPT PAINT INDUSTRY EXPANDS, DESPITE WEAK CURRENCY IN INFLATING IMPORTED INPUT COSTS



THE EGYPTIAN economy is still struggling to overcome the problem of low hard currency reserves, a challenge that has negatively affected the local paints and coatings industry due its high dependence on imports.

“There has been a crisis in terms of availability of US dollars to purchase raw materials and most of the raw materials are imported,” said Himanshu Vasisht, project lead for energy and chemicals at India-based market researcher Mordor Intelligence.…

Read more

EU INVESTMENT BANK FOCUSES ON DEVELOPING NEW PLASTICS TO LIGHTWEIGHT E-CARS



WITH auto manufacturers looking for ways to light-weight electric and hybrid vehicles, to boost performance and battery life, the European Union (EU) is investing in a Spanish company that is seeking to develop recyclable thermo-plastic alternatives to rubber for auto parts.…

Read more

GLOBAL AUTO SECTOR WORRIED OVER POTENTIAL IMPACT OF USA SECTION 232 DUTIES



THE SUBMISSION to the White House by the US Department of Commerce of a report recommending whether and how the USA should impose tariffs on automotive and related parts on national security grounds has provoked significant concern worldwide.

President Donald Trump has 90 days from February 17 (to mid-May) to decide on whether to impose the tariffs under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.…

Read more

THE GLOBAL SMART COATINGS SECTOR BECOMES EVER MORE INNOVATIVE AS IT TARGETS MARKET NICHES



THE GLOBAL smart coatings sector is expected to record a year-on-year average annual gain in revenue of 31.5% over the next five years, with the market projected to reach USD11.68 billion by 2024 – compared to USD 885.5 million in 2015.…

Read more

TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING TO RISE AS IRAN SEEKS TO EVADE NEW USA SANCTIONS



TRADE-based money laundering (TBML) continues to be a complex typology that is tough for law enforcement to detect and ML regulators to control.

The risk is that with Iran being subject to new USA sanctions, the use of TBML is going to grow in the short term, warn experts.…

Read more

NOX EMISSIONS CONFUSION AFTER COURT ANNULS EU TEST LAW



A EUROPEAN court has demonstrated the challenges faced by European Union (EU) auto-makers in following EU emissions rules. Not only are they complex, but the EU’s complicated decision-making system can open emissions rules to legal challenges if they have been agreed in ways that break the EU’s 478 page Treaty of European Union.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO SECTOR WARNS JOB LOSSES MAY FOLLOW NEW EU CAR AND VAN EMISSIONS REGIME



EUROPEAN automobile industry associations have warned member companies and European Union (EU) governments to face potential auto sector job losses caused by a new EU emissions regulation, now approaching final approval.

This is because compliance will almost certainly require a significant expansion of the European e-vehicle market.…

Read more

VOLVO RUSSIA CFO STRESSES NEED FOR EMPATHY AND FLEXIBILITY TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS



There are two displays in the Moscow office of the CFO of Volvo Car Russia, Vladimir Lagutin, that catches the attention, immediately: a large elegantly-framed poster of UK electronic music band Depeche Mode and a case of tennis balls.

“Those things – music and tennis – keep me from being stressed,” says Lagutin.…

Read more

AUTO INDUSTRY CONTESTS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PUSH FOR TOUGH TRUCK EMISSIONS GOALS



THE EUROPEAN car industry has slammed the “excessively aggressive CO2 reduction targets” for new heavy-duty vehicles – trucks and lorries – backed by the European Parliament – the European Union (EU)’s directly-elected legislative body – on November 14 in at the Strasbourg plenary session.…

Read more

CAR MAKERS AND TELECOMS FEAR THE EU MAY ESCHEW TECHNOLOGICAL NEUTRALITY IN UPCOMING LEGISLATION ON CONNECTED CARS



WHEN deciding what new tech to integrate into automotive design, the likely opinion of regulators matters to manufacturers. A key concern for European auto companies is the extent to which the European Union (EU) and its executive the European Commission will encouraging either the use of Wi-Fi or 5G network for the development of connected cars in upcoming legislation.…

Read more

TURKISH CAR SECTOR SUFFERS FROM SOARING INFLATION AND A PLUNGING CURRENCY



THE SEVERE depreciation of the Turkish lira (TRY) this summer has adversely affected the car sector, with domestic sales halving. While the country’s USD31 billion automotive export market has not been so badly impacted, manufacturers’ bottom lines have taken a hit due to the higher cost of importing key raw materials.  …

Read more

AMERICAN AND CHINESE AUTO PARTS MANUFACTURERS HIT IN LATEST TRADE WAR TARIFF EXCHANGE



AMERICAN and Chinese automotive parts exporters could both suffer from the latest tit-for-tat round of protective duties imposed by their governments.

China exporters may have the most to lose if the US tariffs deter American purchases. The US Trade Representative (USTR) confirmed on September 18 that the US America will be imposing 10% tariffs on a wide range of products, also including personal care exports, from China.…

Read more

CARS AND AUTOPARTS MAKERS HOPE EU-MERCOSUR TRADE TALKS WILL BREAK THROUGH



EUROPEAN Union (EU) and Mercosur negotiators went into crucial trade talks in Uruguayan capital Montevideo September 10-14, cheered on by automakers on both sides who want a deal, even though there are tough technical issues to resolve. The round is another bid to smash the deadlock over a future trade pact between the EU and the four founding Mercosur nations – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. …

Read more

US COTTON EXPORTERS FRET OVER TURKEY CURRENCY COLLAPSE AND TRADE DISPUTE WITH WASHINGTON



A senior figure in the American cotton industry has told just-style of his concern that Turkey’s collapsing currency and trade disputes with the US government will cause it to import less US-made cotton.

The Turkish lira – TRY has dropped in value by 45% this year – indeed last September 12, USD1 bought TRY3.43, this September 11, it bought TRY6.43.…

Read more

CINTE 2018 SHOWS HOW CHINA TECHNICAL TEXTILE AND NONWOVENS SECTOR IS GROWING IN IMPORTANCE



The latest edition of the biannual China International Trade Fair for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens (Cinte Techtextil China), held September 4-6, in Shanghai, showed how Chinese manufacturers are more than holding their own in these technically demanding markets.

The fair, a spin-off from the Techtextil show in Germany, attracted a diverse range of some 500 exhibitors from around 20 countries, covering 12 different application areas with protech, mobiltech and geotech, spanning wovens, knits and nonwovens, arguably being most prominent. …

Read more

SHIPPING SWITCHES ON TO BATTERY POWER



REGULATORY and other pressures are behind a recent international surge in construction of electric vessels.

Using battery-electric power instead of traditional fuels such as marine diesel to drive a ship’s propulsion and/or operate its equipment can reduce greenhouse gases and lessen health, safety and environmental risks, particularly when vessels are in or near port.…

Read more

MULTIPLE TRADE DEALS ALWAYS LIMIT GOVERNMENT POLICY FREEDOMS – A POLITICAL TRUTH UNDERMINING BREXITEER ‘CONTROL’ GOALS

BRITAIN is about to embark on a withdrawal from the European Union (EU) that could leave its government with much less control over many policies and laws than at present because the policy’s promoters – dubbed Brexiteers – may have ignored a major contradiction in future trade policy.

They say the UK can forge its own future by negotiating bespoke trade deals that reflect British interests rather than those of Brussels. But the more comprehensive deals Britain strikes, the more its room to manoeuvre will shrink – because all its trading partners (who are also striking deals with each other) will have to agree the same or similar terms for such deals to work.…

Read more

FAST CHARGING SPREADING ACROSS EUROPE



With lower battery and auto prices boosting the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in Europe, the race is on to ensure there are enough fast-charging stations to satisfy demand. 

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) warned European Union (EU) lawmakers July 5 that plans to force a continent-wide switch to BEVs through swingeing cuts in CO2 emissions caps for manufacturers, was doomed to fail due to the lack of charging points.…

Read more

DECARBONISATION POSSIBLE BEFORE 2050, SAYS HEAD OF EURELECTRIC



 

EUROPE can meet its goal of cleaning up the power sector several years earlier than by the European Union’s (EU) self-imposed deadline of 2050, according to Kristian Ruby, secretary general of the Union of the Electricity Industry – Eurelectric, the sector association representing the industry at pan-European level.…

Read more

IRELAND’S SERVICE STATION CHAINS ARE RADICALLY CHANGING THE RETAIL SCENE TO A US OUT-OF-TOWN ROAD STOPS



LARGE motorway service areas have become a recent feature of the Irish landscape, with plaza-type facilities incorporating fuel, food and grocery retailers under one roof.  However, the key players in the forecourt market, which is increasingly held by Irish firms Maxol and Applegreen, along with Canadian newcomer Couche-Tard – are now racing to reposition themselves given the Irish government plans by 2030 to end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles.…

Read more

US CLOTHING INDUSTRY MEETS IN WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS RESISTING TRUMP TARIFFS



THE USA’s clothing industry has met in Washington DC to plot tactics designed to push the Trump administration away from a protectionist policy that it regards as potentially damaging for brands, retailers and their consumers.

A trade symposium staged last Thursday (July 12) by the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) united clothing sector executives, compliance chiefs, customs specialists and government affairs managers.…

Read more

ASIA PACIFIC TECHNICAL TEXTILES CONTINUE TO GROW – BULK OUTPUT RISES IN CHINA, WHILE JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA CHASE NICHES



THE ASIA-Pacific technical textiles sector is still robust – with China’s industry continuing to grow, with bulk products still a focus. Meanwhile, more developed economies such as South Korea and Japan keep honing their output, looking for specialist niches and edges created by innovation.…

Read more

CHINA RESPONDS FAST TO USA TARIFFS – HITTING AMERICAN AUTO SECTOR WITH RETALIATORY DUTIES



CHINA has retaliated swiftly to the USA’s imposition of 25% duties on Chinese automotive exports, announcing matching 25% retaliatory duties the following day (June 16) on a wide range of American exports of cars, SUVs and off-road vehicles, including hybrids and electric autos.…

Read more

AUTO INDUSTRY EMBRACES DIGITAL DEVELOPMENTS; SAYS SAFETY IS KEY



THE EUROPEAN car industry has welcomed a commitment by the European Union’s (EU) executive body, the European Commission’ – in a policy paper (called a ‘communication’ on automated mobility) – to have all new vehicles connected to the internet by 2022.…

Read more

CHINA AUTO SECTOR TO BE HIT BE NEW TRUMP USA TARIFFS



CHINA’S automotive manufacturing sectors will be counting the cost of new tariffs announced today (Friday, June 15) by the USA Trade Representative (USTR). They involve USD50 billion’s worth of Chinese exports being hit by 25% duties, additional to any other duties already applied.…

Read more

CO2 TARGET POLITICAL BATTLE LOOMS AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT



A BATTLE is looming at the European Parliament over amendments to a proposed European Union (EU) regulation on CO2 targets for cars and vans, with left wingers calling for tougher limits, and the centre-right seeking to ease the auto sector’s burden.…

Read more

ARGENTINE AUTO SECTOR’S HOPES FOR STELLA 2018 DASHED BY PESO CURRENCY COLLAPSE



Argentina’s auto industry had expected a near record year in 2018, but unexpected financial problems that have hit the country in the past month could push the economy into recession and dampen local demand for cars. 
These problems are a far cry from the optimism expressed on April 4, when the heads of three carmakers spoke bullishly about production and sales growth at a business conference staged in Buenos Aires by economic consultancy Invecq Consulting. …

Read more

USA TECHNICAL TEXTILE INDUSTRY BOOMS ON THE BACK OF TRAGEDY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH



TECHNICAL textile markets can be driven and shaped by a range of forces – from natural disasters, to technological change, economic developments and political movements. In the case of the USA, at present, the technical textile market and industry is being moved by all these influences at the same time.…

Read more

SUPPLY OF RENEWABLE ENERGY MINERALS POSES MAJOR HEADACHE FOR POWER SUPPLIERS



Unlike the limited range of minerals used in fossil fuel production, many minerals, metallic and nonmetallic, are used in renewable energy technologies. However, production is often low and concentrated in a limited number of countries – creating potential strategic supply problems.…

Read more

PASSENGER EXPERIENCE COMES TO THE FOREFRONT AT DUBAI AIRPORT SHOW



Enhancing the quality of passenger experience while maintaining maximum security was a recurring theme during the Dubai Airport Show 2018. The annual airport industry event, held from May 7 to 9, drew more than 7,500 visitors.

Covering 15,000 square metres of space across three halls of the iconic Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, its 18th edition hosted more than 350 exhibitors from 60 countries.…

Read more

NEW TAX REGIME MAKING A DENT IN PHILIPPINE AUTO BOOM



SWEEPING tax reforms introduced by The Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte designed to raise funds for infrastructure improvements, may cool a protracted vehicle sales boom in the country, experts warn.

The first stage of changes under a Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN) came into force in January and the resulting higher excise taxes saw sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles drop by 9.5% and 8% respectively in the first quarter of the year compared to January-March 2017.…

Read more

SLUGGISH UK PAINT AND COATING MARKET SET FOR REBOUND, THANKS TO GROWING AUTO SECTOR



AFTER years of sluggish growth and even contraction, the UK paint and coatings sector is set to rebound this year thanks to a booming domestic automotive manufacturing sector. However, this optimism has yet to be felt across the sector due to uncertainly the industry is facing ahead of Brexit.…

Read more

DELAY IN GAME-DEFINING INCENTIVES PACKAGE CAUSES UNCERTAINTY FOR BRAZIL AUTOMAKERS



BRAZIL’S automotive industry is awaiting the final details and presidential sanction of a 14-year incentives program called Rota 2030, that will offer up to Brazilian Reals BRL1.5 billion (USD467.4 million) in annual tax credits sector-wide to auto and auto parts manufacturers selling cars in Brazil.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FACES FIGHT WITH EU COUNCIL OVER ELECTRICITY MARKET REFORM



THE EUROPEAN Union’s (EU) current Bulgarian presidency (January-July 2018) will probably face a tough challenge, when tripartite talks between the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission on electricity market reform begin this spring.

“Since early March, we have been preparing for the ‘trilogues’ [EU jargon for talks between its three main bodies], comparing the [EU] member states’ general approach reached in December with Parliament’s position, so we have documents to work on when trilogues start,” a Council spokesperson told Modern Power Systems, adding “no dates have yet been fixed” for the negotiations.…

Read more

SHIFT TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ELECTRIC CARS WILL SHIFT MINERAL MARKETS FOR DECADES, CONFERENCE HEARS



THE GROWTH in global renewable energy and electric car markets is already changing the face of the industrial minerals sector and it will continue to shape demand for years to come, a senior Toronto-based industry conference has been told.

Vancouver-based Gianni Kovacevic, CEO of CopperBank Resources, told this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention that mineral resource companies needed to analyse the likely impact of climate change, and how it feeds into energy and transport infrastructure spending and related environmental regulation.…

Read more

UK HOPES THAT AMERICAN EXPORT SALES MAY REPLACE EUROPEAN SALES POST-BREXIT MAYBE FALSE



BRITISH automakers who may be eying lucrative American markets as an alternative to sales that could be lost if the UK quits the European Union (EU) as planned next March (2019) could be disappointed, say experts.

This is despite data released by the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) at the end of January indicating exports of UK-made cars to the US rose by 7% year-on-year in 2017 to almost 210,000 units.…

Read more

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS ESSENTIAL BEFORE MAKING ADAS MANDATORY, SAY EXPERTS



AUTOMATIC driver assistance systems (ADAS) for vehicles should only be obligatory if they aid road safety, automobile experts told wardsauto this week, as the issue is considered during an ongoing review of European Union (EU) automobile safety rules.

The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, is currently revising the 28 country bloc’s regulation on type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles (EC No 661/2009).…

Read more

AVIATION TEXTILES QUALITY CONTROLLED BY REGULATION



THE CIVIL aviation industry – for very good safety reasons – is one of the most regulated industries in the world. And suppliers of aviation textiles have to take note. Regulations spring from the Convention on International Civil Aviation, whose annex 8 covers the airworthiness of aircraft.…

Read more

NORWAY SHOWS HOW LONG-TERM STATE COMMITMENT TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES CAN CREATE A SUSTAINABLE MARKET



IF evidence was needed to show that consistent government support for sales of electric cars can create a sustainable market, look no further than Norway, the world’s number one country for sales of e-vehicles in 2016. With a market share of 29% for new cars, the Scandinavian country is a leading light in its transition to zero emission cars, noted the Norwegian Electric Vehicles Association (Norsk elbilforening).…

Read more

SPECIALIST CHEMICALS SECTOR IS GLOBAL GROWTH AREA, AS DEMAND FOR SMART MATERIALS GROWS



THE GLOBAL speciality chemical market has been showing steady gains over the past few years and is set to continue in its growth trajectory, according to latest data. According to data from Pune, India-based global research company Allied Market Research, the global industry was worth USD175.4 billion in 2014 and has since shown promising growth to USD184 billion in 2015, USD193 billion in 2016 and USD202.5 billion in 2017.…

Read more

ISRAEL IS STEADY IMPORT MARKET FOR EUROPEAN PAINT MAJORS



IMPORTS of paints and coatings into the relatively developed Middle East market of Israel are significant and have been growing, according to data sent to Polymers Paint Colour Journal by European Union statistical agency Eurostat.

In 2015, Israel imported EUR42.12 million worth of paints and varnishes (including enamels and lacquers) based on synthetic polymers or chemically modified natural polymers, dispersed or dissolved in a non-aqueous medium, from the EU compared to EUR38.75 million worth of imports in 2014.…

Read more

NONWOVEN RESEARCHERS LOOK TO PROVIDE CLEANER AIR IN CARS, WHILE REDUCING EXHAUST EMISSIONS



THE AUTOMOTIVE sector is a hotbed of growth for industrial performance materials like nonwovens. And the global market for such materials have the potential to cross the EUR2 billion mark soon, according to Germany-based Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co KG.…

Read more

PRESSURE GROWS ON GOVERNMENTS TO INTEGRATE LIVESTOCK WITHIN PARIS AGREEMENT-RELATED CLIMATE POLICIES



GOVERNMENTS are starting to develop anti-methane emission policies that could impact the meat and livestock industry as part of their response to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. World leaders who participated at November’s COP23 (conference of parties) climate summit in Bonn, Germany, were advised by a key investor group to reduce livestock methane if greenhouse gas emissions are to be tackled effectively.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CAR MANUFACTURERS WELCOME AGREEMENT ON TYPE-APPROVAL RULES



THE EUROPEAN car industry has welcomed a deal struck over future European Union (EU) automobile type approval rules between the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. The agreement reached on Thursday (December 7) on a reformed system for approving vehicles before they are placed on the EU market should see the new rules applying from September 1, 2020.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO SECTOR WARNS BRUSSELS’ LATEST CO2 GOALS MAYBE TOO AMBITIOUS



THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto sector, including – for now – the British industry, has criticised new tough targets proposed by the European Commission for lowering average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans in the 28-country bloc. Under Brussels’ new low emission mobility strategy, cars and vans registered in the EU in 2025 will have to emit 15% and in 2030, 30%, less CO2, compared to 2021’s 95g CO2/km for passenger cars and 147g CO2/km for vans.…

Read more

DEFENDING AGAINST HACKS STILL PREVALENT AS IoT POSES NEW THREAT WITH NEW TWISTS ON OLD RISKS



CONSIDER for a moment the long list of items hacked in spectacular fashion for the edification of those who descended on Las Vegas this summer for the annual BlackHat and DEFCON security events: voting machines, ‘smart’ safes, cars, guns, car washes, infusion pumps and radioactivity sensors.…

Read more

NGOs WORKING IN SYRIA RISK SERIOUS BREACHES OF SANCTIONS AND AML/CFT RULES



NON-governmental organisations (NGO), aid agencies and charities are under increased pressure to abide by international and domestic anti-money laundering and terrorist finance regulations, such as those imposed by the UK, US and European Union (EU), including international sanctions. But it can be tough for NGOs to comply with such rules when operating in countries where there is civil conflict or civil war.…

Read more

EU/JAPAN EPA WILL BOOST EU DAIRY INDUSTRY, SAY EXPERTS, BUT JAPANESE PRODUCERS ARE WORRIED



THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) planned trade deal with Japan – its sixth most important trading partner – struck in principle at the July 6 EU-Japan Summit in Brussels and set to be operational in 2019, will benefit the EU dairy industry greatly, experts say.…

Read more

INDIAN AUTO INDUSTRY GIVEN FAIR WARNING OF GOVERNMENT PUSH FOR E-VEHICLES



THE INDIAN automobile manufacturing industry, which already has an annual output of 25 million vehicles, is bracing itself for a comprehensive switchover to electric vehicles, with the government developing clear policy that it wants combustion engines off the country’s roads. 

This push has been grounded in a report from the government’s key think tank NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and hence very influential.…

Read more

SAUDI ARABIA’S SPA MARKET SPURRED BY HOSPITALITY BOOM



 

In a socially-reserved country such as Saudi Arabia where entertainment options are mostly limited to shopping and cafes – the opening of spas and beauty salons offer another avenue for leisure and recreation.

According to market research company Euromonitor International, Saudi Arabia’s spa market was valued at Saudi Arabian Riyals SAR275 million (USD73.3 million) in 2017, growing by 7% over 2016.…

Read more

EU REGULATORY ROUND UP – EU PLOTS VIRTUAL CURRENCY FRAUD CONTROLS



THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed a new revamped European Union (EU) directive on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, with a key aim of criminalising scams associated with virtual currencies.

This legislation, which updates now obsolete 2001 rules, would insist EU member states treat as crimes possessing, selling, procuring, importing and distributing a stolen or unlawfully appropriated counterfeited or falsified non-cash payment instruments.…

Read more

NEW EUROPEAN TECHNICAL STANDARDS SYSTEM FOR SPACE PAINTS UNDER DEVELOPMENT



STANDARDS are being drawn up to ensure international best practice is consistently applied in durability testing of coatings for use in space projects.

The European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) is an initiative established to develop a coherent, single set of user-friendly standards for all European space activities – and its experts are now drafting technical rules for coatings used on satellites, rockets, probes and other space equipment.…

Read more

JAPAN FACES SPA EXPANSION CHALLENGES DUE TO SHRINKING POPULATION



JAPAN’S spa and beauty salon markets are well developed and established, undoubtedly a reflection of the country’s well-known traditions of cleanliness and looking good. Being well-established has arguably made further expansion and growth in the sectors more challenging, while Japan’s shrinking birth rate and population do not bode well for longer-term expansion.…

Read more

CHINA’S SAIC LOOKS ABROAD TO EXPAND SALES AS DOMESTIC MARKET GROWTH TAILS OFF



CHINESE customers bought 28 million vehicles in 2016, up 7.3% from 2015, which saw a year-on-year growth of 4.7%, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. However, such sales were largely stimulated by tax incentives released by the Chinese government in 2015 to encourage the sales of low-emission cars.…

Read more

EGYPT’S LOCAL PRODUCTION SUPPORT FAILS TO GAIN SUPPORT – AND IS NOW UNDER REVIEW



THE EGYPTIAN government has said it will use German consultants to fine tune a planned subsidy system benefiting Egypt-based assemblers who source parts domestically. The goal of the ministry of industry is to smooth concerns about the incentives at the European Commission, the European Union (EU) executive, which wants freer trade between the EU and Egypt and views Egyptian government plans to favour local parts sourcing as a trade barrier.…

Read more

USA PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR EXPECTED TO GROW, IF TRUMP DOES NOT TORPEDO TRADE POLICY



International politics and trade relations are set to influence the medium-term future of the US paint and coatings industry, analysts have predicted, highlighting a generally positive outlook with certain caveats.

USA PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR EXPECTED TO GROW, IF TRUMP DOES NOT TORPEDO TRADE POLICY

The state of the economy and its knock-on effect to the construction and manufacturing sectors (the World Bank is forecasting 2.2% GDP growth for the USA in 2017), is encouraging for paint and coatings producers.…

Read more

EU AND JAPAN AUTO SECTORS WELCOME EUROPEAN-JAPANESE MAJOR TRADE DEAL, ALTHOUGH EUROPEAN CARMAKERS EXPRESS CAUTION



THE TRADE deal announced by the European Union (EU) and Japanese on July 6 that would cut tariffs and harmonise technical regulations has been welcomed by Japan and EU auto-makers – although the Europeans are expressing caution.

Brussels and Tokyo said they had stuck a “political agreement in principle” for an economic partnership agreement, that would phase out vehicle tariffs over seven years and bring regulatory convergence through a special auto annex. …

Read more

EU LAWMAKERS DEMAND CO2 CRACKDOWN, AUTOMAKERS SCEPTICAL



EUROPEAN Union (EU) lawmakers are calling for a seismic shift towards low carbon mobility in the auto sector, including requiring manufacturers to meet a 25% minimum fleet quota for electric vehicles by 2025 and a sales ban on cars emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2035. …

Read more

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES PROMOTE FOUR AUTO INVESTMENT PROJECTS IN PAKISTAN



PAKISTAN’S ministry of industries and production has granted Category-A Greenfield investment status to four automobile manufacturing investors to set up manufacturing plants – effectively greenlighting their projects to establish auto-making plants in the country.

Shah Jahan Shah, spokesperson for Pakistan’s ministry of industries and production said he ministry had signed an agreement with these July 17 (2017).…

Read more

END OF EU INQUIRY AGAINST JAGUAR LAND ROVER'S FACTORY IN SLOVAKIA STILL AWAITED



THE BURGEONING automotive manufacturing sector of central Europe’s Slovakia is paying close attention to an inquiry by the European Union (EU) executive, the European Commission, into how its government supports the sector. The upcoming decision by the Commission, which has powers to ensure national governments do not distort the EU’s single market by subsidising local industrial champions, could have significant implication for the future of Slovakia’s auto sector.…

Read more

HONG KONG STARTUP AIMS TO BEAT TESLA ON EV



A Taiwan-listed, Hong Kong-based electric vehicle startup – Thunder Power – today (Friday) proclaimed an ambitious goal for the future – to make the most desirable EV in China.

“An obvious difference between us and Tesla is we have the key technologies before actually investing in manufacturing,” Wellen Sham, Thunder Power CEO, told wardsauto at a launch event in Shanghai.…

Read more

EUROPEAN NONWOVENS RECORD SOLID PERFORMANCE WITH NO NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES FROM BREXIT OR TRUMP, YET

BY ALAN OSBORN, in London; and EUGENE VOROTNIKOV, in Voronezh, Russi

EUROPE’S nonwovens producers again served up a solid performance in 2016 against the background of (uneven and) uncertain trading conditions for the industry.

As usual, the just-published returns from EDANA, the representative organisation for the USD30 billion nonwovens industry in Europe, show some important national variations.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS SHED ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT



While South Korea has not yet ratified the UN’s Paris Agreement dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, its important automobile industry has been making serious commitments to green practices, including the transition from solvent-based to waterborne coatings.

According to New Jersey, US-based coatings consulting firm Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney, the South Korean passenger car and light vehicle coating market involved supplies of 60,000 tonnes in 2016, and these are becoming increasingly environment-friendly: about one-quarter of basecoats sold are now waterborne.…

Read more

VIETNAM WORKS TO BOOST PARTS PRODUCTION TO STRENGTHEN OVERALL AUTO SECTOR – BUT IS IT TOO LATE?



VIETNAM is working hard to develop an upstream parts manufacturing base, but this goal is proving hard to achieve and meanwhile, regional liberalization through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is threatening the country’s auto assembly segment.

In many ways, it is crunch time for Vietnam’s auto sector.…

Read more

EU MEMBER STATES VOTE TO RETAIN EUROPEAN TYPE APPROVAL POWERS IN HANDS OF NATIONAL REGULATORS



European Union (EU) member states have pushed back against more centralised control of type approvals by the bloc’s executive European Commission in a vote yesterday (Monday, May 29) in Brussels. The EU Council of Ministers, which represents EU governments, instead approved a “general approach” of principles, which would beef up cooperation between national authorities – but not give the Commission more power.…

Read more

CONFLICT SENDS SYRIAN CAR MARKET SPIRALLING DOWNWARDS BUT NEW CHINESE MODELS HINT AT RECOVERY



THE SYRIAN car sector has been hit hard by the country’s ongoing civil conflict, now into its sixth year. From nearly 90,000 cars being imported into Syria annually before the rebellion against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad started in 2011, imports have now plunged to around 1,000 cars a year.…

Read more

INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS KEY TO GET CONNECTED CARS ON THE ROAD, EXPERTS SAY



TECHNOLOGY per se is not enough to roll out connected cars in Europe, experts from the auto sector and the European Union (EU)’s executive body the European Commission agreed at last week’s ‘Connected Cars Europe 2017’ conference in Brussels. The key, speakers told the May 11 event, is connecting automobiles to their commercial and social environment and getting all actors on board.…

Read more

ARGENTINA TAKES FIRST STEPS TO SPUR ELECTRIC CAR SALES



Argentina’s electric car market is poised to take off this year as tax cuts and the installation of charging points spur consumer demand. This month (May), the government slashed import taxes on electric vehicles (EVs), and it’s “working on plans so that the infrastructure for these cars is in place,” Guillermo Dietrich, the national minister of transportation, told wardsauto.…

Read more

ITALY PUSHES AHEAD WITH LNG INVESTMENTS, EVEN IF ENI’S MOZAMBIQUE GAS SELLS TO OTHER MARKETS



Italian state-controlled oil and gas producer ENI has cemented its role as a major gas player in Mozambique, after further defining in 2017 the scope of its Coral FLNG (floating liquified natural gas) project in this southern African country. However, doubts are emerging that ENI will actually deliver significant volumes of Mozambique’s huge gas reserves to Italy, and consequentially the rest of Europe, as an alternative and more secure source of natural gas.…

Read more

BELGIAN AND ITALIAN CONSUMER ASSOCIATIONS CLAIM VW IS STILL FAILING ON EMISSIONS



German carmaker Volkswagen and one of its brands Audi both have downplayed allegations from two European consumer organisations that they still are cheating on nitrogen oxides (NOx) tailpipe emissions. Italy’s Altroconsumo and sister organisation Belgium’s Test-Achats, on April 11 published the same tests results, which both Volkswagen and Audi have rejected, claiming the organisations should release more test data to prove their cases.…

Read more

CAR PART SUPPLIERS WILL PROMOTE AUTOMATED DRIVING, EU INDUSTRY EVENT TOLD



EUROPEAN Union (EU) automotive suppliers are accelerating innovation in connected and automated driving (CAD), industry experts told the April 25 policy debate on ‘Safe, Sustainable, Smart Mobility’, organised by the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) in Brussels.

“Digitalisation is the most important transformation in the car industry,” said Violeta Bulc, the Commissioner for transport and mobility on the EU executive body, the European Commission.…

Read more

EU LAWMAKERS BACK REQUIREMENT TO TEST 20% OF ALL NEW MODELS FOR EMISSIONS RULE BREACHES



 

European Union (EU) lawmakers have voted for emission compliance checks on 20% of all new models already on EU roads to beat test cheats in type approval assessments. The European Parliament voted through the requirement on Tuesday (April 4) at its Strasbourg, France, plenary, in an amendment to proposals drafted by British Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton on a proposed law revamping the EU’s type approval system.…

Read more

EGYPT’S PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR MAKES BUMPY PROGRESS, BUT THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT



THE PAINT and coatings sector in Egypt is growing, but its progress has been unsteady, reflecting its bumpy political progress since its 2011 revolution that brought down long-standing President Hosni Mubarak. While a construction boom dominated by huge public private partnerships (PPPs) is driving up sales of decorative paint, according to industry analysts, a weak automotive sector is holding back overall growth with slow sales of refinishing paint.…

Read more

EUROPEAN WIPES MARKET COMPLEX – WITH GROWTH AND DECLINE AS ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS GROW



THE EUROPEAN wipes market is a complex affair. This is a varied segment, in itself, but wipe use varies between countries with contrasting consumer cultures – meaning that in some states, wipes sales are increasing; in others decreasing; and in others, the kinds of wipes being sold is changing.…

Read more

EUROPEAN NONWOVENS RECORD SOLID PERFORMANCE WITH NO NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES FROM BREXIT OR TRUMP, YET



Europe’s nonwovens producers again served up a solid performance in 2016 against the background of (uneven and) uncertain trading conditions for the industry. As usual, the just-published returns from EDANA, the representative organisation for the USD30 billion nonwovens industry in Europe, show some important national variations.…

Read more

TI CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ACTION TO FIGHT LUXURY GOOD LAUNDERING



ANTI-CORRUPTION organisation Transparency International (TI) has called for a comprehensive tightening of regulatory and commercial action to restrict how luxury goods are abused as money laundering vehicles and to promote graft.

A new TI report ‘Tainted Treasures: Money laundering risks in luxury markets’ concludes that too little due diligence focuses on luxury goods buyers and where there are luxury goods laws, enforcement is weak.…

Read more

VW CLOSE TO PAKISTAN TRUCK AND VAN ASSEMBLY DEAL, CLAIMS GOVERNMENT AGENCY



THE CHIEF executive of a major Pakistan government economic development agency has told wardsauto that Volkswagen has made significant progress in talks to establish new manufacturing production in this key south Asian market’s port city of Karachi. The latest fruit of the business-friendly policies pursued by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, “Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is in final talks with Premier Systems Private Limited – the authorised importer of Audi vehicles in the country – to set up a manufacturing/assembly plant for its Amarok and T6 (transporter range) models and Volkswagen,” Tariq Ejaz Chaudhary, CEO of Pakistan’s Engineering Development Board told wardsauto.…

Read more

TURKISH AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR PROJECTS GROWTH – DESPITE INSTABILITY IN HOME COUNTRY



TURKEY’S automotive manufacturing sector is thriving, despite the political turmoil suffered by its home country political instability and war in neighboring countries, with the industry predicting an increase in exports this year.

According to data from the country’s Automotive Industry Association (OSD – Otomotiv Sanayii Derneği), of the USD142.6 billion dollars’ worth of goods and services exported by Turkey in 2016, around USD24.25 billion’s worth of these were manufactured by the Turkish automotive sector.…

Read more

EU CONSUMER HEALTH WARNING DATABASE REPORT INDICATES RISE IN REPORTS ON AUTOS AND PARTS DURING 2016



AUTOMOTIVE parts and vehicles have become the second most dangerous category of goods in the European Union (EU) in 2016, according to the most recent annual report of the EU’s ‘Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products’, or RAPEX.

The system routes safety alerts about consumer products within the 28 member states of the EU.…

Read more

MEXICAN AUTO COATINGS LONG-TERM PRODUCTION GROWTH COULD END THIS YEAR



THE ROBUST growth of the Mexican automotive coatings market over the past six years looks is likely to end in 2017, according to the Mexican Association of Paint and Ink Producers (ANAFAPYT).

Mexican production of automotive coatings almost doubled from 2010 to 2015, going from 57.3 million liters to 106.2 million liters, say figures from ANAFAPYT (Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Pinturas y Tintas).…

Read more

SMART NONWOVENS PRODUCERS WILL DIVERSIFY QUALITY PRODICT LINES, CONFERECE HEARS



THE MARKET for nonwovens for the automotive industry is forecast to continue to grow with China being the driving force, but clever producers will diversify their product lines to include filters, experts at a Nonwovens for High-performance Applications conference in Prague, have heard.…

Read more

GREEN ENERGY EXPERTS PUSH TOWARDS HYDROGEN-POWERED COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS



DECARBONISING air travel is increasingly becoming a priority for the aviation sector. Indeed, the world’s first, fully hydrogen fuel cell-powered four-passenger aircraft with zero-emissions launched last October could be a game changer – as researchers now look to apply the technology to bigger planes.…

Read more

JAPAN TECHNICAL TEXTILES MANUFACTURERS TARGET GROWING MARKET FOR ELDERLY AND INFIRM



JAPAN’S flair in developing effective cutting edge technology is of course well-known, and with an ageing population and still restricted immigration, the potential domestic market for medical and health-focused technical textiles is significant. Amidst shortages of construction, manufacturing and other manual workers, many Japanese industries are purchasing and even developing wearable products that companies can use to monitor or maintain the health of their increasingly stretched and ageing staff, as well as those working from remote locations.…

Read more

DEVELOPMENTS IN INTRUDER DETECTION AND PREVENTION PUSH FORWARD – WITH BLOCKCHAINS A FOCUS OF ATTACKERS AND SECURITY



BIOMETRIC identification, use of blockchain technology to protect the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and better surveillance of the deep and dark web will continue to influence intruder detection and prevention developments this year.

Accounting and auditing network Deloitte Global estimates that 40% of smartphones in the developed world will be using fingerprints as a personal security mechanism by the end of 2017.…

Read more

INDIA’S COMPLEX GST ROLL-OUT POSES CHALLENGING ACCOUNTING ISSUES FOR COMPANIES



India’s complex Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime is set for a launch on July 1 with complicating features such as multiple tax rates and a separate law to guarantee minimum revenues to the country’s states. The central government is moving ahead with the plans, even as the country’s USD2 trillion economy recovers from the shock of November’s withdrawal of high value banknotes.…

Read more

AUTOMATED RECHARGING SYSTEMS FOR EV’S MOVE FROM LABORATORY TO PUBLIC ROADS

BY SARAH GIBBONS, in London AS the drive to encourage electric vehicle (EV) ownership gathers momentum, so does the desire to install automated recharging systems, such as devices built into roads that top up batteries as autos motor on.

The technology is known as ‘dynamic inductive charging’ and has been trialled in a range of scenarios across different continents. And one system, in South Korea, is now in operation on a live transport route, on roads in the towns of Gumi, in the country’s southeast, and Sejong, in central South Korea.…

Read more

BRUSSELS ISSUES GUIDANCE ON ENFORCING CHEAT DEVICE BAN



 

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) executive, the European Commission, has issued guidance for the bloc’s 28 member states on how to enforce controls on so-called ‘defeat devices’ that have been abused, notably by Volkswagen to bypass EU emissions rules.  

This advice also tells EU regulators on how to restrict other emission abatement strategies used during laboratory tests for type approval purposes, as well as when to allow such methods, under a waiver.…

Read more

EU LAWMAKERS WANT TESTS ON 20 PERCENT OF NEW MODELS AFTER APPROVAL



EUROPEAN Union (EU) lawmakers are pushing for national regulators to put 20% of new car models released for driving through laboratory tests to check compliance with emissions standards, a demand that has spooked Europe’s automakers.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) backed this 20% rule in a vote yesterday (Feb 9) in its key internal market and consumer protection committee on proposals to overhaul the EU’s type approval system.…

Read more

AUTOMATED RECHARGING SYSTEMS FOR EV’S MOVE FROM LABORATORY TO PUBLIC ROADS



As the drive to encourage electric vehicle (EV) ownership gathers momentum, so does the desire to install automated recharging systems, such as devices built into roads that top up batteries as autos motor on.

The technology is known as ‘dynamic inductive charging’ and has been trialled in a range of scenarios across different continents.…

Read more

AUTO INDUSTRY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT INCREASED TRADE FOLLOWING CANADA-EU DEAL APPROVAL



THE AUTOMOTIVE industries of the European Union (EU) and Canada are both optimistic that they will export more vehicles as a result of the newly approved Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the two jurisdictions. The European Parliament gave CETA its support last Wednesday (February 15), meaning it will come into force provisionally once the Canadian House of Commons does the same (considered a formality).…

Read more

AUSTRALASIA AND SINGAPORE TRIALS OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES SHOW BLUEPRINT FOR ASSESSMENTS WORLDWIDE



A collaboration forged between Australia and New Zealand in January this year could demonstrate how countries can pool resources to develop autonomous vehicles (AV). The antipodean neighbors are to launch an Australian and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ANZDVI), according to Peter Damen, chair of executive steering committee, of an existing partner the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI).…

Read more

AMID LOOMING DEMOGRAPHIC ILLS, SOUTH KOREA STARTS TALKING OF TALENT-BASED IMMIGRATION



South Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il-ho has confirmed that his government has begun drafting a talent-based immigration system to serve as a key driver of economic competitiveness in the future. According to Yoo, the Office for Government Policy Coordination (OPC) has created a task force to counter the country’s demographic changes and plans to produce mid and long-term immigration policies in the first half of the year.…

Read more

USA VALE GREEN AIRPORT GRANTS SURVIVE TRUMP ECO-SPENDING CULL



THE FEDERAL Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Program, in the USA, has managed to escape the cull of environmental programmes ordered by the new administration of President Donald Trump.

His executive orders shortly after taking office in January led to more than USD4 billion’s worth of grants and contracts administered by the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being scrapped.…

Read more

GERMAN PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR SEES STEADY GROWTH AS AUTO INDUSTRY REMAINS STRONG

BY ALAN OSBORN

THE GERMAN paint and coatings industry is predicting that its sales will grow steadily in the coming year, as Europe’s largest economy continues its steady economic good fortunes.

The World Bank forecasts that 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be 1.6% and in 2018 it will be 1.5%.…

Read more

RESEARCHERS PUSH AHEAD WITH INNOVATIONS TO INTEGRATE GRAPHENE IN TEXTILES

BY SARAH GIBBONS, in London, and KATHRYN WORTLEY, in Tokyo SMART e-textiles are set to revolutionise the industry in the coming years as the wonder material of the 21st century is introduced into an array of innovative applications.

Researchers believe designers will expand the use of graphene in textiles for bio-medical, sportswear, fashion, furnishings, military and security equipment.

Isolated by scientists from graphite in 2004, a layer of pure carbon, graphene is the thinnest known compound. It is just one atom thick (a million times thinner than a human hair), the strongest compound ever discovered (between 100-300 times stronger than steel), the lightest material (with one square metre weighing only 0.77 milligrams) and very flexible.…

Read more

SANTIAGO SMOG CONTROLS SET TO BOOST CHILE’S RECOVERING AUTO MARKET



MOVES to curb dangerous levels of pollution from vehicle emissions are set to boost demand for new cars in Chile, just as the country’s auto market is emerging from a slump, officials predict.

The ongoing issue of poor air quality in the capital, Santiago, has prompted lawmakers to take dramatic action to limit the use of older cars on the city’s streets as part of a package of measures designed to highlight the commitment to beat the smog.…

Read more

NEW RECHARGING STATION COULD TRIGGER STEADY INCREASE IN HYBRID IMPORTS INTO PAKISTAN



PAKISTAN has launched its first public charging station for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, paving the way for an anticipated increase in such eco-friendly cars on the country’s often crowded and polluted roads. The station, the first of its kind in south Asia, was inaugurated by Karachi-based auto importer and manufacturer Dewan Farooque Motors Ltd, (which also makes standard transmission Hyundai and Kia models), in conjunction with German auto maker BMW, which supplied the recharging technology.…

Read more

GERMAN PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR SEES STEADY GROWTH AS AUTO INDUSTRY REMAINS STRONG



The German paint and coatings industry is predicting that its sales will grow steadily in the coming year, as Europe’s largest economy continues its steady economic good fortunes. The World Bank forecasts that 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be 1.6% and in 2018 it will be 1.5%.…

Read more

RESEARCHERS PUSH AHEAD WITH INNOVATIONS TO INTEGRATE GRAPHENE IN TEXTILES



SMART e-textiles are set to revolutionise the industry in the coming years as the wonder material of the 21st century is introduced into an array of innovative applications.

Researchers believe designers will expand the use of graphene in textiles for bio-medical, sportswear, fashion, furnishings, military and security equipment.…

Read more

VW TO PAY USD2.8 BILLION FINE OVER DIESELGATE AS ITS EXECUTIVES ARE INDICTED BY AMERICAN COURTS



Volkswagen will plead guilty to three criminal charges in the USA, and pay a USD2.8 billion fine for selling around 590,000 diesel vehicles in America using a device to cheat emissions tests, while lying and obstructing justice to further the scheme.…

Read more

ASIA REGULATORY ROUND UP – HONG KONG REGULATORS CRACK DOWN ON MINORITY SHAREHOLDER ABUSERS



HONG Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have put listed companies on notice that they will closely monitor rights issues and open offers that substantially dilute the interests of non-subscribing minority shareholders.

In a joint statement, the SFC and the exchange have said they fear in some cases deals have been conducted without complying with requirements to give fair and equal treatment to all shareholders. …

Read more

EU MEMBER STATES BACK NEW PARTICULATES MEASURING RULES FOR PETROL CARS



 

EUROPEAN Union (EU) governments have agreed proposed regulations that will introduce, from September 2018, new real-world emissions (RWE) tests to measure the number of particles emitted from modern petrol engines under actual road driving conditions. The decision is the third in a series of technical test models approved by the EU, as it mandates how auto manufacturers move away from relying on laboratory tests of emissions, which sometimes do not reflect what pollution is emitted from tailpipes on roads.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BOOST ALTERNATIVE FUELS FOR TRANSPORT



THE EUROPEAN Commission’s new ‘energy package’ of proposed European Union (EU) laws and policies will promote low-emission and renewable energy for transport, such as advanced biofuels and electricity, the EU executive body has claimed.

The ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ legislative proposals, aim to “drive the transition to clean energy”, cover energy efficiency, renewable energy, the design of the electricity market, security of electricity supply and governance rules for what the EU calls its ‘Energy Union’ – essentially a zone of common energy laws uniting all 28 member states.…

Read more

FINLAND’S VALMET GOING STRONG AS IT EXPANDS ITS MERCEDES RELATIONSHIP IN 2017



FINLAND’S independent contract car maker Valmet Automotive (VA) is experiencing a remarkable renaissance thanks to orders from Germany’s Mercedes-Benz, growth that is expected to continue with support from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

VA’s breakthrough came when it signed a deal with Daimler in July 2012 to make more than 100,000 Mercedes Series A models between 2013 and 2017.…

Read more

EAGER TO LEAD AUTOMATED VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT, ONTARIO CHAMPIONS TESTING SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES ON ITS ROADS



A FIRST pilot test of automated vehicles is now underway within the Canadian province of Ontario, using a groundbreaking regulatory system designed to encourage tech and auto firms to undertake such research and development.

The pilot, which began November 28, takes advantage of a provincial law, in place since January 1 (2016), which allows companies to test self-driving vehicles on Ontario roads.…

Read more

NEW VEHICLE SALES INCREASE IN BOTSWANA



Vehicle registration in the landlocked southern African diamond-rich Botswana has surged over the past decade, with vehicle numbers increasing at an average annual 9.4% rate since 2006, according to statistics from the country’s department of road transport and safety.

The sudden ballooning sales for a country of just over 2 million people, which recently celebrated its golden jubilee independence, has ignited other auto industry support businesses – parts sales shops, car breakers and insurance companies selling motor vehicle insurance – and is fuelled by transactions made for both new and used cars sales.…

Read more

TRUMPS PROMISE TO AXE TPP ON DAY ONE OF HIS PRESIDENCY PROMPTS WIDESPREAD NERVOUSNESS



THE PROMISE from US President-elect Donald Trump to withdraw the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement on his first day of office has prompted widespread nervousness in auto-sectors around the world.

His rejection of the deal could scupper an agreement negotiated over five years by the United States; Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Peru; Singapore and Vietnam.…

Read more

RENAULT APPLIES FOR RIGHT TO BUILD CARS IN PAKISTAN SAYS GOVERNMENT



LEADING French automaker Renault could soon start producing vehicles in Pakistan, the chairman of the south Asian country’s Board of Investment (BOI) has predicted to wardsauto. Miftah Ismail said that the manufacturer had submitted an application to the government of Pakistan seeking permission to produce cars locally, initially in a joint venture with Ghandhara Nissan, which is Renault’s global partner.…

Read more

LATEST EU DRAFT ON REAL DRIVING EMISSIONS COULD CAUSE A SCANDAL, ENVIRONMENTALISTS CLAIM



 

A LEAKED draft of proposals for a new European Union (EU) regulation on real-driving emissions (RDE) from light passenger and commercial vehicles would allow new cars to emit 50% more potentially lung-cancer causing particulates than under current air quality legislation, an environmental group is claiming.…

Read more

DIESELGATE PROBE DRIVING EUROPEAN TYPE APPROVAL OVERHAUL



The year-long European Parliament investigation into the ‘dieselgate’ emissions fixing scandal, plus the shockwaves from the revelations themselves, are driving a sea-change in Europe’s type approval system.  The European Union’s democratic assembly set up a Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) last December (2015) to probe EU compliance with emissions and type approval laws after it emerged that Volkswagen and probably other carmakers had used illegal defeat devices to cheat tests.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - PAINT AND COATINGS COMPANIES CAN IDENTIFY PARTNERS FOR MAY 2018 REACH REGISTRATION DEADLINE



PAINT and coatings companies and their suppliers can now benefit from pre-declared data during the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) May 2018 REACH registration deadline, for chemicals made or imported in volumes between 1-100 tonnes per year. ECHA has published a list of 7,000 substances for which a ‘lead registrant’ company has been declared in the REACH-IT computer system, which collates data needed for a REACH registration.…

Read more

INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY ROUND UP - TTIP NEGOTIATORS MAKE PROGRESS ON CLOTHING TALKS – BUT AWAIT US ELECTION BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER



EUROPEAN Union (EU) and United States negotiators have made as much progress as they can in their comprehensive trade talks ahead of the November 8 US presidential and congressional elections, with EU officials highlighting textiles, including knitwear, as a key area of agreement.…

Read more

PEUGEOT ASSEMBLY PLANT LAUNCHED IN ETHIOPIA



An assembly line for French automotive company Peugeot (Groupe PSA) has opened in Ethiopia (July 1) in partnership with local firm, Mesfin Industrial Engineering (MIE). The new USD1.2 million facility is expected to assemble 1,200 vehicles-a-year for sale to Ethiopia’s growing car market and to neighboring countries Djibouti and Somalia.…

Read more

EU LAWMAKERS SPLIT OVER WAY FORWARD FOR TYPE APPROVAL



European Union (EU) lawmakers in a key European Parliament committee are split over how to amend proposed reforms to the 28 country bloc’s automotive type approval controls. These members of the parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee discussed on Thursday (September 29) changes suggested by British Conservative MEP Dan Dalton on proposals from the EU executive, the European Commission, to overhaul EU type approval rules – its key goal is making them sufficiently tight to prevent a repeat of the Dieselgate scandal where emissions controls were circumvented.…

Read more

BRUSSELS PLANS LEGAL MOVES TO FORCE GOVERNMENT ACTION OVER DIESELGATE



The European Union’s (EU) executive, the European Commission, will next month file suit against EU member state governments over their failure to act on their response to the ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal. The EU internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska told the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) on Monday (September 12): “You will definitely see some infringement procedures next month.”…

Read more

VOLKSWAGEN TOP OFFICIAL REFUSES AT CONSUMER CONFERENCE TO ADMIT COMPANY ACTING ILLEGALLY OVER EMISSIONS



A top Volkswagen official refused to acknowledge to a European consumer organization (BEUC) conference in Brussels yesterday (September 28) that the company had acted illegally in Europe in fitting defeat devices to its cars, despite apologizing for doing so. Imelda Wander-Lamé, Volkswagen’s director of group after sales, told the ‘Fitness check on the car sector in Europe’ conference on the dieselgate scandal and its aftermath: “We are truly sorry for this inconvenience and loss of trust that we caused to our customers.”…

Read more

EUROPEAN TECHNICAL TEXTILES RETAINS GROWING DEMAND AND EXPERTISE, BUT ASIAN RIVALS COULD THREATEN MARKET POSITIONS



 

BIG marketing stunts can boost sales of technical textiles and maybe one of the biggest examples in Europe this year was created by world renowned artists Christo. He created ‘The Floating Piers’ on Lake Iseo, near Brescia, in northern Italy.…

Read more

COUNTRIES MULL CARBON NEUTRALITY IN WAKE OF PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE – BUT WILL THEY ACHIEVE IT?



THE PARIS conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December, of COP21, made a commitment to create a carbon-neutral world between 2050 and 2100. This means that governments and international organisations must devise policies to ensure the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity equals the amount that that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally preventing the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere.…

Read more

MAJOR TELCOS UNHAPPY WITH NEW NET NEUTRALITY GUIDELINES, WHILE WEB CAMPAIGNERS HAIL BEREC GUIDANCE AS EFFECTIVE PROTECTION



JUDGING by the initial responses to the final guidance on net neutrality released on August 30 by European regulators group BEREC, these new rules are too restrictive for the taste of telecoms companies, and will hinder commercial progress. Free internet campaigners, however, are happy – regarding the new system as an effective protection against the privatisation and Balkanisation of the web.…

Read more

AUTO INNOVATORS INTEGRATE GRASSES INTO BIOPLASTIC CAR PARTS



Autoparts researchers are developing the use of grasses, such as hemp or flax, to make tough bioplastics that are lightweight and also help reduce a vehicle’s carbon footprint by using a renewable resource as an input.

A key innovator is Bruce Dietzen, president of Renew Design, a Florida, USA-based company that produces custom-ordered cars whose body components are made from processing the outer stalk of hemp plants through combining it with a synthetic resin and placed in a mold.…

Read more

IN VIETNAM, COATINGS DEMAND EASILY OUTPACING STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH



Vigorous expansion of export-oriented manufacturing and construction in 2015 spurred the fastest GDP growth in Vietnam in seven years, at 6.7% year-on-year, according to the Asian Development Bank. And although coatings consumption correlates generally well with economic growth, in Vietnam the 2015 year-on-year coatings production increase outpaced general economic expansion – it rose 11.1% year-on -year in 2015, to Vietnamese dong VND13 trillion (USD587 million), according to market researcher Euromonitor International.…

Read more

JAPAN PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR HAS WEAK YEAR, BUT HOME-BASED PAINT SALES OUTLOOK IS POSITIVE



Paint and varnish manufacturers in Japan experienced a disappointing 2015, with sluggish purchasing from the construction and automotive sectors translating into meagre 0.3% growth over the fiscal year. Analysts predict that growth will pick up in the short term, in part as a result of a spike in demand from the construction sector ahead of Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games – although industry players are concerned about the longer-term outlook for the sector.…

Read more

THAI AUTO SECTOR AWAITING SHOT IN THE ARM AMID PROSPECT OF TARIFF-FREE EXPORTS TO VIETNAM



Thailand-based automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are set to benefit from the expansion of an existing auto tariff-free zone to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in 2018. These would then join this ASEAN-linked trading zone’s member countries Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to forge an ASEAN-wide automotive market bloc.…

Read more

GESTAMP DEVELOPS INNOVATIVE NEW AUTOMOBILE MATERIALS AFTER MAJOR EIB LOAN



GESTAMP, a Spanish multinational specializing in metal vehicle components, is researching ways to make lighter and safer cars after acquiring funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“The project activities aim at further reducing vehicle weight (contributing to lower fuel consumption and emissions) [and] improving vehicle safety, while enhancing manufacturing productivity and reducing average production cost,” a Gestamp spokesperson told wardsauto.…

Read more

EUROPE’S AUTO AND TELECOMS INDUSTRY JOIN FORCES TO TEST CONNECTED AND AUTOMATED DRIVING SYSTEMS



The European Union’s automotive manufacturing and telecommunications industry trade bodies July 7 unveiled plans for a joint test project in connected and automated driving, due to launch 2017. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) and the global association for the mobile telecoms industry (GSMA) will operate the research scheme.…

Read more

BREXIT COULD MAKE EU IMPOSE IMPORT DUTIES ON BRITISH AUTOMOBILE AND PARTS EXPORTS



Automobile manufacturers based in Britain face a risk that their exports to the European Union (EU) will attract duties now the UK government has confirmed it will push ahead with leaving the EU following the June 23 Brexit referendum result. These could be imposed after the two years of mandated talks on a future relationship with the EU following a UK decision to trigger Article 50 under the Treaty on European Union.…

Read more

AUTOMAKERS SAY EU LOW EMISSION PLAN TOO FOCUSED ON TECHNOLOGY



Europe’s automakers have lashed out at new European Union (EU) proposals designed to decarbonize the economy and encourage a shift to low- or no-emission options as being too focused on technology. They have also claimed it is and discriminatory because it only deals with road transport. …

Read more

EU RELEASES NEW LOW EMISSION PLAN – BUT AUTOMAKERS UNHAPPY



THE EUROPEAN Commission has released a new policy paper (communication) on reducing carbon emissions from transport, but automotive manufacturers have complained it focuses too tightly on road vehicles.

This ‘European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility’ attempts to explain how the EU should try to hit its carbon emissions reduction targets through focusing on transport.…

Read more

NON-EXECS FACE TOUGH CALLS ON POLICE DATA RELEASE DEMANDS



Non-executive board members will may be well advised to acquaint themselves with new European Union (EU) legislation that may force their companies to yield up data if law enforcement authorities think it may help prevent crime.

New legislation has been passed by the EU amidst continuing debate over the issue of mandatory ‘backdoors’ access to encrypted data – highlighted by the USA Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) request for information from Apple over the San Bernardino shootings.…

Read more

ASEAN AUTOMOTIVE TRADE DEAL COULD CONCENTRATE AUTO TRADE PRODUCTION IN SOUTH EAST ASIA



Asian paint and coatings manufacturers are set to benefit from the expansion of an existing automotive tariff-free zone spanning Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.…

Read more

MYANMAR’S NEW CAR MARKET HELD BACK FOR NOW, BUT FUTURE GROWTH APPEARS PROMISING



Liberalising Myanmar’s potential market for new cars is significant, but growth is currently hampered by regulatory uncertainty. Although it has a population of 51 million, only 5,000 new passenger cars were sold in the country during the last financial year.

“The future is very good, potentially.…

Read more

EUROPE’S NONWOVENS SECTOR THRIVES AS CONTINENT’S ECONOMY STAGNATES



THE EUROPEAN nonwovens industry has been pushing ahead, maintaining consistent growth above increases in GDP for the whole economy, increasing its international collaboration, and the successfully exploring new markets. And while it is rarely prudent to make anything more than short-term predictions about cost and tariff problems, such difficulties faced by the European nonwovens sector seem have been pushed into the background. …

Read more

ARGENTINE CARMAKERS FACE A ROUGH YEAR, PROMISING FUTURE



Argentina’s automotive industry is poised for a rebound in 2017 after production slumped by 38% over the past four years, say experts encouraged by the performance of the country’s new government.

“We see Argentina’s car market turning the corner now,” said Neil King, the London-based head of automotive research at Euromonitor International, a research firm.…

Read more

EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS COULD CHALLENGE PLANS TO IMPOSE NATIONAL EU TYPE APPROVAL FEES



Plans to establish standardized European Union (EU) type approval fees, paid to national funds not individual test houses, could face a challenge from the European Parliament, the EU’s democratically elected co-legislature, wardsauto has learned. The proposals were made back in January by the EU executive, the European Commission, in a bid to revamp Europe’s type approval system, which were discredited after the ‘dieselgate’ scandal of crooked emissions measurement systems.…

Read more

CASH-STRAPPED RUSSIANS PREFER SAVE FOR LARGER CAR LATER THAN RETURN TO BUYING SMALL CARS NOW



 

Russian automotive consumers suffering in their country’s current economic recession are delaying vehicle purchases and investing in single, more expensive family cars rather than buy several small cars for individual use, experts have told wardsauto.

They are commenting on data that has confounded predictions that the country’s volatile financial situation would mean a return to purchasing cheaper and smaller car models, such as the Ladas driven during the Communist years.…

Read more

INNOVATION LEAPS AHEAD IN RAILWAY ENERGY SYSTEMS



INNOVATIVE ways of powering trains are poised for mainstream use in the global transport industry. Today, the most common trains are still those powered by diesel engines, but there is a continuing shift towards electricity and alternative power sources.

“With rail expected to play an increasingly important role in future transport systems…there is a lot of focus on how it should be more energy efficient,” said Andrew Foulkes, a communications manager at Ricardo Rail, a UK-based railway engineering and consultancy firm.…

Read more

ŠKODA PLANS TO DOUBLE SALES IN CHINA WITH USD2 BILLION JOINT VENTURE INVESTMENT



Czech automobile manufacturer Škoda Auto, the subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen, plans to strengthen its position in the Chinese market, through a planned EUR2 billion investment over five years in the Shanghai-based SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Company Ltd.

The manufacturer is betting on the Chinese market in the future, Škoda China president Andreas Hafemann told wardsauto, saying the company wanted to double its China sales following the deal.…

Read more

NEW JOINT VENTURE COULD SEE LIGHTER GLASS FOR AUTOMOTIVE WINDOWS BECOME AVAILABLE THIS YEAR



Lighter-weight, tough and durable glass for automotive windows could be sold to auto-makers within the next 12 months, thanks to a joint venture between two international specialist materials companies. Saint-Gobain Sekurit (SBS), part of the France-based Saint-Gobain Group, and New York-state’s Corning Incorporated plan to develop, manufacture and sell lightweight automotive glass glazing solutions that offer “significantly improved lightness, toughness and optical quality over traditional solutions”, according to a joint communiqué.…

Read more

MOROCCO’S AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY EXPANDS QUICKLY AND SEEKS HIGH TECH INPUT



THE STABLE north African kingdom of Morocco is pushing ahead with plans to grow its automotive manufacturing industry, creating a lower-cost hub for supplying nearby wealthy European markets. Indeed, with the Strait of Gibraltar crossing between Morocco and Spain being just over eight miles wide, the Morocco government’s 2014-2020 industrial acceleration policy is clear – it wants to grow its auto sector fast.…

Read more

INDONESIA COATINGS SECTOR GROWS STRONGLY AS COUNTRY’S HOUSING, AUTOMOTIVE AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS EXPAND



Rising affluence, together with growth across feeder industries are translating into solid results for the Indonesian coatings sector. The paints and varnishes market in the country generated sales of Indonesian Rupiah IDR24,733 billion (USD1.9 billion) in 2014 according to the latest data available from market researcher Euromonitor International.…

Read more

JAPANESE COMPANIES KEEP THEIR COUNSEL OVER BREXIT – BUT SOME COULD QUIT BRITAIN IF UK LEAVES THE EU



Almost certainly the vast majority of UK-based Japanese-owned businesses want Britain to stay in the European Union (EU) after the in-out EU membership referendum planned for June 23.

However, few companies have stated this publicly and no Japanese company has yet said it would move elsewhere if there was a vote to leave.…

Read more

BUILDING BOOM SAVES SOUTH KOREAN COATINGS SECTOR AS AUTO AND SHIP SECTORS SLUMP



Considering the ongoing doldrums within the global economy, 2015 was not a bad year for South Korea’s coatings manufacturers. The sector’s cautiously positive sentiment mainly survived because Korean coatings consumption has been boosted by a domestic construction boom that made up for lacklustre demand from the east Asian export powerhouse’s carmakers and shipbuilders.…

Read more

OECD SAYS AUTO MANUFACTURERS CAN PROFIT FROM FOLLOWING TOUGHER GREEN REGULATIONS



Automotive industry experts seem to agree – past concerns that tough environmental laws could force auto-manufacturing from a green jurisdiction to a country or region with laxer controls, no longer see to apply.

In doing so, industry specialists are backing the conclusions of a new report from the world’s largest think-tank, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), which said following tighter environmental rules can be good business.…

Read more

POLITICIANS CLASH OVER HOW DEEP EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DIESELGATE INQUIRY SHOULD PROBE



A European Parliament probe into the dieselgate scandal kicked off yesterday (March 2) with a row over how far the year-long probe should go in finger-pointing at the car industry. For the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the European Parliament’s largest political group, Latvian MEP Krišjānis Kariņš warned the new Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS): “The EPP will do its utmost to prevent this committee from becoming what could be termed as a witch hunt either against industry or against diesel technologies where Europe has a competitive advantage in the world.”…

Read more

PAKISTAN OFFERS IMPORT DUTY BREAKS TO LURE NEW FOREIGN AUTO MAKERS INTO ESTABLISHING NEW PLANTS



THE PAKISTAN government has unveiled a new five-year industrial plan aimed at growing the country’s automotive manufacturing sector. The government says it will waive import duties on materials and technology needed to establish new auto plants in Pakistan and also reduce import duties charged on auto parts once these factories are operational.…

Read more

COATINGS INNOVATORS OFFER HELP TO AUTO MANUFACTURERS NEEDING TO BOOST PERFORMANCE AND CUT EMISSIONS



THE AUTOMOTIVE industry globally is facing ever-higher demands to improve performance and quality at lower cost and high tech coatings may enable the industry to deliver. The need for energy efficiency and energy reduction were two key messages that emerged from the United Nations (UN) climate change agreement in Paris, December (2015), and the auto industry may well face legal obligations under rules emerging from the agreement struck by the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).…

Read more

VIETNAM PROMISES TO FOLLOW EUROPEAN AUTO STANDARDS THROUGH NEW TRADE DEAL



VIETNAM’S free trade deal with the European Union (EU) includes a commitment that cars sold in its country should follow international vehicle regulations. These technical rules are set by the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations and are generally written into EU type approval legislation.…

Read more

EU LOOKING AT US-STYLE SECRET EMISSIONS TESTS TO BEAT THE CHEATS



The European Union (EU) is considering adopting methods used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through staging secret tests to check in service cars for type approval compliance. A hearing today (February 23) at the European Parliament’s (EP) key environment, public health and food safety committee learned that with test contents kept secret, automakers cannot design and fit cheat devices to subvert controls.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO INDUSTRY PRESSES EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO PUSH AHEAD WITH ROLL-OUT OF INTEGRATED INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS



THE EUROPEAN Commission is incorporating the latest guidance from the European auto industry into its plan for rolling-out connected cars across the European Union (EU), drawing on advice from manufacturers favouring swift, coordinated deployment. A key, stressed a report published in January by the Commission, the EU’s executive, is for the installation of ‘cooperative intelligent transport systems’ (C-ITS) allowing vehicles to communicate with other vehicles, other road users, traffic signals and roadside infrastructure.…

Read more

REGULATION UPGRADES AND EU HARMONISATION NEEDED TO IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY CONCERNS



Experts have called at the European Parliament for updated regulations and a harmonisation of policies in each of the 28 European Union (EU) member states to address road safety concerns – notably new rules on cutting vehicle speed. They were speaking at a hearing entitled ‘Towards a European Road Safety Area’, held on Tuesday (Feb 16) by the parliament’s committee on transport and tourism.…

Read more

REAL DRIVING EMISSIONS TEST APPROVED AFTER POLITICAL STRUGGLE



 

THE REFINED fuel sector and its automotive industry customers have dodged having to sharply reduce pollution emissions after the European Parliament accepted new real driving emissions (RDE) tests. These will allow auto-makers to sell cars that temporarily breach European Union (EU) exhaust limits, giving the fuel and auto sectors time to make necessary technical changes to ensure compliance.…

Read more

TRINIDAD CNG CONVERSION PROGRAMME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CHEAP NATURAL GAS



Thanks to the introduction of a tax incentive scheme launched by the government of Trinidad & Tobago, auto converters and dealers in the country are increasingly talking up Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a clean auto fuel for vehicles on the twin island Caribbean state.…

Read more

BRUSSELS PROPOSES EU OVERSIGHT OVER TYPE APPROVAL, BUT IT MAY NOT SAVE REAL DRIVING EMISSIONS TEST PROPOSALS



THE EUROPEAN Union’s (EU) executive, the European Commission could fine automakers up to EUR30,000 per vehicle if found cheating on emissions or other tests under reformed type approval rules proposed on Wednesday (January 27). The proposals to revamp the EU’s type approval system aim to prevent a repeat of the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal that have revealed major holes in EU regulatory oversight on vehicle performance, which is largely based on national government agencies among the EU’s 28 member states.…

Read more

EU VOTE TO VETO REAL DRIVING EMISSIONS TEST TOO CLOSE TO CALL



European Union (EU) lawmakers could veto a new real driving emissions (RDE) test, using on-vehicle portable emission measurement systems (PEMS) devices rather than laboratories to measure tailpipe output, in a February 2 vote. To be taken by the European Parliament – the EU’s democratic assembly – the vote likely will be knife-edge close since three political groups – including the largest centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) – oppose the proposed veto but not the five others.…

Read more

OIL AND GAS SECTOR PREPARES TO ENGAGE IN POST-PARIS CLIMATE FUTURE



THE OIL and gas industry is preparing itself for regulatory challenges following the agreement on limiting climate change struck in Paris on December 12. In comments following the deal, industry organisations stressed the key role the oil and gas industry will continue to play as a key energy and product ingredient source, even as the world moves towards a lower carbon economy.…

Read more

EUROPOL OPERATION BUSTS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COUNTERFEITING-MONEY LAUNDERING NETWORK



A two-year joint-operation between Europol and the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) has shut down a EUR300 million money laundering and counterfeit goods network focused on Spain. ‘Operation Snake’ closed in on the gang on May 11, with more than 200 officers searching 65 residences and making 35 arrests.…

Read more

DUTCH SOLAR PANEL-EMBEDDED BIKE PATH GIVES HOPE FOR FUTURE SUSTAINABLE ROADWAYS



While solar power-generating roads may sound like a futuristic idea, the technology could soon become reality. SolaRoad, a 70-metre-long concrete bicycle path embedded with solar panels located in Krommenie, the Netherlands, has delivered promising results as a prototype. And the project’s developers are hopeful a commercially-viable product with widespread application is just around the corner.…

Read more

AUTO SECTOR AND SUPPORTERS URGE EU NOT TO RUSH INTO BACKING NEW TAILPIPE LIMITS



EUROPEAN automakers and influential supporters in the European Parliament are advising European Union (EU) politicians not to rush into imposing new tailpipe pollution limits in a proposal currently going through the EU legislative process.
The EU executive, the European Commission, has proposed an EU regulation ‘amending Regulations (EC) No 715/2007 and (EC) No 595/2009 as regards the reduction of pollutant emissions from road vehicles’.…

Read more

NORWAY’S CONFIRMED ELECTRIC VEHICLE TAX BREAK SHOULD SOLIDIFY GROWING EV MARKET



NORWAY’S position as a leading market for electric vehicles (EV) has almost certainly been solidified by the European regulatory approval given to its government for removing 25% sales tax from sales of EVs.
This green light has come from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority – which acts as a watchdog ensuring some EFTA countries, such as Norway, comply with European Union (EU) law.…

Read more

LOWER COST ASIAN OUTSOURCERS ALSO BOOST SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE



Sustainability improvements in the Asian outsourced clothing and textile sector are far from being the sole preserve of China. In Cambodia, Tonlé, a sustainable garment-making firm based in Phnom Penh, obtains 90% of its fabric from factory cut-out and 10% through sustainable suppliers to make a zero-waste clothing line.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA’S AMBITIOUS CARBON SCHEME KICKING OFF, WHILE CHINA PREPARES FOR NATIONAL TRADING



Manufacturing powerhouse South Korea began its cap-and-trade system on January 1, 2015 as a part of an overarching goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4% reduction below 2005 emissions levels. If achieved, that would leave emissions at 30% lower in 2020 than they would be if current increases are maintained.…

Read more

OICA BOSS HAILS WESTERN EUROPEAN GROWTH, BUT WARNS AGAINST SHARP WITHDRAWALS OF STATE GRANTS



GOVERNMENT help in encouraging struggling auto markets can be very effective, but assistance needs to be phased out carefully so that sales booms do not turn into slump, the leader global automotive manufacturer federation OICA has told wardsauto.
In an exclusive interview, OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles) secretary general Yves van der Straaten pointed to the phenomenal growth in the Spanish car market as an example.…

Read more

ROW OVER INDIA-BANGLADESH JUTE TRADE COULD BECOME BITTER



A dispute over the amount of Bangladesh-made jute being exported to India is increasing tensions between the two countries who are accusing each other of unfair trade practices, while at the same time subsidising their industries.
“The import [of jute from Bangladesh] is rising every year and it is a matter of concern,” Santosh Gangwar, India’s minister for textiles told the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament in March.…

Read more

SKepticism on claims South Korea trade pact boosted Eu exports



DESPITE a recent report from the European Commission claiming the European Union (EU) 2011 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea was behind a 90% hike in car exports to the Asian nation by July 1, 2014, South Korean manufacturers consider the agreement beneficial to both parties.…

Read more

SMART CHARGING THE SOLUTION TO RISING UK ELECTRIC VEHICLE SALES



A flexible charging system using off peak capacity and battery storage could prevent grid overload and disruptions to power supply as the electric vehicle (EV) market grows, especially in the UK, Europe’s electricity industry association Eurelectric argues.
In a new report, ‘Smart Charging: Steering the charge, driving the change’, it warns that even at low market shares, EVs could easily congest local transformers and disrupt voltage levels.…

Read more

PANASONIC’S MODEL COMMUNITY BREAKS GROUND IN ENERGY NETWORK SOPHISTICATION



TOWNS of the future – efficient, energy-neutral, safe and truly communal – may look a lot like the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST), in Japan. Energy World had the opportunity to tour this pioneering project, located 30 miles (48 kilometres) south of central Tokyo.…

Read more

EU MEMBER STATES RESPOND TO BRUSSELS’ DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT SERVICE NETWORKS



EUROPEAN Union (EU) member states are now developing national policies that the EU has required to ensure that they have an adequate number of alternative transport re-charging and re-fuelling stations by 2020. This is deemed necessary to boost demand for vehicles running on alternative fuels in Europe.…

Read more

GERMAN PAINT AND COATINGS INDUSTRY PLATEAUS AS POPULATION DECLINES



This year there will not be much to write home about for the German paint and coatings industries, with demand from the decorating and DIY sectors stuck in a bit of a rut and not a noticeably better outlook in the motor industry.…

Read more

GLOBAL ENERGY MARKET VOLATILITY CHALLENGES EU BIOFUEL SECTOR



THE VOLATILITY of the global energy market is presenting several challenges to the European Union’s (EU) biofuel sector. Low oil prices, recession, slumps in demand and political uncertainty in key oil producing areas are all raising questions of an industry that was meant to mitigate or provide solutions to many of these issues.…

Read more

JAPAN PANASONIC MODEL COMMUNITY OFFERS GREEN TRANSPORT INNOVATIONS



User-friendly, energy-neutral, efficient and truly communal with innovative transport systems, towns of the future may look a lot like the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST).
The pioneering project, located 30 miles south of central Tokyo, next to the established town of Fujisawa is the brainchild of the Panasonic Corporation and 17 companies keen to test their cutting-edge technologies in transportation, energy, construction, security and utilities.…

Read more

RACE FOR GLOBAL CHASSIS MARKET SHARE SPARKED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION COMPETITION DECISION



The European Union’s (EU) executive, the European Commission has used its competition law powers to open up a multi-billion dollar race for the huge global market for intelligent chassis systems and advanced collision-avoidance technology. Its regulatory starter pistol has been the terms it has imposed on German firm ZF, of Friedrichshafen, for its planned acquisition of TRW, based in Detroit.…

Read more

GERMAN-MADE CARS TOP THE EU CONSUMER DANGER LIST IN 2014



GERMAN-made automobiles were the largest source of reports regarding potentially dangerous motor vehicles made to the European Union’s (EU) RAPEX consumer alert network in 2014, analysis of its data shows.
There were 194 notifications to the system relating to automobiles and parts last year, the fourth largest category following toys (650), clothing and textiles (530) and electrical appliances (217).…

Read more

VW INVESTS IN DESIGN AFTER LOSING MARKET SHARE IN BRAZIL



Volkswagen Brazil’s new EUR200 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) may not be enough to help the German automaker recover its long-standing position in Latin America’s largest market, a senior auto expert has warned. VW’s Brazil market share dropped from 22% in 2004 to 17% last year, which puts them behind leaders Fiat and in a struggle with Chevrolet to keep the second position in South America’s key market, according to Brazil’s automotive industry association – Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Veículos Automotores (ANFAVEA).…

Read more

ALGERIA HOPES NEW RENAULT PLANT WILL BOOST LONG TERM GROWTH IN LOCAL AUTO MANUFACTURING



THE EXPANSION of Renault’s manufacturing operations in Algeria looks set to continue, providing new jobs in the north African nation, fuelling speculation about its strategic significance. The company has already created 250 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs according to Guillaume Josselin, chief executive officer of Renault Algeria, through the opening last November 10 (2014) of a car manufacturing plant, based in the coastal city of Oran.…

Read more

EU/BRAZIL AUTOMOTIVE DISPUTE UNDER WAY AT WTO, BUT SOLUTION MAY DEPEND ON WIDER TRADE AGREEMENT



A long-running dispute between the European Union and Brazil over taxes on cars imported into Brazil has entered a critical final stage with a decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a panel to consider the dispute. The row is not as straightforward, however, as an argument about allegedly punitive and illegal taxes.…

Read more

US-CUBA LIBERALISATION OFFERS PROSPECTS FOR AMERICAN AUTO SECTOR, BUT NOT ANY TIME SOON



The recent moves towards loosening trade and diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba has provided a source of cautious optimism within the American auto industry.
President Barack Obama has been loosening the 54-year trade restrictions after announcing a policy u-turn on December 17 last year, but only Congress, controlled by Republicans, can actually lift the economic embargo entirely.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CARMAKERS HOPE EU-US TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WILL SPEED UP



REPRESENTATIVES of the European and American automobile industries hope that the negotiations for a large-scale trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) will pick up pace after the publication of a new round of official documents by the European Commission.…

Read more

EU/BRAZIL AUTOMOTIVE DISPUTE UNDER WAY AT WTO, BUT SOLUTION MAY DEPEND ON WIDER TRADE AGREEMENT



A long-running dispute between the European Union and Brazil over taxes on cars imported into Brazil has entered a critical final stage with a decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a panel to consider the dispute. The row is not as straightforward, however, as an argument about allegedly punitive and illegal taxes.…

Read more

CHINA FEARS WEAKENING OF ITS MONEY MOVEMENT CONTROLS WHILE IT PONDERS FINANCIAL LIBERALISATION



The Chinese government is tightening its controls on the movement of money abroad as the liberalisation of the Chinese Yuan Renminbi is expected to trigger a rush of money from the country, especially from China’s wealthy.

Some of China’s big spenders are reverting to big ticket purchases to get money out of the country.…

Read more

EU IN TRAY FULL AS LEGISLATORS CONSIDER M2M AND IoT RELATED REGULATION AND GUIDANCE



Roaming fees, net neutrality and radio spectrum are set to be the main regulatory issues related to M2M (machine-to-machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) discussed by European Union (EU) member states in 2015, say Brussels sources.

The new European Commission, which took office on November 1, inherited a full in-tray from its predecessor, notably having to pilot the ‘connected continent’ package through the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.…

Read more

FRANCE MOVES TO ERASE TAX LOOPHOLE FUELLING GREY MARKET IN USED CAR IMPORTS



The French motor trade is celebrating victory in a multi-year campaign to persuade the government to tighten up the procedures for payment of value-added-tax (VAT) on second-hand vehicles imported into France.  The French ministry of finance has proposed reforms to the government’s national budget for 2014 that would end a cross-border fraud estimated to have cost the country a billion euros through the sale of about 160,000  used autos in the past 10 years, depressing the market for new France-made and imported cars.…

Read more

ACEA WELCOMES EUROPEAN CLIMATE DEAL AS WORKABLE WAY FORWARD



THE EUROPEAN automotive industry has declared that it is satisfied with the new greenhouse gas emissions policy agreed by the European Union (EU), which covers carbon controls up to the year 2030. Under the agreement set by heads of government within the European Council – the EU’s highest policy making body – industries such as auto-makers who are not included within the EU emissions trading system (ETS) must by 2030 reduce emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO-MAKERS LOOK FOR BOOST IN TRADE WITH ECUADOR FOLLOWING TRADE DEAL



A FREE trade deal struck between the European Union (EU) and Ecuador should benefit European auto manufacturers with increased market access in Ecuador, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has told wardsauto. In a statement, ACEA welcomed the inclusion of Ecuador into the Andean free trade agreement previously concluded by the EU with Peru and Colombia.…

Read more

EUROPEAN DEAL WITH EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY SET TO INCREASE AUTO TRADE



AUTOMOTIVE dealers in east Africa have welcomed a comprehensive trade deal, finalised earlier this month (Thursday Oct 16), between the European Union (EU) and the East African Community (EAC) as demand in EAC countries grows for European vehicles.

The deal is designed to boost trade, including automobiles and parts, between the two regions.…

Read more

AUTOMOTIVE TESTS IN EUROPE COME UP SHORT SAYS ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP



Auto manufacturers’ gas mileage and emissions claims are a key part of marketing, but if these claims are shown to be false or skewered, it might be better if they had not been made in the first place. According to Transport and Environment (T&E), a Brussels-based organization that promotes transport policies based on sustainable development, the current system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions in Europe “is not fit for purpose”.…

Read more

VENEZUELA GOVERNMENT CONTROLS ENCOURAGE MAJOR SMUGGLING TO COLOMBIA



The Venezuelan government’s economic policies have created a boom in smuggling contraband meat and livestock to neighbouring Colombia. The trade is pushing down Colombian prices, putting consumers at risk and threatening the country’s hopes of becoming an export nation.

Between January and September this year, Colombia’s tax and customs police (Policia Fiscal y Aduanera – POLFA) made over USD1 million worth of seizures of meat and livestock in the form of 106 tonnes of beef, 4 tonnes of pork, 11 tonnes of chicken, 1,024 live cows, 243 pigs and 23,100 chickens.…

Read more

STEEL INDUSTRY CONCERN OVER EU EMISSIONS DEAL



European Union (EU) prime-ministers and presidents meeting last night in Brussels agreed a new emissions policy and tried to reassure high energy European industries that the free allocation of emission certificates will not expire after 2020.

The EU’s European Council, its leading policy-making body, agreed that “existing measures will continue after 2020 to prevent the risk of carbon leakage due to climate policy, as long as no comparable efforts are undertaken in other major economies, with the objective of providing appropriate levels of support for sectors at risk of losing international competitiveness.”…

Read more

SHIFTING POLICIES IN UK MAKE COGEN A TOUGHER SELL THAN IN AMERICA



IT is often said that the UK and USA are separated by a common language, but there are real and clear differences between the two countries’ approaches to developing combined head and power (CHP). This is today firmly entrenched as part of the UK energy mix but many in the industry would argue that this is in spite of rather than because of the approach taken by ministers.…

Read more

TOUGH TIMES FOR THAI PAINT SECTOR AS COUNTRY STRUGGLES WITH POLITICAL TURMOIL



Thailand’s paint and coating industry is facing a challenging time as its country grapples with economic and political difficulties. Thailand’s economic growth has slowed significantly over the last two years. GDP expanded by 6.6% in 2012, as the country recovered from the devastating floods of 2011, which hit northern, north-eastern and central Thailand, as well as parts of Bangkok.…

Read more

RUSSIA PREPARES POTENTIAL BAN ON CARS FROM EU AND UNITED STATES, IF ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS IMPOSED



Russia may ban imports of cars from the European Union (EU), the United States and maybe Japan if Brussels and Washington impose additional sanctions because of Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

An aide to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told wardsauto that the Russian government would be especially monitoring a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers for foreign affairs on October 20.…

Read more

GERMANY FACING EU FINES OVER ALLOWING OLD MOBILE AIR CONDITIONING GASES



THE EUROPEAN Union’s executive, the European Commission has threatened Germany with legal action unless it orders its automakers to comply with EU legislation covering mobile air conditioning systems in motor vehicles. If Berlin refuses and the case goes against it in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Germany could end up paying massive recurring fines of thousands of Euros a day, until it complies.…

Read more

REVISED EU FUEL QUALITY DIRECTIVE DRAFT COULD PUSH GREEN CAR INNOVATION IN EUROPE SAY EXPERTS



THE EUROPEAN Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has called on the European Union (EU) to take broad action to make cleaner fuels more available across Europe, now the final details of the EU’s fuel quality directive have been revealed. The European Commission has proposed a complex formula for measuring the amount of emissions involved in making and using liquid fuels, which is tied to commitments by member states to reduce carbon emissions linked to transport.…

Read more

TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING IS TOUGH TO CONTROL, BUT AN IMPORTANT VULNERABILITY



Trade–based money laundering (TBML) must be one of the oldest – and in some respects the simplest – forms of money laundering. You simply fake the invoice of a shipment so that the receiver of the goods gets something far more valuable (or possibly far less valuable, so that the ‘profit’ is made by the sender) than the price reported to the authorities.…

Read more

ITALIAN-CHINESE COMPANY INSISTS NEW MODULAR PRODUCTION METHOD COULD BE B2B AND B2C



AN ITALIAN-Chinese company is attempting to emulate IKEA in the automobile market, by offering a modular home and small-workshop production system for putting together a part-made car.
Based in Hong-Kong with a research and development centre in Busto Arsizio, Italy, OSVehicle is currently developing a homologated, modular car platform, called the Urban TABBY, with the key components for making a finished car that is legal to drive on roads across the European Union (EU).…

Read more

CANADIAN AUTO SECTOR OPTIMISTIC ABOUT IMPACT OF EU TRADE DEAL



THE CANADIAN auto industry has welcomed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) now negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Canada, but it may become more significant, if a trade deal is struck between the EU and the USA.

“The biggest issues with CETA, and what we’re excited about, is the removal of the EU 10% tariff,” said Jeffrey Pierce, policy analyst at Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, an industry association, whose members include Canada-based automotive manufacturers.…

Read more

AUTO SECTOR MOVES TOWARDS POWDER FROM LIQUID SPRAY COATINGS



Until recently, the automotive sector relied more heavily on liquid spray coatings and resins than other industries, but this trend is changing, with powder coatings becoming more popular. One stumbling block regarding efficiency improvements centred on the type of conveyor belts used to move the parts, which are dictated by load weight.…

Read more

VENEZUELA MARKET INTERVENTION SPARKS MASSIVE CONTRABAND INDUSTRY IN COLOMBIA



THE MARKET distorting economic policies of Venezuela’s government were supposed to help the country’s poor, but instead have created a boom in contraband smuggling into neighbouring Colombia, generating massive profits for organized crime, James Bargent reports.

CONTRABAND and smuggling permeate every aspect of economic life in the windswept Colombian border city of Cúcuta.…

Read more

ISLAMIC FINANCE GOES GREEN



THE ETHICAL traits of Sharia-compliant, or Islamic, financing, such as not allowing interest or investments in gambling and tobacco, have made sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) and green funds an obvious extension for the sector. But with Islamic finance already being a niche market, compared to conventional financing, initiatives to diversify into SRIs have struggled over the past several years.…

Read more

CHINA’S TECHNICAL TEXTILES HARD ON HEELS OF EUROPEAN MANUFACTURERS



CHINA’S technical textile sector – producing everything from protective gear for steel workers to materials used in artificial kidneys – has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, and 2013 was no exception. According to the annual report of the Beijing-based China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA), the value of the technical textile sector and the fixed asset investments within it grew in 2013 by 12.9% and 28.7% respectively year-on-year.…

Read more

EU AND US AUTO SECTORS COME TOGETHER IN PRESSING FOR AMBITIOUS TTIP OUTCOME



European and American automotive manufacturers are working together in pressing US and European Union (EU) negotiators to be ambitious as they try to forge a Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.

Erik Bergelin, director of trade and economics at the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and Matthew Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), have together called for the agreement to recognise the equivalence of engine emission standards and safety regulations.…

Read more

PHILIPPINES DEMAND FOR PAINT STILL AWAITS BOOST FROM TYPHOON HAIYAN REPAIRS



AFTER in November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) smashed into the Philippines’ Visayas island chain, killing 6,000 people and destroying or damaging about 1 million homes, plus schools and other infrastructure, a lot of repainting and recoating was required.

However, while the country’s government spoke of committing some USD8 billion for reconstructing and rehabilitating the devastated areas, nine months on, few replacement housing units have been built, indeed some May local press reports suggest none at all have been constructed.…

Read more

ETHIOPIAN CLOTHING SECTOR WELCOMES CHINA INDUSTRIAL ZONE DEAL



Ethiopia’s booming textile industry is set to benefit from a new partnership between Chinese textile company Zhejiang Jinda Flax Llc and the Ethiopian ministry of industry.

A memorandum of understanding signed mid-May outlined how Zhejiang Jinda Flax and the ministry would form a joint company, the Kingdom Linen Textile Industrial Zone, which will be responsible for the construction and development of the textile industrial zone project.…

Read more

NONWOVENS COMPANIES OFFER LIGHTWEIGHT DURABLE MATERIALS TO AUTOMOBILE MAKERS



Nonwovens are taking on an increasingly important role in creating more sustainable vehicles, particularly in interiors, offering lightweight materials reducing fuel usage, recyclability, and the use of green feedstocks such as plant and waste food material.

The US-based global Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) estimates there was about 560,000 tonnes of nonwovens in global automotive usage in 2013, said Dave Rousse, INDA’s president.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CONSUMER CENTRES NETWORK FLYER



HELPING AND ADVISING EUROPEAN CONSUMERS SHOPPING AND TRAVELLING ABROAD

 

WHEN CAN ECC-NET OFFICES HELP YOU?

 

  • Air travel

 

So much can go wrong: flights can be delayed or cancelled; luggage can be lost or damaged; and hidden fees can be charged.…

Read more

BRUSSELS LAUNCHES QUEST TO QUANTIFY ENERGY SUBSIDIES IN THE EU



WHEN it comes to subsidies in the European Union (EU), the representatives of the fossil fuels industries and those of the renewable energy sources have long pointed the finger at each other about who receives more support from the public purse.…

Read more

LATIN AMERICAN PAINT SECTORS ENCOUNTER CONTRASTING FORTUNES



THE COUNTRIES of Latin America may have strong cultural links, but their politics and economies have always varied and this is still the case with the paint and coatings sector. Whilst the whole region has experienced rising incomes over the past decade, this growth has been far from even and is currently under threat – for instance in Venezuela and Argentina, where interventionist governments have impeded trade.…

Read more

EU CARS MEET CO2 REDUCTION TARGETS TWO YEARS BEFORE THE DEADLINE



Final statistics to be published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the fall are expected to confirm that the average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) in 2013 were already below the European Union’s (EU) 2015 required target.…

Read more

EU SEES PROGRESS IN FREE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH JAPAN



Japan has been delivering sufficient concessions in negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) to ensure the talks continue, EU trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has signalled to wardsauto.

Since the launch of talks last March (2013), he said Japan had agreed to adopt “the large majority of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regulations as such.”…

Read more

API PREDICTS GROWTH IN INDONESIAN TECHNICAL TEXTILES, BUT WANTS GOVERNMENT TO BOOST TRADE LINKS



Investment in the Indonesian textiles industry is set to remain stable this year, but with expansion in technical textiles, according to Ade Sudrajat Usman, chairman of the Indonesian Textiles Association (API).  Technical textiles – including medical textiles, geotextiles and agri-textiles – are a growing market and industry within Indonesia, with USD150 million worth of investment anticipated for 2014, according to Ade.…

Read more

SOUTH AFRICA’S AUTO SECTOR STRUGGLES WITH INDUSTRIAL DISCORD, BUT MANUFACTURERS WILL STAY, SAY EXPERTS



Despite losing USD2 billion in sales during industrial action last year, and wage-related strikes being an annual specter, the lure of the sub-Saharan Africa market should ensure in South Africa car manufacturers do not divest from the country, according to industry experts.…

Read more

EU TIGHTENS AUTO NOISE RULES, BUT ENVIRONMENTALISTS STILL UNHAPPY



WITH more than three in four residents of the European Union (EU) residing in cities and traffic volumes rising, the number of complaints linked to environmental noise in Europe has been increasing. That is why earlier this month, members of the European Parliament backed proposals from the EU executive, the European Commission, to reduce vehicle noise by 25% in cities by the year 2024.…

Read more

EU COUNTRIES TO BE READY FOR EMERGENCY CALLS FROM CARS BY 2017



 

THE EUROPEAN Parliament, which represents the citizens of the European Union (EU) voted today (April 15) to introduce a mandatory system to handle emergency calls (eCalls) sent automatically by cars in case of a crash by 2017.

This decision was agreed in negotiations with the national governments back in March and endorsed today by MEPs (members of the European Parliament) in their last plenary meeting ahead of elections on May 22-25.…

Read more

ECC-NET’S 2013 ANNUAL REPORT - NATIONAL UNIT ROUND UP



AUSTRIA

 

The location of ECC Austria in central Vienna means many consumers drop by to receive advice or lodge complaints in person with the ECC’s five staff members. A top priority in 2013 was increasing public awareness about e-commerce fraud; a brochure aimed at combatting the problem was published and more than 600,000 were distributed throughout Austria.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA AUTOMAKERS PREDICT GROWTH IN DEMAND FOR KOREAN STEEL FOLLOWING CANADA TRADE DEAL



An official at the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) has predicted to Steel First that the trade agreement struck between Canada and South Korea on Tuesday could increase demand for Korean-made steel.

The official, who had worked on the trade deal talks, explained that there were currently “no fixed plans” to create Korean car plants in Canada and also that any increased demand for Korean cars in Canada arising from the deal would probably not be met by the two Korean-owned plants in the USA (in Georgia and Alabama.)…

Read more

ARGENTINA LUXURY CAR TAX PLAYS HAVOC WITH LOCAL AUTO MARKET



A NEW tax in Argentina is wreaking havoc for dealerships and consumers, and adding to the woes of manufacturers already grappling with onerous trade restrictions, including a new proposal to limit auto parts imports, part of the Peronist government’s protectionist economic policy.…

Read more

CANADIAN AUTO SECTOR FEARS INCREASE IN SOUTH KOREAN IMPORTS AFTER TRADE DEAL SEALED



A TRADE agreement struck between Canada and South Korea this week (Tuesday March 11) has raised fears in the Canadian automobile about a potential increase in South Korean automotive exports.

Upon the agreement’s ratification (which may happen within a year), South Korea will remove all existing tariffs, including on all passenger cars and light trucks (8%) and all automotive parts (3% to 8%) exported from Canada.…

Read more

EU SAFETY REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS CAUSED BY RECALLS, BUT AUTO-MAKERS CAN MITIGATE EFFECTIVELY



WHEN a company issues a motor vehicle recall, there are a number of short term and long term implications. The company must consider the costs of repairing the vehicles, any legal costs that might arise, and, of course, its reputation.

But Paul Nieuwenhuis, co-director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School in the UK, said companies often decide to cut costs when manufacturing a vehicle, calculating that the costs associated with issuing a recall as a result would be worth it.…

Read more

TURKEY AUTO SECTOR GROWS, BUT SLOWLY BECAUSE OF HIGH TAXES



Turkey’s automotive market grew strongly in 2013, driven by strong economic growth and a government incentive scheme designed to boost investments in the sector. However, high taxes are limiting growth and imports still dominate the market.

According to data from Turkey’s Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD – Otomotiv Sanayii Dernegi), the passenger car and light commercial vehicle market grew 9.7% in 2013, with total sales reaching 853,378, compared with 777,761 in 2012.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP – EU HEADS OF GOVERNMENT PUSH FOR ENERGY DIVERSIFICATION PLAN



DETAILED work is under way to create a plan to further diversify the European Union’s (EU) energy supplies routes, after EU heads of government agreed to “address the issue of external energy dependency.” The urgency follows concern sparked by Russia’s annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP – EU AGREES NEW FUEL EMISSIONS LIMIT – BUT PLANS TIGHTER CONTROLS



THE EUROPEAN Parliament has approved a new target for CO2 emissions from cars in the European Union (EU) of 95g CO2/km in 2021, but the European Commission is already plotting tighter controls. Welcoming MEP’s vote, European Union (EU) climate action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “It is clear that long-term clarity is important for the car industry.…

Read more

CAR MANUFACTURING WILL NOT DISAPPEAR FROM EUROPE DESPITE DIFFICULTIES, SAYS ACEA NEW BOSS



WHATEVER happens in Europe, an automobile manufacturing base will always be needed on the continent, Erik Jonnaert, the new secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) told wardsauto in his first interview since taking office in October 2013. (THAT’S WHAT WE WERE TOLD – BUT WE’RE DOUBLE CHECKING THIS AND WILL ADVICE MONDAY)

“I don’t think there should be any fear that we will evolve towards a situation where all manufacturing would move out of Europe,” he said, convinced that vehicle manufacturing still had a role to play on the continent despite historically low sales and increased competition from Asia.…

Read more

NEW CONNECTED CARS STANDARDS DEVELOPED IN EUROPE



A FIRST set of technical standards saying how European manufacturers should build technologies that enable vehicles to communicate with each other and with roadside communications infrastructure has been released. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) have issued an initial set of standards for cooperative intelligence transport systems (C-ITS) – called Release 1 – following a request from the European Commission in 2009.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP – BRUSSELS WANTS GLOBALISATION OF INTERNET GOVERNANCE



THE EUROPEAN Commission has called for significant globalisation of Internet governance. It has released a detailed policy paper that suggests a clear timetable over the next two years for globalising the currently US-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and its associated IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

Read more

BRAZIL CAR TARIFFS HAVE CURBED CAR IMPORTS, TAKEN RESEARCH JOBS AWAY, SAYS EU OFFICIAL



BRAZIL’S taxes on imported products, meant to encourage domestic production, has curbed imports of motor vehicles from the European Union (EU) and in some cases even moved research and engineering jobs from Europe to Brazil, an EU official has told wardsauto.com.  …

Read more

EUROPEAN CAR-MARKERS WANT FUEL QUALITY STANDARDS TO STAY AFTER POTENTIAL FUEL LAW LIBERALIZATION



EUROPEAN carmakers, represented by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) in Brussels, want the standard of fuels available for sale in Europe to be maintained beyond 2020, when a European Union (EU) law on fuel quality may be weakened or scrapped.…

Read more

PACIFIC ISLAND STATES COATINGS PLAYERS FEAR CYCLONES AND CHINA



With their combined population of just under 9 million, the south Pacific island territories, excluding New Zealand, are a set of small and hard to reach markets – so it is maybe no surprise that only a handful of companies tap their paint and coatings demand.…

Read more

PACIFIC ISLAND STATES COATINGS PLAYERS FEAR CYCLONES AND CHINA



BY JENS KASTNER

 

With their combined population of just under 9 million, the south Pacific island territories, excluding New Zealand, are a set of small and hard to reach markets – so it is maybe no surprise that only a handful of companies tap their paint and coatings demand.…

Read more

WTO TRADE FACILITATION DEAL MIGHT SHAKE UP GLOBAL AUTO SECTOR, SAYS EXPERT



THE AGREEMENT by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to reduce import-export red tape may lead to a seismic shift in the global automotive sector, an industry expert has told wardsauto.

Peter Cooke, the emeritus professor of automotive management at Britain’s University of Buckingham, said that major emerging markets without a substantial auto sector may create capacity because of the deal.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA TO BOOST MINIMUM FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR PASSENGER CARS



THE GOVERNMENT of South Korea is expected to announce a new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard this coming year, which could increase target performance to 20km/liter, wardsauto has learnt. A senior official at the transportation energy team of the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) expects the change to have a positive impact on the industry by encouraging manufacturers to develop more fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids, electrics, and clean diesels.…

Read more

DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF THE NETWORK KEY IN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT, CONFERENCE HEARS



HIGHWAY and transport officials in charge of network management need to deepen the knowledge of their local highways and rail systems to develop an efficient strategy to manage it, according to Daniel Van Motman, senior traffic management advisor at the City of Amsterdam.…

Read more

BRICS COUNTRIES SEEK TO BOOST BIOFUEL USE, DESPITE FEEDSTOCK AND REGULATORY CHALLENGES



BRAZIL, Russia, India, and China are eager to boost biofuels production, with their governments laying out energy targets and detailed plans to achieve them. And while each country has made progress, manufacturers in all the BRICs countries can still struggle with irregular feedstock supplies and spotty regulation.

Read more

MALAWI WORKING HARD TO MEND OVERSEAS FINANCIAL REPUTATION AFTER ‘CASHGATE’ SCANDAL



MALAWI’S government is working furiously to win back international donor support suspended over a multi-million euro corruption scandal involving dozens of officials and ministers close to the country’s leader, Joyce Banda, southern Africa’s first female president. Bill Corcoran reports from Lilongwe.…

Read more

WTO TRADE FACILITATION DEAL MIGHT SHAKE UP GLOBAL AUTO SECTOR, SAYS EXPERT



THE AGREEMENT by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to reduce import-export red tape may lead to a seismic shift in the global automotive sector, an industry expert has told wardsauto.

Peter Cooke, the emeritus professor of automotive management at Britain’s University of Buckingham, said that major emerging markets without a substantial auto sector may create capacity because of the deal.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA TO BOOST MINIMUM FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR PASSENGER CARS



THE GOVERNMENT of South Korea is expected to announce a new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard this coming year, which could increase target performance to 20km/liter, wardsauto has learnt. A senior official at the transportation energy team of the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) expects the change to have a positive impact on the industry by encouraging manufacturers to develop more fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids, electrics, and clean diesels.…

Read more
Lebanon’s car sector

Lebanon's car sector: the downward shift

By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut  Going by overall figures of new cars sold, the automotive sector is doing surprisingly well in the current economic environment, up 4.33 percent in the first eight months of the year on 2012, and in comparative terms, above the GDP forecast of 1.6 percent for 2013. Furthermore, the figures are up on last year’s August results, which grew by 7.6 percent on 2011, and the 2.1 percent growth reported in the same period in 2010. But the sector is far from being in good health and bucking the downward trend in much of the rest of the economy.

Lump new car sales with the larger used car market, which accounts for around 60 percent of total sales, and overall sales are down 7 percent on last year, according to the Automobile Importers Association.

Yet while a drop in second-hand car sales is a boon to dealerships – and an environmental plus when it comes to the country’s carbon emissions, with fewer fuel-inefficient clunkers on the roads – the market has gone through a radical change in recent years that can be summed up in one word: downsizing.…

Read more

FORD PUSHES US AND EU TO INCLUDE CURRENCY MANIPULATION IN THEIR TRADE TALKS



FORD is pressing United States and European Union (EU) negotiators involved in the world’s largest ever bilateral trade talks to write promises not to manipulate currency exchange rates into the resulting agreement, its executives have told wardsauto.

In a private briefing, executives from the US car giant said they wanted to create a global precedent by writing these commitments into the planned EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).…

Read more

BRUSSELS MIGHT DROP WTO DISPUTE OVER RUSSIA CAR SCRAPPING FEE



The European Commission is assessing a law passed by Russia’s parliament, the Duma, which might head off a global trade dispute over scrapping second hand vehicles. Brussels wants to see if the Duma has truly abolished a contested recycling fee on imports of second-hand vehicles that is supposed to push promote good environmental practice when they are scrapped.…

Read more

OIL AND GAS RESEARCH PROJECTS OFFERED MORE EU MONEY



OIL, gas and petrochemical companies can bid for an increased pot of European Union (EU) funding for research projects under the new Horizon 2020 programme, which was approved in November. It has an overall budget exceeding Euro EUR78.6 billion and will run from January to 2020.…

Read more

CHINESE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR INTERNET OF THINGS COULD BOOST PROTECTIVE COATINGS SALES



STATE support for the development of the Internet of Things (IOT) sector in China has the potential to drive demand for premium protective coatings across the Asia Pacific region, according to IOT and coatings industry experts.

During China’s recent change of government leadership, the State Council this February promised to launch tax breaks for companies using these technologies, vowing to achieve widespread “application of the IOT in key areas by 2015, as well as breakthroughs in core technologies.” …

Read more

EUROPEAN PARTNERSHIP AIMING TO TAKE FUEL CELLS AND HYDROGEN TO MARKET



A PUBLIC-private partnership that is preparing to start its second phase in 2014 wants to make fuel cells and hydrogen a market reality in Europe in the years to come, according to Bert De Colvenaer, its executive director.

“The fuel cells and hydrogen technology is ready for demonstration, but it will take another couple of years before it is ready for market,” De Colvenaer said, speaking during an European Parliament event held in Brussels.…

Read more

JAPANESE TECHNICAL TEXTILES INDUSTRY CATCHING UP, FOCUSING ON NICHE MARKETS



In the 1950s, Japanese companies’ technical and industrial expertise put them at the forefront of the textile innovation, leading the move from the ‘rayon era’ to the polyester, nylon and acrylic of the ‘synthetic fibre era’. While the industry is a lot smaller than it was, it is now focused on specialist products and quality over quantity.…

Read more

TELCOS PONDERING STRATEGIC MOVE INTO DIVERSITY OFFERED HELPING HAND BY CSG



Telecommunications companies are at a fork in the road. With so many third party services and innovations available – either as competitors or partners – they have essentially two choices: either they focus on delivering these services as efficient infrastructure companies, or they team up with the burgeoning array of data and comms-based applications and content systems, becoming a diversified retailer of electronic services.…

Read more

BALTIC STATES WANT MORE TO FIGHT AFRICAN SWINE FEVER



POLAND, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will collectively receive EUR2.5 million from the European Commission to prevent spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) from Russia and Belarus.

The Commission said the money is for “preventive measures which include cleansing and disinfection of vehicles, surveillance and laboratory testing, awareness campaigns and even the use of wild boar repellents and preventive early slaughter of pigs in risk backyard farms”.…

Read more

COMPANIES FALL SHORT ON CORRUPTION SAFEGUARDS



SEPTEMBER 12, 2013: MULTINATIONAL companies are less worried about the risk of having to pay bribes to ‘buy business’ than they are about lower level corruption affecting their routine operations. Despite concern, only half of them have safeguards in place.

These findings in a new survey from global risk consultancy Control Risks and the Economist Intelligence Unit are at odds with international enforcement efforts focused on “classic” corruption, i.e.…

Read more

NANO-STORAGE OFFERS EFFICIENCY GAINS FOR GAS-FUELS DRIVEN AUTOS



Scientists are developing new nano-gas storage systems that may allow automotive engineers to build more cars that can operate more efficiently on gas-based fuels. The storage systems are built out of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) that can store more gas (such as methane, hydrogen or CO2) than empty cylinders.…

Read more

UK POWER PILOT COULD UNLEASH NEW DEMAND FOR LITHIUM BATTERIES



THE DEMAND for lithium from large batteries designed to store and redistribute electricity from the grid could surge if a British pilot project proves a success. It involves building Europe’s largest lithium battery, at southern England’s Leighton Buzzard at a cost of British Pounds GBP13.2 million (USD20.4 million).…

Read more

MONTENEGRO AWAITS NEGATIVE EUROPOL CRIME REPORT, BUT MAKES PROGRESS ON AML



THE WESTERN Balkans has long been considered as having weak money laundering controls. But, Croatia’s accession to the European Union (EU) on July 1 and tighter legislation in Serbia has focused criminals’ attention on a smaller number of looser jurisdictions – Montenegro is one of those.…

Read more

DEMAND GROWS FOR TECHNICAL TEXTILES IN BRAZIL



BRAZIL is an innovative technical textile producer, declares a report from a senior São Paulo’s business school the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), despite the sector experiencing teething problems as it expands. Looking at the Brazilian textile sector as a whole, the study estimates that 77% of investment into the sector during 2012 was used to buy innovative machinery – and the technical textile sector especially has a lot of demand to meet.…

Read more

MAJOR BAVARIA GAS CO-GEN PROJECT WILL HELP GERMAN GOAL TO DITCH NUCLEAR ENERGY



The 9.5MW J920 FleXtra gas engine formally installed in May this year by the municipal utility Stadtwerke Rosenheim, in Bavaria, Germany, ticks off a number of important innovations. The largest gas engine yet developed by the Austrian company GE Jenbacher, the unit is seen by the company as an illustration of the role distributed energy is now playing in Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ – the country’s policy to halt all nuclear power by 2022 and replace it with natural gas, renewable energy, and greater use of energy efficient technologies.…

Read more

EU-US FTA COULD PUSH WORLD TOWARDS FIRST NEW GLOBAL STANDARD FOR CAR SAFETY



THE NEGOTIATIONS for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States, which started this month in Washington DC (July 8), could push the world towards a truly global vehicle regulatory system for the first time, according to EU sources close to the negotiations.…

Read more

HOW KOREAN CARMAKERS HAVE CAPITALIZED ON THE EU-SOUTH KOREA FTA



WHILE the European Union’s (EU) auto sector is happy to see its trade imbalance with South Korea decreasing two years into the controversial free trade agreement (FTA) linking these two vehicle-making powerhouses, European car makers complain that they are still struggling to access the South Korean market.…

Read more

EU AND INDUSTRY TO INVEST EUR1.4 BILLION IN FUEL CELLS AND HYDROGEN



THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) and the industry will invest an additional Euro EUR1.4 billion (USD1.8 billion) in the second phase of a public-private partnership meant to expand the use of clean and efficient technologies in transport and energy, according to an announcement made this week by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.…

Read more

MANUFACTURER OPPOSITION AND PUBLIC OUTCRY FORCES RETHINK OVER CHINESE LICENSE PLATE RESTRICTIONS



Chinese government plans to extend license plate purchase restrictions from major to smaller cities may have fallen at the first hurdle amid public anger and indignation amongst Chinese automakers, who fear the measures may significantly impact their sales.

Speaking at an industry forum in Beijing earlier in July (July 10), Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said the plans to extend restrictions to Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin and Wuhan, could result in his members losing 400,000 units of sales each year.…

Read more

MOSCOW GOVERNMENT TO REFORM CITY’S TRAFFIC SYSTEM



THE CITY government in the Russian capital Moscow is planning to introduce a comprehensive traffic control system, with the aim of reducing stifling congestion. Government statistics say the number of private cars in the city is growing by 300,000 each year and is currently estimated at 4.5 million, out of an 11.9 million population.…

Read more

MEXICO CITY PONDERS TRAFFIC REFORMS TO EASE GRIDLOCK



Several years ago Mexico City (population 21 million in the metropolitan area) was at a traffic control crisis point, with a road network unable to accommodate the 6 million cars in the city (not to mention the 600 new vehicles hitting the streets daily), according to EMBARQ, the centre for sustainable transport of the World Research Institute.…

Read more

PARIS OPERATES COMPLEX BUT EFFECTIVE AUTOMATED TRAFFIC CONTROLS



In Paris, traffic is managed jointly by the city’s administration and its police prefecture, (part of the interior ministry). The city of Paris’ directorate for roads and travel (the direction de la voirie et des déplacements) is in charge of the traffic management infrastructure such as road signs, traffic lights and other traffic markings, according to the directorate’s spokeswoman, Marie-Emmanuelle Leblan.…

Read more

CONNECTED SOUTH KOREA HAS SOPHISTICATED TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM



As befits a country as connected online as South Korea traffic controls in its capital Seoul are organised centrally and in an integrated way. As one of the world’s largest cities, with a population exceeding 10 million, Seoul has notoriously heavy traffic.…

Read more

‘PIGS’ COUNTRIES’ PUBLIC AND ROAD TRANSPORT SERVICES STRUGGLE WITH MASSIVE GOVERNMENT CUTS



THE ACRONYM ‘PIGS’ to mean Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, was never very kind. It was abusive European Union (EU) jargon claiming that these countries were poor and their governments, profligate. Sadly, the international financial crisis showed that there was some truth in this and the four countries have since 2008 had to slash public spending to stave off national bankruptcy, and their collective road and public transport sectors have suffered.…

Read more

EU STEEL INDUSTRY PLAN WILL LIVE OR DIE ON EFFECTIVE DETAILED FOLLOW UP: RODGERS



The Steel Action Plan launched by the European Commission last month (on June 11) has promise, but its success really depends on  follow up steps mentioned in its text, Ian Rodgers, director of industry association UK Steel, has told Steel First.…

Read more

BRAZIL CAR SAFETY RULES MAY PUSH SOME MODELS OFF BRAZILIAN ROADS



POPULAR models in the Brazilian car market are likely to vanish from the streets in Latin America’s largest nation as new safety standards come into play. Brazilian automotive experts have said that the upcoming car safety law, which will be enforced from the start of 2014, will make popular models such as the Volkswagen Kombi, still commonly driven in Brazil, unfit for driving and too costly to upgrade.…

Read more

DEAL STRUCK ON EU CO2 EMISSIONS LIMIT PLANS



 

AN AGREEMENT was struck last night in Brussels over plans to introduce a 95 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer target for new automobiles sold in the European Union (EU) by 2020. Representatives from the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers thrashed out solutions to remaining disagreements about how these emissions are assessed, long term targets and special exemptions for auto-makers making ultra-low emission vehicles.…

Read more

EU WANTS CARS FITTED WITH AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY CALL FROM 2015



THE EXECUTIVE body of the European Union (EU), the European Commission proposed today (Wednesday) a new regulation that would make it mandatory for car makers to ensure that all new cars put on the EU market after October 2015 are fitted with automatic emergency services call systems.…

Read more

NEW PARAGUAY PRESIDENT FACES CHALLENGES WITH ILLICIT CIGARETTE TRADE



THE ELECTION of tobacco magnate Horacio Cartes as Paraguay’s President cy was mired by scandalous accusations of corruption, and now experts say he will do little to confront the country’s flourishing contraband cigarette trade.
Mr Cartes, 56, is a business tycoon and newcomer to politics who owns more than 20 companies, including Paraguay’s largest cigarette manufacturer Tabacalera del Este (Tabesa).…

Read more

BUEA UNIVERSITY FACES FRESH WAVE OF STRIKES AS INSTABILITY CONTINUES



The vice-chancellor of Cameroon’s English-speaking University of Buea (UB) has declared she is determined to soothe tensions on her campus which have led to a series of violent strikes by students. Buea is one of two public English-speaking universities in majority-Francophone Cameroon.…

Read more

ARGENTINE ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM HINDERING E-BOOK SALES



The Argentine government’s economic protectionism is thwarting the growth of e-book sales, experts at the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires said this week.
The country’s 39th book fair, which ended on Monday, was attended by a total of 1.1 million people, said fair organisers.…

Read more

OVERCAPACITY MAY LEAD TO FURTHER LAYOFFS, EUROPEAN CAR INDUSTRY BOSS WARNS



THE EUROPEAN car manufacturing industry has overcapacity stretching to 30% to 35% and this may lead to further layoffs, Ivan Hodac, secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has warned. Speaking in an exclusive interview with wardsauto from his office in Brussels, the European car industry boss said: “We cannot continue running this industry with 15 to 20 factories [operating at] below 50% of their capacities.”…

Read more

US TRAFFIC MANAGERS LOOK TO INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE



As transportation technology in the United States continues to become more intelligent and efficient, traffic managers are turning to innovative software to organise increasingly complex networks of infrastructure and communications. 

For example, the world-ranking higher education institution the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been researching enabling traffic simulators to not only show potential impact on traffics flows of new roads, bridges and traffic lights, but also to suggest the best infrastructure changes from a range of options, said Carolina Osorio, assistant professor at MIT’s department of civil and environmental engineering.…

Read more

CONTINENTAL EUROPE OFFERS TECHNICAL GOOD PRACTICE FOR UK ROAD MAINTENANCE



THERE are many ways to maintain and repair a road, so it always makes sense to look widely at good practice examples. Here The Surveyor has used its foreign correspondent team to assess techniques in some diverse pars of continental Europe.…

Read more

EU LONG TERM ENERGY STRATEGY EASES AWAY FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGETS



A EUROPEAN Commission green paper on the EU’s medium-term energy strategy looking ahead to 2030, suggests that renewable energy might not need to be protected by growth targets in future. These have been a key plank of EU energy policy to 2020, but Brussels’ paper on ‘A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies’ noted renewables would be more mature in the next decade and “competing increasingly with other low-carbon technologies,” such as carbon capture and storage.…

Read more

WESTERN COUNTRIES TURNING TO UZBEKISTAN FOR MINERAL RESOURCES



THE FORMER Soviet, Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan is being wooed by the West for its oil and gas reserves, but attention is increasingly turning to its solid mineral wealth. According to the country’s State Committee on Statistics, explored mineral reserves are put at USD3.27 trillion and from a key plank of the country’s economy: in 2012, according to the committee, metals processing accounted for 17% of all the country’s industrial output and was valued at Uzbekistani Som UZS8.6 trillion (USD4.2 billion), a rise of 12.4% on 2011.…

Read more

BRAZIL AUTO MARKET BECOMES MORE DIVERSE AS INCOMES RISE



BRAZIL’S growing economy has given many Brazilian motorists purchasing power they have never had before. This – plus effective social welfare policies and an end to past hyper-inflation – has grown Brazil’s middle class, which is now about 54% of the 196 million population, according to the country’s presidential office for strategic affairs.…

Read more

BRAZIL FACES BOOM IN AUTO PRODUCTION



WITH the Brazilian government actively deterring automotive imports and working to encourage the construction of auto plants on Brazilian soil, domestic and international car companies are setting up new plants in Brazil at a steady clip.

The country is already the world’s seventh largest automotive producer.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PLANS ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT REFUELLING AND CHARGING NETWORKS: WILL VEHICLE SALES FOLLOW?



THE QUESTION of whether publicly-supported refuelling and recharging stations are needed to jump-start demand for electric, hydrogen and other alternatively-powered vehicles seems almost as old as the conundrum about the chicken and the egg. Yet, a clear answer has yet to be supplied – and with green vehicle sales still generally weak – the European Commission has decided that for Europe, it might as well push ahead with proactively creating refuelling/charging networks anyway.…

Read more

COLOMBIA’S AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY BRACES FOR ARRIVAL OF TARIFF-FREE KOREAN VEHICLES



COLOMBIA industry associations and politicians have warned the country’s automotive industry is at risk following the signing of a free trade agreement with South Korea in February.

The free trade agreement, which is expected to come into force at the end of this year, will eventually allow South Korea-made vehicles to enter the South American country free of the current 35% tariff.…

Read more

NEW CHINESE LEADERSHIP BACKS HYBRID PROMOTION



With the dust now settled from last month’s handover of power in Beijing, policymakers responsible for China’s auto sector seem to be plumping for backing hybrids as a stepping-stone strategy to encourage green vehicle use.

The initial stage of the much-heralded push to promote so-called new energy vehicles (NEVs), and with them a differentiated technology standard that China can export, is now widely acknowledged to have failed, at least regarding promoting China sales of pure electric vehicles. …

Read more

CAR PRODUCTION DOWN IN BRAZIL, BUT FUTURE MARKET POTENTIALLY HEALTHY FOR DOMESTIC PRODUCERS



BRAZIL’S government is betting its domestic automotive manufacturing sector will recover its production after output declined 1.9% for all vehicles (barring agricultural vehicles) in 2012 compared to 2011, according to Brazil’s National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (ANFAVEA).

With overall industrial production in Brazil falling 2.7% last year (2012), the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said “vehicles exerted the highest negative influence on the overall index, pressed by the decrease in the production of approximately 80% of the products surveyed in this sector, highlighted by the smaller production of trucks, tractor trucks for trailers and semi-trailers, chassis with motor for trucks and buses, diesel motors for trucks and buses, car pieces and vehicles for transportation of goods.”…

Read more

HUGO CHAVEZ'S SUCCESSOR COULD REFORM BELEAGUERED AUTO SECTOR



As Nicolás Maduro takes the helm as interim President of Venezuela, following the death of his strongman predecessor Hugo Chávez on Tuesday, auto dealers and manufacturers are asking whether the government will continue with policies that produced vehicles shortages and raised prices to exorbitant levels.…

Read more

AUTO ANALYSTS WATCH FOR IMPACT OF NEW AUTO EMISSIONS LAW IN CHINESE CAPITAL



China’s automobile industry analysts are assessing the impact of the country’s State Council (cabinet) last month deciding to swiftly impose the new China V emissions standard for vehicles in the capital Beijing.

It already applies to new diesel vehicles sold or registered in the city (from February 1), with gas counterparts set to follow suit as of March 1. …

Read more

EU ALUMINIUM PRODUCERS WELCOME REPORT BACKING MORE LIGHTWEIGHT VEHICLES



A report highlighting the benefits in reduced pollution and job creation through developing more low-carbon emission vehicles has been welcomed by the European Aluminium Association (EAA) for stressing how important aluminium can be in this process.

The report, written by consultants Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA, and supported by the EAA and other industry groups, says research into using aluminium as a lightweight automotive material is delivering results.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP – DRILLING DIRECTIVE DEAL STRUCK IN BRUSSELS



A DEAL has been struck on the shape of a European Union (EU) directive aimed at preventing major oil and gas offshore drilling accidents happening in EU waters. Under the text agreed by European Parliament and EU Council of Ministers representatives, oil and gas firms seeking a drilling licence must submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans proving they can deal with potential accidents.

Read more

ASIA OLEOCHEMICALS SECTOR DIVERSIFIES PRODUCT RANGE – CONFERENCE TOLD



THE ASIAN oleochemicals industry is introducing an increasingly diverse range of product innovations, and looking at different ways to utilise feedstock, as it looks to combat key industry challenges such as high stocks, low utilisation rates, market volatility and environmental issues.…

Read more

ECONOMIC GROWTH FREES MALAYSIANS TO BUY FOREIGN CARS



OVERSEAS car makers are gaining an increasing share of Malaysia’s domestically-dominated automotive market, as strong economic growth drives demand for higher value cars.

Total sales of new motor vehicles in 2012 grew by 27,630 units, a jump of 4.6% on 2011, with total industry volume (TIV) reaching 627,753 units, according to figures from the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).…

Read more

ACEA WELCOMES NEW EU GUIDELINES ON GREEN VEHICLES SUBSIDIES



The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has welcomed new European Union (EU) guidelines on how EU countries can best subsidize the production and sale of low-CO2 vehicles cars, buses, vans, and trucks.

Ivan Hodac, ACEA’s secretary general, was speaking to wardsauto after the EU executive, the European Commission, yesterday (Thursday) released new controls on how this public money should be spent.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN CAR INDUSTRIES POSITIVE ABOUT A FUTURE EU-US FREE TRADE AGREEMENT



EUROPEAN and American car manufacturers and parts makers have welcomed the launch of negotiations to forge a comprehensive free trade agreement between the US and the European Union (EU). Responding to an announcement on Tuesday – underlined by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday – Ivan Hodac, secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), believes that “an eventual EU-US trade deal will promote production in both economies.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WANTS EU CAR NOISE LEVELS LABEL, BUT GIVES MANUFACTURERS AN EASIER RIDE ON NOISE LEVEL REDUCTION



BESIDES information on fuel efficiency, tire noise and CO2 emissions, European car makers will also be required to provide details on the noise levels of their cars in the future, according to a draft piece of European Union (EU) legislation on motor vehicle noise.…

Read more

GROUP BUYING POSES MARGIN-v-SALES DILEMMA



PURCHASING cosmetics through business-to-consumer (B2C) group-buying websites offering national and local discount deals from third party vendors is catching on in key markets worldwide and positively blossoming in China, but with different nuances according to location. Cosmetics deals are popular on these sites throughout Asia, according to Shanghai, China based Dataotuan.com…

Read more

EUROPEAN CAR MAKERS SUPPORTIVE OF EU-WIDE HARMONIZED TECHNICAL CHECKS



IT seems unusual for European car manufacturers to welcome a new dollop of European Union (EU) legislation – but automakers say they are happy to see proposed tougher minimum mandatory requirements for technical checks on cars and commercial vehicles across the 27 country bloc.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP – EU PREPARES FOR MAJOR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE



THE EUROPEAN Commission has asked oil and gas companies to participate in a major public consultation designed to help it draft reforms promoting the development of new energy technologies. Brussels is planning to release a new policy paper on the subject in the middle of this year.…

Read more

EU-JAPAN FTA EXPECTED TO BENEFIT EU NONWOVENS ROLL GOODS OVER CHINESE ONES



A POTENTIAL free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Japan, for which negotiations will start in earnest this year, could give an advantage to EU exporters of nonwovens roll goods compared to rivals in China and others Asian countries.…

Read more

CHINA AUTO INDUSTRY BOSS PREDICTS SOLD GROWTH AS MARKET BALANCES



AS the New Year turned, economists have focused on how China’s economic growth is steadier pace than in the last decade and the auto sector following suit. Speaking exclusively to wardsauto, Dong Yang, secretary general and executive vice chairman of the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM), said China sales and output of autos in 2012 should maintain the previous year’s year-on-year (YoY) increase of 5%.…

Read more

EU-SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT EXPECTED TO REMOVE SINGAPORE TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR EU CARS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS; AND HEATHER TAN, IN SINGAPORE

THE WEALTHY southeast Asian market of Singapore should welcome imports of European manufactured cars based on European Union (EU) technical and safety standards and approvals under a new trade deal finalised this week.…

Read more

BRUSSELS LOOKING AT ROAD PRICING LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE, CONFERENCE HEARS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN Commission is drafting legislative European Union (EU) proposals looking at using road pricing to encourage more efficient driving, optimising the use of Europe’s transport infrastructure. Keir Fitch, advisor to EU transport Commissioner Siim Kallas told a conference in Brussels last week that the Commission wanted more harmony between national policies on this subject: "We will produce legislation which seeks more commonality on how to do it".…

Read more

AUTO MANUFACTURERS WORLDWIDE GRAPPLE WITH THE CONCEPT OF 'PEAK CAR'



BY MARK ROWE

For decades the car industry in the developed world has expanded remorselessly. But a recent flurry of academic papers has come to the conclusion that the West (and other rich countries such as Japan and Australia) may have hit a plateau known as ‘peak car’.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO-MAKERS SOUNDS ALARM BELLS OVER EU-JAPAN TRADE TALKS



BY ALAN OSBORN, IN LONDON, AND JULIAN RYALL, IN TOKYO

EUROPE’S automakers have reacted with ill-disguised dismay to the European Union’s (EU) decision (announced last Thursday) to begin negotiations with Japan for a free trade agreement (FTA). The motor industry’s trade association ACEA said "independent studies have shown that this deal is a one-way street as far as the automobile industry is concerned."…

Read more

THE EU SET TO DEFEND ITS CAR MANUFACTURERS FROM ARGENTINA'S IMPORT RESTRICTIONS



BY JONATHAN GILBERT, IN BUENOS AIRES; AND CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement body discussed today in Geneva a complaint lodged by the European Union (EU) against Argentine import restrictions which is harming EU auto and auto-part exports.…

Read more

EU CAR MAKERS DISPUTE CLAIMS THEY ARE AHEAD IN MEETING PLANNED 2020 CO2 EMISSION TARGETS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

EUROPEAN car producers may claim that meeting the European Commission’s planned 2020 95 g CO2/km emission targets is tough, but a report published by the Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) claims that the automakers are actually on track.…

Read more

EU ENERGY REGULATORS CLAIM EUROPEAN GAS PRICES ARE STARTING TO CONVERGE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A REPORT released by the European Union’s (EU) umbrella groups for gas and electricity regulators has claimed wholesale energy prices within the EU are beginning to converge, as cross-border sales develop. Consumer prices still varied significantly between the EU’s 27 member states, however.…

Read more

MEASURES PROPOSED BY BRUSSELS NECESSARY, BUT NOT SUFFICIENT, ACEA BOSS SAYS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN automotive industry has welcomed a ground-breaking initiative announced today by the European Union’s (EU) executive that future planned EU free trade agreements would be assessed for their potential damage to Europe’s auto sector, before negotiations begin in earnest.…

Read more

STANDARDIZATION REMAINS THE MAIN BARRIER IN THE MARKET UPTAKE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN EUROPE



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS; ANDREW KURETH, IN WARSAW; LEE ADENDORFF, IN ITALY; DAVID HAYHURST, IN PARIS; AND ALAN OSBORN

STANDARDIZATION remains the main hurdle European Union (EU) countries will have to pass to see an increased uptake of electric vehicles, auto industry specialists at a recent conference in Brussels organized by the Public Policy Exchange has determined.…

Read more

ETHIOPIA HAS ITS SIGHTS SET ON FULL CAR MANUFACTURING BY 2015



BY JONATHAN DYSON, IN ADDIS ABABA

IN the latest sign that Ethiopia has a robustly expanding auto manufacturing sector, China’s Lifan has said that it is to double its assembly capacity in the country. The manufacturer revealed to wardsauto that it is to open a new plant with a capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 cars per year in Ethiopia in the middle of next year.…

Read more

OILS AND FATS INTERNATIONAL



BY BLAKE BERRY, IN WARSAW; JOHN PAGNI, IN HELSINKI; DAVID HAYHURST, IN PARIS; LEE ADENDOORF, IN LUCCA, ITALY; CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS; MJ DESCHAMPS; AND ALAN OSBORN

IF you are a biofuel manufacturer, you could be forgiven for being frustrated with the complexity of the market in Europe.…

Read more

THAILAND PAINT SECTOR ROBUST AS COUNTRY RECOVERS FROM 2011 FLOODS



BY JONATHAN DYSON, IN BANGKOK

THAILAND’S first-car purchase subsidy scheme, in which tax rebates are paid to first-car owners, has provided a major boost to Thailand’s paint and coatings sector as the country’s economy continues to recover from the devastating floods of 2011.…

Read more

OVERMATTER



BY KEITH NUTHALL, LEAH GERMAIN AND MARK GAO, IN BEIJING

Prof Cooke said: "We see the Americans trying to protect their home employment and look to build that up.

The Chinese economy is slowing down at present and I really think they will make a hard case of this."…

Read more

US FACES TOUGH BATTLE WITH CHINA OVER TARIFF CASE AT WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL, LEAH GERMAIN AND MARK GAO, IN BEIJING

A NEW trade dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva between the USA and China over protective duties could actually be a battle in a long war for supremacy in world automobile markets, an auto industry expert has told wardsauto.com.…

Read more

SPANISH POLICE BUST MAJOR CHINESE ORGANISED CRIME RING



BY ROBERT STOKES, IN MALAGA

SPAIN is agog at a wave of high-profile arrests in the busting of a Chinese-run money laundering ring estimated to have involved Euro EUR1.2 billion of dirty money. A key aim of the investigation was to stop the economy being distorted by the sale of cheap, fake designer goods through Chinese bazaars.…

Read more

EU AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY DESTINED TO FAIL SAME AS US CARMAKERS IF EU DOESN'T INTERVENE, FIAT CEO SAYS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN Union’s (EU) auto sector risks experiencing the meltdown that hit the American industry in 2008-9 if EU political institutions keep imposing detailed new regulations and free trade deals, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told a Brussels conference yesterday.…

Read more

CHINESE DEMAND FOR ECO COATINGS IS STRONG - BUT LOCAL CAPACITY GLUT MAKES LONG-TERM DEMAND UNCERTAIN



BY MARK GODFREY, IN BEIJING

FOR sellers of eco-friendly automotive coatings in China, the future is looking bright: sales of 10 million cars a year are predicted to 2030, the Chinese government’s current 12th Five-Year Plan has not only given auto coatings special attention, it marks new materials and green cars as two of seven emerging industries that are garnering government favourtism.…

Read more

CHINESE DEMAND FOR ECO COATINGS IS STRONG - BUT LOCAL CAPACITY GLUT MAKES LONG-TERM DEMAND UNCERTAIN



BY MARK GODFREY

FOR sellers of eco-friendly automotive coatings in China, the future is looking bright: sales of 10 million cars a year are predicted to 2030, the Chinese government’s current 12th Five-Year Plan has not only given auto coatings special attention, it marks new materials and green cars as two of seven emerging industries that are garnering government favourtism.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COGENERATION TECHNOLOGY



COGENERATION, or rather trigeneration, units that cooled, heated and powered the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games won plaudits if no gold medals for the manufacturer – America’s GE – but neatly symbolised the spread of CHP into mainstream and niche applications.…

Read more

SWISS INGENUITY EASES INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL ROAD TRAFFIC ACROSS THE ALPS



BY LEAH GERMAIN, CARMEN PAUN AND KEITH NUTHALL

PART I: Air Quality and Congestion

SWITZERLAND has always been a land of contrasts – Europe’s mountain hub has always combined an international outlook with intensely local democratic structures based on the country’s 26 cantons – and road transport policy is no different.…

Read more

EU NEEDS BETTER POLICY COORDINATION IF IT STILL WANTS CAR MANUFACTURING IN EUROPE



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN Commission, the European Union’s (EU) executive body, is handicapping Europe’s automotive sector with unrealistic carbon reduction demands, while risking more mid-market import competition with free trade deals, the chief of Europe’s auto industry has warned.…

Read more

VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS



BY ROBERT STOKES

Finally, the potential of small and packaged (as well as micro) CHP schemes to contribute to demand-supply balancing or to ‘virtual power plant’ networks of smaller units interconnected by electronic communications opens up the prospect of exciting new markets for seasoned technologies with added features that fit them for this emerging world.…

Read more

GROWTH OF M2M COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS POSES BOTH OPPORTUNITY AND INCREASED COMPLEXITY FOR OPERATORS



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

SLATED to be one of the fastest growing connectivity sectors over the next decade, the space for machine-to-machine (M2M) systems is evolving rapidly. The increasing ability to exchange key information and data between devices communicating end-to-end without human intervention is making it possible for operators to reduce costs, and improve efficiency and services to customers.…

Read more

ELECTRONICS GIANT PANASONIC SEEKS RARE EARTHS IN RECYCLED TELEVISIONS IN JAPAN



BY JULIAN RYALL, IN KATO CITY, HYOGO PREFECTURE, JAPAN

JAPAN this week engaged with China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over its restrictions on Chinese rare earth exports, but a Japanese electronics giant is taking matters into its own hands, with a major urban mining project.…

Read more

RUSSIA'S CAR PARTS SECTOR FACES TOUGH EU COMPETITION AS RUSSIAN WTO MEMBERSHIP STARTS TO BITE



BY ALAN OSBORN, IN LONDON; AND KHRISTINA NARIZHNAYA, IN MOSCOW

A DEAL agreed between the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) and Russia to help safeguard European sales of auto parts to that country is set to underpin the assault by the European motor industry on one of its biggest export markets targets.…

Read more

GLOBAL FOOD SAFETY CONFERENCE COVERAGE CHINA'S FOOD SAFETY LAWS NEED BETTER OVERSIGHT, SAYS YUM EXECUTIVE



BY MARK GODFREY, IN BEIJING

A major China food safety conference has been told that weaknesses in the country’s cold chain are undermining its already weak food safety standards.

Joaquin Pelaez, VP with responsibility for supply chain management at Yum China, was speaking at a first Focus Day for China conference, hosted by the Global Food Safety Initiative, in Beijing.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CARMAKERS DEMAND GUARAMNTEES AHEAD OF EU-JAPAN TRADE DEAL TALKS



BY ALAN OSBORN, IN LONDON, AND JULIAN RYALL, IN TOKYO

EUROPE’S carmakers are setting out tough pre-conditions to anticipated negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Japan over a free trade agreement (FTA). The two sides have just finalised a "scoping exercise" setting out goals for an FTA and the EU auto sector is laying down some red lines, worried about unfair competition if European tariffs on Japanese autos are lowered or scrapped in a free trade deal.…

Read more

ARGENTINA'S PROTECTIONIST MEASURES HURT AUTO EXPORTS AND IMPORTS



BY JONATHAN GILBERT, IN BUENOS AIRES

ARGENTINA’S protectionist economic policy and controls on imports are causing difficulties for car manufacturers across South America. Auto production is falling in the country – to a certain extent, because parts are being held up at customs – and overseas producers have taken action by cancelling exports.…

Read more

EU AUTOMAKERS CAUTIOUS ABOUT IMMEDIATE BENEFITS FROM TRADE DEALS WITH PERU AND COLOMBIA



BY ALAN OSBORN, IN LONDON; AND JONATHAN DYSON, IN LIMA

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) executive the European Commission is hoping that the negotiation of new free trade agreements (FTAs) between the EU and Colombia and Peru will be the springboard for penetration by European auto-manufacturers into markets that have been pretty well off limits to them in the past.…

Read more

JURY STILL OUT OVER WHETHER COMPULSION OR VOLUNTARISM BEST FUELS ENERGY EFFICENCY



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS; DAVID HAYHURST, IN PARIS; MICHAEL KOSMIDES; AND KEITH NUTHALL

THE DEBATE about whether compulsion or voluntarism best aids energy efficiency is one of the oldest in the electricity sectors: do we save more energy by being ordered to switch off the lights; or by being advised our bills will fall if we do?…

Read more

EU 2020 CO2 EMISSION TARGETS THE TOUGHEST IN THE WORLD, INDUSTRY SAYS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN automotive industry denounced the CO2 emissions targets for 2020 announced by Brussels yesterday as being too ambitious to be realistic. "These are tough targets – the toughest in the world", said Ivan Hodac, the secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), reacting to the announcement of the European Commission, European Union’s (EU) executive body, that it would require new cars to emit on average 95g CO2 for each kilometer by 2020.…

Read more

BOLIVIA LITHIUM PRODUCTION MOVES FORWARD WITH SOUTH KOREA JOINT VENTURE



BY JONATHAN DYSON, IN BOLIVIA

THE INDUSTRIAL production of lithium carbonate and lithium-ion batteries in Bolivia has moved a step closer following the formation of a joint venture between Bolivia’s state-owned mining corporation Comibol and a South Korea consortium led by the country’s state-run mineral development corporation Korea Resources Corp.…

Read more

NEW AUTO MANUFACTURING HUB EMERGING IN WESTERN RUSSIA



BY NICK HOLDSWORTH, IN KALUGA, RUSSIA

CARMAKERS were celebrating on July 4 when the first of four new models rolled off a state-of-the-art production line in a 145 hectare plant in Kaluga, western Russia. The latest in an ongoing expansion of Russia’s auto sector, a bright, clean, airy and surprisingly quiet car assembly plant is surrounded by fields and forests: Peugeot Citroen’s Russian joint venture with Mitsubishi, PCMA Rus has pressed the button to start full scale production that will deliver 125,000 a year vehicles specially designed for the Russian market.…

Read more

OLYMPICS TO REVOLUTIONISE UK rPET MARKET



BY POORNA RODRIGO, IN LONDON

THE London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have helped to raise hopes of more joint venture deals between UK plastics recyclers and a range of food-grade plastics users keen to reduce their carbon footprints.

Management at ECO Plastics Ltd, has expanded its large and sophisticated plastics sorting facility in Lincolnshire, eastern England, through the May launch of its 10-year Continuum Recycling joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE), making what it claims is the world’s largest recycled plastics processing plant.…

Read more

AUTOMOTIVE BIOPLASTICS FUNCTIONAL AS WELL AS ECOFRIENDLY



BY KITTY SO

FORD, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Mazda, and Hyundai: the list of car manufacturers switching to bioplastics for internal components is full of heavyweights and growing.

Attracted initially by environmental benefits, car makers and their suppliers now ask what added functionality they can get from non-compostable, bio-based materials.…

Read more

INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS PROD EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO SET SINGLE STANDARD FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE RE-CHARGE



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE MOMENTUM behind forging a single standard for the public charging of electric vehicles in the European Union (EU) seems to be becoming unstoppable, with the auto and electricity industries and the EU executive all backing the idea.…

Read more

EASTERN EUROPE'S PAINTS AND COATINGS MARKET CONTINUES TO GROW AS THE WEST STAYS STAGNANT



BY E BLAKE BERRY, IN POLAND; MIKE STEIN, IN PRAGUE; MONIKA HANLEY, IN RIGA; AND MJ DESCHAMPS,

WHILE southern and western Europe’s economies falter, being mired in debt, eastern Europe’s coatings market is now growing solidly amidst economic performances that are recovering from a recession that hit the region hard.…

Read more

LOCAL TRADERS EXPLORING ELECTRIC VEHICLES



BY MICHAEL KOSMIDES AND POORNA RODRIGO

NEW technologies in transport are offering delivery and wholesale managers potential fuel savings on their transport budgets, especially when the customer base is in a limited range from a wholesale hub. Some companies are looking at buying a fleet of electric cars and vans and assessing how much money can be saved – so depot managers used to operating standard combustion engine vehicles beware: green change could be looming.…

Read more

EU U-TURN ON BIOFUELS ILLUSTRATES PERILS OF LEGISLATING IN HASTE



BY KEITH NUTHALL, MJ DESCHAMPS, PACIFICA GODDARD AND KARRYN MILLER

GOVERNMENTS can get things wrong – badly wrong – and alter the planet’s human and natural geography in ways that were never intended. And one of those embarrassing events is now unfolding: over the promotion of biofuels.…

Read more

CASE STUDY: BIODIESEL PLANT & THE ELECTRIC JEEPNEY



BY HANA KAMARUDDIN IN SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

ASIAN universities are engaged in ground-breaking projects to counter waste, boost the use of alternative fuels, and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. Researchers at the Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) have collaborated with Azhar Food Industries, both being in the Malaysian state of Johor – to install a mini biodiesel plant in the latter’s factory

Azhar Food Industries makes potato chips and crisps for the local market.…

Read more

BATTERY PRICE FALLS COULD UNDERPIN NEW GROWTH MARKET FOR LITHIUM



BY LEAH GERMAIN

THE STEADY decline in the price of lithium-ion battery packs is firming up the market for electric cars, making it likely that this new use of lithium will continue to grow.

Recent data shows that the installed cost of lithium-ion batteries will fall more than one-third by the end of 2017.…

Read more

EUROPEAN UNION AUTO TECHNICAL RULE MORATORIUM ANTICIPATED - BUT WILL IT HELP MANUFACTURERS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto industry is awaiting the announcement by the EU executive, the European Commission, of a moratorium on new technical regulations, which could come in June. If it happens, it will be announced by EU industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, who is responsible for technical rules on vehicles across the EU, and is worried that a European auto sector, already having a tough time, is being hamstrung by a conveyor belt of new rules.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTOMAKERS DENOUNCE NOISE REGULATION PROPOSAL TARGETS AS EXORBITANT



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

IVAN Hodac, the secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has attacked proposals from the European Commission to reduce vehicle noise from European Union (EU) autos, saying the implementation costs would be exorbitant. Speaking yesterday at a European Parliament workshop on the issue in Brussels, he said reaching the noise limit levels currently proposed by the EU executive would add manufacturing costs of between Euro EUR1,500 (USD1,143) to EUR3,000 (USD2,288) per truck and anywhere between EUR300 (USD228) and EUR600 (USD457) per car for automakers.…

Read more

EUROPEAN UNION AUTO TECHNICAL RULE MORATORIUM ANTICIPATED - BUT WILL IT HELP MANUFACTURERS



BY CARMEN PAUN, IN BRUSSELS

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto industry is awaiting the announcement by the EU executive, the European Commission, of a moratorium on new technical regulations, which could come in June. If it happens, it will be announced by EU industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, who is responsible for technical rules on vehicles across the EU, and is worried that a European auto sector, already having a tough time, is being hamstrung by a conveyor belt of new rules.…

Read more

THAILAND'S PAINT SECTOR RECOVERS FROM MAJOR FLOODS AND POLITICAL UNREST



BY KARRYN MILLER

THAILAND has not had the easiest time over the last few years. Political unrest first deterred people from visiting the country in 2010. And last year, floods from the north spilled into greater Bangkok and its environs. Citizens and businesses have suffered.…

Read more

INTERNATIONAL FRAGRANCE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT TALKS TRADE SECRETS



BY DAVID HAWORTH, IN BRUSSELS

‘CELEBRITY’ fragrances have become such a huge industry that even the Pope now has his own eau de cologne – according to Italian perfumer Silvana Casoli, (whose clients include Madonna and the King of Spain), this unique blend reflects the German pontiff’s love of Bavarian forests and their flora and fauna, creating an aura of "peace and tranquility".…

Read more

JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA DIVERSIFY THEIR RARE EARTH SUPPLIES



BY KARRYN MILLER

IF any two countries could be deemed vulnerable to Chinese dominance of rare earth supplies, it surely has to be east Asia’s high tech exporters par excellence Japan and South Korea. From smart phones to electric cars, these two Asian nations continue to drive technology forward, but with rare earths an essential component of many electronic goods, these Tokyo and Seoul are scanning the region for new sources of these key minerals.…

Read more

ALGERIAN GOVERNMENT REDOUBLES EFFORTS TO COMBAT MONEY LAUNDERING



BY KACI RACELMA, IN TIZI OUZOU, ALGERIA

A TERRORIST attack on March 3 targeted the local headquarters of Algeria’s national rural police force ‘El Dark El Watani’ (in the southern Algerian border town of Tamanrasset with a booby-trapped car, leaving 23 people wounded.…

Read more

BIOFUELS: PART OF THE SOLUTION, OR JUST CONTRIBUTING FUTHER TO ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES?



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

WITH liquid fuels expected to remain the main energy source for transport for the foreseeable future, despite the continuing bad press about their carbon footprint, biofuels – especially second generation fuels based on waste – are still recognised as a useful means of lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.…

Read more

LOWER LITHIUM PRICES MEANS BOOST FOR THE ELECTRIC CAR MARKET



BY JAMES FULLER

AUTOMOBILE manufacturers are preparing to make the most of an increasing supply of lithium-based batteries, as they look to ramp up their production of electric cars.

They have commented following the December launch of the USD430 million joint Russo-Chinese plant, Liotech, outside Russia’s third-largest city Novosibirsk, in Siberia.…

Read more

PHILIPPINES' ROBUST ECONOMY MEANS PAINT SECTOR HAS POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR FUTURE



BY MARK ROWE

WHILE the Philippines remains a small player in the wider Asia-Pacific paint and coatings market (at least compared to regional giants China and India), the country appears to be punching above its weight in terms of growth and innovation.…

Read more

BRITAIN GEARS UP TO LEAD THE WAY IN EUROPE'S ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROLL-OUT



BY DAVID HAYHURST

WITH a wide range of electric vehicles (EVs) slated to roll out across Europe throughout 2012, utilities have to seriously consider how this new transport sector will impact on their business. Because power producers will be the fuel companies of the future, once electric cars take hold of the consumer imagination, utilities will need to consider how they best serve this new consumer business.…

Read more

AVIATION SECTOR THINKS OUT OF THE BOX TO REDUCE FUEL EMISSIONS



BY MARK ROWE

IN the global push to make transport greener, the aviation industry is just beginning to take a serious look at how to ease the sector into using less fossil fuel. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), like many other airlines, is currently looking into projects that scrutinise kerosene biofuel blends in the quest to make transportation more environmentally friendly.…

Read more

WEAK CHINESE BOURSE REGULATION AND OVERWEANING DEMAND FOR CAPITAL INCREASE RISK OF FRAUDULENT CHINESE OVERSEAS LISTINGS



BY MARK GODFREY, IN BEIJING

MANY eyes are focused on how the fraud by Chinese companies listed on domestic and overseas bourses will be tackled in 2012 given that company involved in a notorious 2011 case, Sino Forest, is facing potential bankruptcy, after a research house Muddy Waters claimed it listed in Toronto on false data.…

Read more

FOSTERING BRAND LOYALTY IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR - ORACLE COMMUNICATIONS



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

BRAND loyalty in the telecommunications industry does not have the same pull as in more personal sectors such as cars, perfume and toothpaste. Consumers looking for mobile and broadband network services do not usually care about who is providing their service, just as long as it is fast and reliable; making relationships between service providers and customers somewhat fickle.…

Read more

EUROPEAN AIRPORTS STRIVE TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT



BY MARK ROWE and KEITH NUTHALL

WITH the European Commission’s recent flurry of recalibrated environmental targets aiming to cut emissions in the European Union (EU) transport system by 50% by 2050 (34% in the aviation industry) – airports along with air navigation services will have a significant role to play.…

Read more

WORLD'S LIGHTEST METAL TO LEND ITSELF TO AEROSPACE AND AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION



BY MJ DESCHAMPS and LEAH GERMAIN

A NEW metal structure 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and poised to revolutionise the aerospace and automotive industries has been developed in the US by a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology, HRL Laboratories and the University of California Irvine.…

Read more

RUSSIA ABANDONS DUTY REDUCTION TIE TO LOCAL PRODUCTION TO GAIN WTO MEMBERSHIP



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE RUSSIAN government has agreed to scrap trade rules insisting that foreign auto manufacturers must make 350,000 vehicles annually in Russia to secure duty reductions on imported component inputs. Moscow made the concession to secure European Union (EU) backing for its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) which was formally approved yesterday (Thursday) at a special WTO working party.…

Read more

SERBIA: MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING PROBLEMS HINDER EU MEMBERSHIP BID



BY MARK ROWE and ZLATKO CONKAS

THE AMBITION of Serbia to join the European Union (EU) is proving problematic on a number of fronts, with the country’s control of money laundering a major hurdle. In February 2010, 50 people were arrested, suspected of using money laundering and tax evasion involving up to USD2.7 million.…

Read more

GLOBAL REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS ON ELECTRIC CARS TO BE DRAFTED BY INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE LEADING powers of the automotive industry worldwide have agreed to attempt forging common technical standards for the still evolving electric car sector. An agreement struck today (Thursday) in Geneva, Switzerland, will see the United States working with the European Union (EU) and Japan within two working parties: their goal is to write a formal global technical regulation (or regulations) on electric cars by 2014 and debate informal standardization.…

Read more

VENEZUELAN BUDGET LEAVES UNIVERSITIES SHORT OF FUNDS



BY PACIFICA GODDARD

Venezuela’s so-called ‘autonomous’ public universities are claiming they will receive only a fraction of the state funding they require in 2012 under a new government budget, currently being finalised in the country’s national assembly. The universities claim they are being singled out because of their independence – they are public, but not under the control of President Hugo Chavez’ leftist government.…

Read more

DIGITAL CRASH TEST DUMMY PROJECT USES DEAD BODIES AND COMPUTERS TO SAVE LIVES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU)-funded research project has been using donated dead bodies, elaborately constructed dummies and complex computer research to create a digital model of the thorax (the upper body between the head and abdomen) to help build safer cars.…

Read more

BIOFUELS FACE TOUGH CHALLENGES TO BE A VIABLE EUGREEN ENERGY ALTERNATIVE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

DOUBTS are growing about the wisdom of encouraging biofuel use in the European Union (EU) as a cornerstone of environmental policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU has painted itself into a corner with its renewable energy directive.…

Read more

RUSSIA'S MOVE TOWARDS WTO MEMBERSHIP HAS LOCAL AUTOMAKERS WORRIED



BY ELENA SMIRNOVA and KEITH NUTHALL

Russia’s automobile manufacturing sector could by the end of this year face tougher competition from abroad, if the current plans to agree the country’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) come to pass. The chair of the WTO working party charged with negotiating a complex agreement allowing Russia into the global trade body announced a timetable this summer that would see trade ministers approve Russian membership between December 15 and 17.…

Read more

URBAN MINING AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE - BUT CAN IT FILL EUROPE'S RAW MATERIALS VOID?



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

EUROPEAN manufacturers are increasingly turning to developing countries for the precious metals and minerals needed to make mobile phones, computers, electric cars and more. However, a European Parliament vote backing a raw materials strategy that highlights the potentials of ‘urban mining’ might help create a more self-sufficient European mining industry.…

Read more

JAPANESE COMPANIES BEGIN METAL DEBRIS CLEANUP POST-DISASTER



BY WANG FANGQING

NOW Four months after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Northeast Japan this past March, Japanese companies have now finally begun the enormous task of debris clean-up, recycling salvageable metals, beginning with one of the worst-hit areas: Kamaishi City, in Iwate prefecture.…

Read more

COATINGS PLAYERS IN CHINA TRY AND TAP LOCAL CURIOSITY AROUND NANOTECH



BY MARK GODFREY

AS CHINA continues to consolidate its position as the world’s top exporter and leading market for electronics and cars, demand is also growing for cutting-edge technology to coat to these products: one significant example being nanotechnology-based coatings, which offer evolutionary functionalities such as increased scratch-resistance and thermal insulation.…

Read more

ROTTERDAM - EUROPE'S PORT GIANT FOR WASTE MATERIALS HANDLING



BY MINDY RAN

ROTTERDAM is already Europe’s largest port and hence of importance for the import and export of waste materials from and to the European Union (EU) and this role is to strengthen.

For Rotterdam, the world’s fourth largest industrial port, behind China’s Shanghai and Ningbo, then Singapore, already utilises 26,000 acres, of which 12,500 acres are commercial sites and 13,500 acres water docks, rail lines, roads and pipeline zones.…

Read more

JAPAN'S RECYCLING INDUSTRY STRUGGLES TO KEEP UP WITH VOLUME OF WASTE, POST-TSUNAMI



BY JULIAN RYALL

MOUNTAINS of waste are growing atop the paddy fields on the outskirts of the city of Sendai, Japan, which was devastated by this year’s earthquake and tsunami. From the elevated highway that runs north from the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, a steady stream of trucks can be seen depositing loads of twisted metal; flat-beds piled with home appliances that are so mangled they are almost unrecognisable, to be dumped along with the wrecked cars already stacked four-high on the former farmland.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - BRUSSELS FOCUSES BIOFUEL SUPPORT ON GREENER FUELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has taken another step towards focusing the European Union’s (EU) support for biofuel production on those fuels that create at least 35% less carbon emissions than fossil fuels. A key part of this process is using certification schemes to ensure that biofuels are green, taking account of the environmental impact of their production as well as use, and the Commission has now recognised seven of these systems.…

Read more

A STRING OF RECYCLING LAWS HAVE ADDED TO LOCAL SUPPLY BUT CHINA STILL NEEDS IMPORTED RECYCLABLES



BY MARK GODFREY

A NEW breed of modern recycling operations are helping China improve its domestic supply of recyclables. Among them is Tianjin Dowa Green Angel Summit Recycling Co., Ltd, a new Chinese Yuan Renminbi CNY100 million (USD15.52 million) joint venture between Japanese metal recycling equipment maker Dowa Eco-System, local waste collector Tianjin Green-Angel Renewable Resource Recovery Co.,…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW TYPE OF ZINC-POLYMER ELECTRIC BATTERY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU)-funded research project will this month start developing a prototype polymer-zinc car battery, significantly lighter, safer and more environment-friendly than existing batteries. Their lead acid, lithium and nickel bases have waste disposal, weight and chemical stability problems.…

Read more

AVIATION SECTOR THINKS OUT OF THE BOX TO REDUCE FUEL EMISSIONS



BY MARK ROWE

IN the global push to make transport greener, the aviation industry is just beginning to take a serious look at how to ease the sector into using less fossil fuel. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), like many other airlines, is currently looking into projects that scrutinise kerosene biofuel blends in the quest to make transportation more environmentally friendly.…

Read more

SAAB SEEKS TO REGAIN DEALER TRUST AFTER PRODUCTION HICCUP



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

AFTER a production line shutdown on June 8 and the need for three funding injections of Euro EUR61 million within a week, Saab Automobile’s recent cash crisis has the UK automotive industry on edge, according to the Retail Motor Industry (RMI).…

Read more

GAS RICH RUSSIA STARTS TO EYE GREEN ENERGY



BY MARK ROWE

SUPERFICIALLY at least, it sounds like an unlikely scenario: Russia, the 21st century’s face of fossil fuel sources, now wants to go green. The Russian Energy Agency last spring signed an agreement committing itself to help the country improve energy efficiency in industry and housing; develop a renewable energy market; and – the end goal – reduce greenhouse gas emissions.…

Read more

BRITAIN IS SECOND SAFEST COUNTRY IN EU FOR ROAD DEATHS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE NUMBER of road deaths in Britain fell 47% from 2001 to 2010, making its roads the second safest in the European Union (EU) after Sweden, according to the latest comparative European Commission figures. There was a marked recent improvement too, with UK road deaths falling 18% between 2009 and 2010.…

Read more

GREEN LAWS TAKE EFFORT TO ENFORCE - BUT THEY DO TRANSFORM AUTO PRODUCTION IN THE END



BY DEIRDRE MASON

RECYCLING products as large as motor vehicles; or encouraging public authorities to buy environment-friendly autos seem such good ideas, laws insisting this happens is surely just commonsense? Not so in Europe, it would appear, where a string of countries are in trouble for not implementing the European Union’s recent (EU) green procurement directive; and one – Italy – is facing potential legal action for flouting the EU’s end-of-life vehicles (ELV) directive, even though these was approved in the year 2000.…

Read more

COULD HEAVY METAL THORIUM FUEL CARS IN THE FUTURE?



BY KEITH NUTHALL

LITTLE more excites the international auto industry more than the search for an alternative to fossil fuels, and an American company is now looking seriously into the idea of using a heavy element thorium to generate locomotive power.…

Read more

EUROPEAN UNION DESIGNS PROTECTION FOR AUTO SECTOR AGAINST SOUTH KOREA TRADE DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CONCERNS within the European auto industry about the trade deal initialed last October by the European Union (EU) and South Korea have been addressed today (Wednesday) at the European Parliament. Meeting in Brussels, its international trade committee gave its approval to draft legislation, allowing the swift reintroduction of trade barriers, should the deal create a surge in Korean car exports to Europe.…

Read more

CAR SHARING ON RISE IN UK - WHILE GERMAN INNOVATION TARGETS BUSINESS USERS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

A new car-sharing model is being tried out in Germany, which links quality manufacturer BMW with an existing car club to attempt to offer business customers a new concept in fleet hire. Time will tell whether the idea catches on and moves to the UK.…

Read more

ITALIAN USURY OFFERS ORGANISED CRIME AMPLE LAUNDERING OPPORTUNITIES



BY LEE ADENDORFF

EARLIER this year the search of the house of a notorious octogenarian loan shark in Naples made headlines in Italy. The news was given particular attention not because of the elderly gentleman’s reputation as one of the city’s most prominent usurers, but because of the amount of money investigators found hidden in his home: over Euro EUR5 million (US dollars USD7.15 million) in cash stashed behind tiles and false walls together with hundreds of thousands of Euros in debtor cheques.…

Read more

NEW COMMISSION PROPOSAL ON ENERGY SAVINGS - IS IT EFFICIENT OR IFFY?



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

A NEW European Commission proposal on energy efficiency and saving may have the basic ingredients of a new, potential approach for helping the European Union (EU) to achieve its 2020 emission-reduction objectives – getting utilities to share the pain with consumers, who have been the focus of earlier EU efforts in this regard.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW TYPE OF ZINC-POLYMER ELECTRIC BATTERY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU)-funded research project is about to start developing a prototype zinc-polymer car battery, which its scientists hope will be significantly lighter, safer and more environment-friendly than existing batteries. These are of course based on lead acid, lithium and nickel – all carrying problems associated with waste disposal, weight and chemical stability.…

Read more

DANISH ISLAND IS LIVING LABORATORY FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE TRIALS



BY KATHERINE DUNN

A THREE hour ferry ride from Copenhagen, sitting south of Sweden in the Baltic Sea, is a small 227 square mile Danish island called Bornholm – it is an unlikely place to be a crucible for testing electric vehicle refuelling systems.…

Read more

DUBAI'S RAPID GROWTH PROMPTS LARGE-SCALE PASSENGER FLOW TRIAL



BY MATTHEW BRACE

DUBAI International Airport (DXB), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning to launch a large-scale passenger flow measurement project to track the movement and activity of passengers from the second they enter the airport complex.

From the airport’s growth statistics, it appears the trial has not come a moment too soon; DXB is one of the fastest growing airports in the world and could become the busiest in the near future.…

Read more

THE SECRET WORLD OF CARTELS CAN COST CAR DEALERS AND CONSUMERS DEAR



BY KEITH NUTHALL, DEIRDRE MASON and MJ DESCHAMPS

Car dealers like a good deal – that’s a given. And they hate a bad deal. But when they are getting a bad deal, and the wool is being pulled over their eyes – well, that takes the biscuit.…

Read more

NEW HUNGARY ENGINE PLANT TO FUEL GM GROWTH IN SOUTH-EAST EUROPE



BY ZLATKO ?ONKA?

GENERAL Motors (GM) Europe unit Opel/Vauxhall is constructing a new engine plant in the western Hungarian city of Szentgotthárd, aiming to boost the company’s growing share of the south-east Europe market. Opel managers have said they want this Euro EUR500 million investment (US dollar USD713.780 million) to help the company grow its 5.5% market share (in 2010 – 35,456 cars) of the regional market, making it the sixth most popular marque (up from eighth in 2009).…

Read more

JAPAN PROPERTY MARKET WITHSTANDS EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATION, ALTHOUGH NUCLEAR FEARS COULD HIT INVESTMENT



BY JULIAN RYALL

NEARLY two months after northern Japan was shaken by a magnitude-9 earthquake and then inundated by a tsunami that in places reached a height of 38 metres and devastated the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the final toll has not been calculated.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - BRUSSELS WANTS TO BAN PETROL FROM EU CITIES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has laid down the gauntlet to the fossil fuel sector, releasing a comprehensive long-term strategy that would halve the use of ‘conventionally-fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030, phasing them out in cities by 2050.…

Read more

LEBANESE-CANADIAN BANK DESIGNATED A PRIME MONEY LAUNDERING CONCERN



BY PAUL COCHRANE

EARLIER this year, the Lebanese-Canadian Bank (LCB) was designated by the United States as a prime money laundering concern, for alleged connections to drug traffickers and acting as a financial conduit for Lebanese political party Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organisation.…

Read more

SUSTAINABILITY PROBLEMS MAY RESTRICT BIOFUEL TRANSPORT USE IN EUROPE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

IT almost seems like yesterday when European policymakers were hailing biofuels as the practical green alternative to fossil fuels, so clean – cars, vans and trucks might as well have been running on water. However, with the growing and widespread acceptance that producing many biofuels (and burning them of course) produces substantial carbon emissions, those days are well and truly over.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - BRUSSELS PLOTS AMBITIOUS COURSE OF ACTION ON ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has unveiled the cost of its ambitious plan for cutting European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% of 1990 levels by 2050. Brussels says that an additional targeted annual investment over the next 40 years is needed – equalling 1.5% of the EU’s GDP – or Euro EUR270 billion.…

Read more

BRUSSELS MAY HAVE OVERREACHED ITSELF IN PLAN TO PHASE OUT COMBUSTION ENGINES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

TRANSPORT has always been a key policy area for the European Union (EU), given its cross-border nature is somewhat self-evident – and fleets have long grappled with EU rules on car safety, licences, transfer of ownership, insurance and other matters.…

Read more

FRANCE BOOSTS RENEWABLE SPENDING - BUT ITS LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO NUCLEAR POWER REMAINS



BY PACIFICA GODDARD

FRANCE is far ahead of the curve in terms of weaning itself off fossil fuels and sports the closest thing to energy independence of any country in Europe. Ever since 1974 when the government decided to rapidly expand the country’s nuclear power capacity, France has not felt the intense stress of energy insecurity nor been particularly impacted by the rising and falling prices of fuel.…

Read more

FRENCH AUTO BATTERY COMPANY GETS MAJOR EUROPEAN INVESTMENT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE DISTANCE that can be travelled using an electric car battery in Europe could be boosted by a French automotive technology company receiving Euro EUR130 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Bolloré Group will use this financing to support its battery and electric vehicle research and development.…

Read more

FLEET MANAGERS KEEPING OPEN MIND ABOUT ONCOMING SHIFT TO GREEN FUELS



BY CHARLES WALLIN

ALTERNATIVE fuels could gradually replace fossil energy sources and make transport sustainable by 2050, according to a report just presented to the European Commission by the European Union’s (EU) expert group on future transport fuels. It says the EU needs a fossil fuel-free and largely CO2-free energy supply to reduce road transport’s impact on the environment and boost the security of energy supplies – and its experts say this is possible.…

Read more

NEW VAN EMISSIONS DIRECTIVE COULD RAISE PRICES WARNS MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE AGREEMENT by the European Parliament last week of CO2 emissions limits for vans sold in the European Union (EU) could increase prices for new models, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has warned. Communications director Sigrid de Vries told Fleet News the targets were "extremely challenging" in the long term.…

Read more

WEST COAST US SCIENTISTS EMBARK ON MAJOR CCS RESEARCH PROJECT



BY PACIFICA GODDARD

THE USA Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hope of regulating greenhouse gas emissions is putting a damper on investment in new coal plants in the United States. However there is some hope that coal could become clean enough to cohabit with future American emissions rules through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology and tests are now underway in America to demonstrate its effectiveness.…

Read more

AUTOMAKERS IN CHINA SHIFT FOCUS TOWARDS ENERGY EFFICIENCY



BY WANG FANGQING

THE CHINESE government this January gave a clear message to automobile manufacturers with plants in the country – it wants the industry to become more efficient, but also greener. Beijing showed it was prepared to use the power of the market to force manufacturers to compete on price rather than relying on consumer subsidies – scrapping a national auto replacement program and a special subsidy for vehicle sales for consumers.…

Read more

BMW LEADS RETURN TO WORK FOR EGYPT'S PROTEST DISRUPTED AUTO SECTOR



BY PAUL COCHRANE

EGYPT’S auto industry could be preparing to get back to work after the government protests beginning on January 25 led to its major assembly plant industry closing down. This morning, BMW confirmed to wardsauto that it had restarted production on Sunday (Feb 6) of CDK models – made by a local subsidiary BAMC (Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Company), itself owned by the BMW Importership BAG (Bavarian Auto Group).…

Read more

BRANDS STRUGGLE WITH DISTRIBUTION CHAINS TO CONSOLIDATE DOMINANCE IN CHINA'S EMERGING REGIONS



BY MARK GODFREY

IN 2011, foreign brands seem set to extend their dominance of the cosmetics and hair products market in China, one of the few sectors of the economy controlled by multinationals. Procter & Gamble (P&G), Unilever and L’Oréal dominate sales revenues here, and to extend their dominance global brands continue to acquire local brands.…

Read more

POLITICAL CHAOS DISRUPTS RECOVERING EGYPT EDIBLE OILS MARKET



BY MARIYA PETKOVA, BY PAUL COCHRANE, AND BY KEITH NUTHALL

AFTER the economic crisis hit Egypt’s demand for vegetable oil imports in 2009/2010, industry experts from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) foreign agricultural servicepredicted a relative recovery for this sub-sector in 2010/2011.…

Read more

GREEK SMOKING BAN PROMPTS SMOKERS AND TAVERN OWNERS TO CLAIM HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS



BY MAKKI MARSEILLES

Greek smoking ban prompts smokers and tavern owners to claim human rights violations

Already reeling from financial crisis, the September smoking ban in Greece has created financial losses to bar and pub owners. They claim the laws are not clear and create confusion.…

Read more

SERBIA'S EU ACCESSION PROMPTS FOREIGN INVESTMENT



BY ZLATKO CONKAS, KEITH NUTHALL

SERBIA is the latest European country to start formal accession negotiations with the European Union (EU) and as it prepares to joins the EU, its auto sector will have increasingly unfettered access to the EU’s 500 million consumer market.…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY LEADING INNOVATION IN POWER GENERATION



BY MARK ROWE

NANOTECHNOLOGY is playing an increasing part in the European Union’s (EU) ambitious binding EU-wide target to source 20% of energy needs from renewables, including biomass, hydro, wind and solar power, by 2020. The principle applied in other industries – that materials, elements and components exhibit different, often highly energy-efficient properties at the nanoscale – has sparked widespread interest within the energy field.…

Read more

TOYOTA WORKS HARD TO DESIGN MID-MARKET CAR FOR INDIA'S SPECIAL CONDITIONS



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA

ATTEMPTING to symbolize the Indian essence of Toyota’s latest sedan made for India’s burgeoning auto market, a Japanese dancer performed classical Indian dance at a special launch concert in the IT hub of Bangalore. The Japanese auto giant will be hoping that the ‘Etios’ will marry high tech and Indian consumer preferences, as a culmination of a four-year-long development process that cost US dollars USD700 million and involved more than 2,000 engineers.…

Read more

ASBESTOS EXPERT ACCUSES JAPAN OF PUSHING FAULTY ASBESTOS TEST



BY JULIAN RYALL

JAPAN is being accused of trying to write its own official asbestos testing system into an international standard, because it knows it does not work and so will get its government off the hook for asbestos exposure cases.…

Read more

BRUSSELS PLOTS MAJOR INTERVENTION IN TRANSPORT SECTOR CO2 AND SECURITY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is writing a white paper on transport that would harmonise European transport systems to such an extent, it could call the European Union (EU) "a single transport area".

A draft (the final version may come in December), read by the Surveyor shows Brussels considering toughening its CO2 reduction targets for transport by switching from relative targets (emissions per kilometre of travel) to absolute targets – making sure levels of greenhouse gas fall, period: "It may be asked whether relative improvements of transport are still ambitious enough."…

Read more

SMALL COUNTRIES SHOW THE WAY WITH ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) INFRASTRUCTURE: ISRAEL AND DENMARK



BY HELENA FLUSFELDER, GERARD O’DWYER

A PLAN to install an electric car network has been approved by Israel’s government, making this small Middle East country a global leader in electric vehicle (EV) technology.

The project is a joint venture between Renault-Nissan, which will provide the electric vehicles, and a Silicon Valley, USA-based start-up project Better Place, which will operate the re-charging grid.…

Read more

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING NETWORKS MAY START GROWTH IN PRIVATE HOMES



BY DEIRDRE MASON

AS the market for electric vehicles (EVs) picks up, the infrastructure for recharging them will inevitably have to keep pace – so, according to US-based consultants in global clean technology markets Pike Research (NOTE: CORRECT), there will be around 4.7 million EV charging units operating worldwide by 2015.…

Read more

REVAMPED CARS 21 POLICY DRAWS SUPPORT FROM ACROSS EUROPEAN AUTO SECTOR



BY KEITH NUTHALL, DEIRDRE MASON

IF there is a philosophy driving the European Union (EU), it surely is that everyone must rub along together and cooperate for the general good. For a continent as diverse and as previously fractious as Europe, that is neither unsurprising nor unworthy.…

Read more

COMPANIES COMPETE TO CREATE FASTER CHARGERS FOR ELECTIC CARS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

As governments wake up to the need of establishing an infrastructure of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs), commercial players are offering anything from the expertise to set up the network down to the individual chargers. Some innovations will clearly make life a lot easier for those with the job of making the EV marketable.…

Read more

SURGING COLOMBIAN GOLD TRADE IS GIFT TO NARCO-MONEY LAUNDERERS AND TERRORIST FINANCIERS



BY NADJA DROST

THE SURGING price of gold has unleashed a gold rush in Colombia, and international criminal networks are using the burgeoning trade in the precious metal to clean the proceeds of crime. In a country with as intimate a connection with the illicit drugs trade and terrorism as Colombia, the risks posed to anti-money laundering authorities are significant.…

Read more

ALUMINIUM VEHICLE WHEELS FROM CHINA TO BE HIT BY STEEP ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE ASSOCIATION of European Wheel Manufacturers (EUWA) has welcomed the decision of the European Commission to propose a stiff anti-dumping duty on Chinese-made aluminum wheels imported into the European Union (EU). However, carmakers, represented by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) are unhappy.…

Read more

NATURAL GAS FLEETS A RARE SIGHT IN UK, BUT GROWING SLOWLY



BY EMMA JACKSON, MAGGIE DESCHAMPS

THERE are many good reasons for fleets to use natural gas powered vans running on compressed or liquefied natural gas (CNG/LNG). However, so far, British fleets have yet to be convinced and the market is tiny.…

Read more

EU FREE TRADE DEAL WITH SOUTH KOREA MAY GIVE FLEXIBILITY TO UK DEALERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL, WANG FANGQING

AUTO dealers in Britain will certainly see the affect of the European Union’s (EU) recent signature of a free trade deal with South Korea. Once ratification procedures have been cleared, the EU’s import duties on cars made in South Korea (mostly 10%) will disappear within 60 days.…

Read more

BIOFUELS ARE MAKING TRANSPORT MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, BUT DOES GOING GREEN SACRIFICE ENGINE PERFORMANCE?



BY MJ DESCHAMPS

ALTHOUGH the regulatory push towards the use of biofuels has largely been inspired by environmental motives – primarily aimed towards delivering carbon savings – many concerns have been raised around the idea that these eco-friendly fuels might be damaging engines and vehicle performance.…

Read more

RESEARCHERS WORLDWIDE PUSH AHEAD WITH MEAT BIOFUEL PRODUCTION



BY MJ DESCHAMPS and KARRYN MILLER

WHILE plant-based materials have long been the go-to ingredients for biofuel production, the industry is finding that taking crops away from the agricultural industry can cause unintended environmentally problems, including the indirect generation of carbon emissions.…

Read more

INDIA'S EXPORT UNDERPERFORMANCE ALL PART OF THE GRAND PLAN, CLAIMS INDUSTRY



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA

A NEW study from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has highlighted the fact that while India has become the seventh largest producer of vehicles in the world, it still holds only 1% of the global export market.…

Read more

HYUNDAI TO TARGET BOOMING CHINESE PROVINCIAL MARKETS



BY MARK GODFREY

THE CEO of a Hyundai-Beijing Auto joint venture has told wardsauto that while three out of 10 cars sold globally will be sold in China by 2015, sales will be dominated by car-markers who get key emerging trends in the country’s provincial markets right.…

Read more

OICA PRESIDENT HAS TOUGH WORDS FOR US AUTO INDUSTRY



BY DAVID HAYHURST

THE NEW president of OICA (the International Association of Vehicle Manufacturers) has warned American auto-manufacturers that they risk being left behind in the global race for new technologies. Speaking at his Paris office with wardsauto, Patrick Blain, now six months into his new job, and after this month’s OICA general assembly in Bucharest (October 20 and 21), said it was European and Asian automakers who are setting the pace and working together with their governments to effectively tackle issues of emissions and rising fuel costs.…

Read more

EMERGING MARKETS MAKE TYRE RECYCLING A BIG GLOBAL BUSINESS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

SALES of new cars are still holding up surprisingly well despite the global downturn, but within a few years of their purchase, how many of them will be running on retread tyres?

The signs are that the market for retread and recycled tyres will grow, as world demand for rubber grows, particularly in China.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - MAJOR FINANCING INSTITUTIONS START NABUCCO DUE DILIGENCE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THREE of the world’s major public financing institutions have started due diligence on the Nabucco gas pipeline project, work that could release billions of Euros into the troubled project. If they are happy, the European Investment Bank (EIB) could invest Euro EUR2 billion, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) EUR1.2 billion and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), of the World Bank, EUR800 million.…

Read more

SPECIALTY AUTO BRANDS GET EXEMPTION, BUT NOT FREE RIDE FROM EU'S CO2 POLICY



BY KEITH NUTHALL, MJ DESCHAMPS

SPORTY auto brands such as Italy’s Ferrari or Britain’s Aston Martin do not exactly go hand-in-hand with the image of environment-loving eco-cars such as Toyota’s Prius hybrid. And maybe it is to enable such iconic manufacturers to keep turning out sleek, sexy cars that underpins Europe’s reputation for automobile quality that the European Union (EU) is giving them an exemption from its CO2 emissions cap.…

Read more

ISO STEPS IN TO PROMOTE NATURAL GAS FILLING STATIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL, EMMA JACKSON, MJ DESCHAMPS

IT is the classic chicken and egg scenario. To what extent do widespread networks of fuel filling stations need to be established offering compressed and liquefied natural gas (CNG/LNG) for a mass market of autos using these fuels to develop?…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY A QUIET REVOLUTION IN CAR IMPROVEMENTS



BY MARK ROWE

SELLING a second-hand car to a customer has always required reassurance that the vehicle remains in fine shape. Selling a new car is always easier if a dealer can ensure long-life and durability. In future, such assurances will be eased by the introduction of longer-lasting, robust components based on nanomaterials.…

Read more

RENAULT & SITA SEEK DRAMATIC RISE TO FRENCH VEHICLE RECYCLING



BY LAWRENCE J SPEER

FRENCH carmaker Renault and recycling giant SITA France are increasing joint efforts to boost the recycling of materials from the country’s end-of-life vehicle (ELV) sector. The two companies aim to radically improve teardown, recycling and used-part recovery at 350 state-certified dismantlers nationwide.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CARMAKERS RACE TO IMPROVE EU-KOREA TRADE DEAL BEFORE IMMINENT FINAL VOTE



BY KEITH NUTHALL, MJ DESCHAMPS

EUROPEAN car makers will push for additional changes to the controversial European Union (EU)-South Korea free trade agreement when it is placed before the European Parliament for ratification. The spokesperson for the European automobile manufacturers association ACEA Sigrid de Vries told wardsauto it wanted the deal’s text revised to help Europe’s auto sector.…

Read more

POTATO POWER THE FUTURE OF BIOFUELS, VODKA MAKER SAYS



BY EMMA JACKSON

WILLIAM Chase, founder of Chase Vodka and an empire of potato products in the UK, has launched a plan to convert waste potatoes from his UK distillery into a high grade biofuel for vehicles.

"We have known for a long time that potato starch is an excellent source of bio fuel, but this new scheme will tap the resources left behind in distillery waste," said Mr Chase, who heads the Herefordshire, UK distillery.…

Read more

RECESSION FORCES CAR PRICES DOWN SHARPLY IN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE



BY MONIKA HANLEY, ZLATKO ?ONKA?, CRISTINA MUNTEAN, KEITH NUTHALL

CAR prices in eastern and central Europe tumbled during the recession, significantly faster than in western Europe according to the latest data, impeding attempts to create a unified auto market that spans Europe.…

Read more

PHILIPPINE PAINTS AND COATINGS INDUSTRY FIGHTS THROUGH GLOBAL RECESSION



BY MARK ROWE

THE PHILIPPINES paint market may be small, but it has punched above its weight during the global recession, retaining its distinctive feature of a manufacturing base dominated by local players. According to the Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM), the country has just five major paint manufacturers, with a 70% market share being enjoyed by Pacific Paints (Boysen), followed by other local players Charter Chemical & Coating Corporation and Asian Coatings Philippines, Inc.…

Read more

OLAF NAILS BIGGER FRAUDS BY IGNORING SMALL CASES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

IMAGINATION and guile continue to help fraudsters milk hundreds of millions of Euros from the European Union’s (EU) well-stocked budgets, explains the latest report from EU anti-fraud agency OLAF, writes Keith Nuthall.

OLAF spends a lot of money sniffing out fraud in the institutions and programmes of the EU and the payment of duties earmarked to fund this spending.…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY STANDARDS DEVELOPING AS AUTO SECTOR USES MORE NANO-COMPONENTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL and MARK ROWE

AS auto manufacturers start to realise the utility of incorporating parts and components using nanotechnology to improve their performance, the European Union (EU) is looking hard at special regulations to protect the public and the environment from nanoparticles.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA DEALERS BEWARE - SELL TOO MANY CARS AND LOSE YOUR BUSINESS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto dealers importing South Korea-made cars in future beware – if they sell too many, punishing import duties may make them too expensive for average consumers. The European Parliament has to ratify a trade deal struck last year lowering tariffs for commerce between the EU and South Korea and is worried an influx of cheap South Korean car imports could harm European manufacturers.…

Read more

CHINA'S COUNTERFEIT INDUSTRY HOLDING ITS GROUND



BY DINAH GARDNER

EVERY time a US trade delegation comes to Beijing or the city holds a major international event, it is noticeable how many of the city’s pirated DVDs get whisked away by shopkeepers to a back cupboard, leaving only black and white movies from the 1940s and local TV show box sets on suddenly bare selves.…

Read more

RISE IN MOT FAILURES IS NOT ALL THE FAULT OF THE RECESSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THERE maybe lies, damned lies and statistics, but it’s hard to ignore MoT failure figures, especially if they get worse year-after-year. But that is what has been happening for class seven vehicle MoTs – goods vehicles between 3,000 and 3,500 kg gross weight.…

Read more

GEELY WELCOMES VOLVO DEAL APPROVAL



BY WANG FANGQING

CHINA’S Geely has told Automotive Management it will press ahead with the acquisition of Sweden’s Volvo by September having secured competition approval for the deal from the European Commission.

It green-lighted the purchase of Volvo Cars by Geely Holding Group and publicly owned investment firm Daqing, owned by the Daqing city government in north-east China’s Heilongjiang Province.…

Read more

BRUSSELS OPTS FOR OPTIONAL STANDARD FOR ELECTRIC CAR RECHARGERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission – the executive body of the European Union (EU) today formally launched its bid to develop common technical standards for electric vehicle rechargers. It told the continent’s standards bodies, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CEN) and the European Electrotechnical Standardization Committee (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to develop a common charging system for electric cars, as well as scooters and bicycles.…

Read more

STRIKES NOT YET DETERRING AUTO INDUSTRY EXPANSION IN CHINA



BY WANG FANGQING

THE RASH of strikes that have hit China’s auto sector are certainly insufficient to persuade manufacturers to scale back their expansion plans, but the long term lessons are clear: China is no longer a bargain basement labor market of placid easily-pleased workers.…

Read more

ECJ BACKS VOLVO IN GERMAN DEALER CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Court of Justice (ECJ) case involving Volvo looks likely to reduce the protection of sacked auto dealers recovering indemnity payments from their former auto maker suppliers. Court advocate general Yves Bot has formally advised that under EU directive 86/653/EEC on self-employed commercial agents, that auto manufacturers can withhold indemnities, even when the grounds for refusing repayment was a different contract infringement than the problem that sparked a dealer’s initial dismissal.…

Read more

EU RESEARCH PROJECT BOOSTS HYBRID PERFORMANCE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is funding a Euro EUR9.88 million research project to boost the performance of hybrid cars made in Europe and lower the cost of their manufacture. This ‘Hi-CEPS’ study involves Fiat, Ford Europe and Peugeot-Citroën. One of its tasks is preventing the common hybrid bug of air conditioning shutdowns once the engine stops.…

Read more

RENAULT USING MORE RECYCLED PLASTICS, BUT NO MAJOR COST SAVINGS YET



BY LAWRENCE J SPEER

RECYCLING initiatives at Renault have boosted the use of recycled plastics in new cars and cut purchasing costs on some parts, but have yet to bring major cost savings for the French carmaker.

"If we order a piece in recycled plastic, we systematically insist on paying less than if it was made from virgin plastic," Fabrice Abraham, Renault’s recycling engineering manager, said during a recent environmental seminar in Paris.…

Read more

EU TAKES MAJOR STEP FORWARD TOWARDS HARMONIZING ELECTRIC VEHICLE TECHNICAL RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FOR growing markets such as electric cars, keeping regulatory standards simple can make or break a new technology. It can also give manufacturers a head start in the race to dominate a new market, if they are located in countries where rules are relatively straightforward and similar to those in other jurisdictions.…

Read more

IT'S EASY TO GET IN TROUBLE IN EUROPE'S WATER SECTOR



BY DAVID HAWORTH,PAUL RIGG,LEE ADENDOORF,MAKKI MARSEILLES,E BLAKE BERRY,FLORENCE LABEDAYS,SYMON ROSS and KEITH NUTHALL

WATER utilities are maybe used to getting bad press. After all, we all need water, and we need and want it to be clean. When a water supplier fails, it is easy to make complaints and see them amplified in newspapers, television, radio and the Internet.…

Read more

EU TAKES MAJOR STEP FORWARD TOWARDS HARMONIZING ELECTRIC VEHICLE TECHNICAL RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has formally proposed that the European Union (EU) adopts the global technical standard for electric vehicles – as agreed in 1997 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Assuming the EU Council of Ministers and European Parliament agree, then EU countries will have the same rules for manufacturing electric cars – preventing national rules impeding the sale of cars from different member states.…

Read more

NEW TERMINAL AT NEW DELHI AIRPORT



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA

WITH a vivid metallic facade of mirror-like copper plates and Hindi ‘Mudr?’ hand sculptures at the arrival lounge of the brand new terminal building, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi is acclaimed by its developers as "the gateway to modern India."…

Read more

IT'S EASY TO GET IN TROUBLE IN EUROPE'S WATER SECTOR



BY DAVID HAWORTH,PAUL RIGG,LEE ADENDOORF,MAKKI MARSEILLES,E BLAKE BERRY,FLORENCE LABEDAYS,SYMON ROSS and KEITH NUTHALL

WATER utilities are maybe used to getting bad press. After all, we all need water, and we need and want it to be clean. When a water supplier fails, it is easy to make complaints and see them amplified in newspapers, television, radio and the Internet.…

Read more

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL CRACKS DOWN ON CORRUPTION



BY PAUL COCHRANE

CORRUPTION, bribery and cronyism have long been a part of business in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with media reports of such malpractice few and far between yet alone prosecutions. But this taboo topic has started to hit headlines in the Gulf over the past year as prominent businessmen have been arrested for fraud, bribery cases investigated and governmental units set up to tackle the problem.…

Read more

ROBOTS INCREASINGLY IN DEMAND IN ASIA-PACIFIC PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR



BY EMMA JACKSON

PAINT companies looking for an edge may very well find themselves turning to robots, as the industry in the Asia-Pacific region increasingly embraces automation. Cost effective, efficient and consistent, robots are indeed replacing employees in paint manufacturing processes and applications of coatings to products such as cars and machinery.…

Read more

GLOBAL - INTERNATIONAL AUTO MANUFACTURERS WORK TO REDUCE CO2 EMISSIONS



BY JULIAN RYALL, FLORENCE LABEDAYS, KARRYN MILLER and KEITH NUTHALL

DESPITE the slow progress to replace the Kyoto Protocol, auto manufacturers are well aware that they will come under increasing pressure to reduce the CO2 emissions of their models and their manufacturing process.…

Read more

AN EU-MERCOSUR TRADE DEAL COULD OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR EUROPEAN CAR-MAKERS



BY PACIFICA GODDARD, ALAN OSBORN and KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN automakers will be looking to boost exports to the Mercosur countries of South America, if they strike a trade deal with the European Union (EU). A resumption of negotiations on slashing tariffs for goods traded between the EU’s 27 member countries and the four-country Mercosur block, (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), has been announced by the European Commission, the EU’s executive.…

Read more

EXEMPTION FROM STANDARD EU COMPETITION RULES CONTINUES FOR AUTO SECTOR



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE RELEASE today (May 27) by the European Commission of new binding rules on how the various elements of the European Union (EU) auto sector should compete has been welcomed by the industry. Why? Because – largely – automakers, sellers and repairers got what they wanted.…

Read more

UNEP REPORTS SAY METAL RECYCLING RATES TOO LOW



BY ALYSHAH HASHAM and KEITH NUTHALL

A NEW report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has underlined the enormous disparities in stocks of metals used in rich and poor countries.

The report ‘Metals in Society’ examines the amount of individual metals present in society, and the potential for using the in-use stock to offset demand from virgin metal stocks.…

Read more

FLEET AND LEASING SECTOR SCORES VICTORIES IN NEW BLOCK EXEMPTION LAW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE FLEET and vehicle leasing sector can be happy about the release last week (May 27) by the European Commission of new rules on how the various elements of the European Union (EU) auto sector should compete.

This regulation granting a ‘block exemption’ from general EU laws on competition, which usually ban formal collusion between manufacturers, retailers, repairers and customers, should reduce prices of purchases and repairs, while protecting leasing companies from having to yield their customer databases.…

Read more

LOW CO2 PUBLIC RESEARCH FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR AUTO INDUSTRY



BY EMMA JACKSON

PUBLIC research funding is a key component of the auto sector’s drive to reduce CO2 emissions. On the public side, the European Union’s (EU) seventh framework programme (FP7) funds innovation in a wide range of industries, and automotive research figures prominently.…

Read more

EU OFFICIALS REVEAL COUNTERFEIT DRINKS HAUL IN INTERNATIONAL OPERATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

OFFICIALS from the European Union’s (EU) anti-fraud unit OLAF have revealed to just-drinks how an international EU customs operation seized 6,400 litres of counterfeit and smuggled alcohol. OLAF said the Matthew II operation was organised by the Czech Republic, working closely with Poland and OLAF: all EU countries were invited to participate.…

Read more

BRUSSELS RELEASES DETAILED GREEN CAR STRATEGY - BIOFUELS SNUBBBED



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has signalled its support for electric and hybrid cars as the technology that will green Europe’s transport systems, with a detailed policy statement that says little about biofuels.

This ‘Communication’ released by new EU industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani includes a shopping list of measures Brussels intends to take to promote electric and hybrid vehicles.…

Read more

UK NISSAN PLANT'S CONSTRUCTION KICK STARTS PROCESS OF EV BATTERY HARMONIZATION



BY DEIRDRE MASON

STANDARDIZATION for electric vehicles and, crucially, the batteries that power them has taken a key step forward with the official topping out ceremony [NOTE: US STYLE MIGHT USE ‘GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY’ – IT’S THE CEREMONY WHERE SOMEONE TURNS THE FIRST SPADEFUL AT THE VERY START OF CONSTRUCTION.]…

Read more

SECRET ANTI-COUNTERFEITING INTERNATIONAL DEAL RELEASED



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AUTO manufacturers have long worried about the growth of counterfeiting in their industry, especially of vehicle part copies that might not perform. They have also complained about their designs being copied by rival car makers, especially in emerging markets.…

Read more

BRUSSELS RELEASES DETAILED GREEN CAR STRATEGY - BIOFUELS SNUBBED



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) rules preventing auto retailers hoodwinking clients into thinking their cars are green, when they are dirty carbon belchers, are to be developed by the European Commission. It has promised to "develop rules to avoid misleading environmental claims", when selling supposedly green vehicles.…

Read more

DAIMLER EXPECTED TO GET EIB BACKING FOR MAJOR ELECTRIC CAR PROGRAMME



BY KEITH NUTHALL

DAIMLER is lining up Euro 400 million in backing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a major research and development programme to develop new electric and hybrid vehicles. The German carmaker is planning to spend Euro 1.7 billion on creating new battery and fuel cell cars, and new electric power engine trains, including batteries for hybrids (and plug-in hybrids) with an extended driving range.…

Read more

BOSNIA'S NON-FERROUS METAL INDUSTRY IS BEDROCK OF COUNTRY'S POST-WAR RECOVERY, SAYS WORLD BANK



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE NON-FERROUS metal industry of Bosnia & Herzegovina has been highlighted in a World Bank report as a bedrock of the country’s economic recovery after the 1990s war that shattered its society. Released by the trade and integration team of the World Bank development research group, the report declared the country’s "industrial restructuring, as seen through the lenses of foreign trade performance and its sustainability, has taken off.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - BRUSSELS SILENT ON RUSSIA?UKRAINE GAS PIPELINES TAKEOVER DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has signalled it is unlikely to intervene to prevent the proposed takeover of Ukraine’s gas pipeline network by Russia’s Gazprom. Displaying his relatively relaxed attitude to closer energy links with Moscow, new German EU energy Commissioner Günter Oettinger told a press conference: "The decision has to come between Kiev and Moscow and not in Brussels."…

Read more

EUROPEAN STUDY TO TURN CAR BODY INTO BATTERY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE PROBLEM with hybrid and electric cars is that they have to drag their clunky batteries along with them, wasting energy as they go – limiting their range and power. But what if the roof, doors, floor and spare-wheel well of the car could store energy safely and feed it to the engine?…

Read more

GLOBAL SAFETY STANDARD FOR ELECTRIC AND HYBRID CARS RELEASED



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE UN World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations has adopted a technical standard guaranteeing electric and hybrid car safety. This will enter European Union law, and probably regulations in Japan, South Korea and other European countries. The standard details protection from high voltage parts; mandates indication displays showing electric engines are on; and brakes preventing movement during recharging.…

Read more

GLOBAL SAFETY STANDARDS AGREED FOR HYBRID AND ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AFTER-SALES services maintaining electric and hybrid cars should in future receive better protection from shocks from the 500 volts coursing through their circuits. The UN’s World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations has adopted the first technical standard on electric/hybrid car safety.…

Read more

CLOTHING AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY BENEFITS FROM FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH PERU AND COLOMBIA



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FREE trade agreements struck between the European Union (EU), Peru and Colombia offering significant benefits to the clothing and textile sector, the European Commission has said. Once ratified, the deal will remove duties for finished textile products traded between the EU and these two medium-sized Latin American markets – populations 28 and 43 million respectively.…

Read more

SWEDEN AND AUSTRIA GET EXTRA YEAR TO SPEND EU AUTO INDUSTRY FUNDING



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE SWEDISH and Austrian governments have been given an additional year to spend the Euro 15.6 million in earmarked European Union (EU) subsidies for the auto sector previously announced by the European Commission.

These payments – Euro 9.8 million for Sweden and Euro 5.7 million for Austria – come from the EU’s Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which is designed to help industries hit by unavoidable international competition.…

Read more

GLOBAL SAFETY STANDARDS AGREED FOR HYBRID AND ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN IMPORTANT step has been made towards guaranteeing the safety of electric and hybrid cars, with the adoption by the UN’s World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations of a new technical standard on this subject – a global first.…

Read more

'TALKING CARS' TESTED IN NORMAL TRAFFIC



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MAJOR European Union (EU) research projects have last week (March 24) been trialling ‘talking’ cars communicating with each other and road infrastructure, such as traffic signs, lights and congestion management centres. These vehicles can receive information from nearby cars on hazards ahead, such as accidents, oil spills, debris and potholes.…

Read more

HYDROGEN VEHICLES ON THE WAY TO MANUFACTURE UNDER AN EU AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARD



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE ACCEPTANCE by European Union (EU) politicians of a common standard for hydrogen vehicles should make it considerably easier for manufacturers to sell vehicles to a continental rather than a national market.

It has now been more than two years since the EU executive – the European Commission – proposed a technical standard for manufacturers.…

Read more

ROADWORTHINESS TESTS IN THE EU BECOME TOUGHER



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE ROADWORTHINESS tests that all vehicles must undertake to drive on European Union (EU) roads just got tougher. The EU Council of Ministers – the 27 country union’s senior legislative body – has agreed changes to the relevant legislation – directive 2009/40/EC, which lays down minimum standards for such examinations.…

Read more

CASH STILL KING FOR MANY MONEY LAUNDERERS



BY ALAN OSBORN

THE SMARTER the authorities become at tackling money laundering via wire transfers and other electronic methodologies, the greater the attraction of physical cash as a means of secretly moving illicit money – or so one would suppose. Commonsense dictates that such a money laundering trend is ongoing at the moment, but nobody can be quite sure about the extent or the cause of it, not even those at the very top of the AML sector.…

Read more

ROBOTS FRESHEN UP THE PAINT AND COATINGS INDUSTRY



BY EMMA JACKSON

PAINT companies looking for an edge as they recover from the global financial crisis may find a solution in the form of robotics. Cost effective, efficient and consistent, robots are increasingly pushing out the humans who have traditionally helped manufacture paint and coatings or applied it to products such as cars and machinery.…

Read more

EUROPE MOVES TOWARDS MAJOR PUBLIC INTERVENTION IN FAVOUR OF ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MAJOR effort of public intervention to pump-prime European demand for electric vehicles has been given broad approval by an informal meeting of the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers. It backed a paper tabled by the Spanish government, which currently holds the European Union’s (EU) six month rotating presidency.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION FACES ENERGY FUNDING TALKS CHALLENGE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AS a new European Union (EU) energy Commissioner takes office for the next five years, EU member states are stalling over a plan to inject Euro 50 billion into European energy research budgets over the next decade. The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan released by the previous European Commission last October would involve a massive expansion of such spending from 2013 to 2019, but national governments have signalled nervousness.…

Read more

UTILITY LOBBYISTS TO TAKE NOTE OF NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION STRUCTURE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE NEW European Union (EU) energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger has been installed for five years, along with his environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik and climate action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. And so utilities executives might be forgiven for thinking that the key political changes in Brussels have now been made regarding the appointment of a new European Commission.…

Read more

EUROPE MOVES TOWARDS MAJOR PUBLIC INTERVENTION IN FAVOUR OF ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MAJOR effort of public intervention to pump-prime European demand for electric vehicles has been proposed by the Spanish government, which currently holds the European Union’s (EU) six month rotating presidency.

Despite the appointment of a permanent president of the EU Council of Ministers (which represents the 27 member states), national governments will still take turns in being the lead country for the EU every six months.…

Read more

EUROPE MOVES TOWARDS MAJOR PUBLIC INTERVENTION IN FAVOUR OF ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MAJOR effort of public intervention to pump-prime European demand for electric vehicles has been given broad approval by an informal meeting of the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers. It backed a paper tabled by the Spanish government, which currently holds the European Union’s (EU) six month rotating presidency.…

Read more

SOMALI PIRACY AND THE SPECTRE OF MONEY LAUNDERING



BY PAUL COCHRANE

PIRACY has increased exponentially off the coast of Somalia in recent years, with ships hijacked deep into international waters despite the presence of a multi-national naval task force, and pirates demanding ever higher ransoms from shipping companies. But while the spoils of piracy are evident in coastal Somali towns, tracking down where the remaining millions of dollars disappear to is hard to pin down, with allegations circulating of ransom money entering the real estate markets of Kenya, to money laundering in Yemen and Dubai.…

Read more

LITHIUM RECYCLING COULD BE IMPORTANT REVENUE SOURCE FOR RECYCLERS



BY DEIRDRE MASON, PACIFICA GODDARD, GAVIN BLAIR and KEITH NUTHALL

NEW technologies devour new resources and the move towards hybrid and electric vehicles could make some currently impoverished countries rich. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, the soft metal lithium will become increasingly in demand as a critical component of auto batteries for green cars.…

Read more

SCHIPHOL AIRPORT GRAPPLES THREE CHALLENGES OF TERRORISM, CARBON EMISSIONS AND THE RECESSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AD Rutten, chief operating officer (COO) of the Netherlands’ Schiphol Group running Amsterdam airport had a busy Christmas and New Year. With Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year old Nigerian ‘underpants’ bomber, trying to blow up a A330-300 Airbus en route to Detroit from Schiphol airport on Christmas Day, Rutten has been working hard.…

Read more

BRITISH MOTORISTS MAYBE BUYING BIGGER CARS - BUT AT LEAST THEY ARE GREENER: EU STATISTICS SAY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CO2 emissions statistics released by the European Commission show that while British motorists are ignoring government calls to buy smaller cars, their vehicles are at least getting greener. Across the European Union (EU) the CO2 emitted by passenger cars is falling fast: looking at 2008, a report said the average specific CO2 emissions from passenger cars were 153.5g CO2/km.…

Read more

LITHIUM RECYCLING COULD BE IMPORTANT REVENUE SOURCE FOR RECYCLERS



BY DEIRDRE MASON, PACIFICA GODDARD, GAVIN BLAIR and KEITH NUTHALL

NEW technologies devour new resources and the move towards hybrid and electric vehicles could make some currently impoverished countries rich. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, the soft metal lithium will become increasingly in demand as a critical component of auto batteries for green cars.…

Read more

EU AUTOMAKERS FACE TWO MAJOR EU POLICY REVIEWS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN automobile industry will face two major policy reviews once a new European Commission (the European Union’s executive) takes office for the next five years on February 1. The key players on this new Commission for the auto sector will be the Commissioners for transport and industry.…

Read more

GROWTH IN ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES USE CUTS EU CO2 CAR EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE CO2 emitted by European Union (EU) cars is falling fast, according to the latest data from the European Commission. Looking at 2008, a report out this week said that the average specific CO2 emissions from passenger cars were 153.5g CO2/km.…

Read more

CO2 EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS - YES IT IS REALLY HAPPENING IN EUROPEAN CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AFTER the disappointment of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, it is perhaps encouraging to note that the auto industry – so often painted as the bad boy of the climate change issue – really is reducing its vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions.…

Read more

CLOTHING AND TEXTILE MANUFACTURERS WORLDWIDE LOOK FOR COMPETITIVE EDGE IN FIBRE INNOVATION



BY PHILIPPA JONES

WITH so much competition in design and price within the apparel and textile sector, manufacturers are always looking for an edge. One way in which they can steal a march on competitors is with fibre innovation. And with new technology allowing the incorporation of increasingly complex arrays of chemicals and particles, even on the nano-scale, the opportunities to develop a revolutionary new fibre or mix of fibres are maybe greater today than ever before.…

Read more

TAJANI CLAIMS CHINESE AUTO MAKERS WILL BE BEATEN ON QUALITY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE ITALIAN politician nominated to become the European Union’s (EU) new industry commissioner Antonio Tajani has said he is ready to fight cheap Chinese auto exports by promoting quality and investment, especially on pollution and safety.

Speaking at a European Parliament confirmation hearing last night (Jan 18) in Strasbourg, France, he said: "We cannot compete if the Chinese are able to, really, take the bottom out of the market.…

Read more

China recovers fast from recession to cement its economic dominance

By Wang Fangqing, in Shanghai 

China's rapid, aggressive rise as a communist-ruled giant developing country has been a topic in the world in recent years. During US President Barack Obama's first week long trip to Asia in November, he spent three days in China to show its importance as the biggest financial backer of the U.S.



In a speech to Chinese youths in Shanghai, he spoke highly of China’s great achievements, including lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, as “an accomplishment unparalleled in human history.”  And he highlighted the growing important role China plays in the international community. …

Read more

OIL AND GAS SECTOR STILL LEFT WITH QUESTIONS OVER EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS AFTER COPENHAGEN SUMMIT



BY KEITH NUTHALL, EMMA JACKSON and ERIC LYMAN

THE COPENHAGEN climate change conference ended on December 18 with an accord where key world economies promised to make binding agreements to cut carbon emissions. But detail on exactly how much will be settled at a later date, meaning its long term effects on the oil and gas industry are unclear.…

Read more

DAIMLER IS WORLD'S CLEANEST CAR PAINTER, SAYS STUDY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE MOST detailed study into the environmental, energy and social costs generated by auto manufacturers when making cars has dubbed Germany’s Daimler the world’s cleanest and greenest automobile painter regarding volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The study coordinated by Queen’s University, Belfast, gave major manufacturers comparable sustainability ratings over VOCs, giving Daimler top score (on 2007 data) of plus 5,905.…

Read more

AUTO WORKERS IN SWEDEN, AUSTRIA, TO GET EU RETRAINING FUNDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FINAL approval has been given by the European Parliament for the European Union (EU) to spend Euro 15.6 million on helping Swedish and Austria auto industry workers who have lost their jobs through the global recession. The money will come from the EU’s Globalisation Adjustment Fund.…

Read more

LITHIUM TO BECOME THE NEW OIL IN HYBRID/ELECTRIC AUTO WORLD



BY PACIFICA GODDARD, ANCA GURZU, GAVIN BLAIR and KEITH NUTHALL

NEW technologies devour new resources and the move towards hybrid and electric vehicles could make some currently impoverished countries rich. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, the soft metal lithium will become increasingly in demand as a critical component of auto batteries for green cars.…

Read more

Middle East faces demographic timebomb

By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut

 

With the end of the summer holidays, children and young people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) once again donned uniforms, packed satchels and headed to school, amounting to more than a quarter of the region returning to class.

In Syria, a quarter of the country's population, some 5.3 million people, are enrolled in schools, while 38% of Saudis, 46% of Yemenis, 31% of Jordanians and 31% of Egyptians are below 14 years of age. Altogether, including Iran, half of the MENA's 300 million-plus people are under 24 years old.



While all these kids are in school, there is no pressing socio-economic problem. But over the next decade as students graduate and want to enter the workplace, finding employment for them all will be difficult. Already the Middle East and North Africa have among the highest unemployment rates in the world at 9.4% and 10.3% respectively, according to an International Labour Organisation report.…

Read more

EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS AIM TO WIELD NANOTECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE ELECTRONIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MAJOR European research project is to spend Euro 44 million on developing tiny components to help electric vehicles improve their performance, so that they can better compete with models powered with liquid fuels. The Fiat and Audi-backed E3CAR (Energy efficient electrical car) project will especially focus on emerging nanotechnologies as its researchers aim to boost electric cars’ often less than stellar driving abilities.…

Read more

RUSSIA TO SEE SLOW RECOVERY FROM GLOBAL RECESSION



BY MARK ROWE

SHOWROOMS full of Bentleys and Ferraris continue to grace Moscow’s most salubrious boulevards, in a display of purchasing power that suggests global recession is a world away. The reality is somewhat different: the mainstream Russian car market has taken a swinging blow from economic collapse, its fortunes plummeting almost overnight.…

Read more

AUTO INDUSTRY TO BENEFIT AS EU STRIKES TRADE DEAL WITH SYRIA



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto manufacturing industry has a good chance to grab more market share in Syria following a newly signed wide-ranging association agreement, slashing steep duties imposed on EU-made auto exports. Syria already imports a significant number of EU-made cars: according to the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) in 2008, 7,241 (Euro 106 million’s worth) cars and SUVs were exported from the EU to Syria and this year, 3,427 (worth Euro 52 million) were sold from January to June.…

Read more

EUROPEAN RESEARCHERS AIM TO WIELD NANOTECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE ELECTRONIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MAJOR European research project will spend Euro 44 million developing tiny components to help electric vehicles improve their performance and compete with liquid fuel models. The Fiat and Audi-backed E3CAR (Energy efficient electrical car) project will especially focus on emerging nanotechnologies to improve "semiconductor technologies, devices, circuits and sub-systems" increasing energy efficiency by 35%, boosting power and battery life.…

Read more

COMMERCIAL CRIMES ON THE CLIMB IN REMOTE BHUTAN



BY KENCHO WANGDI

NESTLED against the Himalayas, Bhutan was one of the last oases of isolation, untouched by commercialism and capitalism. But in the last decade, things have changed, and Bhutan has embraced all the joys of the modern world – and the crime.…

Read more

MOROCCAN PAINT SECTOR DODGES GLOBAL RECESSION BULLET



BY PAUL COCHRANE

MOROCCO’S 150,000 tonnes per year decorative paint market, worth Moroccan Dirham (MAD) 2 billion (GBPounds 157.4 million), grew by an estimated 5 to 8% in 2008, but plunged by 30% in December in the wake of the financial crisis, according to paint manufacturer Hempel Morocco (NOTE – SPELLING IS CORRECT).…

Read more

GROWTH OF ECOTAXES GIVE GLOBAL AUTO SECTOR CAUSE FOR CONCERN



BY DEIRDRE MASON GAVIN BLAIR ANCA GURZU and KEITH NUTHALL

AS the Copenhagen conference charged with forging a new international climate change treaty gets under way this month, the auto industry worldwide will be looking closely at how the deliberations will affect its business.…

Read more

BRUSSELS APPROVES EIB LOAN TO FORD WHILE OLD STATE AID PROBE REMAINS OPEN



BY KEITH NUTHALL

WHAT a difference a year makes. The changed face of European Union (EU) controls over public subsidies to its automakers has been illustrated clearly by Friday’s (13-11) decision by the European Commission to allow government guarantees backing a Euro 400 million loan to Ford Romania SA.…

Read more

VAUXHALL RIDING OUT STORM OF UNCERTAINTY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

DESPITE the uncertainty that has surrounded the future of Vauxhall/Opel in the past few months, there is every indication that the company will ride out the storm and should prosper in Britain’s looming economic recovery.

In October’s relatively bullish market (by 2009 standards), Vauxhall shifted 19,364 units, compared to 19,422 the same month last year.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION CUSTOMS HARMONISATION POSES RISKS FOR CAR IMPORTERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CONCERNS are being provoked amongst auto traders over the latest implementation of the harmonised and modernised European Union (EU) customs code. Detailed reforms will be introduced step-by-step by the European Commission until June 2013, and two recent linked proposals have sparked fears at the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) that they could increase the customs valuation of some vehicles when imported into the EU from non-EU countries.…

Read more

INDUSTRY AND HEALTH INTERESTS CLASH OVER NANOSILVER AT BRUSSELS CONFERENCE



BY PHILIPPA JONES

NANOTECHNOLOGY scientists remain excited by the advantages various industries can glean from the addition of nanosilver to textiles, but there is increasing opposition to its use in non-medical fields and growing concern that not enough is known about its health and environmental effects.…

Read more

RESEARCHERS SHOW WHICH AUTO MANUFACTURERS ARE DIRTIEST



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE MOST detailed study into the environmental, energy and social costs generated by auto manufacturers when making cars has dubbed General Motors the world’s most profligate and Toyota cleanest and greenest. The study coordinated by Queen’s University, Belfast, concluded GM wasted Euro 9.8 billion’s worth of environmental and social costs compared to a notional industry average in 2007 (the most recent available data); while Toyota saved Euro 5.2 billion’s worth of impact compared to an industry mean.…

Read more

Middle East faces demographic timebomb



By Paul Cochrane

With the end of the summer holidays, children and young people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) once again donned uniforms, packed satchels and headed to school, amounting to more than a quarter of the region returning to class.…

Read more

US-SOUTH KOREAN AUTO SECTORS FOCUS ON TRADE DEAL IMPASSE



BY KEITH NUTHALL and KARRYN MILLER

THE AMERICAN and South Korean auto sectors are closely watching the outcome of informal talks between their governments over removing trade barriers within the 2007 US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which still requires ratification. The deal was negotiated by the old Bush administration, and is now being reviewed by Obama team, ahead of any renewed ratification push in the US Congress – with the auto sector being a key focus.…

Read more

INDIAN CARS COULD BE A COMMON SIGHT ON BRITISH ROADS IN FUTURE



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA and KEITH NUTHALL

COUNTRIES that start exporting cars to Britain usually have a tough time convincing consumers about the quality of their vehicles. Remember the Skoda and skip jokes? Well, no one makes those anymore. Korean cars used to have a reputation for being cheap rubbish.…

Read more

MAJOR REFORM OF AUTO INDUSTRY CHEMICAL CONTROLS LOOMS IN USA



BY ALAN OSBORN

STRICT regulation of chemicals is coming to the US and although there is concern within the American auto industry, there is certainly no panic – at least not so far. Legislation is expected to be introduced before Thanksgiving by Senator Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey) and others in Congress for a long overdue updating of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and it could be tough.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION WARNS OF ANTI-RECESSION POLICY TRADE BARRIERS FOR AUTO SECTOR



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DETAILED European Commission report has listed trade barriers impeding European Union (EU) automobile, parts and components sales imposed to protect export market industries from the recession. Brussels fears that while these restrictions were designed to help vulnerable businesses survive the recession, they could cause long-term damage to Europe’s auto manufacturers.…

Read more

CHEAPER SOUTH KOREAN CARS WILL FOLLOW TRADE DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Automobile Manufacturers Association (EMEA) estimates the cost of importing cars from South Korea could fall by as much as Euro 1,000 per vehicle – maybe more – following a European Union (EU)-South Korea free trade agreement, initialled on Thursday (15-10).…

Read more

EIB UNDERPINS NEW AUTO PRODUCTION IN SWEDEN AND MOROCCO



BY KEITH NUTHALL

NEW options for UK auto-dealers will come on stream as Europe’s economy recovers thanks to Euro 600 being sunk into production in Sweden and Morocco by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

It has been channelling money towards automakers this year to help them stay afloat in the recession.…

Read more

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, RENAULT, NISSAN AIM TO PROTECT LADA BRAND



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MODERNISED Lada models are expected to become available from 2012, with the Russian mark being bankrolled by its Renault and Nissan partners. The French car maker’s Christian Esteve told Russian state news agency Itar-Tass that his company’s US$1 billion investment in 2008 would lead to new "modern and appealing" Ladas, benefiting from Renault technology.…

Read more

SIGNING OF EU-SOUTH KOREA TRADE DEAL SPARKS PROTEST FROM EUROPEAN CAR MAKERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Automobile Manufacturers Association (EMEA) has condemned a European Union (EU)-South Korea free trade agreement, initialed today (15-10), for giving Korean automakers an unfair advantage in EU markets.

At the heart of ACEA’s concern is a "duty drawback" provision allowing South Korean manufacturers to reclaim duties paid on imported car parts and components from low-cost neighbouring countries such as China, while benefiting from the scrapping of EU customs duties for assmbled vehicles.…

Read more

EU ELECTRONIC TOLL STANDARDS OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR EUROPEAN VEHICLE DESIGNERS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE AUTOMOTIVE industry has a new potential market opportunity now that the European Union (EU) has finally agreed the technical specifications for its long-awaited European Electronic Toll Service (EETS). Future vehicles could offer a single pre-installed on-board unit that would work for all road-tolling points across the EU.…

Read more

TOBACCO INDUSTRY HIT WITH HEAVY REGULATIONS IN CANADA



BY ANCA GURZU

A NEW Canadian law banning the sales of cigarettes and cigarillos containing any flavourings and additives is the most recent in a series of restrictions imposed by Canadian public authorities on tobacco companies. This latest rule – an amendment to the federal Canadian Tobacco Act, received royal assent on October 8, 2009, after approval of a Bill C-32.…

Read more

EU POWER SECTOR PROMOTES ELECTRICAL STANDARDS FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has welcomed its receipt tonight (27-10) in Brussels of a declaration from 50 representatives of European electricity generators, power distributors and energy industry associations to create a standardised re-charging system for electric vehicles. European Union (EU) transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani, whose organisation is charged with removing barriers to business between the 27 EU member countries, declared satisfaction with the commitment, made without the urging of European legislation.…

Read more

POLLUTION CAN BE MEASURED BY MAGNETS SAY AMERICAN SCIENTISTS



BY MONICA DOBIE

WE all know heavy metal particles are pumped into the air by industry, but American scientists have developed a way of measuring this pollution by detecting magnetism in tree leaves coated by these emissions. This could be a cheap and effective way of pin pointing pollution hotspots claims Bernie Housen, a geophysicist at Western Washington University.…

Read more

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS EUROPEAN CAR MARKERS' UNEVEN PROGRESS ON IMPROVING CO2 EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN ENVIRONMENTAL report is suggesting that auto manufacturers only make reductions to the greenhouse gas emissions from their models when ordered to by compulsory legislation. Europe’s Transport and Environment (T&E) group has released statistics showing that auto manufacturers who have done well in moving towards European Union (EU) emission standards slackened their anti-pollution technical innovation last year.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA COSMETICS - A BOOMING MARKET, BUT A LOCALLY-SPECIFIC ONE



BY ANDREW SALMON

AFTER passing the fortress-like medieval gate of Namdaemun, visitors enter central Seoul’s traditional shopping quarter: a jumbled maze of stalls and alleyways. A 15-minute walk through the raucous bustle of this 600-year old market, leads to its modern equivalent: The neon-lit, pedestrianised square mile of Myeong Dong.…

Read more

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS EUROPEAN CAR MARKERS' UNEVEN PROGRESS ON IMPROVING CO2 EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN ENVIRONMENTAL report has shown which Europe-based auto-manufacturers must make the most extensive changes to their models and ranges to comply with oncoming 2015 European Union (EU) CO2 emissions standards. Europe’s Transport and Environment (T&E) group has released statistics showing Mazda faces a significant investment bill – maybe forcing up prices: it needs to improve its the emissions of its models by 21% to reach the 2015 mandatory target of an 130 g/km average for all cars made by a manufacturer in Europe.…

Read more

BLOCK EXEMPTIONS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR



BY EMMA JACKSON and KEITH NUTHALL

THE RELATIONSHIP the automotive sales and aftermarket sector have with car makers is clearly a key issue, if not the key issue, that concerns Automotive Management readers. As a result, the current review of the European Union’s (EU) block exemption from EU competition law for the auto sector is being scrutinised carefully.…

Read more

TWISTY MOUNTAIN ROADS AND COLD WINTERS ADD CHALLENGES FOR SWISS TRUCKING



BY SHABTAI GOLD

THE CREW over at Top Gear, the BBC petrol-lovers show, recently declared that the Switzerland part of the Alpine mountain range has some of the best roads in the world for driving. But they were in top sports cars, costing a fortune and hardly designed for bringing farmers’ produce to the supermarkets.…

Read more

NEW TYRE, BRAKING AND OTHER VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS INTRODUCED BY EU



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CARS driven in the European Union (EU) will from November 1, 2012, have to start following new compulsory standards on wet grip, rolling resistance and noise requirements. Following the publication of the new rules in the EU’s official journal in July, manufacturers have been preparing to comply with a minimum rolling resistance for car tyres of a maximum value of 12 kg/tonne, for instance.…

Read more

TATA STEEL EXPANDS AS IT FOCUSES ON INDIA'S GROWING AUTO SECTOR



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA

A CENTURY-OLD, India’s first steel plant set up by the industrial group of Tata in the eastern town of Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) is not only the leading supplier of high quality steel to the country’s auto industry, it is expanding.…

Read more

RECYCLING COMPANIES CAN TAP NEW GREEN RESEARCH EURO MILLIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MATERIALS recycling companies can tap a major Euro 3.2 billion programme of European Union (EU) environmental research spending that was been launched last week (13-7).

At a ceremony in Brussels involving more than 800 senior researchers and industrialists, the European Commission unveiled three private-public partnerships funding R&D projects across Europe.…

Read more

KROES WARNS GERMANY NOT TO ADD STRINGS TO OPEL DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

BRITISH dealers of Vauxhall and Opel cars can draw comfort from a European Commission pledge to prevent the planned Magna International and Sberbank takeover of Opel/Vauxhall being framed to close UK plants ahead of those in Germany. Speaking to the European Parliament, European Union (EU) competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said that the German government’s offer of Euro 4.5 billion to the planned New Opel company owned by Magna/Sberbank must not have strings.…

Read more

EIB PLANS INVESTMENT IN INDIAN BRANCH OF VW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is lending Euro 100 million to Volkswagen India Private Ltd, a subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen Group, to part-finance expansion of its new car manufacturing facility in the western India state of Maharashtra.…

Read more

DEAL STRUCK ON EU TYRE LABELLING RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DEAL has been struck by MEPs and European Union (EU) ministers imposing mandatory tyre labelling across the EU, promoting fuel-efficient, wet gripping and low noise tyres. It will force the public classification and labelling of tyres from a top-ranking green ‘A’ class to the worst red ‘G’ class.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION CLAIMS US LABELLING RULES AND ECO-TAXATION ARE UNFAIR TO EURO-MANUFACTURERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THERE is much work required by the United States government and the European Union (EU) to disarm trade barriers impeding EU auto exports, a new European Commission report has claimed.

The EU executive highlights three particular grumbles with existing US legislation, it claims gives American (and Canadian) automakers unfair advantages over European rivals.…

Read more

INDIAN AND SOUTH KOREA AUTO EXECUTIVES STUDY NEW TRADE DEAL FOR ADVANTAGE



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA and KARRYN MILLER

AUTOMOBILE executives in South Korea and India are busy analysing the detail of a freshly inked Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the South Korean and Indian governments. The initial impact remains unclear but it is likely that early beneficiaries will be South Korean-owned auto plants in India who will be able to import some key parts more cheaply, because of some handy duty cuts.…

Read more

TOYOTA PLOT UK MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF NEW SUPER-EFFICIENT HYBRID CAR



BY JULIAN RYALL

TOYOTA Motor Corp is to release an ultra-efficient and reasonably priced hybrid car worldwide in 2011, with the British market a top target for sales.

The compact hybrid will have a fuel-efficiency of 40 kilometres per litre – making it the best-performing mass-produced hybrid in the world – with a price tag of Yen 1.5 million (GBPounds 9,622) in Japan.…

Read more

AUTOMAKERS ON NOTICE FOR START OF MAJOR RESEARCH SPENDING ON GREEN CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AUTO makers have been put on notice for the release of around Euro 80 million in European Union (EU) research funding to develop green cars and associated road and roadside technologies. The money, the European Commission has announced, will come from its Seventh Framework Programme for research, with final details being released on July 30.…

Read more

UK CAR SCRAPPAGE SCHEME MAY NOT WORK



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A COMPREHENSIVE report from a European Union (EU) think-tank has indicated that Britain’s new Pounds 2,000 old car scrappage scheme may not work, because of high levels of UK personal indebtedness.

The paper ‘Recent restructuring trends and policies in the automotive sector’ by the Dublin-based European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions has shown how Germany’s scrappage scheme has been markedly successful – in contrast to those in other EU member states, such as France and Italy.…

Read more

MAJOR AUTO MANUFACTURERS GRAPPLE WITH PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLIST SAFETY SENSORS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A CONSORTIUM of major European auto manufacturers, engineers and researchers have developed prototype technology sensing whether pedestrians and cyclists may collide with a car, van, or lorry, alerting drivers in real time. However, the members of the WATCH-OVER group still have work before the resulting system can be marketed.…

Read more

THE EU HYDROGEN PLATFORM - ROARING AHEAD OR A DAMP SQUIB?



BY DEIRDRE MASON

IT was to be the booster rocket for the European hydrogen and fuel cell industry – a Euro 1 billion package to support development of the technology and putting it on the market. Launched on last October in Brussels, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) linked the European Commission, European industrialists and the research community to a common goal of mass-marketing these promising technologies before 2020.…

Read more

CHINA'S INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT APPROACH SHOWS NEW KEENNESS FOR GREENER DISPOSAL METHODS



BY MARK GODFREY

COMMUNIST Party cadres from around China are being bussed out to Asuwei landfill in Beijing’s Changping suburb to view a showcase for how China wants to manage waste in the future. As China urbanises, its solid waste output has been climbing by 9% a year, said Rasmus Reinvag, co-author of a recent China environmental sector report by the WWF conservation group and Norwegian-government owned development group Innovation Norway.…

Read more

BHUTAN'S TOBACCO SALES BAN UNDER THREAT AFTER IMPLEMENTATION FAILURES



BY KENCHO WANGDI

THE IMPLEMENTATION of the much vaunted sales and public place smoking ban in Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan kingdom, has not been easy. And now the country’s newly minted parliament is considering lifting the sales ban, while providing for tougher enforcement of the public place ban and fighting tobacco smuggling.…

Read more

CHINESE CARMAKERS ARE PREPARING TO SEEK THE ULTIMATE PRIZE, EUROPEAN MARKETS



BY MARK GODFREY

ONE might wonder why Chinese car makers would want to go abroad: China’s auto sales are up by as much as 40% in the first half of 2009 according to the National Bureau of Statistics here. Yet Chinese car firms have been gunning hard for sales in the UK and western Europe, both deemed as vital to global expansion plans developed by automakers BYD and Chery, explained Yale Zhang, a Beijing-based auto analyst at CLSA, an investment bank.…

Read more

EUROPE: Researchers on notice for start of major research spending programmes



By Keith Nuthall

A major Euro 3.2 billion programme of research spending that will try to pull Europe out of recession and into a sustainable economic recovery has been launched by the European Commission.

At a ceremony in Brussels witnessed by more than 800 senior researchers and industrialists, the Commission put scientists on notice that millions of research Euros would soon start to pour out of three private-public partnerships funding R&D projects across Europe.…

Read more

GERMANY'S HANDLING OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY RECESSION DRAWS PRAISE IN EU REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A COMPREHENSIVE report from a European Union (EU) think-tank has indicated that Britain’s new Pounds 2,000 scrappage scheme may not work, because of high levels of UK personal indebtedness.

The paper ‘Recent restructuring trends and policies in the automotive sector’ by the Dublin-based European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions has shown how Germany’s scrappage scheme has been markedly successful – in contrast to those in other EU member states, such as France and Italy.…

Read more

GREEN REGULATION OF AUTO SECTOR SPREADS AND DEEPENS WORLDWIDE



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London; RUSSELL BERMAN, in Washington DC; JULIAN RYALL, in Tokyo; RAGHAVENDRA VERMA, in New Delhi; BY WANG FANGQING, in Shanghai; EMMA JACKSON, in Ottawa; KARRYN MILLER; and KEITH NUTHALL

THE AUTOMOBILE sector maybe one of the most globally integrated manufacturing industries on the planet, but national governments (or continental bodies in Europe) still hold sway regarding regulation.…

Read more

CARIBBEAN STATES LOOK TO GREEN POWER TO UNDERPIN THEIR ENERGY SECURITY



BY JAMES FULLER

SMALL island states are always vulnerable in energy sustainability terms, but the growth in renewable energy technologies is giving them a better shot at security of supply. The Caribbean is a case in point, where green energy technologies are being explored across the region.…

Read more

US: AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES MAY LOSE MILLIONS IN ACCOUNTING SCANDAL



By Leah Germain

Two American universities are trying to recuperate tens of millions of dollars they invested with an investment firm accused of defrauding investors, according to legal documents obtained by University World News. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, also in Pittsburgh, both invested money with Westridge Capital Management Inc.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS APPROVE NEW TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR AUTO TIRES AND SAFETY DEVICES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) automakers will have to abide by a fresh set of technical standards for tires, safety features and other new technology. This follows a meeting yesterday (Monday 22-6) of the EU Council of Ministers which voted through new technical rules.…

Read more

VOLVO GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR STOCKHOLM FINANCING OF GREEN MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

VOLVO has secured permission to secure Swedish government loan guarantees covering 90% of the Euro 500 million it plans to borrow from the European Investment Bank to finance for developing new green models. The European Commission announced today (June 5) that it was authorising the guarantee from Stockholm, under its temporary liberal state aid controls, eased to help European industry cope with the recession.…

Read more

GERMANY'S HANDLING OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY RECESSION DRAWS PRAISE IN EU REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A COMPREHENSIVE report from a European Union (EU) think-tank has highlighted the success of Germany in fighting recession within its domestic car market and preventing full-time lay-offs. The paper ‘Recent restructuring trends and policies in the automotive sector’, has been released by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, a Dublin-based EU agency.…

Read more

HUGUETTE LABELLE SAYS FIGHTING CORRUPTION TAKES TENACITY AND CLARITY OF PURPOSE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CORRUPTION begets fraud and fraud begets corruption, and there are few harder crimes to tackle than complex frauds rooted in institutionalised and culturally tolerated corruption. As a result, the work of international organisation Transparency International has been key in fighting fraud worldwide, especially that linked to corruption.…

Read more

VOLVO GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR STOCKHOLM FINANCING OF GREEN MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE LIKELIHOOD of a soft landing for Volvo – should Ford divest the Sweden-based car maker – has improved. The European Commission has approved Swedish government loan guarantees covering 90% of Euro 500 million that Volvo plans to borrow from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help develop new green models.…

Read more

TURKEY RAMPS UP CAR SAFETY INSPECTIONS



BY PAUL COCHRANE

TURKEY is ramping up car safety inspections as part of its bid to join the European Union (EU). Last year, Turkey hired a consortium made up of a German inspection firm TUV-Sud; Turkish car importer and distributor Dogus Automotive; and Akfen, a Turkish construction company, to independently inspect motor vehicles.…

Read more

INNOVATION IN DRINKS PACKAGING MORE INTENSE THAN EVER IN GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE



BY MARK ROWE, in London; KARRYN CARTELLE, in TOKYO; RUSSELL BERMAN, in Washington DC; and MONICA DOBIE, in Ottawa

INNOVATION in drinks packaging is more intense today than it has been for decades, with cutting edge innovation in intelligent materials, microchip integration and nanomaterials allowing designers to create boxes, bottles, cans and sacks that they could not dream of before.…

Read more

EU ADVISORY COMMITTEE WARNS RECESSION COULD PROMPT UNDER-CAPACITY IN EUROPEAN AUTO SECTOR



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A KEY advisory body within the European Union (EU) has warned that UK and other European dealers may have to import more cars in future from Asia, north America and elsewhere, because it fears the recession may cause structural under-capacity amongst EU manufacturers.…

Read more

NEW CERAMIC BRAKE JOINT VENTURE LAUNCHED AFTER BRUSSELS APPROVAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A NEW German-Italian joint venture making carbon-ceramic brake discs and systems has been launched, following the granting of competition approval by the European Commission. The deal will involve a 50-50 merger of SGL Carbon SE, of Germany, and Brembo SpA, of Italy.…

Read more

HOW CHINA'S GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE IS HELPING THE RECYCLED METALS IMPORT MARKET RECOVER



BY MARK GODFREY

BUSINESS remains slow in Jinghai, a slice of industrial land a couple of hours east of Beijing designated as one of China’s key recycling belts. Business was brisk here up to October 2008, the date given locally as the beginning of a savage dip in demand for recyclables.…

Read more

EU ADVISORY COMMITTEE WARNS RECESSION COULD PROMPT UNDER-CAPACITY IN EUROPEAN AUTO SECTOR



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A KEY advisory body within the European Union (EU) has called for special efforts to prevent recession-prompted rationalisation within the European auto sector going leading to long-term under-capacity in the sector.

The European Economic and Social Committee (a long established expert group that must be consulted on a range of issues by other EU institutions) has warned in a formal opinion that "care must be taken not to equate structural problems with overcapacity alone."…

Read more

BANGLADESH AUTO SALES LEVEL OFF BUT EXPECTED TO REBOUND



BY MARK GODFREY

AUTOMOBILE sales are down slightly this year in Bangladesh, after a decade of dramatic growth in vehicle ownership. Fluctuating orders for the country’s export-dependent garments industry is depressing sales of vehicles, commented Shah Khaled Pavel, assistant manager for sales at Navana Ltd, Bangladesh’s largest dealership for new Toyota cars.…

Read more

CUSTOM CARS BECOME VIRTUAL REALITY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

IF there is one marketing certainty for the next few decades, it is that virtual reality systems will increasingly be used to sell products and services, and that ultimately, traditional posters, radio, television and even Internet ads will take second place or be wiped out.…

Read more

GLOBAL COATING SECTOR WELL POSITIONED TO RIDE OUT FALL IN AUTO INDUSTRY SALES



BY RUSSELL BERMAN

WITH the auto industry in the United States and Europe in the midst of an unprecedented downturn, the international paints and coatings sector has taken a deep hit as well and has been forced to turn to painful strategies in the hopes of riding out the recession.…

Read more

UK RETAILERS WELCOME EU GREEN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE RETAIL Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) has welcomed the approval of a new European Union (EU) directive that will promote the sale of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles to public authorities and utilities.

The new law says these key auto sector customers must choose from two options for greening their fleets when buying new vehicles through compulsory competitive tenders:

*They can set minimum technical specifications for energy and environmental performance; and

*They can include energy and environmental impacts in the actual purchasing decision by writing these considerations into criteria for bids by suppliers, alongside sticker price costs.…

Read more

USA BIOFUEL INDUSTRY RECEIVING BOOST FROM NEW OBAMA ADMINISTRATION



BY RUSSELL BERMAN

THE SWEEPING energy reforms being undertaken by the new administration of US President Barack Obama include billions of dollars in funding for biofuels and other clean energy sources.

America’s biofuels industry is applauding Mr Obama’s early moves, although advocates are still awaiting regulatory directives on renewable fuel standards.…

Read more

INTRODUCTION - RENEWABLE ENERGIES FORGE AHEAD - BUT FROM A LOW BASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL, LEAH GERMAIN and MONICA DOBIE

MAYBE the best sign that renewable energies have hit the mainstream is that they now have their very own international organisation: the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Launched in Bonn, Germany, this January, with the support of 76 countries, including its host nation, Spain, Italy, France and Sweden, the roster of signatory nations has since been swollen by India and Belarus.…

Read more

GLOBAL MOVE TO PROMOTE HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A ’50 by 50′ Global Fuel Economy Initiative launched by the UN Environment Programme, the International Energy Agency, the International Transport Forum and the FIA Foundation aims to promote hybrids and electric cars.

It details blueprints on establishing a global car fleet consuming 50% less fuel by 2050 than today, stabilising its greenhouse gas emissions.…

Read more

EIB RELEASES ANOTHER TRANCHE OF MONEY FOR EUROPEAN AUTO MAKERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPE’S auto sector has today been promised another cash injection from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has emerged as the European Union’s (EU) key weapon to help the sector stave off the recession.

The EU-run financing institution’s board of directors today (Tuesday) approved loans to Europe-based car makers worth Euro 866 million to help them design and build cleaner cars with lower CO2 emissions.…

Read more

UK TYRE MAKERS PUSH FOR TYRE LEAFLETS AS WELL AS LABELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE BRITISH tyre industry is pushing for a planned European tyre labelling system to be amended so that useful point-of-sale information about safety and noise is made available in showrooms. The problem with the current proposals approved by the European Parliament last week (22-04) is it focuses on labelling, said John Dorken, the chief executive of the British Tyre Manufacturers Association.…

Read more

EUROPE: New R&D wake-up call from European Commission



By Alan Osborn

If the European Union (EU) wants to become the world leader in information and communication technologies (ICT), as it frequently asserts, it should not expect to do it for nothing. As a start, the 27 EU member states should at least double their investment in ICT – both public and private – over the next 10 years, says the European Commission, the EU’s executive, in launching a new ICT Research and Innovation Strategy.…

Read more

EUREKA RESEARCH NETWORK DEVELOPS HYBRID CIRCUIT INTEGRATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A GROUNDBREAKING starter motor-alternator, enabling cars to automatically and smoothly stop and start in congestion, has been developed by the Eureka research network. The i-StARS (NOTE – SPELLING IS CORRECT) project developed second-generation technology whose battery can power high numbers of charge/discharge cycles; and can inhibit the stop-start function or restart an engine if a charge level is too low.…

Read more

GHOSN CALLS FOR BETTER COORDINATION OF EU ASSISTANCE TO EUROPEAN CAR MANUFACTURERS



BY DAVID HAWORTH

FRESH from the gloomy prognostications of the Geneva Auto Show, European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) president Carlos Ghosn had some of his own on Wednesday saying European car output will fall by 25% this year.

Speaking after talks in Brussels with European Commission president José Manuel Barroso and European Union (EU) industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen, he told a press conference: "This forecast is not the same as the one I gave last week.…

Read more

LOW COUNTRY TRUCKERS BUCK EUROPEAN TREND - THEY REALLY LIKE THEIR JOBS



BY TONY MALLETT

GIVEN that they work in a country renowned for its knee-deep bureaucracy and fervent industrial action, Belgian truckers seem a surprisingly contented bunch. At least when taken individually.

Despite recent protests about the price of fuel – which resulted in their blockade of the Brussels inner ring road and demonstrations outside the headquarters of both the European Commission and the European Parliament – the pros riding way up high in the cabs of HGVs on Belgian roads seem generally happy with their lot.…

Read more

GLOBAL MOVE TO PROMOTE HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FLEET managers could have a lot more hybrids and electric cars on offer if a new global initiative involving four international agencies, including two transport bodies, is successful. A ’50 by 50′ Global Fuel Economy Initiative has been launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the FIA [Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile] Foundation.…

Read more

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES CAR MARKET FALLS OFF CLIFF



BY PAUL COCHRANE

VEHICLE sales in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plunged by up to 45% in the first two months of the year compared to 2008, according to Ford, a remarkable change in fortunes from the years of double-digit growth when the US$3.6 billion sector was one of the fastest growing in the world.…

Read more

FRENCH U-TURN DRAWS STING FROM WEEKEND EUROPEAN SUMMIT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

BRITISH dealers of France-made cars can breath a sigh of relief in the knowledge that their suppliers are not going to become a swift victim of the credit crunch, with the European Commission approving a Euro 6.5 billion bail-out package drafted by the French government.…

Read more

AUTO DEALERS GET EIB RECESSION LIFELINE - BUT WILL IT BE ENOUGH?



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is a complex set of institutions and so it will not surprise European auto executives that the EU response to the financial threat they face has been anything but simple. It is so much simpler in the US of course: there the federal government can actually talk about bail-outs, without looking over its shoulder at critics from abroad.…

Read more

ISO OFFERS NUCLEAR SECTOR GLOBAL STANDARDS TO SPREAD BEST PRACTICE



BY KEITH NUTHALL, EMMA JACKSON and ALAN OSBORN

THE NUCLEAR energy industry has always been a global business, and since the fall of communism, it has become more, not less international. As a result, the need for common standards and practices, relevant to the industry, its suppliers and its customers is becoming increasingly important.…

Read more

ELECTRIC CARS INFRASTRUCTURE ROLL-OUT PROTOTYPE BEING TESTED IN DENMARK



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DANISH island will be a test bed showing how a sustainable mass market in electric vehicles could be built across Europe. Computer giant IBM, Denmark utility DONG Energy, Siemens, the Danish government and others are teaming up in the EDISON project to install and test recharging infrastructure on the island of Bornholm.…

Read more

AUTO DEALERS GET ANOTHER RECESSION LIFELINE - FROM THE EIB



BY KEITH NUTHALL

LARGE sums of money have started rolling out of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help keep European auto makers afloat, although its impact will not necessarily prevent dealers from losing suppliers.

The EIB last week (Thursday March 12) announced that its board had approved Euro 3 billion in loans to BMW, Daimler, Fiat, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Renault, Volvo Cars, Scania and Volvo Trucks.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EUROPE 95% DEPENDENT ON OIL IMPORTS IN FUTURE WARN MEPS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE DEPENDENCE of the European Union (EU) on imports to meet oil supply needs will rise to 95% by 2030, a European Parliament report has claimed. This will expose the EU to strategic dangers through buying oil from unstable or potentially hostile countries in the Middle East and from Russia, it warned.…

Read more

GLOBAL MOVE TO PROMOTE HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

GIVEN the preoccupation of the auto industry these trying days to merely survive past the next quarter, it is refreshing to learn of an international project dealing with the environmental effects of a road transport sector actually projected to grow and grow in the long term, as the developing world gets richer and more mobile.…

Read more

EUREKA RESEARCH NETWORK DEVELOPS HYBRID CIRCUIT INTEGRATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A GROUNDBREAKING starter motor-alternator, enabling cars to automatically and smoothly stop and start when in congested traffic, has been developed by European companies involved in the Eureka research network. The i-StARS (NOTE – SPELLING IS CORRECT) project, coordinated by France’s Valeo Electrical Systems, spent Euro 9.85 million on developing this second-generation technology, whose aim is to create significant environmental improvements to auto performance without forcing car makers to make radical changes to engine design.…

Read more

RUSSIA'S AUTO SECTOR FACING A TOUGH 2009, BUT BIG PLAYERS SHOULD RIDE OUT SLUMP



BY MARK ROWE

AUTO manufacturers and industry associations point to a significant dip in sales and production in Russia this year. JAMA, the Japanese Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, predicts auto sales will fall by 18%, while PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia forecasts a 25%-50% drop in Russia’s overall car sales this year, with Russian domestic car production dipping to 1.6 million vehicles from 3.2 million in 2008.…

Read more

KROES LAYS DOWN MARK ON BLOCK EXEMPTION REVIEW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has laid down policy for the review of the European Union’s (EU) auto sector block exemption from standard European competition rules. Importantly, she has given a "cast-iron guarantee" that a new system would guarantee the rights of independent repairers to "access to technical information and alternative brands of spare parts."…

Read more

CHINA WINE SECTOR PUSHING AHEAD AS GROWING MIDDLE CLASS DEVELOPS TASTE SOPHISTICATION



BY MARK GODFREY

BARRY Lee is probably typical of Chinese wine drinkers. The auto-sales accountant started off drinking a local Great Wall red at an office lunch, then got curious and went to a Beijing branch of the French Carrefour supermarket chain where he spent RMB78 (US$11.40) on a bottle of Chilean red.…

Read more

EU LEGISLATION SHOULD CLEAR WAY FOR WIDESPREAD INSTALLATION OF DIGITAL TACOGRAPHS ON CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A NEW European Union (EU) law will clear the way for fleets to fit digital tacographs in cars, SUVs and light vans if they choose. Until now, this technology was only authorised under EU technical legislation for use in lorries and buses, but now the European Commission has extended its scope to smaller vehicles.…

Read more

NEW INTERNATIONAL MOUNT FUJI SHIZUOKA AIRPORT OPENS THIS JUNE



BY KARRYN MILLER

JAPAN’S 98th airport, Mt Fuji Shizuoka Airport, is set to open on June 4, 2009: despite the launch being delayed twice. The initial March opening was moved back because the owner of 150 nearby trees refused to chop them down or even shorten them.…

Read more

SOUTH AFRICA AUTO SECTOR NEEDS CREATIVITY TO SURVIVE DOWNTURN



BY BILL CORCORAN

SALES of new vehicles made in South Africa, one of the better performing automobile markets worldwide in recent times, fell by more than 20% last year due to the global economic downturn, and the country’s automakers are trying to crafting a positive response.…

Read more

MEPS BAN DICHLOROMETHANE IN PAINT-STRIPPERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has approved a law banning dichloromethane in paint strippers used by consumers and many professionals across the European Union (EU). Under its terms, paint-strippers containing dichloromethane in concentrations exceeding 0.1% shall not be sold new within 18 months nor supplied as old stock two-and-a-half years from now.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - UKRAINE ROW SPURS EU GAS SUPPLY REFORMS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN EXTRAORDINARY European Union (EU) Council of Ministers energy meeting has agreed medium and long-term measures to prevent a recurrence of a future gas supply crisis resembling this month’s row between Russia and the Ukraine. Ministers said the EU would fund improved metering, promote administrative transparency in gas supply systems feeding into member states’ networks, improved gas interconnection infrastructure and creating a better early warning system.…

Read more

BRUSSELS TRIES TO BALANCE CONSUMER AND AUTO INDUSTRY INTERESTS OVER EMBEDDED CHIPS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

FORTHCOMING European Union (EU) guidance covering embedded microchips and consumer privacy could have serious implications for the automotive industry unless new technology is developed swiftly and the European Commission allows special rules for chips used in vehicles.

The concerns focus on a draft Commission ‘recommendation’ (which is formal guidance for EU citizens and companies, short of a binding law), circulating since April 2008.…

Read more

EU PLOTS SUBSIDIES TO ENCOURAGE PURCHASE OF NEW CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE CZECH presidency of the European Union (EU) has revealed a plan to offer subsidies to automobile consumers who want to replace their old models and buy new cars. It is the latest strand to emerge of the EU’s strategy to help the European auto industry through its current tough trading conditions.…

Read more

FUEL RETAIL SECTORS CAN BE LOW PRIORITY FOR OIL-RICH CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICAN STATES



BY PACIFICA GODDARD, in Caracas; MARVIN HOKSTAM, in Paramaribo, JAMES FULLER, in Port of Spain

IT may seem like a good thing for fuel retailers to be based in country that is sitting on a bounty of fuel reserves. But that is not necessarily the case, as many Latin American and Caribbean retailers can testify.…

Read more

RENAULT TO RAISE EURO 400 MILLION FROM EIB TO DEVELOP ELECTRIC VEHICLES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

RENAULT’S ambitious plans to develop and roll out electric vehicles worldwide are likely to be bankrolled by a Euro 400 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The money, said a bank memorandum, would fund around 40% of current Euro 1 billion Renault spending plans on develop electric vehicles and improving the environmental performance of conventional Renault vehicles.…

Read more

MINISTERS APPROVE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY DESIGN LAWS FOR CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A COMPREHENSIVE package of design rules new cars aimed at making vehicles less dangerous to pedestrians has been approved by European Union (EU) ministers. The rules will come into force from January 2011, and immediately for heavier vehicles (of 2,500 kg and more).…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - DEAL STRUCK ON CO2 EMISSIONS CAP



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AGREEMENT has been struck over future European Union (EU) targets for CO2 emissions from cars, with an informal deal being forged by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. The agreement is a compromise, with energy and automobile companies securing a phase-in between 2012 and 2015 of an agreed 120g/km target.…

Read more

NEW AUTOMOBILE PLANTS BLAZE TRAIL IN NEW TECHNOLOGY AND GOOD PRACTICE



BY DEIRDRE MASON, JAMES BURNS, and JULIAN RYALL

With technological change being forced upon the auto manufacturing industry by high oil prices, plants are being retooled faster than in living memory. At such a time, companies are always looking for new ideas and technology.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS AND MEPS STRIKE DEAL OVERCO2 CAP FOR EUROPEAN CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

IT appears the long debate over strictness of a planned carbon emission cap for cars in the European Union (EU) may at last be ending, with a compromise being framed for agreement ahead of Christmas.

An informal deal has been struck between representatives of the EU’s representative assembly the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, which is made up of the union’s 27 member states.…

Read more

GREEN CARS LIKELY TO BE SUBSIDISED UNDER EU STIMULUS PLAN



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) heads of government will meet this week (Dec 11-12) to debate an expensive economic stimulus plan that aims to keep Europe’s automobile industry afloat, while retooling to create new low emission models.

The auto sector is a key plank of a Euro 200 billion public spending injection proposed by the European Commission, aimed at reversing the effects of the credit crunch.…

Read more

USA, CHINA, STRIKE ANTI-SUBSIDY DEAL ON CHINESE 'FAMOUS BRANDS' DISPUTE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE UNITED States is claiming victory in a trade dispute with China, after Beijing announced it would scrap subsidies for products including automotive parts and vehicles. Washington had launched formal disputes proceedings at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where it argued these China-christened ‘famous brands’ handouts were export subsidies banned under WTO rules.…

Read more

ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA AS PRESIDENT HERALDS MAJOR OVERHAUL OF US ENERGY POLICY



BY RUSSELL BERMAN

THE US president-elect, Barack Obama, will take office later this month (Jan 20) having promised sweeping changes to America’s energy policy. This includes aggressive regulations on carbon emissions to combat climate change and substantially increased government funding for alternative energy with the aim of creating a new "green" sector of the American economy devoted to the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean coal and other sources.…

Read more

OVERMATTER - EUROPEAN COMMISSION TRANSPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

The report said the Commission had installed 17 videoconferencing systems.

It had also enabled 900 officials to undertake tele-working through improved flexi-time arrangements.

As regards the Commission’s own fleet of vehicles, it had replaced old petrol cars with newer diesel models with particulate matter filters.…

Read more

AIR-POWERED CARS MOVE TOWARDS COMMERCIAL REALITY



BY KARRYN MILLER

ABOUT a decade ago we first heard whispers of compressed air cars: an eco-friendly driving option that kept travel costs low. Now, with mineral oil fuelled cars under pressure on price and pollution, air-powered vehicles are finally becoming a concrete product.…

Read more

RUSSIA'S PAINT AND COATINGS SECTOR POWERS ON DESPITE CREDIT CRUNCH



BY MARK ROWE

THE CREDIT crunch may be about to apply the handbrake to the Russian economy, but its paint industry continued to flourish in 2008, mirroring the expansion of wealth in the country, and suggesting the sector may buck the expected downturn in the coming 12 months.…

Read more

EU JUDGES CLEAR WAY FOR EU GOVERNMENTS TO INSIST ON VEHICLE DIESEL FILTERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice (ECJ) has cleared the way for national governments in the European Union (EU) to insist that diesel-powered vehicles registered in that country be fitted with special filters reducing particulate matter emissions. Judges struck down a European Commission decision blocking a Netherlands law effectively insisting that such a filter be used on all Dutch-registered diesel cars, lorries and vans.…

Read more

DRAMATIC FALL IN EUROPEAN COMMISSION OFFICIALS DRIVING TO WORK



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DRAMATIC fall in the proportion of the European Commission’s 35,000 officials who use private cars to travel from home to work has been noted in an environmental assessment.

The Commission’s eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS) concluded by this June, the proportion of staff commuting by private car had fallen to 29% (from 43% in 2004), while those using public transport ?…

Read more

PAKISTAN'S AUTO INDUSTRY HITTING TOUGH TIMES



BY SAEED AKHTAR BALOCH

PAKISTAN’s automobile industry, contributing 2.8 % to the country’s GDP by financial year (FY) 2006-7, has grown impressively this decade. But the sector’s growth may turn negative this year because of high inflation, especially rising steel prices, political uncertainty and overall economic recession in Pakistan and elsewhere.…

Read more

EU AUTO INDUSTRY MAY RECEIVE EURO 40 BILLION IN SOFT LOANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE SHAPE of a European Commission rescue package for the European Union (EU) automobile industry now being drafted has become much clearer: a Euro 40 billion soft loan pushed through the European Investment Bank (EIB).

This was revealed by EU industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen after a meeting with European auto sector executives, including France’s Peugeot-Citroën and Germany’s Daimler, under the umbrella of the EU’s CARS 21 reform initiative.…

Read more

FRANCE SEEKS TO WATER DOWN EU CO2 CAP ON CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE CO2 cap on new cars within the European Union (EU) that has been proposed by the European Commission looks set to be watered down, with the French government pushing a compromise deal that would delay full implementation to 2015.…

Read more

EU AUTO INDUSTRY MAY RECEIVE EURO 40 BILLION IN SOFT LOANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE SHAPE of the European Commission’s rescue package for the European Union (EU) automobile industry has become much clearer: a Euro 40 billion soft loan pushed through the European Investment Bank (EIB).

This was revealed by EU industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen after a meeting with European auto sector executives, including France’s Peugeot-Citroën and Germany’s Daimler, under the umbrella of the EU’s CARS 21 reform initiative.…

Read more

THE NETHERLANDS: University researchers develop special ceramic to stop windscreens being auto-noise loud speakers



By Keith Nuthall

Windscreens are not such something to look through, say European university scientists: they also act as loud speakers, attracting and magnifying noise created by a car or lorry, reflecting the racket back at drivers and passengers alike. This fact has made researchers in the European Union (EU)-funded and University of Twente, Netherlands-coordinated InMAR (‘Intelligent Materials for Active Noise Reduction’) project consider how to change the materials making windshields, so that they absorb noise rather than amplify it.…

Read more

SUGAR BEET BIOFUELS LIKELY TO MEET EU SUSTAINABILITY GUIDELINES, AFTER NEW RESEARCH



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A KEY source of biofuels within the European Union (EU) – sugar beet – looks likely to meet EU sustainability criteria after new research concluded the fuel had fewer CO2 emissions than previously thought.

Earlier assessments from the European Commission had concluded that greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuels of sugar beet biofuels was just 35%.…

Read more

EU OFFICIALS CONSIDER INTERNET CHIP SWITCH-OFF LAW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) ministers have discussed potential EU legislation ensuring Internet-linked tags integrated into products – such as navigation and digital tacograph devices in cars and vans – can be switched off. The development of these technologies has raised concerns amongst privacy activists and such a law is being seriously considered in France, where the ministerial meeting was staged.…

Read more

PAINT COMPANIES DEVELOP THOUSANDS OF COLOUR VARIANTS TO MATCH DIVERSE WORLDWIDE TASTES



BY MARK ROWE

THE PSYCHOLOGY of colour has fascinated philosophers and scientists down the ages, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the world’s paint companies devote much of their time to working out why consumers prefer certain colours for certain everyday items – and why these tastes vary so much across the world.…

Read more

EU SUMMIT PUSHES EUROPEAN AUTO INDUSTRY RESCUE PACKAGE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) heads of government have told the European Commission to draft by December 11 major funding plan to help the EU’s automobile manufacturing industry cope with the current recession and re-tool for low emissions models. French president Nicolas Sarkozy said later: "Can we ask the European car industry to produce clean cars…without giving them a helping hand?"…

Read more

THE GLOBAL BATTLE TO SUPPLY HYBRID AND ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES GATHERS STEAM



BY ANDREW CAVE and KARRYN MILLER

FACING a looming energy crisis, the battle to produce lithium ion batteries to power hybrid and battery cars is heating up. Germany’s Robert Bosch and Samsung of South Korea recently formed a joint venture SB LiMotive Co to compete with the likes of BorgWarner, Johnson Controls, TRW and Continental.…

Read more

EU MULLING FINANCIAL PACKAGE TO SUPPORT CAR MAKERS



BY CHRIS JONES

FOLLOWING US government action to assist the American auto industry, European leaders are now considering measures to support their continent’s automobile manufacturers amid the ever-worsening global economy.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose government is the current holder of the European Union’s (EU) six-month rotating presidency, has told journalists that the European Commission has been asked to develop a plan by December 11 about how national governments and EU institutions could support their heavy industry, including the automobile sector.…

Read more

INDIAN MANUFACTURER CONFIRMS CHRYSLER OUTSOURCING TALKS



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA

AN INDIAN contract auto manufacturing firm has confirmed to just-auto that it is in negotiations with Chrysler about an outsourced manufacturing deal, and says it is busy retooling its plant to assemble larger vehicles.

Head of corporate communications for Argentum Motors Colonel Bhagwati Prasad Suman said talks were ongoing and that his firm was still in competition with other auto makers to seal the deal.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - RUSSIA ATTACK IMPACTS ON EU ENERGY POLICY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE DIPLOMATIC fallout over Russia’s attack on Georgia has continued to impact on European Union (EU) energy policies, although signs of an early thaw in relations are evident. At an EU-Ukraine summit in Paris, the EU promised to sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine mid-2009, bringing Kiev closer to becoming a member state, although no timetable for membership negotiations was set.…

Read more

MEPS BACK NEW EUROPE-WIDE HYDROGEN VEHICLE TECHNICAL STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

OVERWHELMING support for a European Union (EU)-wide technical standard for hydrogen vehicles has been secured at the European Parliament. MEPs voted yesterday (2/9) by 644 votes-to-two approving a European Commission proposed set of rules for building these next generation vehicles.…

Read more

MEPs PUSH FOR DELAYS OVER CO2 CEILING FOR AUTO EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EFFORTS are being made at the European Parliament to delay for three years the introduction of the proposed European Union (EU)-wide cap on CO2 emissions for new cars of 120kg/km. If successful, these manoeuvres would allow fleets to continue buying existing models, which could become more expensive if improved with new emissions reduction technology.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES CLASH OVER CO2 CAP



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE KEY European Parliament committees drafting the fine-print of the proposed European Union (EU) cap on carbon dioxide emissions for passenger cars are clashing over the obligations that should be imposed on the EU auto industry.

Members of the EP’s environment committee have now voted to make the cap’s rules tougher that that proposed by the European Commission.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EUROPEAN ENERGY NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA FROZEN OVER GEORGIA CONFLICT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) has frozen its partnership and cooperation negotiations with Russia over the Georgia conflict, just three months after the talks were launched following long delays. An emergency meeting of the EU Council of Ministers has ordered no meetings will take place with Moscow on the agreement until its "troops have withdrawn to the positions held prior to 7 August", prior to its short war with Georgia.…

Read more

MEPs PUSH FOR DELAYS OVER CO2 CEILING FOR AUTO EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s industry committee is pushing for auto manufacturers to be given an additional three years to hit the proposed European Union (EU)-wide 120g/km ceiling for carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). The European Commission has proposed the industry should comply with this maximum by 2012, albeit with some built in flexibilities to accommodate concerns amongst manufacturers of larger cars.…

Read more

SPECIAL CERAMIC IS KEY TO STOPPING WINDSHIELDS BEING AUTO-NOISE LOUD SPEAKERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

WINDSHIELDS are not such something to look through, say European scientists: they also act as loud speakers, attracting and magnifying noise created by an auto, reflecting the racket back at drivers and passengers alike. This fact has made researchers in the European Union (EU)-funded InMAR (‘Intelligent Materials for Active Noise Reduction’) project consider how to change the materials making windshields, so that they absorb noise rather than amplify it.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ORDERS DAYTIME LIGHTS FOR NEW CAR MODELS FROM 2011



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has effectively ordered that day time running lights be fitted to all new makes of motor vehicles from 2011. In a move that could spark opposition from the UK government on energy conservation grounds, the Commission has used its authority to write UN vehicle regulations into European Union (EU) law to make the change.…

Read more

EUROPE: Radical new ICT approach needed says Commission



By Alan Osborn

The European Commission has launched a major consultation about the development of information and communications technology (ICT) in the EU following indications that Europe is slipping further behind in the global technology race.

The consultation runs until 7th November (see http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ICTRDI)…

Read more

SPECIAL CERAMIC IS KEY TO STOPPING WINDSCREENS BEING AUTO-NOISE LOUD SPEAKERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

WINDSCREENS are not such something to look through, say European Union (EU) scientists: they also act as loud speakers, attracting and magnifying noise created by a car, reflecting the racket back at drivers and passengers alike. This has made researchers in the EU-funded InMAR (‘Intelligent Materials for Active Noise Reduction’) project consider how make windscreens absorb noise rather than amplify it.…

Read more

INNOVATIVE ALPINE COMBINED TRANSPORT INITIATIVE CAN RECEIVE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES: EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN INNOVATIVE combined transport road-rail service helping keep key Alpine passes free of congestion will receive an additional Euro 44 million in subsidies from the Italian and French governments to keep operating. The European Commission approved the handout for the Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine roll-on-roll-off motorway service taking lorries and trailers by rail between Aiton, France and Orbassano, Italy.…

Read more

MEPS BACK NEW EUROPE-WIDE HYDROGEN VEHICLE TECHNICAL STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A POTENTIAL obstacle holding up the commercial release of hydrogen-fuelled cars onto the European Union (EU) market has been cleared with the European Parliament approving an EU-wide technical standard for hydrogen vehicles. MEPs were concerned that without such rules, each 27 EU member government might approve contrasting standards, preventing hydrogen models from being sold across Europe.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES START MAJOR PUSH ON ELECTRIC CAR DEVELOPMENT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CONTINENTAL European countries have started making major pushes to increase the amount of electric cars in operation. The initiatives mirror efforts by the UK government, with prime minister Gordon Brown recently promising GBPounds 90 million to support the development of electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles.…

Read more

CHINA LAUNCHES UNPRECEDENTED TRAFFIC CONTROLS TO TAME OLYMPICS AIR POLLUTION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE CHINESE government launched unprecedented traffic restrictions in Beijing to tame the city’s notorious air pollution ahead of August’s Olympic Games. It has banned half of the city’s 3.3 million cars from its streets for two months from July 20.…

Read more

AUSTRALIA TIGHTENS ANTI-SMOKING LAWS



BY KARRYN MILLER

JULY’S mid-winter political season in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) has been marked by the approval of tougher smoking laws by the state’s parliament in Sydney. They impose new smoking restrictions and penalties, part of the NSW government’s attempt to reduce children’s exposure to cigarettes, both lit and unlit.…

Read more

OIL KEEPS FLOWING INTO ZIMBABWE DESPITE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CHAOS



BY BILL CORCORAN

WITH a crippled economy, inflation running at over 2.2 million per cent and a government partial to confiscating the assets and local operations of foreign companies when it sees fit, doing business in Zimbabwe is undoubtedly a risky undertaking.…

Read more

PARTICULATE MATTER REDUCTIONS POSE CHALLENGE FOR OIL INDUSTRY



BY DEIRDRE MASON

OIL-REFINING and transport industries operating within the European Union (EU) will be under further pressure to produce cleaner fuels and less polluting vehicles through a new air quality directive setting strict limits for ultra-fine PM 2.5 particulate matter in air.…

Read more

GLOBAL TRANSPORT SECTOR PUSHES FORWARD ON HYDROGEN, AMIDST SOME SCEPTICISM



BY ALAN OSBORN

ANGLO-Dutch oil giant Shell is not in much doubt that hydrogen is one of the fuels of the future, if not the fuel of the future. Barely a month ago, in June, Duncan Macleod, (NOTE: SPELLING IS CORRECT) global vice president of Shell Hydrogen, told an clean technology conference in the US that Shell had restructured its organisation "to prepare for hydrogen’s transition into the mainstream, bringing it into our downstream fuels portfolio, alongside gasoline, diesel, LPG, CNG – as well as biofuels and GTL."…

Read more

BRAZIL LEARNS FROM EXPERIENCE TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE AND STRONG BIOFUELS SECTOR



BY PACIFICA GODDARD

AS the price of petroleum climbs increasingly makes alternative energy sources such as biofuels sound increasingly attractive to many countries that had dismissed them in the past, Brazil, the largest consumer of ethanol in the world with over 30 years of experience developing their biofuels industry, has many lessons to offer.…

Read more

NEW HUNGARY PLANT AID APPROVED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MERCEDES-BENZ can now push ahead with building a new manufacturing plant in Hungary, having secured permission from the European Commission to receive Euro 111.5 million in cash and tax breaks from the Hungarian government. The money will help Mercedes-Benz Hungary meet the Euro 800 million cost of building a plant in Kecskemét, the Dél-Alföld region.…

Read more

EU ECOLABELLING SYSTEM TO BE EXTENDED TO AUTOMOBILES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A PROPOSED revamping of the European Union (EU) system for awarding EU ecolabels would establish the legal authority for creating ecolabelling for cars within Europe. A proposed new ecolabelling regulation lays down the procedure for drafting and approving technical rules for complex manufactured goods.…

Read more

MEPS CALL FOR INTEGRATED URBAN TRANSPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DETAILED report from the European Parliament has called on municipal governments to produce ‘sustainable urban mobility plans’ that involve services linking transport modes, such as private and company cars, with buses, light rail, ferry and even bicycle transport.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION LAYS GROUNDWORK FOR EUROPEAN AUTO ECOLABELLING SYSTEM



BY MARK ROWE

EUROPEAN car manufacturers could face new requirements in future to subscribe to a continent-wide eco-labeling scheme. Across the European Union (EU), several products are already subject to ratings on their environmental sustainability and are required to meet benchmarks for good environmental performance, the sustainable production and consumption of products, and the sustainable provision and use of services.…

Read more

CHINESE GOVERNMENT IN URGENT AIR POLLUTION CLEAN UP, AHEAD OF OLYMPICS



BY DOMINIQUE PATTON

CHINESE government authorities are taking extreme measures to reduce the city’s infamous air pollution ahead of the summer Olympic Games.

A World Bank report in 2004 ranked Beijing the 13th most polluted city in the world, with an average air quality reading of 89 PM10, well above the guideline level of 50 PM10 (micrograms of inhalable particulate matter per cubic metre).…

Read more

FLEET MANAGERS ASKED WHETHER CAR ADVERTS SHOULD CONTAIN CO2 HEALTH WARNINGS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE FLEET management industry has been asked by the European Commission whether car advertisements should include clear information about models’ CO2 emissions. Brussels thinks existing directive 1999/94/EC mandating car CO2 pollution information "is not working as well as it could" in influencing consumer behaviour.…

Read more

PROSPECTS OF DEAL OVER CO2 EMISSIONS CAR TARGET LOOK ROSY AT EU COUNCIL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) Council of Ministers has underlined potential agreement over the European Commission’s planned 120g/km CO2 emissions target by formally calling on Brussels to table formal legislative proposals by Christmas. In a communiqué, ministers gave "support to the EU objective of 120g CO2/km on average for new cars sold in the EU by 2012".…

Read more

BRUSSELS GOES FOR BROKE OVER VEHICLE SAFETY EQUIPMENT - WANTS MANDATORY STANDARD



BY ALAN OSBORN

THE EUROPEAN Commission has gone for broke over the fitting of new safety technology in lorries and has formally proposed a law insisting on its use. The transport industry has broadly welcomed the move, but fears it will increase costs, and is concerned that the technology is still in its infancy.…

Read more

BERLIN AND FRANCE BURY HATCHET OVER CO2 VEHICLE EMISSIONS ROW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE FRENCH and German governments have struck agreement over the proposed compulsory 120g/km target for automobiles within the European Union, (EU), with Paris giving ground to Berlin in some key areas.

Germany has opposed the European Commission-proposed average emissions cap saying the burden on technological changes would fall unfairly on its own iconic auto industry, producing – as it does – high quality, powerful cars with comparatively intense CO2 emissions.…

Read more

EU AUTO INDUSTRY GENERALLY POSITIVE OVER EU SAFETY SYSTEM DEADLINES



BY DEIRDRE MASON in London

PROPOSED new European Union (EU) legislation making a range of safety systems in new cars, trucks and other heavy vehicles mandatory from 2012 has had a largely positive response from the automotive industry, but proposals about cutting down tire noise have been less welcome.…

Read more

UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION CALLS FOR EXPANDING ROAD TOURISM INDUSTRY TO USE LOW-CO2 CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE UN World Tourism Organisation wants the global tourism sector to use CO2 efficient cars to serve growing demand for international leisure motoring. It warns road transport tourism already accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions, and this proportion is expected to rise, especially with the growing middle classes of China, India and Brazil taking more holidays.…

Read more

EUROPEAN CARMAKERS GRIT THEIR TEETH TO MEET NEW PARTICULATE MATTER RULES



BY DEIRDRE MASON in London

AUTO manufacturers in the European Union (EU) will be under further pressure to produce cleaner vehicles now that the EU Council of Ministers has approved a new air quality directive setting strict limits for PM 2.5 particulate matter in air.…

Read more

DELEK BREAKS THE MONOPOLY IN ISRAEL'S ENERGY MARKET BY BECOMING A DOMINANT IMPORTER



BY HELENA FLUSFEDER, in Jerusalem

FOR the fledgling state of Israel in 1951, being dependent on two foreign companies for its supply of petrol was hardly ideal, especially at a time of war when the companies had reduced their activities in the country.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - AGREEMENT FORGED OVER UNBUNDLING OF EU GAS AND ELECTRICITY NETWORKS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DEAL has been struck at the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers over unbundling of gas (and electricity) networks, which will allow formal ownership of production and distribution operations.

However, this compromise option will insist on transmission systems being managed by an independent operator.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSES COMPULSORY SAFETY STANDARDS FOR EU CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE COMPULSORY fitting of electronic stability control systems to new cars from 2012 has been proposed by the European Commission, to boost motoring safety across the European Union (EU). Brussels has also proposed the mandatory fitting of low resistance rolling tyres, and tyre pressure monitoring systems in 2012, which the Commission says will boost fuel economy (and hence reduce emissions), while also boosting safety.…

Read more

GERMAN RESEARCHERS DEVELOP GUARANTEED GREEN LIGHT TRAFFIC ADVICE SYSTEM



BY KEITH NUTHALL

IMAGINE an intelligent transport system so clever, that it could tell a motorist how fast to drive in a city to avoid all red lights in a given journey. And then also imagine a system that could also advise a driver how to motor at the most constant speed possible, avoiding unnecessary accelerations and braking, saving gallons of fuel and engine wear-and-tear to boot.…

Read more

COMMISSION GOES TO COURT TO FORCE REFORM TO MALTESE SECOND HAND CAR LAWS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission may take another tilt at allegedly discriminatory car taxation policies, this time launching legal action at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against Malta. Brussels considers the Maltese registration tax system unfairly penalises second hand vehicles, charging more tax than on vehicles registered initially in Malta.…

Read more

EU SCIENTISTS DEVELOP AUTOMATIC ACCIDENT PROTECTION SYSTEM



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research project involving major automobile manufacturers is about to commercialise an intelligent transport system automatically boosting the side-protection strength of cars threatened with collisions with other vehicles. The EU Euro 29 million Advanced Protection Systems (APROSYS) project system, said the European Commission "will soon find its way to showrooms".…

Read more

GERMANY: German researchers develop in-car computer navigation system to avoid red lights



By Keith Nuthall

Imagine an intelligent transport system so clever, that it could tell a motorist how fast to drive in a city to avoid all red lights in a given journey. And then also imagine a system that could also advise a driver how to motor at the most constant speed possible, avoiding unnecessary accelerations and braking, saving gallons of fuel and engine wear-and-tear to boot.…

Read more

BRUSSELS CLEARS RENAULT TAKEOVER OF RUSSIA'S AVTOVAZ



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has granted regulatory merger approval to Renault’s securing a US$1 billion 25% stake in Russia’s AvtoVaz, which manufactures the country’s long-established Lada range. The French carmaker is to share know-how and technology with AvtoVaz to boost the appeal of its models and improve marketing.…

Read more

DRINKS INDUSTRY TO BENEFIT FROM ONCOMING EU-BOSNIA TRADE DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) ministers have been asked to swiftly approve a comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and Bosnia & Herzegovina which will phase out duties on EU-made cars, automotive components and fuel exported to Bosnia. The move follows approval of long awaited Bosnian policing reforms which had blocked the deal.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU SOURCES NEW NON-RUSSIAN ENERGY SOURCES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) has struck two natural gas supply agreements with Iraq and Turkmenistan that will enable the EU to reduce its dependence on Russian exports. EU external relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (NOTE – CORRECT NAME) have agreed that the EU will buy 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually from Turkmenistan.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS ORDER CASH ASSISTANCE FOR PORTUGAL AUTO WORKERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

PORTUGUESE auto workers who recently lost their jobs in layoffs are to receive Euro 2.42 million from the European Union (EU) in social assistance and retraining packages. The money will come from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, designed to help Europe cope with economic change brought by worldwide economic change.…

Read more

GLOBAL - Universities offer commercially valuable research to businesses worldwide - new projects



By Monica Dobie

University World News here again features a selection of commercially important and cutting edge higher education research developments.

*Researchers from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, have developed a genetic tool that can help speed the development of new genetic varieties of food crops.…

Read more

EU ROAD PASSENGER TRANSPORT SET FOR CONSTANT EXPANSION TO 2030 SAYS NEW REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union’s (EU) passenger road transport sector is set for constant expansion until 2030, according to a new detailed report written for the European Commission. It predicts that 2005’s EU passenger numbers by private (and fleet) cars and motorcycles of 4,714 gpkm (one billion passengers carried over one kilometre) will rise to 5,115 by 2010; 5,498 in 2015; 5,849 in 2020; 6,171 in 2025; and 6,441 by 2030.…

Read more

EUROPEAN UNION GETS TOUGH ON ACCIDENT SAFETY DESIGN RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is pushing ahead with the approval of a new compulsory regulation that will insist cars and vans sold in Europe have new ‘brake assist’ systems and also meet detailed and tough requirements on frontal protection systems.…

Read more

GERMANY - Researchers create automatic vehicle safety device that detects accidents before they happen



By Monica Dobie

University researchers helped develop the air bag – a vehicle safety device that has saved hundreds of thousands of lives – but now they have created a prototype that protects drivers and passengers, just before a collision occurs.…

Read more

EU SCIENTISTS DEVELOP AUTOMATIC ACCIDENT PROTECTION SYSTEM



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research project involving major automobile manufacturers has created a system that protects vans and cars from collisions with other vehicles, including lorries, just before a crash. The EU Euro 29 million Advanced Protection Systems (APROSYS) project system automatically boosts the side-protection strength of cars threatened with such accidents, protecting them from impacts.…

Read more

WWF WANTS END TO OIL SUBSIDIES TO BOOST ELECTRIC CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF) study has called for an end to subsidies to the oil industry to help promote alternative fuels and green technology such as electric cars.

http://assets.panda.org/downloads/plugged_in_summary.pdf

ENDS…

Read more

COMMISSION GOES TO COURT TO FORCE REFORM TO MALTESE SECOND HAND CAR LAWS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is formally threatening Malta with legal action at the European Court of Justice alleging its registration tax system illegally overcharges secondhand vehicles. A minimum tax rate applies for used cars, and not new cars. Because many secondhand vehicles are imported from other European Union member states, Brussels considers this an illegal trade barrier.…

Read more

ENVIRONMENT COMMISSIONER ACCEPTS LARGE CARS MAY HAVE LOWER CO2 CAPS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE GERMAN newspaper Handelsblatt has quoted European Union (EU) environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas accepting large car model manufacturers may enjoy lower CO2 reduction targets than companies making smaller cars. Dimas had resisted this idea – looking for more equal contributions to the EU target of 120 grammes per kilometre by 2012.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS WARN OF SLOW UPTAKE IN INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) institutions and national governments must take a proactive role to publicise the usefulness and availability of intelligent transport systems, to boost demand and ultimately lower costs, members of the European Parliament say.

Its transport committee has backed a detailed report warning that despite the sophistication and proven worth in safety terms of in-vehicle intelligent systems, European "penetration rates remain very low in relation to their potential."…

Read more

OLAF HAILS SUCCESSFUL CHINA COUNTERFEIT CIGARETTE RAID



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) anti-fraud office OLAF, with German and Polish police have broken an international cigarette smuggling ring, arresting 26 people and seizing millions of sticks. The arrests were made in Poland and Germany by the Polish Centralne Biuro ?ledcze…

Read more

EUROPEAN UNION GETS TOUGH ON ACCIDENT SAFETY DESIGN RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is pushing ahead with the approval of a new compulsory regulation that will insist auto manufacturers selling cars and vans into Europe install new ‘brake assist’ systems. The law also imposes detailed requirements on frontal protection systems.…

Read more

VIRTUAL WORLD OFFERS FLEET MANAGERS FRESH WAY TO ASSESS NEW CAR MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AN INTERACTIVE virtual world on the Internet is offering fleet managers new ways of assessing new car models before they make purchasing decisions. Toyota, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, BMW, Pontiac, Citroën, Mercedes and Mazda have all set up virtual showrooms on the Second Life system.…

Read more

NEW LAW WILL EASE PROSECUTION OF TRAFFIC OFFENCES IN FOREIGN EU COUNTRIES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

COMPANY car fleet managers may have to warn their drivers motoring overseas in Europe in future to be less cavalier about local traffic laws, because of a European Commission initiative.

It has proposed that the European Union’s (EU) 27 member states establish a computerised system enabling the swift transfer of car registration details for motorists caught speeding, drink driving, not using a seatbelt or jumping a red light.…

Read more

EU ROW BREWING OVER AUTO EMISSIONS



By Alan Osborn

A mighty battle is about to be fought out in Europe over something called "the slope of the curve" and no, it’s not a beauty contest and it has nothing to do with landscaping or geometry – this is all about curbing CO2 emissions from new automobiles.…

Read more

FLEETS MAYBE FORCED TO USE TRANSPORTERS TO TAKE DELIVER OF NEW CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CONCERNS that driving new cars from manufacturers to dealers and onto customers within Europe is leading to tax and registration fraud is likely to cause an effective prescribing of the use of car transporters. The European Commission is proposing that the delivery-by-driving method of moving new cars be excluded from the ‘TIR’ system for the European Union (EU) that provides for customs simplification: goods crossing several international borders in transit attract customs duties and inspections only at their destination country.…

Read more

WTO ROUND TO SLASH - EVEN REMOVE - CAR IMPORT DUTIES WORLDWIDE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE WORLD Trade Organisation’s (WTO) seven-year-old Doha Development Round is planning the final phase of its negotiations, which may well lead to the elimination of most import duties on cars and vans, worldwide.

That is the ambition of a special automobile sectoral negotiation within the round’s market access for non-agricultural products (or NAMA) talks, which WTO members hope to write into a complete Doha agreement.…

Read more

CONCERNS OVER CAR IMPORT FRAUD TO BOOST TRANSPORTER MARKET



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CONCERNS that driving new cars from manufacturers to dealers and onto customers within Europe was leading to tax and registration fraud are likely to boost the demand for car transporters. The European Commission is proposing that the delivery-by-driving method of moving new cars be excluded from the ‘TIR’ system for the European Union (EU) that provides for customs simplification: that goods crossing several international borders in transit attract customs duties and inspections only at their destination country.…

Read more

WTO ROUND TO SLASH - EVEN REMOVE - AUTO IMPORT DUTIES WORLDWIDE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE WORLD Trade Organisation’s (WTO) seven-year-old Doha Development Round is planning the final phase of its negotiations, which may well lead to the elimination of most import duties on cars, trucks, vans and auto parts worldwide.

That is the ambition of a special automobile sectoral negotiation within the round’s market access for non-agricultural products (or NAMA) talks, which WTO member countries hope to write into a completed Doha agreement later this year.…

Read more

INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS SOUGHT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF GLOBAL BIOFUEL STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

INTERNATIONAL standards are crucial for the trade in goods, because they allow

importers to have confidence that the foreign product they are buying meets the

specifications they are familiar with at home. So, it may come as some surprise that no

such global standard currently exists as regards the technical definition of biofuels.…

Read more

POLLUTION TAXES, NOT FUEL TAXES, SEEN AS BEST SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE



BY CHRIS JONES, in Paris

SETTING a new pollution tax on all road vehicles that varies according to the way they were driven, and mandating clearer targets for reducing emissions, would lead to more efficient climate change policies: that was the view of experts from the US and Europe meeting at the International Transport Forum in Paris last month (NOTE: JANUARY) for a round-table debate on transport’s role in tackling climate change.…

Read more

VEHICLE LEASING COMPANIES MUST REDUCE VAT BILLS BY ACCIDENT ONLY - EUROPEAN JUDGES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

LEASING companies providing fleets with cars and vans may not manipulate linked financial and insurance packages to avoid charging their customers VAT, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled. In a complex Italian case involving a company now in liquidation – Part Service, formerly Italservice – the court ruled that leasers cannot artificially split such supplementary services from their core leasing business, simply to avoid charging VAT on them, restricting sales taxes to leasing alone.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS TO FUSE MECHANICAL ENVIRONMENTAL GAINS WITH EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research project is trying to identify mechanical innovations that can make car and aeroplane engines not only run cleaner, but with more efficiency and power. The EU-funded ‘multi-core execution of hard real-time applications supporting analysability’ (MERASA) project has discovered that making clean cars helps "make them more economical as well as safer to run", said a project memorandum: "These benefits are not restricted the car industry alone, but extend to the airline industry."…

Read more

EXPERTS ADVISE ON HOW HAULIERS COULD DEAL WITH A TRANSPORT EMISSIONS TRADING SCHEME



BY CHRIS JONES, in Paris

WAYS in which CO2 emissions from road transport could potentially be reduced were the subject of two days of discussion by experts from Europe and the US during a recent round-table meeting held at the International Transport Forum in Paris.…

Read more

BOTTLES WATER AND FRUIT JUICE CONSUMPTION BOOM FUELS GROWTH IN MIDDLE EAST DRINKS SECTOR



BY PAUL COCHRANE, in Beirut, and HELENA FLUSFELDER, in Jerusalem

THE DRINKS market in the Middle East continues to increase on the back of population growth, economic development, improvements in distribution and retail, and more aggressive advertising campaigns.

But like much of the rest of the world, younger and better educated market segments within the region are shifting away from carbonated soft drinks (CSD) towards fruit juices and bottled water as people become increasingly health conscious according to independent industry analysts and the drinks sector.…

Read more

COMPANY CAR FLEET SUPPLIERS FACE POTENTIAL INVOLVEMENT IN EU EMISSIONS TRADING REGIME



BY KEITH NUTHALL

VEHICLE manufacturers, and even leasing and rental companies, may have to grapple with the complexity of trading greenhouse gas emissions from 2013, should the European Commission conclude this year that road transport must operate under tradeable pollution permits.…

Read more

RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE OFFERS LUCRATIVE, YET DEMANDING CAR LEASING AND RENTAL MARKET



BY ALAN OSBORN

RUSSIA and eastern European countries will be eager consumers of car rental and company fleet leasing services in the next few years but would-be players in these markets should know that a slew of administrative problems, supply delays and tax complications may await them.…

Read more

EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA OFFERS UNEVEN RICHES TO FUEL RETAILERS



BY MARK ROWE

RUSSIA’S booming economy means that those old images of grey queues for low-grade fuel to run Moskvich and other Soviet era cars are long gone. Instead, the country’s fuel retail sector has an incentive for dramatically overhauling the present state of affairs, which predominantly involves poorly established, locally run chains and Western chains fighting – sometimes unsuccessfully – for market share.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - CO2 CAP FOR VEHICLES PROPOSED BY BRUSSELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

HEAVIER vehicles such as SUVs and luxury models will be able to breach a proposed European Union (EU) carbon dioxide cap, under formally proposed legislation now tabled by the European Commission. Pressure from German manufacturers forced Brussels into abandoning an absolute cap for all new models of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre.…

Read more

SOUTH AFRICA STRUGGLES TO ENSURE SECURITY OF OIL AND GAS SUPPLIES



BY BILL CORCORAN, in South Africa

SOUTH Africa is in a race against time to ensure the country’s

burgeoning economy is not crippled by fuel shortages, forcing its oil and gas companies to innovate to ensure security of supply, notably from neighbouring countries.…

Read more

GREENHOUSE GAS TRADING PROPOSALS WILL CREATE DIFFICULTIES AND HEADACHES FOR EU AUTO-MANUFACTURERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

WHILE most informed people now agree it is important that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced across the global economy, the question about which methods to choose for achieving this have generated far less consensus and nowhere is this truer than with the road transport sector.…

Read more

ECODRIVING OFFERS NEW NICHE BUSINESS FOR EUROPEAN FLEET SUPPLIERS



BY CHRIS JONES, in Paris

EUROPEAN vehicle rental companies are increasingly promoting themselves as the answer to the problem of tackling CO2 emissions, offering advice on eco-driving techniques to their customers and offering a wide range of ‘green’ vehicles with low emissions.…

Read more

GULF CAR SECTOR BOOMING, BUT WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS SAY EXPERTS



BY PAUL COCHRANE, in Kuwait City and Beirut

THE AUTO sector and market of the Middle East’s Gulf region experienced yet another boom year in 2007 on the back of high oil prices, a rising population and strong economic growth. But although sales were uniformly high among the six Gulf Arab states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait had a noticeably slower year, particularly for American and European brands.…

Read more

EU EMISSIONS CAP WILL HIT LUXURY CARS HARD, EUROPEAN COMMISSION OFFICIALS ADMIT



BY ALAN OSBORN

A scheme proposed by the European Commission to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars by a fifth by 2012 will hit hard at luxury vehicles made by the German firms Porsche and Mercedes Benz and the Japanese companies Mazda and Subaru, Commission officials have confirmed.…

Read more

JAPAN AUTO MANUFACTURERS PUSHING INTO RUSSIA



BY JULIAN RYALL, in Tokyo

WITH the start of production at its new automotive plant in the Shushary district of St. Petersburg on December 21, Toyota will become the latest Japanese car manufacturer to set up shop in a market it says has "tremendous potential" and is looking forward to the roll-out of the first Russian-built Camry.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION RELEASES FORMAL CO2 CAP PROPOSALS FOR NEW CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

HEAVIER cars such as SUVs and luxury models will be able to breach a proposed European Union (EU) carbon dioxide cap, under legislation tabled this week (Wednesday) by the European Commission. Pressure from German manufacturers forced Brussels into abandoning an absolute cap for all new models of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre.…

Read more

UNRECOGNISED STATELET REMAINS HOTBED FOR FRAUD



BY DAVID ANDERSON, in Chisinau

AS the European Union (EU) expands its borders ever eastwards, the challenge of dealing with geopolitical and corruption issues grows larger. One such hotspot is Transdniestria, a mixed Russian, Ukrainean and Moldovan-speaking strip of land bordering Moldova, which is recognised by no other country as an independent state.…

Read more

VIETNAM IS SOUTH-EAST ASIA BOOM ZONE FOR PAINT SECTOR



BY MARK ROWE

VIETNAM is a country enjoying an extraordinary boom. Cities teem with cars and a seemingly infinite number of motorcycles, whilst new offices and advertising hoardings are erected daily, symbolising a new era for the country and good news for the paint industry.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS ASKED TO APPROVE CONTINUATION OF SPECIAL UK VAT SCHEME FOR COMPANY CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) ministers have been asked to extend until December 2010 the authorisation for Britain to act outside EU VAT law by charging 50% input tax on the hire or lease of passenger cars used for business and private use, so drivers can avoid keeping of detailed private mileage records.…

Read more

MEPS APPROVE DEAL OVER PARTICULATE MATTER LAW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has approved a compromise with European Union (EU) ministers over limiting particulate matter (PM) in ambient air within Europe, a move that could pressure EU governments into limiting diesel use or introducing tougher standards on engine design.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PUSHES FOR GREEN BIOFUEL PRODUCTION STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s environment committee wants European Union (EU) rules to insist that biofuel production is environmentally sustainable, even an increase in this growing fuel sector reduces CO2 emissions. The call was made in amendments tabled to European Commission proposed reforms to the EU fuel quality directive to reduce CO2 production.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU CONTINUES ATTEMPT TO WOO RUSSIA OVER ENERGY SUPPLIES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is refusing to give up on Russia and its neighbours as stable energy partners for the future, despite the largely inconclusive summit between member states and Moscow last month (October) in Mafra, Portugal. It failed to make progress on the demands from the European Commission for reciprocal liberalisation in Russian energy markets, should the EU allow Russian companies – notably Gazprom – a free hand in member states gas sectors.…

Read more

BELGIUM: EU researchers develop low noise lightweight car models



By Keith Nuthall in Brussels

European Union (EU) researchers have devised a way of reducing the weight of noise insulation materials in cars without making them noisier. The EU research network Eureka says the Euro 4 million France-led project E!2411 ERTAC has discovered that by layering compressed felt with a low density felt, the weight of sound insulation could be cut by 50%.…

Read more

SAFETY LOOPHOLE FOR CO2 CAR CAP PROPOSED BY EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s industry committee has proposed a special derogation from the anticipated European Union (EU) carbon dioxide cap, allowing cars with special safety features to emit more CO2. It argues additional safety equipment can be heavy, forcing cars to emit more carbon dioxide to attain their standard performance.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS OPPOSE FRENCH HIGH CO2 IMPORTS VAT PROPOSALS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) ministers have opposed proposals suggested by the French government earlier this year that products imported into the EU including cars, should attract additional VAT if they either emit excess CO2 or their manufacture involved profligate greenhouse gas pollution.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP LOW NOISE LIGHTWEIGHT CAR MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) researchers have devised a way of reducing the weight of noise insulation materials in cars without making them noisier. The EU research network Eureka says the Euro 4 million France-led project E!2411 ERTAC has discovered that by layering compressed felt with a low density felt, the weight of sound insulation can be cut by 50%.…

Read more

CAR MAKERS WANT CLEARER VISION ON ECO-DRIVING, THAT GOES BEYOND TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS



BY CHRIS JONES, in Paris

AUTO manufacturers in Europe are calling for greater support from national governments and European Union (EU) institutions in promoting eco-driving – where good motoring styles are adopted which reduce the greenhouse gas and other polluting emissions from vehicles.…

Read more

EU PUSHES MASSIVE CASH INJECTION FOR HYDROGEN CAR DEVELOPMENT



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

NEW European Commission plans to free up the market for hydrogen-powered cars and pump money into development are gaining friends. Car makers and research bodies alike are hoping that the proposals, announced in Brussels in October, survive their passage through the European Parliament and the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers – the EU’s legislative bodies.…

Read more

FRANCE AND GERMANY CLASH OVER FUTURE CO2 CAPS FOR EU LUXURY CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

AS the European Commission continues drafting a carbon dioxide cap law for European Union (EU) cars, a rift is growing between Germany and France – usually dominant partners in EU politics – over the treatment of luxury cars.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP LOW NOISE LIGHTWEIGHT CAR MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) researchers have devised a way of reducing the weight of noise insulation materials in cars without making them noisier. The EU research network Eureka says the Euro 4 million France-led project E!2411 ERTAC has discovered that by layering compressed felt with a low density felt, the weight of sound insulation could be cut by 50%.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BACKS DELAY TO CO2 CAP FOR NEW CARS AND VANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has voted to give car and light-van manufacturers in Europe three more years to cut the average carbon dioxide emissions of new vehicles to proposed compulsory cap of 125g/kilometre. In a vote ahead of formal proposals anticipated from the European Commission in 2008, MEPs said a deadline should be 2015, as opposed to preliminary suggestions from the Commission of 2012.…

Read more

OIL COMPANIES WORLDWIDE LOOK FOR WAYS TO DOVETAIL BIOFUEL REFINING AND DISTRIBUTION WITH MINERAL OIL NETWORKS



BY LUCY JONES, in Dallas, Texas, ALAN OSBORN, in London, and PAUL COCHRANE, in Beirut.

AS American gas prices once again edge closer to the US$3 a gallon mark – the point at which an all-pervading quiet panic besets the US retail market – staff at the country’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s hotline know busy times are ahead.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP LOW NOISE LIGHTWEIGHT CAR MODELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) researchers have devised a way of reducing the weight of noise insulation materials in cars without making them noisier. The EU research network Eureka says the Euro 4 million France-led project E!2411 ERTAC has discovered that by layering compressed felt with a low density felt, the weight of sound insulation could be cut by 50%.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BACKS DELAY TO CO2 CAP FOR NEW CARS AND VANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has voted to give car and light-van manufacturers in Europe three more years to cut the average carbon dioxide emissions of new vehicles to proposed compulsory cap of 125g/kilometre. In a vote ahead of formal proposals anticipated from the European Commission in 2008, MEPs said a deadline should be 2015, as opposed to preliminary suggestions from the Commission of 2012.…

Read more

BRAKE ASSIST LAW GETS SUPPORTIVE RECEPTION IN EUROPE



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

THE AUTOMOBILE manufacturing industry in Europe has given a generally positive welcome to the proposal from the European Commission that two years’ hence, all new vehicle types should have to have brake assist systems fitted. The systems boost a driver’s braking power in emergencies and, says the Commission, could save as many as 1,100 pedestrian lives a year.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE SUPPORTS MANDATORY AUTO CO2 LIMITS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament environment committee has backed the European Commission in pressing the European Union (EU) automobile industry to abide by mandatory CO2 emission limits, calling for carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars to be capped at an average of 120g/km from 2012.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FORCES CAR MAKERS TO GIVE INDEPENDENT GARAGES TECHNICAL INFORMATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FLEET managers should secure a greater choice of garages in which to repairs their cars after the European Commission ordered DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat to provide technical repair information to all independent garages in the European Union (EU).…

Read more

EU TRANSPORT GROUP OPPOSES VEHICLE WEIGHT-BASED CO2 EMISSIONS STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

The European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), the umbrella organisation for NGOs working to ensure environmentally responsible transport in Europe, has come out strongly against the use of weight-based CO2 emissions standards to cut CO2 emissions from cars.…

Read more

BRUSSELS OPENS NEGOTIATIONS WITH EUROPEAN AND ASIAN CARMAKERS OVER ECALL INSTALLATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is to open negotiations with European and Asian automobile manufacturing associations to press for all major car-makers to install the pan-European in-vehicle emergency communications system eCall. Brussels wants this to become a standard option in all new cars from 2010, as way of kick starting a system it values highly and has promoted enthusiastically, but whose take up has been anaemic.…

Read more

EU JUDGES ORDER NETHERLANDS AND GREECE TO REMOVE OBSTACLES TO USED CAR IMPORTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice (ECJ) has told Greece and the Netherlands to remove obstacles to second hand car imports that would make it easier – if they are removed – for fleet managers to export and sell old vehicles.…

Read more

NEW EU AMBIENT AIR DIRECTIVE TO FURTHER DEMANDS ON AUTO SECTOR OVER EXHAUST CLEANLINESS



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

WITH European Union (EU) member state ministers agreeing ahead of the summer political break to limit the amount of permitted airborne particulates, questions are being asked about how many more technical demands can be made on combustion engines regarding emissions.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - BRUSSELS PREPARES TO LAUNCH PACKAGE OF ENERGY PROPOSALS



STORIES BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission was poised when the Petroleum Review went to press to unveil a long awaited package of energy proposals, although Brussels was expected to shy away from tabling wholesale unbundling of gas producers and distributors.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE SUPPORTS MANDATORY AUTO CO2 LIMITS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament environment committee has backed the European Commission in pressing for mandatory CO2 emission limits for cars and vans used in the European Union (EU). In an important political move regarding controversial proposals made by the EU executive earlier this year, the committee adopted a report calling for carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars to be capped at an average of 120g/km from 2012.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE SUPPORTS MANDATORY AUTO CO2 LIMITS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament environment committee has backed the European Commission in pressing the European Union (EU) automobile industry to abide by mandatory CO2 emission limits. In an important political move regarding controversial proposals made by the EU executive earlier this year, the committee called for carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars to be capped at an average of 120g/km from 2012.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU INSTITUTIONS, GOVERNMENTS PREPARE FOR BATTLE OVER ENERGY LIBERALISATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) member states and the European Commission are squaring up ahead of a political battle this autumn over anticipated energy liberalisation proposals. A letter from France, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovakia has been written to the Commission stating their firm opposition to comprehensive energy unbundling in anticipated proposed European Union (EU) legislation.…

Read more

BRUSSELS PROBES BELGIAN VOLVO TRAINING AID OVER SUBSIDY LAW BREAKING CONCERNS



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London

THE EUROPEAN Commission in Brussels has launched a detailed inquiry into the payment of a grant of around US$7.5 million by the Flemish regional government in Belgium to support training at the auto company Volvo Cars Gent.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA PAINT AND COATINGS INDUSTRY MOVING UP MARKET TO BOOST SALES



BY KARRYN CARTELLE

AS paint and coatings demand abroad looks increasingly enticing, players in the South Korean paint and coatings industry are expanding their global reach, seeking to improve brand recognition and their sales prospects.

With limited growth potential predicted among players in the mature South Korea domestic market, companies are also looking to emerging paint and coatings technologies and other areas within the Asia-Pacific region to drive sales forward.…

Read more

REGULATORS WORLDWIDE STRUGGLE TO PROMOTE POPULAR BIOFUELS THROUGH REGULATION



BY ALAN OSBORN

DIFFERENT parts of the world have devised a wide range of regulations to promote biofuels as an answer to traditional fuels posed by supply and environmental concerns. Japan began promoting alternative fuels in the mid-70s following the oil crisis, replacing oil-powered electric generators with units driven by alternative fuels, as well as natural gas, coal and nuclear power.…

Read more

EU OPINION POLL SHOWS PLENTY OF DEMAND FOR AUTOMOBILES IN 'GREEN' EUROPE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE STEREOTYPE of Europeans favouring public transport over private cars is deeply flawed according to a new European Commission-funded opinion poll that interviewed 25,767 people. Pollsters Gallup not only confirmed that private motor transport is the most widespread means of making journeys in the EU (53% of those polled drove rather than cycled, walked or took public transport), 22% of these motorists would not drive less, even with dramatic improvements to rail, bus, air and boat transport.…

Read more

BRITISH DRIVERS REFUSE TO GIVE UP THEIR CARS - EU POLL REVEALS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MORE than a fifth (22%) of European Union (EU) motorists would not use their cars any less, even if dramatic improvements were made to local public transport systems, a European Commission-funded opinion poll has revealed. Conducted by pollsters Gallup amongst 25,767 people across the EU, the survey said British drivers are around the European average in this regard – at 19%.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PLANS SPECIAL FUEL EMISSION STANDARD FOR LORRIES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE ROAD haulage industry is being consulted by the European Commission on its favoured scope and timetable for introducing new Euro VI emission standards for heavy lorries (exceeding 2.8 tonnes). Brussels has outlined four possible design rules capping nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons and particulate matter:
*Option A – matching standards in the USA, requiring a higher rate of cooled exhaust gas recirculation and more efficient selective catalytic reduction (SCR).…

Read more

FRANCO-BRITISH AXIS OVER GREEN TAXES



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE NEW leaders of Britain and France have teamed up to pressurise the European Union (EU) into allowing special low rates of VAT for some environment-friendly products. French president Nicolas Sarkozy and UK prime minister Gordon Brown announced in Paris they would jointly push for low 5% VAT for cars with reduced CO2 emissions, insulation materials, efficient light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances.…

Read more

SCIENTISTS DEVELOP CRUISE-CONTROL SYSTEM REDUCING CAR CONGESTION POLLUTION



BY MONICA DOBIE

TAILGATING may actually be the answer to solving some air pollution woes in large congested cities, claims research published in the International Journal of the Environment and Pollution.
Scientists at India’s Jadavpur University have found that using safe automated tailgating or “platooning” whereby the distance from one vehicle to another is only 1 metre, reduces engine use and hence exhaust emissions, because cars travel in each other’s slipstream.…

Read more

BRITISH GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CLEAN CAR WEBSITE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE UK Department of Transport has launched a website ‘Best on CO2’ designed to help motorists choose cars that emit low levels of carbon dioxide. The site gives information about CO2 emissions by model, for instance that a Hyundai Santa Fe emits 191g/km, while a Toyota Land Cruiser pumps out 238g/km.…

Read more

WELSH RESEARCHERS PLOT SWEEPING PLATINUM OFF BRITISH STREETS



BY MONICA DOBIE

RESEARCHERS at Cardiff University in Wales and the University of Birmingham want to salvage the platinum that is strewn everyday onto roads, sewers and waterways from catalytic converters in cars.
Dr Hazel Prichard (NOTE – CORRECT SPELLING), an exploration geologist at Cardiff University said initial research will identify the location of these waste platinum particles, is in the hope of finding a way to recuperate it and recycle it.…

Read more

EU COUNCIL APPROVES NEW TYPE APPROVAL LAW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) trucks, vans, buses, disabled driver vehicles, coaches, motor homes and trailers must in comply with revamped EU vehicle performance rules. These ‘type approval’ rules have previously only been harmonised across the EU for cars, but a new simplified law covers other vehicles, with implementation deadlines stretching to seven years time.…

Read more

EU RELEASES CAR PRICES REPORT - NATIONAL DIFFERENTIALS REMAIN



BY KEITH NUTHALL

DIFFERENTIALS in car prices between the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) persist, the latest showroom survey by the European Commission reveals. While prices in the UK fell by 0.3% from January to July this year, fleet managers looking for bargains would still do well to look abroad, as British prices are often well above the EU average.…

Read more

INDIAN SCIENTISTS SAY PLATOONING COULD SAVE FUEL AND EMISSIONS



BY MONICA DOBIE

TAILGATING may actually be the answer to solving some air pollution woes in large congested cities.

Scientists at India’s Jadavpur University have found that using safe automated tailgating or “platooning” whereby the distance from one vehicle to another is only 1 metre, reduces engine use and hence exhaust emissions, because cars travel in each other’s slipstream.…

Read more

BRUSSELS PUSHES FOR GUARANTEED VISITORS' EXEMPTIONS FROM FINLAND CAR TAX



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission will plead at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a ruling telling Finland to guarantee that temporary visitors to the country are exempt from paying its car registration tax. Brussels claims the Finnish system breaks European Union (EU) taxation rights enshrined in EU directive 83/182/EEC.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS APPROVE NEW EU AUTO TYPE APPROVAL SYSTEM



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE COUNTDOWN is now on for European Union (EU) manufacturers of trucks, vans, buses, coaches, motor homes and trailers to ensure their models comply with revamped EU vehicle performance rules for automobile design. These so-called ‘type approval’ rules come into play when a manufacturer wants to get a vehicle model approved by a regulator for sale in a particular country.…

Read more

BIOFUELS PROMOTED BY DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS



BY ALAN OSBORN

DIFFERENT parts of the world have devised a wide range of regulations to promote biofuels as an answer to traditional fuels posed by supply and environmental concerns. Japan began promoting alternative fuels in the mid-70s following the oil crisis, replacing oil-powered electric generators with units driven by alternative fuels, as well as natural gas, coal and nuclear power.…

Read more

CONSULTATION ON SLASHING CO2 LEVELS TO BE STAGED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A PUBLIC hearing will be staged this Wednesday (11-7) by the European Commission, to ask the transport industry to assess its plans to force reductions in CO2 emissions from vehicles in Europe. Brussels wants to impose an average 120 g/km CO2 emission from new cars by 2012.…

Read more

GREATER INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT NEEDED TO GUARANTEE HYDROGEN TRANSPORT FUTURE - IEA TOLD



BY PHILIPPA JONES, in Paris

GLOBAL coordination and greater investment is needed if the cars of the future are to run on hydrogen, claimed delegates at a conference in Paris this week. Elevated costs, refuelling networks and production means are all problems that must be tackled, but more basic lacunae should be filled immediately if hydrogen is to fulfil its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security for the transport sector.…

Read more

CONSULTATION ON SLASHING CO2 LEVELS TO BE STAGED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A PUBLIC hearing will be staged this Wednesday (11-7) by the European Commission, to ask the transport industry to assess its plans to force reductions in CO2 emissions from vehicles in Europe. Brussels wants to impose an average 120 g/km CO2 emission from new cars by 2012.…

Read more

TAILGATING COULD BE ANSWER TO POLLUTION TROUBLE



BY MONICA DOBIE

TAILGATING may actually be the answer to solving some air pollution woes in large congested cities, claims recent research published in the International Journal of the Environment and Pollution.
Scientists at India’s Jadavpur University have found that using safe automated tailgating or “platooning” whereby sensors and cruise control keep vehicles just one metre apart, reduces engine use and hence exhaust emissions, because cars travel in each other’s slipstream.…

Read more

EU AUTO INDUSTRY FACES TOUGH FIGHT OVER CO2 EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL and DAVID HAWORTH, in Brussels

THE TOUGH fight facing the European Union (EU) auto industry to keep technically achievable, proposals for mandatory caps on CO2 emissions has become clearer this week. The European Parliament yesterday started debating proposed legislation to force carmakers to cut CO2 emissions from new models to an average of 130 grams per kilometer across the fleet by 2012, of which 120 grams per kilometer must be through improved engine technology.…

Read more

EU OPINION POLL SAYS MANY MOTORISTS WILL NEVER DRIVE LESS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

MORE than a fifth of European Union (EU) motorists would not use their cars any less, even if dramatic improvements were made to local public transport systems, a European Commission-funded opinion poll has revealed. Conducted by pollsters Gallup amongst 25,767 people across the EU, the survey said 22% of those favouring cars over other transport means would remain loyal to their vehicles come what may.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS APPROVE EURO V AND VI VEHICLE EMISSIONS REGULATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s compromise amendments giving diesel SUV’s three more years than standard petrol cars to comply with the European Union’s (EU) next Euro V emissions standards have been accepted by the EU Council of Ministers. Indeed, ministers have approved all changes made by European parliamentarians to the fifth set of EU vehicle emissions rules, and they will now come into force.…

Read more

GREECE TEMPORARY CAR TAX DECLARED ILLEGAL BY ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has failed to prove that the levying of national registration taxes on cars brought into Greece by non-resident European Union (EU) citizens who are transferred to that country for more than six months breaks EU law, the European Court of Justice has ruled.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PROPOSES MECHANICAL CAR SPEED CAPS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Parliament report has called for cars capable of travelling more than 101 mph (162 kilometres per hour) to be banned from European Union (EU) roads after 2012. MEPs will vote on the proposals from British Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies in September and in October, which have been tacked onto European Commission proposals to cap the amount of CO2 emitted by cars.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS DECIDE RULES ON ITALY VAT FOR PERSONAL USE FLEET CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) Council of Ministers has authorised the Italian government to limit to 40% the right to deduct VAT charged on company spending for cars and vans that are not wholly used for business. Its decision legally sanctions an Italian clash with EU VAT law, which generally opposes such rebate restrictions.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU MINISTERS OPPOSE WHOLESALE ENERGY UNBUNDLING



BY KEITH NUTHALL
EUROPEAN Union (EU) energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has admitted that support for a comprehensive unbundling of EU energy suppliers and producers is weak within the EU Council of Ministers, signalling that he may have to water down planned tough draft proposals.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU MINISTERS OPPOSE WHOLESALE ENERGY UNBUNDLING



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has admitted that support for a comprehensive unbundling of EU energy suppliers and producers is weak within the EU Council of Ministers, signalling that he may have to water down planned tough draft proposals.…

Read more

EU MINISTERS APPROVE EURO V AND VI VEHICLE EMISSIONS REGULATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s compromise amendments giving diesel SUV’s three more years than standard petrol cars to comply with the European Union’s (EU) next Euro V emissions standards have been accepted by the EU Council of Ministers. Indeed, ministers have approved all changes made by European parliamentarians to the fifth set of EU vehicle emissions rules, and they will now come into force.…

Read more

JAPANESE GOVERNMENT DRIVES R&D OF POLYMER FUEL CELLS



BY GAVIN BLAIR, in Tokyo
THE JAPANESE government is staging a comprehensive initiative to promote the development of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), to help secure its future energy supplies, amidst increasing concern about the availability and cost of fossil fuels.…

Read more

SOUTH KOREA PAINT INDUSTRY STRUGGLES TO PROSPER IN A MATURE ASIAN MARKET



BY KARRYN CARTELLE
ASIA’S paint and coatings industry may be growing but South Korea’s share of the market is on the decline. Indeed, the South Korea sector’s annual sales of US$3 billion make a small contribution to the global industry, where demand is predicted to reach US$83 billion this year.…

Read more

EU CAR REPAIRERS STILL CONCERNED OVER MANUFACTURER TECHNICAL INFORMATION DROUGHT



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London
EUROPEAN Union (EU) auto repair firms have criticised formal pledges by four automobile manufacturers to provide access to their technical data saying that vital information is still being withheld. The four manufacturers – DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat – were ordered by the European Commission earlier this year to improve repair firms’ access to their technical data following findings that information supplied in respect of the Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Toyota, Opel and Vauxhall brands was “problematic.”…

Read more

EUROPEAN AUTO INDUSTRY CONCERN OVER REACH GUIDELINES AS CHEMICAL CONTROL SYSTEM COMES INTO FORCE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THIS month, the European Union’s (EU) long debated chemical control system REACH has come into force, amidst deepening concern that it could impose overwhelming administrative burdens on the European auto industry, unforeseen when the regulation was approved last year.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU LAUNCHES ENERGY SECURITY MONITORING NETWORK



BY KEITH NUTHALL
AS concerns increase about the security of the European Union’s (EU) supplies of oil and gas, the European Commission has put in place a network of security experts charged with monitoring threats to the EU’s energy flows and raising alarms if necessary.…

Read more

ECJ RULES ON PUBLIC SERVANTS' EXCISE DUTY LIABILITY REGARDING VEHICLE TRANSFERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice has said European Union (EU) public service workers are liable to pay excise duty on cars acquired in a foreign EU member state, when they are transferred abroad for more than 185 days.…

Read more

EBRD HELPS ROMANIA VEHICLE LEASING OUTFIT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has released plans to lend Euro 15 million to Raiffeisen Leasing Romania for on-lending to small-and-medium sized businesses in Romania so they can lease cars for commercial use, light commercial vehicles, trucks and trailers.…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS OFFER ADVANCES FOR OIL AND GAS SECTOR



BY MARK ROWE, in London
NANOTECHNOLOGY has huge implications for the oil and gas industry, according to leading scientists who attended a conference on the impact of this cutting edge science on the environment at the Royal Society in London. They stressed the technology offers the prospect of carbon emission reduction, resource use minimisation, hazardous chemical substitution, the chance to dramatically reduce fraud, and pollution reversal techniques.…

Read more

ISO OFFERS NUCLEAR INDUSTRY GLOBAL BEST PRACTICE STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE NUCLEAR energy industry has always been a global business, and since the fall of communism, it has become more, not less international. As a result, the need for common standards and practices, relevant to the industry, its suppliers and its customers is becoming increasingly important.…

Read more

EURO V AND VI APPROVED BY EU MINISTERS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Union Council of Ministers has approved the imposition of new Euro V air pollution cleanliness standards on cars and vans, which will be enforced from 2009, while setting down some rules for a future Euro VI standard.…

Read more

GULF AUTO MARKET EXPERIENCES STELLAR GROWTH



BY PAUL COCHRANE, in Dubai and Manama, Bahrain
THE CAR market in the Arab Gulf, particularly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is experiencing stellar growth across the board, fuelled by a surge in population and strong economic growth.

In the last five years, the UAE market has grown by over 300% to reach 2.5 million cars on the road, said Guy Edmunds, General Manager of Honda.…

Read more

JAPAN PUSHES CUTTING-EDGE POWER GENERATING TECHNOLOGY



BY GAVIN BLAIR, in Tokyo
As the world’s third biggest energy consumer after the United States and China, Japan has long been concerned with its lack of self-sufficiency in power generation. The low level of food self-sufficiency (40%), which has always been something of a national obsession, looks positively healthy when compared to the 16% level for energy.…

Read more

CORN COB TANK ALLOWS AUTOMAKERS STANDARD DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES FOR NATURAL GAS VEHICLES



BY MONICA DOBIE
RESEARCHERS from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Midwest Research Institute and Kansas City have developed an alternative fuel technology that will allow for natural gas tanks in all vehicles to match standard gasoline tank storage and efficiency while paving the way for cleaner car usage throughout the US.…

Read more

EBRD FUNDS CROATIA CAR LEASING COMPANY



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending Euro 10 million to Croatia’s fourth largest vehicle leasing company Erste & Steiermarkische S-Leasing, which it will partly on-lend to customers looking to lease its equipment. Zagreb-headquartered S-Leasing will provide lease finance of up to Euro 30,000 to micro businesses and to Euro 125,000 to businesses employing less than 100 staff, which can be used to lease its cars and vans.…

Read more

CROATIA UNDER PRESSURE TO CONTROL COMMERCIAL CRIME AS EU ENTRY BECKONS



BY MARK ROWE
CROATIA’S application to join the European Union (EU) has been far from plain sailing. Corruption, commercial crime and general unease about the judicial reform have been cited among reasons for delays to Croatia’s accession. But is Croatia’s commercial crime record so much worse than that of the EU’s newest members, Bulgaria and Romania?…

Read more

DUTCH SCIENTISTS DESIGNS SOFTWARE PATCH MAKING CARS MORE FUEL EFFICIENT



BY MONICA DOBIE
DUTCH scientists working with Ford Motors have designed a simple and affordable way to reduce CO2 emissions in new vehicles by 2.6%, an innovation that could help auto manufacturers meet future European Union (EU) fuel emission guidelines.

Drs Michiel (NOTE: SPELLING IS CORRECT) Koot and John Kessels of Eindhoven technical University, in the Netherlands, have developed a software patch that shuts an alternator on and off when it is inefficient for the engine to power it, therefore conserving energy and improving the overall efficiency of the engine.…

Read more

EU CAR PRICE GAPS REMAIN WIDE BETWEEN MEMBER STATES



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London
YOU think the European Union (EU) is like the US – one big uniform market where prices are roughly the same wherever you buy? It is after all, legally and officially named the ‘Single European Market’.…

Read more

EU CAR PRICE GAPS REMAIN WIDE BETWEEN MEMBER STATES



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London
YOU think the European Union (EU) is like the US – one big uniform market where prices are roughly the same wherever you buy? It is after all, legally and officially named the ‘Single European Market’.…

Read more

COMMISSION CRACKS DOWN ON ROMANIA, MALTA SECOND-HAND CAR IMPORT RESTRICTIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is demanding that Romania reforms its car registration taxation, which it thinks deters the import of second-hand cars, a key issue for fleets wanting to offload older vehicles. Romania is potentially a major market for EU used cars, given its 22 million population and lower wages.…

Read more

COMMISSION CRACKS DOWN ON ROMANIA, MALTA SECOND-HAND CAR IMPORT RESTRICTIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is demanding that Romania reforms its car registration taxation, which it thinks deters the import of second-hand cars, a key issue for fleets wanting to offload older vehicles. Romania is potentially a major market for EU used cars, given its 22 million population and lower wages.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DECIDES CAR CO2 CAP PROPOSALS



BY DAVID HAWORTH, in Brussels
MANDATORY standards to control carbon dioxide emissions should be imposed on European Union (EU) auto makers at the latest by mid-2008, the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission has proposed today in Brussels (Wed).

As part of a strategy for the EU car industry’s long term viability, the measure will limit an average of CO2 emissions to 120 grams per kilometre.…

Read more

EU POISED TO PROPOSE CO2 CAPS ON CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is poised to propose that European Union (EU) manufactured cars must emit a maximum of 130g/km of carbon dioxide by 2012. The Commission’s ruling ‘college’ will meet tomorrow (Wed) and its environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas is already stating publicly that EU ministers and the European Parliament will be asked to approve a compulsory cap.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSES CO2 CAP FOR CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
MANDATORY standards to control carbon dioxide emissions should be imposed on European Union (EU) auto makers at the latest by mid-2008, the European Commission has proposed. If EU ministers and MEPs agree, an average limit of CO2 emissions to 120 grams per kilometer would be demanded for all car models used in the EU.…

Read more

EU POISED TO PROPOSE CO2 CAPS ON CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission was expected to propose on Wednesday (Feb7) that European Union (EU) manufactured cars must emit a maximum of 130g/km of carbon dioxide by 2012, EU environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas confirmed. This follows a political struggle with EU industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen who opposed the idea.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - EU MINISTERS SHY AWAY FROM COMMISSION ENERGY PACKAGE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
EUROPEAN Union (EU) member states have given a cool reception to the European Commission’s January energy package on forging a tough EU-wide programme of boosting energy capacity in Europe. At a special EU Council of Ministers meeting, a majority of governments, including the UK, opposed a proposed binding 2020 target of sourcing 20% of all energy consumption from renewable sources.…

Read more

EC MOVE TO SIMPLIFY CROSSBORDER USED CAR SALES



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is soon to publish a practical ‘Citizens’ Guide’ on car registration, which fleet managers can use when looking to sell used-cars to foreign European Union (EU) member states, especially focusing on the re-registration of vehicles after they are sold.…

Read more

EU COMMISSIONERS CLASH OVER AUTO INDUSTRY CO2 CAP



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London
THE EUROPEAN auto industry is keeping a close eye on the European Commission at the moment, where a heavyweight political struggle is being staged over whether mandatory CO2 caps should be imposed on auto manufacturers. At the heart of this dispute is an argument over whether companies should shoulder the burden of reducing CO2 emissions from new vehicles or whether the job should also involve people like fuel suppliers, tire and other components suppliers and even consumers.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION OPTIMISTIC OVER END OF LIFE VEHICLE GOALS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has promised in an assessment of the European Union (EU) end-of-life vehicles directive to pump-prime the development of technology that will help the recycling and reuse of cars. Brussels says it will stick with the existing 2015 targets of the legislation: 85% reuse/recycling and 95% reuse/recovery, concluding these “are optimal both in terms of environmental and economic performance.”…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS BITTER CAR EMISSIONS ROW



BY KEITH NUTHALL
AN UNUSUALLY tough political row between European commissioners has stalled plans to control the emission of carbon dioxide from cars, with intense disagreements erupting over whether limits should be voluntary or compulsory.

On one side is environmental Commissioner Stavros Dimas, of Greece, who wants to set compulsory CO2 emissions for European Union carmakers, because they are likely to break 2004 promises to reduce CO2 emissions to an industry average of 140 grammes per km, or 25% of 1995 levels by 2008.…

Read more

ECJ TELLS POLAND TO LIBERALISE USED CARS IMPORT RULES



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice (ECJ) has told Poland to harmonise its excise duty for used cars imported from other European Union (EU) countries with that paid on cars initially sold in Poland. The court ruled that the fact excise charged on imported used cars rose according to their age up to a maximum of 65% (depending on engine size), discriminated against imported used cars, because excise duty is only charged on cars originally used in Poland when they are new, and at a lower rate.…

Read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES EURO 5 FUEL ENGINE EMISSIONS STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has controversially told auto manufacturers they have until January 2012 to ensure private diesel passenger vehicles with a reference mass exceeding 2000 kg, designed to carry 7 or more occupants including the driver comply with the European Union’s (EU) new Euro V fuel and engine emission standards.…

Read more

INCREASED FLEXIBILITY OVER FIREWORKS LAW WILL REMOVE THREAT TO AIRBAG MANUFACTURERS



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London

EUROPEAN manufacturers have been given the go-ahead to use explosive chemicals as igniters for airbags after a new European Union (EU) law had threatened to put them out of business. The new legislation drawn up by the European Commission in Brussels last year (2005) was principally aimed at the fireworks industry and laid down new regulations to ensure safety in handling, storage and transportation binding across the 25 member countries.…

Read more

HYDROGEN FUEL CELL ADVANCES EUROPE JAPAN



BY JULIAN RYALL, in Tokyo

IT may be in its infancy, but European scientists have high hopes for new research into more effective ways to store hydrogen, and particularly in how it can be applied to next-generation fuel cell systems for vehicles, research that could have global implications.…

Read more

CRICKET WORLD CUP SPARKS CARIBBEAN PAINT BOOM



BY JAMES FULLER, in Port of Spain

CRICKETERS and illegally-licensed drivers are two of the more unusual factors currently affecting the Caribbean paint market.

The impending Cricket World Cup, to be held in the West Indies during March and April 2007, has spawned a flurry of construction activity with resultant benefits for the paint industry.…

Read more

EU RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW SAFE CHILD CAR SEAT



BY MONICA DOBIE

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) network of research teams called ‘Eureka’ has developed a new universal child car seat called the Klippan Isofix Safety System (KISS), which saves motoring parents from having to buy two child seats as their baby grows into a toddler.…

Read more

EU ENCOURAGES ETHANOL VEHICLE PRODUCTION



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London

AN ethanol-powered vehicle was driven 2,885 kilometres (1,792 miles) on one litre (just over a quarter gallon) of fuel in southern France this summer, sparking off renewed interest in ethanol as an alternative to gasoline in Europe.…

Read more

GM TO COLLABORATE IN LAUNCHING NEW UNIVERSITY AUTO CENTRE IN ITALY



BY MARK ROWE

GENERAL Motors is to collaborate with a leading engineering university in Italy to establish a new auto research center. The project is expected to play a leading role in the way in which the automobile engines of the future are designed.…

Read more

EU ENERGY CONSERVATION PLAN COULD IMPOSE CO2 LIMITS ON CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A LONG-AWAITED and detailed action plan on promoting energy efficiency within the European Union (EU) has unveiled European Commission plans to table legislation next year to impose a 120g CO2/km target for cars by 2012. In its text, Brussels has signaled a clear intention to get tough with auto manufacturers "should it become clear that the voluntary commitments of the car industry to reach 140g CO2/km by 2008/9 will not be honored".…

Read more

HUNGARY IMPORTED SECOND-HAND CAR SALES LICENCE FEE ILLEGAL SAYS ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FLEET managers looking to offload used-cars in Hungary will be pleased the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has declared illegal high Hungarian registration duty charged on imported second-hand vehicles. Registration duties on old vehicles previously used in Hungary are reduced to take depreciation into account, and so are lower than imported cars.…

Read more

EU LAUNCHES SMART CAR RESEARCH CAMPAIGN



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

THE EUROPEAN Commission has given the green light for a campaign to make the auto-buying public aware of the new "smart car" technology manufacturers can install so that driving on Europe’s crowded road system becomes safer.…

Read more

EU LAUNCHES ENERGY CONSERVATION ACTION PLAN



BY ALAN OSBORN

AN AMBITIOUS and comprehensive six-year plan for saving energy throughout the 25 (soon to be 27) EU member states has been welcomed by the association of European electricity suppliers Eurelectric, which said it "contains some good solid proposals."…

Read more

AUTO INDUSTRY Co2 RECYCLING DISAPPPOINTS



BY ALAN OSBORN

Brussels has expressed disappointment at the European motor industry’s voluntary efforts to curb CO2 emissions from new cars and has raised the prospect that legislation, possibly involving tax disincentives, may now have to be considered. The voluntary commitment made in 1999 by the European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturers was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in new cars to 140g/km by 2008/09 but new figures released by the European Commission show that in 2004 the average level was still 161g/km.…

Read more

EU BANK PLANS BOOST TO BOOSTING RUSSIAN AUTO LOAN MARKET



BY MARK ROWE

THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is planning to boost to the Russian car market by pumping up to Euro 300 million into the Russian Standard Bank, financing existing auto loans, and enabling the bank to make Euro 300 million’s worth of new car loans – worth more than 30,000 smaller autos.…

Read more

EU MAY DELAY EURO5 EMISSIONS STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DELAYED timetable for introducing the new Euro 5 fuel consumption and emissions standard for many European Union (EU) vehicles, including cars, minibuses, vans, SUVs and light trucks, has been tabled by the European Parliament’s environment committee. Normally a keen supporter of robust environmental legislation, the committee has accused the EU’s executive authority – the European Commission – of wanting to rush into mandating Euro 5 by proposing the standard be in force by mid-2008.…

Read more

EU CO2 EMISSIONS REPORT AUTO INDUSTRY CRITICISED



BY ALAN OSBORN

It looks as though you’re going to have to pay even more to run a big car in Europe soon if the motor industry there doesn’t smarten up its act to cut CO2 emissions. This follows a new report from the European Commission in Brussels on the progress made since 1998/9 when auto manufacturers from Europe, Japan and Korea pledged to voluntarily reduce carbon dioxide emissions in new cars sold in the 25-nation European bloc to 140g/km by 2008/09.…

Read more

EU LAUNCHES COMPREHENSIVE POLLUTION DATABASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has published an inventory of potential European Union (EU) pollution from non-industrial sources – such as cars, aeroplanes, ships and household appliances – as a first step towards creating a comprehensive detailed emissions database. Brussels wants to help environmental policy-makers develop better targeted proposals, which have been stymied in the past by non-industrial pollution estimates, which are notoriosly tough to measure accurately because they come from a huge number of sources.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - DIMAS LEAKS EU CARBON CAPTURE LAW PLANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas has unveiled European Commission plans to next year launch comprehensive legislation boosting effective carbon capture and storage.

The laws would remove legal barriers impeding research and development into this environmental technology and would also lay down rules on liability, for instance, if stored CO2 leached into the environment.…

Read more

CHINA TO RESIST US, EU CAR PARTS CASE AT WTO WARN EXPERTS



BY DINAH GARDNER, in Beijing

CHINA is talking tough over the launch of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) case over its levying of tariffs on imported auto parts, and analysts expect Beijing to follow this up at the WTO before even considering compromise.…

Read more

EU COATINGS RESEARCH MAY CREATE ALUMINIUM NICHE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EURO 1.8 million European Union research project claims to have reduced the cost of coating aluminium to such an extent, that a potentially lucrative niche could have been created. Project coordinator Germany’s Fischer Oberflachentechnik says its coating can make aluminium tough enough to replace the steel that is usually employed in cars, aeroplanes and other heavy industrial applications.…

Read more

AUTOMAKERS DEVELOP NAVIGATION TECHNOLOGY FOR GALILEO SYSTEMS



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

AFTER years of tests and international negotiations, Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation network at last has announced the technical details of its signal, crucial information for auto and component suppliers wanting to develop components to exploit the system.…

Read more

ALUMINIUM COATING MAKES CARS LIGHTER SAY EU EXPERTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research project has developed special technology to coat aluminum auto parts, making them tough enough to replace the steel that is usually employed, reducing vehicle weight and hence boosting fuel economy.

Automakers have long looked to use aluminum and related alloys where they can, but coating surfaces to make this non-ferrous metal sufficiently strong and durable to withstand the pressures exerted in a working auto has long been too expensive.…

Read more

SYRIA AUTO MARKET BOOMS AFTER DUTY CUTS



BY PAUL COCHRANE, in Damascus

FOLLOWING a sizeable reduction in import duties last year, Syria’s fledgling car market has grown by up to 60% in under a year.

A mere decade ago Syria’s roads were full of ageing cars, such as 1950s and 1960s Chevrolets, Dodges and Plymouths that were either lovingly maintained or had had one paint job too many.…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY TO BOOST HYDROGEN FUEL CELL PERFORMANCE - GERMAN SCIENTISTS



BY MARK ROWE, in Munich

NANOTECHNOLOGY is on the verge of dramatically improving the efficiency of hydrogen fuels, according to scientists at a major European conference. The move could pave the way for commercially viable nanotechnology fuel-cell powered cars within 15 years, experts told the EuroScience [NOTE: CAP ‘E’ AND ‘S’] Open Forum conference in Munich.…

Read more

FINLAND SEVEN-DAY CAR REGISTRATION DEADLINE MUST GO: EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FINLAND has been told by the European Commission to scrap a law telling drivers of vehicles who motor in Finland for more than a week to secure Finnish registration, at the full fee rate, even if a car is legally registered elsewhere in the European Union (EU).…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ACTS AGAINST 'DISCRIMINATORY' POLISH CAR REGISTRATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has demanded that the Polish government reforms a sliding scale determining the cost of original registration fees for cars, that hinders fleet managers’ sale of used vehicles. This rate depends on the age of the car, so new cars – made in or imported immediately into Poland – attract the lowest fees, and cars imported into the country when old incur the highest fees.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION LAUNCHES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST SECOND-HAND CAR IMPORT RESTRICTIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has launched legal action against five member states of the European Union (EU) to stop them imposing restrictions on imports of second-hand autos from other EU countries. The Commission thinks these trade barriers are so serious, they break these countries’ constitutional obligations under the Treaty of European Union to allow goods and services to be provided freely and easily across EU national borders.…

Read more

ECJ VAT IMPORTED CAR TAX RULING DENMARK



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that European Union (EU) fleet managers importing cars from a foreign EU member state, should not have to pay VAT on the cost of registration taxes required in the exporting country.…

Read more

EU RAPEX CONSUMER PROTECTION INFORMATION NETWORK - VOLVO RENUALT TOYOTA WARNINGS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission’s consumer protection information service RAPEX has warned of four alerts involving car models in the European Union (EU) this week.

In one case, the Greek authorities have reported a recall of 2004-6 Volvo S40/V50 sedan or station wagon cars, because of a potential "risk for driver’s life".…

Read more

BRITAIN VAT FLEET CAR PRIVATE MILEAGE EU LAW EXEMPTION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has accepted British government plans to reform on environmental grounds its private mileage VAT system for business cars driven for personal use. The UK wants to vary the flat rate charged for private mileage under a simplified system in place since 1986, according to the CO2 emitted by various car models.…

Read more

PORTUGAL MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONL FEATURE



BY LIZ HALL, in Alicante

IMPROVEMENTS in Portugal’s ability to detect crime detection, combined with increased vulnerability within the tourist property development arena, mean we could see another Operation White Whale in the next few years, its tip emerging in Portugal rather than Spain, experts warn.…

Read more

TRANSPORT HYDROGEN FUEL CELL EU RESEARCH - CARS MOPEDS MINIBUSES



STORIES BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is taking another serious step towards developing viable transport systems running on hydrogen, whose only emission is water. Following the success of its CUTE trials of hydrogen buses in large cities such as London, the EU is launching two more projects.…

Read more

ECJ VAT PRIVATE CAR COMPANY USE CASE ITALY



BY KEITH NUTHALL

EUROPEAN Union (EU) member states preventing companies from deducting VAT when buying cars as a fringe benefit for their employees, which are sometimes used for work purposes, had better follow strict EU procedures when doing so, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been told.…

Read more

BRITAIN VAT COMPANY CARS CO2 SYSTEM



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission has accepted British government plans to reform on environmental grounds its optional private mileage VAT system for business cars driven for personal use. The UK wants to vary the flat rate charged for private mileage under a simplified system in place since 1986, according to the CO2 emitted by various car models.…

Read more

HYDROGEN FUEL TESTING PROJECT EXPANSION - STANDARD CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

ANOTHER step is being taken this year towards the commercialisation of hydrogen-powered vehicles, with the launch of a European Union (EU)-funded research project involving workers running standard h-cars in their every-day lives. Called ZERO_REGIO, the project will see five Frankfurt airport employees and three local government officials from Mantova, northern Italy, driving DaimlerChrysler DC-A-Classe and Fiat Panda hydrogen-fuelled cars respectively.…

Read more

MEPS VOTE TO DELAY EURO5 FUEL AND ENGINE EMISSIONS STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A DELAYED timetable for introducing the new Euro 5 fuel consumption and emissions standard for many European Union vehicles, including vans, light trucks and cars, has been tabled by the European Parliament’s environment committee. Normally a keen supporter of robust environmental legislation, the committee has accused the European Commission of wanting to rush into mandating Euro 5 by proposing the standard be in force by mid-2008.…

Read more

USA HURRICANE PROTECTION COATINGS BOOM - POST HURRICANE KATRINA



BY LUCY JONES, in Dallas, Texas

THERE is another side to the loss of life and devastation wreaked in the USA by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Dennis last year, a market reaction that has brought unsought benefits to the US paint and coatings industry.…

Read more

USA HURRICANE PROTECTION COATINGS BOOM - POST HURRICANE KATRINA



BY LUCY JONES, in Dallas, Texas

THERE is another side to the loss of life and devastation wreaked in the USA by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Dennis last year, a market reaction that has brought unsought benefits to the US paint and coatings industry.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - RUSSIA EU GAS SUPPLIES EU REGIONAL GAS REGULATION LIBERALISATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

RUSSIA has sent another threat to Europe over gas supplies, undermining its reputation as a potential reliable energy partner for its western neighbours. Semyon Vainshtok, the president of Russia pipeline monopoly Transneft has told the daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Russia has "overfed Europe with crude".…

Read more

HYDROGEN VEHICLE TRIAL EXPANSION



STORIES BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is expanding the European Union’s (EU) international trial of hydrogen vehicles beyond the ongoing successful CUTE bus project that has involved London. It has announced two fresh projects: ZERO REGIO running eight fuel-cell passenger cars in Frankfurt and Mantova; and HyCHAIN:MINITRANS operating 158 small transport vehicles (minivans, minibuses, scooters, cargo bicycles and wheel chairs) in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - RUSSIA EU GAS SUPPLIES EU REGIONAL GAS REGULATION LIBERALISATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

RUSSIA has sent another threat to Europe over gas supplies, undermining its reputation as a potential reliable energy partner for its western neighbours. Semyon Vainshtok, the president of Russia pipeline monopoly Transneft has told the daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Russia has "overfed Europe with crude".…

Read more

GM - NETHERLANDS - AUTO EXPORT RESTRICTION CASE APPEAL - ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL

GENERAL Motors BV (formerly General Motors Nederland BV and Opel Nederland BV), of the Netherlands, has lost a second appeal against being fined for preventing their dealers exporting to other European Union (EU) member countries. The European Court of Justice has confirmed GM BV must pay Euro 35.47 million.…

Read more

FURTHER EU MOTOR INSURANCE REFORM CONSULTATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

FLEET managers have been asked by the European Commission whether further reforms are required to the European Union’s (EU) motor insurance directive, helping accident victims easily make claims in a foreign EU member state. That was why existing EU motor insurance directives insist insurers establish contacts in every member state.…

Read more

EU DRINKS LEGISLATION REPORT



BY ALAN OSBORN

INTRODUCTION

WE’RE barely a third of the way through 2006 but it’s already clear that the year is going to be a hugely important one for European Union (EU) legislation affecting both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks industries.…

Read more

INTERNATIONAL AUTO NOISE ASSESSMENT ROW



STORIES BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is pressing for the continuation of existing international noise regulations governing whether a new car model is approved by industry regulators, while data is amassed on a proposed replacement rule. The move represents an unusual spat between rule makers for the auto industry, with the Commission publicly criticising the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) section on world-wide auto technical standards.…

Read more

NATUAL BACTERIA GLUING AGENT - USA RESEARCH



BY MONICA DOBIE

A BACTERIA living in rivers and streams has proved a formidable gluing agent according to new research by both Indiana and Brown Universities in the US, which suggests it could be exploited commercially. Their scientists had to apply a force of about 1 micronewton to remove a single Caulobacter (C.)…

Read more

INDIA MONEY LAUNDERING CONTROLS - NEW FIU



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA, in New Delhi

India – US$692 billion economy, 10th largest in the world and growing at 8% annually – has finally put an official anti-money laundering public organisation in place. Its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), as required by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act-2002 (PMLA), which came into force in July 2005, has become fully operational.…

Read more

INTERNATIONAL AUTO NOISE ASSESSMENT ROW



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission is pressing for the continuation of existing international noise regulations governing whether a new car model is approved by industry regulators, while data is amassed on a proposed replacement rule. The move represents an unusual spat between rule makers for the auto industry, with the Commission publicly criticising the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) section on world-wide auto technical standards.…

Read more

BIOLOGICAL HYDROGEN SOURCE HYDROGEN FUEL CELL CARS RESEARCH



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A EUROPEAN Union (EU)-research project is developing small-scale hydrogen generators, which could be operated by homes and businesses to refuel hydrogen-autos. The aim of the Hyvolution scheme is to create practical technology that could form part of a sustainable and widespread refuelling network, something that is essential for hydrogen fuel-cell transport to take off.…

Read more

ADHESIVES NANOTECHNOLOGY FEATURE



BY MATTHEW BRACE, in Sydney

IN the rapidly expanding world of nanotechnology (a nano is one billionth of a metre), more and more applications for the adhesives industry are being developed. Many of these inventions are sophisticated, even futuristic in scope, although bizarrely some advances are linked to natural phenomena, with the sector owing a lot of the latest groundbreaking research to the humble gecko.…

Read more

ECJ DENMARK CAR REGISTRATION TAX SALES PRICE VAT CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CAR importing member states of the European Union (EU) should not demand that VAT be charged on the cost of pre-registering vehicles, says a European Court of Justice advocate general. Juliane Kokott has formally suggested that registration tax "is not…understood as being in the taxable amount of VAT", under the EU’s sixth VAT directive.…

Read more

NON-METAL INDUSTRIAL MINERALS NANOTECHNOLOGY FEATURE



BY MATTHEW BRACE, in Sydney

NON-metallic minerals, long considered the poor relations in the extended family of industrial minerals, are suddenly popular again.

They have found favour once more because of their molecular structures and their usefulness in the rapidly advancing world of nanotechnology.…

Read more

CHINA PAINT INDUSTRY FEATURE AUTOMOBILE PAINTS USA CONSTRUCTION GROWTH



BY JANE MOIR, in Hong Kong

CONSTRUCTION is on the up, people are eagerly buying homes, cars are being churned out at a rapid pace and the 2008 Beijing Olympics are just around the corner. The demand for paint and coatings in China should never have been better.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION STAFF BICYCLES PUBLIC TRANSPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL

BRUSSELS’ usually well-paid Eurocrats are accustomed to taxis, first-class air travel and even chauffeurs, so environment-inspired European Commission plans to buy bicycles for its 22,000 staff may come as a shock. Cycle paths and parking spots will be installed, with the Commission investing in changing rooms, so that pedalling officials are not sweaty and smelly when they attend high powered meetings.…

Read more

EUROPEAN COMMISSION OFFICIALS BICYCLE FLEET PUBLIC TRANSPORT BUS PASSES, BELGIUM, BRUSSELS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

BRUSSELS’ usually well-paid Eurocrats are accustomed to taxis, first-class air travel and even chauffeurs, so environment-inspired European Commission plans to buy bicycles for its 22,000 staff may come as a shock. Cycle paths and parking spots will be installed, with the Commission investing in changing rooms, so that pedalling officials are not sweaty and smelly when they attend high powered meetings.…

Read more

KRILL GLOBAL WARMING CARBON REDUCTION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

CATALYTIC converters, hydrogen fuel cells and wind power are well known allies in the battle against global warming, but now British Antarctic Survey and University of Hull researchers have discovered a new and unlikely saviour: Antarctic krill. These tiny shrimp-like crustaceans are a crucial meal for whales, penguins and seals, but these British scientists think they may also help sustain the planet, transferring carbon into the ocean equalling the annual emissions of 35 million cars.…

Read more

MICROSCOPIC AUTOMATIC POLLUTION MONITOR - EU RESEARCH



BY KEITH NUTHALL

A MINUTE carbon dioxide sensor that ‘listens’ to air quality and alerts ventilation systems as soon as oxygen levels are too low, is being developed by a Scandinavian research team, which has received support from the European Union (EU).…

Read more

POLLUTION EMISSIONS STANDARDS PUBLIC TRANSPORT LEASED TRANSPORT EEV, EURO V STANDARD FUEL EMISSIONS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE EUROPEAN Commission is getting tougher on vehicle emissions from the public sector. A proposed new directive, announced on December 21 last year, puts public-sector green vehicle procurement in the spotlight. It was announced on the same day as tighter new emissions levels for petrol and diesel-driven cars and light vans under the Euro V requirements.…

Read more

NANOTECHNOLOGY INVENTIONS FEATURE - PAINTS AND COATINGS



BY MATTHEW BRACE, in Sydney

FOR devotees of Captain Kirk, Dr Spock and the original Star Trek crew, the thrilling world of nanotechnology could sound vaguely familiar. It offers the 21st century a swathe of new products and services, from dirt-repelling cars to ‘thinking’ materials that can change colour automatically.…

Read more

GREECE VEHICLE CONFISCATION SALE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CENSURE



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE GREEK government has been censured by the European Parliament for its seizing of cars over the non-payment of road taxes and other administrative offences. Noting "a substantial number" of these cars had subsequently been auctioned MEPs said this was "incompatible with the principles of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights" and "not justified by any overriding requirements of enforcement and prevention".…

Read more

AUTOMOBILE AIR CONDITIONING DIRECTIVE APPROVED - EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, EU COUNCIL OF MINISTERS



BY ALAN OSBORN, in London

AFTER years of uncertainty, a timetable has now been fixed for the elimination of the air conditioning gas HFC 134a from cars sold in the European Union (EU). No, this won’t mean an end to air conditioned autos in Europe any more: what the deal really means is that auto and component makers have been given a generously long time to come up with a new refrigerating agent that doesn’t affect the climate by emitting fluorinating greenhouse gases.…

Read more

INTELLIGENT VEHICLE UPTAKE PLAN EUROPEAN COMMISSION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE EUROPEAN Commission today (Feb 23) launched a multi-pronged initiative to promote intelligent car technologies that aim at creating a reliable and popular operational testing system. European Union (EU) information society Commissioner Viviane Reding unveiled the plan at an ‘intelligent car demonstration event’, at the Brussels Autoworld Museum, in the Belgian capital.…

Read more

MAGNA CAR PARTS DEAL PORSCHE ROOF TECHNOLOGY TAKEOVER EUROPEAN COMMISSION APPROVAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL

THE PRESIDENT of Canadian auto manufacturer supplies giant Magna International has welcomed the European Commission’s approval of its purchase of German roof system manufacturer CTS Fahrzeug-Dachsysteme GmbH (CTS) from sports car maker Porsche. Brussels has imposed no conditions on the deal, which it concluded would not harm competition in the European Union (EU).…

Read more

IMO ICS SUBSTANDARD SHIPPING CONTROLS ERIKA UNSAFE SHIPS



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE LATEST round of European Union (EU) proposals to tighten up laws fighting the use of illegally unsafe commercial shipping, announced on November 23, 2005, will place shippers who want to continue operating in EU-controlled waters under closer scrutiny than ever, says the European Commission.…

Read more

AUTO V SUV EMISSIONS REDUCTION AIR POLLUTION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

NEW tough fuel and road transport pollution standards have been proposed by the European Commission, removing a loophole enabling sports utility vehicles to be covered by the looser emission limits for commercial vans. The new Auto V standard would be implemented from mid-2008 and would also cut by 80% particulate matter emissions from diesel cars.…

Read more

GREECE CAR CONFISCATION ROW



BY ALAN OSBORN

Greece may face legal action at the hands of the European Commission unless it ends the practice of confiscating cars for non-payment of taxes and other violations. Outraged Greek motorists have lodged a petition with the European Parliament which has resolved that the confiscations are "contrary to the right of property and freedom of movement" and calls on the Commission to act "without delay."…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - OIL AND GAS



BY KEITH NUTHALL

NEW tough fuel and road transport pollution standards have been proposed for the European Union (EU) by the European Commission, removing a loophole enabling sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to be covered by looser emission limits currently allowed for commercial vans.…

Read more

BELGIUM LUXEMBOURG DRIVING LICENCE ECJ CASE



BY ALAN OSBORN

The European Court of Justice has found in favour of two Belgian drivers working in Luxembourg who challenged a decision over vehicle registration by the Belgian government. Criminal proceedings had been brought against the two men for infringing Belgian laws requiring registration of company cars made available to them by Luxembourg-based companies.…

Read more

MALAYSIAN PAINT/COATINGS INDUSTRY FEATURE - AUTOMOTOBILE COATINGS, WATER PIPE COATINGS



BY MATTHEW BRACE, in Sydney

RECENT positive advances in the paint and coatings industry symbolise general satisfaction with Malaysia’s business outlook. It might not have the cheapest labour in Asia but the workforce is skilled, productive and highly competitive. Access to infrastructure (especially ports) for exports is also reported to be good.…

Read more

CARS 21 ASSESSMENT EU ACADEMICS - EU CAR INDUSTRY FUTURE PLAN



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

THE EUROPEAN car industry is putting itself in a strong position to tackle competition from rising economies, a leading UK automotive industry expert told wardsauto.com.

Speaking after the European Union (EU) launched its CARS 21 roadmap for a competitive automobile industry, Professor Garel Rhys, director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff University, Wales, said: "Our product has renewed itself.…

Read more

CHINA MUSEUMS FEATURE - BEIJING OLYMPICS GAMES -CURATING TRAINING DEMAND



BY MARK ROWE

CHINA has spent the past 15 years playing catch-up with the developed world by building skyscrapers and demolishing its old hutongs and alleyways. It has been accused by cultural organisations of taking the view that, in order to justify its existence everything must have an economic means and end.…

Read more

CANADA BEER FEATURE USA BEER BRAND STRENGTH - BUDWEISER



BY MONICA DOBIE and KEITH NUTHALL

TIME was when Canadians focused a significant proportion of their habitual condescension towards their American neighbours through beer. US brands were dismissed as weak in alcohol, tasteless and generic. But today, even though the big US beer labels taste the same as they ever did – much to the relief of many consumers around the world, of course – Canadian beer tastes are changing, especially among the young.…

Read more

INDIA FEATURE - HAWALA, BRIBERY, CORRUPTION, CASH-FOR-PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA, in New Delhi

INDIA’S opening-up as a free market economy, along with the adoption of new technology, reformed laws, and the presence of vigilant media are curbing many commercial crimes in the world’s largest democracy, but criminals still find ways to make a dishonest Rupee.…

Read more

SPAIN MONEY LAUNDERING POLICY FEATURE



BY LIZ HALL, in Alicante

SINCE March 2005, Operation White Whale, an extensive international anti-money-laundering operation spearheaded by the Spain’s National Police (the Policia Nacional), has produced the arrest of 57 people and the laundering of at least Euro 250 million euros obtained through illegal drug trafficking, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry (Ministerio del Interior).…

Read more

CAR EMISSIONS PROPOSAL - AUTO FIVE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is preparing to announce before Christmas its next comprehensive standard for vehicle fuel quality and emissions. Called ‘auto 5’ it will insist polluting sports utility vehicles must follow the same rules as standard cars, rather than laxer standards allowed for commercial vans, as is currently the case.…

Read more

EURO V - EU AUTO OIL EMISSIONS STANDARD LAUNCH



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE EUROPEAN automotive industry is gearing up for tighter pollution emission limits, possibly by mid-2008, under the European Union’s (EU) Euro 5 program, due to be announced by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on 21 December. Also expected to be announced in parallel to these restrictions on engine performance and fuel cleanliness is a carrot to encourage use of new technologies and to create a market for clean vehicles through an EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan.…

Read more

INDIA FEATURE - HAWALA, BRIBERY, CORRUPTION, CASH-FOR-PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS



BY RAGHAVENDRA VERMA, in New Delhi

INDIA’S opening-up as a free market economy, along with the adoption of new technology, reformed laws, and the presence of vigilant media are curbing many commercial crimes in the world’s largest democracy, but criminals still find ways to make a dishonest Rupee.…

Read more

CARS 21 ASSESSMENT EU ACADEMICS - EU CAR INDUSTRY FUTURE PLAN



BY DEIRDRE MASON, in London

THE EUROPEAN car industry is putting itself in a strong position to tackle competition from rising economies, a leading UK automotive industry expert told wardsauto.com.
Speaking after the European Union (EU) launched its CARS 21 roadmap for a competitive automobile industry, Professor Garel Rhys, director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff University, Wales, said: “Our product has renewed itself.…

Read more

GM - NETHERLANDS - AUTO EXPORT RESTRICTION CASE APPEAL - ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL
GENERAL Motors BV (formerly General Motors Nederland BV) and Opel Nederland BV, of the Netherlands, look set to lose a second appeal against being fined over preventing their dealers exporting to other European Union (EU) member countries. This was found by the European Commission a breach of EU freedom of trade laws, and sparked a Euro 43 million fine to the companies.…

Read more

EU OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE FIRST formal votes have been held on the European Union’s (EU) proposed chemical control system REACH, with amendments being passed by the European Parliament’s environment committee that will generally make life more difficult for petrochemical producers.

MEPs rejected the idea of a light touch for materials produced only in small quantities of between one to 10 tonnes.…

Read more

TYRE RECYCLING - EU DIRECTIVE



BY MARK ROWE
EVER wondered what happens to your car’s tyres when they are replaced? They may have done 20,000 miles or so on the road, but for many their working life has barely begun. Thanks to the European Union’s End Of Life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC), landfills of whole tyres have been banned this year, with shredded tyres to follow in 2006.…

Read more

NEW CAR SMELL - VOC RESTRICTIONS - PAINT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
JAPANESE car manufacturers have agreed to limit the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in vehicles – emitted by paint, vinyl and other materials that cause the distinctive ‘new car smell’ – to levels allowed in homes. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will apply the new standards from vehicles manufactured in 2007, albeit initially only to new model cars made and sold in Japan.…

Read more

DAIMLERCHRYSLER - ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EURO 15 million fine imposed by the European Commission on DaimlerChrysler for alleged illegal anti-competitive actions involving Spanish leasing companies has been lifted. The company had prevented German agents and Spanish dealers from supplying Mercedes-Benz cars to leasing companies before they secured customers, something Brussels said broke European Union (EU) competition laws.…

Read more

NEW CAR SMELL - VOC RESTRICTIONS



BY MONICA DOBIE
JAPANESE car manufacturers have agreed to limit the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in vehicles – that cause the distinctive ‘new car smell’ – to levels allowed in homes. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association will apply the new standards from vehicles manufactured in 2007, albeit initially only to new model cars both made and sold in Japan.…

Read more

DENMARK ECJ



BY KEITH NUTHALL
DENMARK has been ordered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to liberalise rules restricting foreign registered company car use in Denmark by Danish residents who work outside the country. The court has followed the advice of its advocate general Francis Jacobs in finding these rules breach Denmark’s European Union (EU) treaty obligations on freedom of movement across Europe.…

Read more

LEBANON CAR MARKET EMERGES FROM ISRAELI-HEZBOLLAH WAR



BY PAUL COCHRANE, in Beirut

THE LEBANESE car market experienced its worse summer in decades as a result of the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, a two-month sea blockade and an economic downturn, with the number of new registered cars dropping 81% in August alone.…

Read more

CZECH/SLOVAK FEATURE



BY MARK ROWE
IT is difficult to separate the present-day Czech paint industry from the industrial heritage of the country. While the rest of the world made jokes about Skoda cars during the Communist era, the Czechs fumed as they saw a once great engineering industry reduced to a laughing stock.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
NEW fuel quality standards for vehicles sold in the European Union (EU) from 2008 have been published by the European Commission, which will stop sports utility vehicles (SUVs) operating under laxer emissions rules applying to commercial vans. Instead, under the so-called Euro 5 plan, they would follow tougher regulations for cars.…

Read more

AUSTRIA/POLAND/FRANCE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is threatening legal action against France, Poland and Austria for allegedly breaking European Union (EU) freedom of trade laws by impeding the import of cars into their territories. Brussels objects to Austria’s double-checking of European certificates of conformity, which are designed to ease cross-border car registration.…

Read more

SUV EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
PROPOSED emissions limits for new cars and light vans from 2008 would see sports utility vehicles abide by the same limits as smaller passenger vehicles under a planned ‘Euro 5’ standard drafted by the European Commission. Currently, SUV’s weighing over 2,500kg can be driven under less strict emission standards allowed for light commercial vehicles.…

Read more

SWEDISH BIOGAS TRAIN



BY KEITH NUTHALL
SWEDEN will become this summer the first country in the world to operate a passenger train powered by biogas alone. Developed by Svensk Biogas for Swedish Kroner 10 million (GBPounds 750,000), the train will run from September, carrying up to 54 passengers between Sweden east coast towns Linköping and Västervik.…

Read more

AUTOMOTIVE PAINT - ASIA



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
CARMAKERS have experienced tremendous growth in the Asia Pacific region recently, as China and India in particular generate new sales and manufacturing opportunities. General Motors recently announced that its 2005 first quarter production figures for the region were up by around 14% compared with 2004, with Ford and other leading manufacturers predicting similar growth.…

Read more

REGISTRATION TAXES



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed the abolition of registration taxes that it says impede the transfer of vehicles to the 16 European Union (EU) member states that impose them. Britain is not among the countries concerned, but they include Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria and Poland.…

Read more

TAX/REGISTRATION CASES



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE NETHERLANDS, Greece and Poland have come under legal pressure from the European Commission to reform their car taxation rules so that it is easier to move vehicles around the European Union (EU). It has sent their governments formal requests to reform their systems, which – if ignored – could lead to a referral to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).…

Read more

EXPO - JAPAN



BY KEITH NUTHALL
IN an increasingly crowded and polluted world, pursuing sustainability and using renewable resources in construction will inevitably become more important. The question is how? And as a result good examples of innovative transport systems, industrial practices and materials are on show at this year’s World Expo at Aichi, Japan.…

Read more

EXPO - LOW FUEL TECHNOLOGY



BY KENCHO WANGDI, AND KEITH NUTHALL
GIVEN the environmental pressures of global warming laws and clean air legislation, the energy industry is always looking-out for new technologies that can help it deliver services, without the being criticised for harming the planet.…

Read more

EU MOTOR INSURANCE CONSULT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A NEW public consultation could spark further improvements to the European Union (EU) system helping cross-border motor insurance claims, when insurers are unable or unwilling to settle quickly or efficiently. The consultation has been launched by the European Commission, which wants to test the operation of national compensation bodies established by the 2000 fourth motor insurance directive.…

Read more

TOYOTA CAR-TRAIN



BY KENCHO WANGDI, in Japan
VISITORS to this year’s World Expo at Aichi, Japan, are being introduced to a new low pollution tram that needs neither a driver, nor rails. Developed by Toyota researchers, this Intelligent Multimode Transportation System (IMTS) is guided along standard roads by embedded magnetic markers, enabling it to be steered and controlled automatically.…

Read more

DOUBLE TAXATION CONCERN



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Car & Truck Rental Association (ECATRA) has called on the European Union (EU) to create taxation legislation allowing leasing companies to be refunded motor tax when transferring vehicles between EU countries. In a consultation paper for the EU’s ongoing CARS21 review of automobile policy, ECATRA said this was “one of the main problems facing the industry”, which often wanted to move vehicles to re-sell them.…

Read more

AUTOMOTIVE PAINT - INNOVATION



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
ASK the average motorist to identify which automotive technologies have advanced the most in recent years, and very few would mention coatings and finishings. Certainly, when it comes to innovation, carmakers are eager to promote new developments in performance, economy and safety.…

Read more

HYDROGEN TRAIN



BY KEITH NUTHALL
ENVIRONMENTAL health officers will be well acquainted with international efforts to develop hydrogen cars, but local authorities in Denmark wants to go further: they are planning to launch Europe’s first hydrogen-powered train. Three towns in western Jutland – Vemb, Lemvig and Thyborøn – have pledged funding to run a hydrogen train along the 59-kilometre railway that connects them.…

Read more

PIEBALGS SPEED LIMIT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
IN a political hair-and-tortoise move, a European Commissioner from a country where the Lada once reigned supreme has told speed-loving German motorists he will press for European Union (EU) speed limits of 90kmh (55.9 mph). Latvia’s Andris Piebalgs, energy Commissioner since last November, told the Die Welt newspaper “I personally support the idea”, which was originally proposed by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Parliament and the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers have compromised on the final shape of a directive reducing sulphur content in marine fuels. The result is legislation that permits higher sulphur usage than the parliament wanted, cutting its marine fuels content to 1.5% by 2007, for all vessels in the Baltic, the North Sea, and the English Channel, and passenger ships in all EU seas and oceans.…

Read more

METAL FEDERATION - CAR CONSULT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) has called on the European Union’s (EU) governments and car industries to adopt long-term innovative strategies that guarantee a sustainable future for the EU automobile industry, a key purchaser of steel and other metals.…

Read more

FEATHER PLASTICS



BY MONICA DOBIE
THE US Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed technology to process chicken feathers into a plastic-like material that can be moulded just like any other plastic, with properties similar to polyethylene and polypropylene. The federal agency says this makes the feather-derived plastic a unique material for packaging or other applications where high strength and biodegradability are desired.…

Read more

TURKEY - IFC



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC), of the World Bank, has agreed to acquire a minority stake in a growing Turkey fleet management company to help cement its transformation into a key player in the Turkish market. The IFC will invest in Intercity, which grew from a single person operation in 1992 to a company with 20% market share, 90 employees and 6,000 cars under management today.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
PRESSURE on oil companies to continue cleansing their fuels of potential pollutants continues to be applied within the European Union (EU), with the European Commission preparing for the introduction of a new standard ‘Euro 5’ in 2010. It has advised EU member states to harmonise any tax concessions encouraging the use of diesel cars cleaner than the ‘Euro 4’ emissions standard, (which became compulsory on January 1).…

Read more

NORWAY - EFTA



BY KEITH NUTHALL
NORWEGIAN company car fleets wanting to import second-hand cars should not have to pay a special tax not applied when buying used cars within Norway, the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Surveillance Authority has claimed. It is threatening Norway with legal action on grounds of illegal discrimination if it does not scrap the tax.…

Read more

SPAIN MONEY LAUNDERING POLICY FEATURE



BY LIZ HALL, in Alicante

SINCE March 2005, Operation White Whale, an extensive international anti-money-laundering operation spearheaded by the Spain’s National Police (the Policia Nacional), has produced the arrest of 57 people and the laundering of at least Euro 250 million euros obtained through illegal drug trafficking, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry (Ministerio del Interior).…

Read more

EU ROUND UP - RUSSIA EU GAS SUPPLIES EU REGIONAL GAS REGULATION LIBERALISATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL

RUSSIA has sent another threat to Europe over gas supplies, undermining its reputation as a potential reliable energy partner for its western neighbours. Semyon Vainshtok, the president of Russia pipeline monopoly Transneft has told the daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Russia has "overfed Europe with crude".…

Read more

AUSTRALIAN PAINT INDUSTRY



BY MATTHEW BRACE
AUSTRALIA’S paint and coatings industry has been enjoying a period of stability and steady prosperity of late, as a mature sector that is generally growing at the same rate as the country’s robust economy. Despite suffering the effects of the general downturn in the Asian economy after SARS and terrorism fears, the industry has remained highly competitive throughout the five-year period to 2003-2004.…

Read more

USA HURRICANE PROTECTION COATINGS BOOM - POST HURRICANE KATRINA



BY LUCY JONES, in Dallas, Texas

THERE is another side to the loss of life and devastation wreaked in the USA by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Dennis last year, a market reaction that has brought unsought benefits to the US paint and coatings industry.…

Read more

EURO V - EU AUTO OIL EMISSIONS STANDARD LAUNCH



BY DEIRDRE MASON

THE EUROPEAN automotive industry is gearing up for tighter pollution emission limits, possibly by mid-2008, under the European Union’s (EU) Euro 5 program, due to be announced by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on 21 December. Also expected to be announced in parallel to these restrictions on engine performance and fuel cleanliness is a carrot to encourage use of new technologies and to create a market for clean vehicles through an EU Environmental Technologies Action Plan.…

Read more

CANADA BEER FEATURE USA BEER BRAND STRENGTH - BUDWEISER



BY MONICA DOBIE and KEITH NUTHALL

TIME was when Canadians focused a significant proportion of their habitual condescension towards their American neighbours through beer. US brands were dismissed as weak in alcohol, tasteless and generic. But today, even though the big US beer labels taste the same as they ever did – much to the relief of many consumers around the world, of course – Canadian beer tastes are changing, especially among the young.…

Read more

CHINA MUSEUMS FEATURE - BEIJING OLYMPICS GAMES -CURATING TRAINING DEMAND



BY MARK ROWE

CHINA has spent the past 15 years playing catch-up with the developed world by building skyscrapers and demolishing its old hutongs and alleyways. It has been accused by cultural organisations of taking the view that, in order to justify its existence everything must have an economic means and end.…

Read more

BULL BARS



BY ALAN OSBORN
STRICT laws banning the use of rigid bull bars and other protective devices for cars are expected following the proposal of amendments by the transport committee of the European Parliament toughening up European Union (EU) DIRECTIVE under consideration.…

Read more

UNECE POLLUTION



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE UNITED Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has predicted western European life expectancy is being reduced by two years on average because of fine particulate matter air pollution. These are created when fossils fuels (especially in cars) and wood are burnt, staying in the air for a long time and travelling far from their source.…

Read more

GREEN RACING CAR



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A SPEED record has been set by a car running on biofuels, with a vehicle designed with help from the European Space Agency (ESA) breaking an existing green car record of 315km. It was developed by French non-profit group IdéeVerte Compétition to be lubricated by sunflower oil and run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), one of the least polluting fossil fuels.…

Read more

BULGARIA CRIME



BY KEITH NUTHALL
WHILE the voters of many European Union (EU) countries express misgivings about greater continental integration, Bulgaria has been making great efforts to join the Brussels club by 2007. But its reputation for commercial crime and the lack of strong governmental structures able to tackle the problem are hampering efforts to clean up the country’s reputation.…

Read more

LIGHT PLASTIC CAR



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research consortium has announced a breakthrough in cutting the weight of cars, producing and testing a full-scale carbon fibre floorpan, to be combined with sills, roof, pillars and side panels from the same material.…

Read more

VAN FUEL CONSUMPTION



BY ALAN OSBORN
CONTRARY to some fleet management industry hopes, a European Union (EU) directive – 2004/3/EC – approved earlier this year will not require manufacturers or retailers to label fuel consumption figures for vans but it will allow for the testing of CO2 emissions from February 2005.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
DIESEL vehicle owners are undermining the efforts of manufacturers to reduce road transport pollution in Europe, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report has claimed, by tuning engines to boost their power. The EEA thinks up to 50% of new diesel vehicles are being modified and that such changes can increase emissions, especially of harmful particles, by as much as three times.…

Read more

PLASTIC CAR



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Union (EU) research consortium has announced a breakthrough in cutting the weight of cars, by producing and testing a full-scale carbon fibre floorpan, sills, roof, pillars and side panels. The result, it claims are safe and fast cars, not only using smaller engines and so emitting less pollution than metal models, but would be popular and mass produced.…

Read more

BRITAIN VAT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
SALES of cars between motor trade professionals must be declared at open market rates under a VAT law being introduced in the UK to prevent illicit cut priced declarations restricting the amount of sales tax actually paid. The regulation conflicts with standard European Union VAT law, but has been given special approval by the EU Council of Ministers.…

Read more

EU ROAD CHECKS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission is threatening to take France, Germany, Luxembourg and Denmark to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement European Union laws mandating roadside spot checks on lorries and cars. These roadworthiness tests include examinations of speed limiters and exhaust emissions.…

Read more

TRAVEL HEART ATTACKS



BY MONICA DOBIE
COMPANIES whose employees endure long stressful commutes to work are at a greater risk of losing their workers due to heart attacks according to German research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study said people are three times more likely to suffer a heart attack within an hour of driving a car or bicycle in a traffic jam than if they would be in activities away from traffic.…

Read more

HYBRID CAR MOTOR



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
BRITISH engineers have developed an invention making hybrid cars even more fuel efficient, possibly breaking the “magic target” of 100 miles per gallon, reducing their emissions and making them more attractive to consumers. Hybrid vehicles running on a combination of traditional fuel and electrical power have already produced significant pollution results.…

Read more

EBRD LEASING LOANS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced two loans that will allow Romanian and Slovenian companies to lease commercial and passenger vehicles. As part of its general remit to develop eastern Europe, the bank will lend Euro 10 million to Romania’s BCR Leasing, which will on-lend the money to small businesses “to purchase cars or equipment that will support their business development”.…

Read more

ANIMAL COLLISIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
WESTERN European countries – including Britain – are facing an increasing risk of vehicles colliding with large wild animals, two independent European studies have suggested. Researchers from the UFZ Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, and Madrid University concluded more animals are straying onto roads, because habitat loss forces them to migrate for food and mates.…

Read more

AUTO ADHESIVES



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
PRESSURE from consumers and regulators have forced automotive manufacturers to re-examine the vehicle construction process from top to bottom in recent years. Increasing fuel prices coupled with drivers’ demands for improved performance has meant that the use of lighter materials, such as aluminium and composites which are bonded using adhesives, has become far more widespread, and could be set to become even more commonplace in volume production.…

Read more

ADHESIVES FEATURE



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
THE GROWING use of adhesives in the manufacture of automotive interiors is not only helping to meet the demands of consumers in terms of aesthetics and car performance, but is also satisfying environmental regulators. But could these bonding processes also be more widely used in the construction of car exteriors in the near future?…

Read more

ANIMAL COLLISIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A CAMPAIGN to reduce the growing number of collisions between road vehicles and deer on Britain’s roads has called on both drivers and highways officials to deal with this potentially deadly risk.

The Deer Initiative estimates that between 30,000 and 50,000 deer are hit by cars, vans and lorries in the UK annually, with 10-20 people being killed in such accidents.…

Read more

EU CAR PRICE REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
WITHIN the newly expanded European Union (EU), Poland is the cheapest country in which to buy a car, although under current trends that honour may not last long. According to the latest European Commission figures, Polish car prices are on average 9% cheaper than those in Finland, the cheapest country using the single European currency.…

Read more

FINLAND TAX CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
FINNISH courts should examine their country’s ‘autovero’ car tax system to see whether it is unfair to drivers importing cars from other European Union (EU) member countries, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled. If national judges say it is unfair to charge the full tax on drivers who have already paid car tax in another EU country, then they should demand the system be reformed, said the ECJ.…

Read more

TAX CONSULTATION



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has asked the vehicle leasing and management sectors whether it would like the existing patchwork of national passenger car taxation laws to be reformed and replaced with a more harmonised system.

Brussels is particularly keen to discover in wide consultation whether there would be support for replacing registration taxes with charges based on CO2 emissions, which would help the European Union (EU) meet its Kyoto Protocol global warming commitments.…

Read more

CHILD BIKE SAFETY



BY MONICA DOBIE
CHILDREN as old as 12 lack the cognitive ability to safely cross streets on their bicycles, according to a University of Iowa study published in the American journal Child Development. Researchers used virtual reality technology to allow participants to ride stationery bicycles through a residential neighbourhood, where cars were travelling between 50 and 70 kilometres per hour.…

Read more

FRANCE REGISTRATION CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE FRENCH government will have to defend its vehicle registration rules against claims at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that they are so bureaucratic, they break European Union (EU) law. The European Commission has launched a case at the ECJ, focusing on rules requiring vehicle owners in some circumstances to present certificates of vehicle identification either issued by a manufacturer or France’s state technical services agency – the Direction Régionale de l’Industrie, de la Recherche et de l’Environnement (DRIRE).…

Read more

BUSINESS TRAVEL FEATURE



BY MONICA DOBIE
THE WORLD is a small place when it comes to business these days. Increasingly, multi-nationals, as well as medium-sized companies are setting up shop in all four corners of the world. Outsourcing work and creating offices in developing countries is de rigueur to cut costs.…

Read more

AIRBAGS THREAT



BY MONICA DOBIE
SAFETY experts say that careful UK airbag manufacturing standards have so far prevented British rescue workers and drivers from being harmed by a rash of accidents now occurring in the United States. Firefighters have told the American press that air bags inflating accidentally because of car fires have broken firefighters’ fingers, knocked out teeth and, in one case, caused internal bleeding.…

Read more

ECJ TAX CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
COMPANY and private car drivers moving from one European Union (EU) Member State to another should not be required to pay fresh registration taxes when they change their country of residence, a European Court of Justice (ECJ) advocate general has recommended.…

Read more

SMILE/CIVITAS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
LOCAL authorities in Camden and Nottingham have been held up as good practice examples in the promotion of environmentally sustainable transport by the European Union’s (EU) SMILE project, which concluded last week at a conference in La Rochelle, France (27-28 May).…

Read more

USA MONEY LAUNDERING REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
NOBODY likes to be on a blacklist, especially one written by the American government. But every year, the US state department issues a comprehensive rogues gallery of countries involved in the narcotics trade and related criminal problems. One surprising entrant: the United States.…

Read more

DRIVER SLEEPINESS



BY MONICA DOBIE
NEW technology preventing drowsy drivers from crashing will be included in all Volvo cars and SUVs by the end of the decade, company officials have told the New York auto show.

The warnings include a vibrating steering wheel, the sound of a car driving over rumble strips being played to the driver and a visual warning being projected onto the windshield.…

Read more

HEMP/FLAX CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Union (EU) backed research project is promoting the use of hemp and flax to make fibreboard used in car manufacture. Coordinator Helmut Zimmer of Austrian renewable raw materials specialist Funder Industries said the Hi-Fi project would generate an “added-value opportunity” for hemp and flax producers, improving fibreboard door panel production.…

Read more

CAR PAINT



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
WHY do we change our cars so often? Most drivers spend between two to three years with their car before trading in for a new model, long before the average mechanical lifespan. Perhaps it is because every year car manufacturers claim to improve on vehicle performance, reliability, efficiency, safety and handling?…

Read more

MONEY LAUNDERING REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL, in Paris
THE WORLD’S premier anti-money laundering operation has released a detailed report detailing how corrupt accountants are increasingly using their expertise to help criminals clean dirty money. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says that accountants are not only advising criminals on money laundering, but arranging paperwork and even conducting illicit transactions themselves.…

Read more

CUSTOMS FEATURE



BY ALAN OSBORN
MANY professions are engaged in the war against money laundering but it seems increasingly plain that customs officers are at the very forefront of the campaign. Most crime (with some forms of terrorism a conspicuous exception) is committed mainly for financial profit and that profit has to be re-cycled if the criminals are to gain anything at all from it.…

Read more

MONEY LAUNDERING REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
INTERNATIONAL crime is usually a cat-and-mouse game, with the criminals staying one step ahead of law enforcement. Maybe nowhere is this truer than with money laundering, where ever more elaborate scams are devised to make dirty money smell of roses.…

Read more

SMALL EUROPEAN STATES - MONACO MONEY LAUNDERING



BY KEITH NUTHALL
MONACO is all about money. A glamorous speck of high-rises looming above the French Riviera, it is famous for wealthy glamour, tax exiles, racing-cars and gambling. Given this cocktail, it is hardly surprising that this, Europe’s second smallest country by geography, has attracted allegations that it has been the site of money laundering.…

Read more

CAR RECYCLING



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed a technical directive that would impose standards on European Union (EU) automotive manufacturers, forcing them to record polymers or elastomers used in the construction of cars, buses and light vans, making these materials more easy to recycle once the vehicle is scrapped.…

Read more

HEMP/FLAX CARS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Union (EU) backed research project is promoting the use of hemp and flax to make fibreboard used in car manufacture. Coordinator Helmut Zimmer of Austrian renewable raw materials specialist Funder Industries said the Hi-Fi project would generate an “added-value opportunity” for hemp and flax producers, improving fibreboard door panel production.…

Read more

IEA REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE WORLD’S increasing reliance on cars is threatening efforts to combat climate change, according to a report published by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). Although its report ‘Oil Crises and Climate Challenges’ found that oil consumption has been declining since 1973 in every other industrial and service sector, soaring transport demands meant overall levels have not declined.…

Read more

CAR RECYCLING



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed a technical directive that would impose standards on European Union (EU) automotive manufacturers, so that their new cars, sports utility vehicles, minibuses and light vans can be more easily recycled once they are scrapped.…

Read more

FLOOD RISKS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE ASSOCIATION of British Insurers (ABI) is pressing the UK Government to maintain its raised level of spending on flood defences, as it works towards its next public spending round announcement in the summer. Following the spate of disastrous floods in 2000, Whitehall in 2002 increased its annual spending on the problem by Pounds 150 million.…

Read more

SCRAP METAL



BY MONICA DOBIE
THIEVES looking to cash in on the current high prices of industrial scrap non-ferrous metals have stolen more than CDN$2 million (US$1.49 million) worth of nickel and aluminium in Montreal Canada. Several thousand kilograms of nickel cathodes and roughly 3.6 tonnes of aluminium were carted off in separate night raids in what police have identified as “professional heists”.…

Read more

FATF REPORT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
INTERNATIONAL financial experts have concluded that the insurance industry is particularly vulnerable to being exploited by money launderers, calling for an in depth study into how organised crime is abusing the sector.

A report from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has concluded it is “necessary to better understand how and to what degree the various parts of the insurance sector could be used by money launderers.”…

Read more

CO2 EMISSIONS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
PROGRESS on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger cars in the European Union has stalled, according to the first European Commission figures on the subject (for 2002). It sets them at 165g/km, an apparent small rise over the 164g/km recorded by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) for 2001, (its 2002 figure was 163g/km.…

Read more

TOLLS DEADLINE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Commission proposal to establish a European Union (EU)-wide electronic road toll system has been attacked by the European Parliament’s transport committee, which has claimed that Brussels’ planned introduction deadlines are “too ambitious.” The Commission wants an interoperable tolling system in place for lorries, buses and coaches by 2005 and 2010 for cars.…

Read more

AIR POLLUTION DEAL



BY KEITH NUTHALL
AN INTERNATIONAL accord providing for joint-research projects on transport air pollution has been struck by the European Union (EU), the United States, Japan and China. Aimed at creating a global system to measure such emissions, the deal will provide for joint vehicle testing and should lead to the next generation of European emission standards for passenger cars and light vans.…

Read more

COMPANY CAR VAT: 100 words



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A BRITISH VAT regulation simplifying company car VAT returns could effectively be declared illegal next year by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The rule involves Customs & Excise restricting to 50 per cent the proportion of company car hiring or leasing charges that are declared as a business expense and freeing a businesses hiring or leasing cars from having to keep records of private mileage.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
BINDING energy conservation targets have been proposed for European Union (EU) Member States by the European Commission, a move that could further tighten fuel economy rules for Europe’s transport sector. Brussels has proposed a general energy saving target of one per cent a year from 2006-12, measured against average energy distribution from the previous five years.…

Read more

BRITAIN VAT LAW



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A BRITISH VAT regulation simplifying tax returns relating to company cars could effectively be declared illegal next year by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The rule involves Customs & Excise restricting to 50 per cent, the proportion of company car hiring or leasing charges that can be declared as a business expense on VAT returns, leading to a reduction in a business’ VAT bill.…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
BINDING energy conservation targets have been proposed for European Union (EU) Member States by the European Commission, a move that could further tighten fuel economy rules for Europe’s transport sector. Brussels has proposed a general energy saving target of one per cent a year from 2006-12, measured against average energy distribution from the previous five years.…

Read more

PLASTIC LAMPPOSTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A EUROPEAN Union research network says it has created tough thermoplastic lampposts that absorb energy in a collision and so could save hundreds of lives across Europe. In the UK alone, said the EUREKA-group, more than 500 motorists are killed each year, hitting roadside objects such as lampposts, usually made from metal, concrete or occasionally fibre-glass.…

Read more

FLAMMABLE MATERIALS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE UNITED Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Union (EU) are to introduce a new manufacturing standard in Europe, reducing the flammability of materials – including textiles – used inside cars. The draft UNECE regulation (which the EU is expected to support) covers “the burning behaviour of materials…ensuring a high level of safety and environmental protection.”…

Read more

EU AUTO STANDARDS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE UNITED Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Commission are teaming up to introduce two new manufacturing standards in the European Union (EU): one on anti-theft protection and another on reducing the flammability of materials used inside cars.…

Read more

ECJ CAR REGISTRATION CASE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A RULING on car registration legislation at the European Court of Justice could remove red tape demands on European fleet managers whose companies’ employ workers living in more than one European Union country. Judges have stated national governments cannot insist a worker’s company car be registered in their home country, rather than where a company and its fleet management is based.…

Read more

ROAD INSURANCE DIRECTIVE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
LOBBYISTS may not usually be the most popular people – damned as peddlers of influence behind the scenes – but they must be flavour of the month in the European insurance industry at the moment. Faced with a proposal before the European Parliament to raise minimum levels of cover in compulsory motor insurance to levels sky high above those wanted by the industry, MEPs have been persuade to fall in line with insurers’ wishes.…

Read more

E SAFETY THREAT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
EUROPEAN Union enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen has warned that the European Commission might table legislation to force car manufacturers to include the latest intelligent and e safety devices in their cars, if there is a low take up of these technologies.…

Read more

ROAD SAFETY - EU



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE ARENA of occupational health concerns is constantly expanding beyond the immediate workplace and one area of particular interest that is currently under wide discussion at the European Union is road safety. Proposals are being debated that will not only affect the technical design of vehicles, but also on road safety checks by public authorities and compensation available from insurance payouts.…

Read more

EMISSION/FUEL MONITORING



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) Council of Ministers has agreed in principle to extend an EU directive insisting on Member States measuring the carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption of passenger cars to cover light vans below 350 tonnes, classified as N1 vehicles by Brussels.…

Read more

E SAFETY THREAT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
EUROPEAN Union enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen has warned that the European Commission might table legislation to force car manufacturers to include the latest intelligent and e safety devices in their cars, if there is a low take up of these technologies.…

Read more

SAFE CARS ACTION PLAN



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission has released an action plan to promote intelligent vehicle technology that boosts road safety. Its ‘eSafety communication’ especially focuses on promoting services such as online broadband in-car warning systems, relaying to drivers information about congestion, road conditions and accidents.…

Read more

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY DIRECTVE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
SWIFT agreement has been reached in Brussels over a directive – proposed this Spring – which will impose safety standards on auto-manufacturers to ensure their vehicles cause less injuries and fewer deaths in accidents with pedestrians. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have struck a deal over the shape of the legislation, which will compel manufacturers to bring in new designs – for instance to bonnets and bumpers – aimed at significantly reducing collision impacts for cars and light vans travelling at speeds up to 40 kph (about 25 mph).…

Read more

EU ROUND UP



BY KEITH NUTHALL
ENHANCED powers, responsibilities and resources are being proposed for the new European Maritime Safety Agency to enable it to fight tanker pollution. The European Commission has proposed that it should buy or lease specialist anti-pollution vessels. It also wants its work expanded to cover maritime security and seafarer training.…

Read more

FUEL CELLS - HYUNDAI



BY JONATHAN THOMSON
HYUNDAI and UTC Fuel Cells have joined forces to overcome one of the remaining hurdles in the development of hydrogen fuel cells for cars, making sure that they are reliable in freezing conditions. Hyundai claims it will make available in the US from 2004 cells that can be started even after the water in an engine system has frozen.…

Read more

HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS



KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission (EC) has announced that next month (Oct) it will launch a European Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Partnership, pumping (as yet unspecified amounts) of funds into private, public and mixed sector research and development projects to introduce hydrogen as a fuel on a commercial basis.…

Read more

LORRY AND COACH SAFETY



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission wants EU ministers to extend rules telling automobile manufacturers to abide by safety standards in vehicle design from cars to vans, lorries, trailers, buses and coaches. It wants vehicle makers to have a duty to incorporate technology such as automatic braking systems (ABS), more effective rear mirrors and side protection devices into their models, while ensuring that disabled and elderly people have easy access to buses and coaches.…

Read more

LORRY AND COACH SAFETY



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission wants EU ministers to extend mandatory technical rules telling automobile manufacturers to abide by safety standards in their vehicle designs from cars to utility vehicles such as vans, lorries and trailers, as well as buses and coaches.…

Read more

LORRY AND COACH SAFETY



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Commission wants EU ministers to extend rules telling automobile manufacturers to abide by safety standards in vehicle design from cars to vans, lorries, trailers, buses and coaches. It wants vehicle makers to have a duty to incorporate technology such as automatic braking systems (ABS), more effective rear mirrors and side protection devices into their models, while ensuring that disabled and elderly people have easy access to buses and coaches.…

Read more

MIRROR NAIL VARNISH



BY MARK ROWE
SCIENTISTS in New Jersey, USA, have developed a cosmetic varnish that turns fingernails into highly reflective mirrors. The nail varnish works on the same principles as sheens applied to wood, furniture or cars. The scientists increased the molecular weight of resins added to aluminium flakes, which were then used to saturate an industrial paint.…

Read more

ECO CAR CHALLENGE



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE UK government is challenging carmakers to design and build an affordable, ultra low carbon family car, capable of travelling 1,000 miles on a standard tank of fuel. Launching the “Ultra Low Carbon Car Challenge,” the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling, said more than one proposal from manufacturers may be taken forward under the Department for Transport’s New Vehicle Technology Fund, which has a budget of Pounds 10 million over 3 years.…

Read more

SCANDINAVIAN FEATURE



BY SIGRÚN DAVÍDSDOTTIR
THE FOUR Scandinavian language-speaking countries, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, all pass with flying colours on Transparency International’s Corruption Index when considering their exposure to money laundering. Though the use criminal proceeds is not a serious issue in this friendly part of the world, their vicinity to countries in the former communist eastern bloc and the increasingly pervasive nature of international terrorism means that no one can afford to be caught sleeping on the post, especially not after 9/11.…

Read more

HYDROGEN MIT



BY KEITH NUTHALL
A MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology study has concluded that hydrogen powered cars will not perform better than hybrid diesel-electric vehicles regarding energy use and greenhouse gas emissions until after 2020. It predicts that in the short term, “aggressive research on a hybrid car with a diesel engine will yield the most environmentally friendly results,” because converting hydrocarbons into hydrogen for fuel uses energy and emits greenhouse gases.…

Read more

DRUG REPORTS



BY KEITH NUTHALL
THERE is a tendency amongst international business to think that the drugs trade has little impact on the real economy. Not so says a United Nations agency report, drugs harm legal commerce. Keith Nuthall reports.

THE INTERNATIONAL Narcotics Control Board has to encourage governments to take tough a