Hyundai Approves PPG For Its Refinish Programme

The Hyundai Motor Company has named PPG an approved aftermarket supplier for its new “Hyundai Global Body and Paint Programme.” As part of the agreement, PPG will provide its PPG and Nexa Autocolor refinish brands, including the popular Envirobase and Aquabase Waterborne Basecoat Systems Global, Deltron, and 2K lines, to Hyundai dealerships and their authorized repair partners.


Messe Frankfurt Launches Automechanika Roma

Automechanika Roma, Italy’s International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Suppliers, will have its debut from 31 January to 3 February 2008. Thus, Messe Frankfurt is adding another automotive trade fair in Europe alongside the main fair in Germany as well as Automechanika Moscow, Auto+Automechanika St. Petersburg and Automechanika Istanbul.



Euro NCAP is delighted to release the results for its highest scoring car in adult occupant protection since Euro NCAP was established over 10 years ago. The Nissan Qashqai, (to be know in Australia as the Dualis) a small family car, received almost maximum points in Euro NCAP’s strict front, side impact and pole crash tests as well as a high performance score in the child occupant protection rating.


Toyota Outsells GM Worldwide

TOKYO (Reuters) — Toyota Motor Corp. outsold General Motors by around 90,000 vehicles in the first quarter, moving a step closer to unseating its US rival as the world’s biggest automotive manufacturer.
Toyota has been widely expected to challenge 99-year-old GM this year for the top spot in global sales — a position the Detroit behemoth has held for 76 years — but the milestone came surprisingly early, industry watchers said.

Both companies reported record sales for January-March, but Japan’s top car manufacturer inched past GM as it ate into the US group’s market share on its home turf.
Toyota, manufacturer of the Camry sedan — the United States’ most popular car — said today its global vehicle sales rose nine per cent to 2.35 million units in the quarter. The tally includes cars sold under the Lexus luxury brand and the youth-oriented Scion badge, as well as vehicles from units Daihatsu and Hino.
GM, which sells cars and trucks under a dozen brands including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel, Saab and Holden, sold 2.26 million units during the same period, for a three per cent rise.
Toyota has won fans around the world with affordable cars seen as reliable, durable and fuel-efficient, while GM continued to rely heavily on high-margin but gas-guzzling vehicles to pull it out of financial difficulties.
To keep up with soaring demand, Toyota is adding production capacity in almost every corner of the globe, from San Antonio, Texas, to St. Petersburg, Russia, with an internal goal of taking 15 per cent of the global car market by 2010.
GM estimated its share in the first quarter at 13 per cent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a year ago.
This year, Toyota has plans to sell 9.34 million vehicles as a group, up six per cent from 2006. GM does not provide a global sales forecast.
The breakneck pace of growth, however, has presented some hiccups for Toyota in recent years as vehicle recalls climbed to record levels.
Last year Toyota recalled more than a million vehicles in Japan and 760,000 in the United States, raising concerns that the company was stretching itself too thin too fast.
After a series of high-profile recalls including a legal probe into past recall practices, President Katsuaki Watanabe publicly vowed last year to step up Toyota’s quality vigilance, assigning two executive vice presidents to oversee the effort.
While sales volume is the most common yardstick for a car manufacturer’s size, Toyota dwarfs its rival in almost every other measure. Its market capitalization, at $225 billion, is more than 12 times that of GM’s.
Toyota expects to post a net profit of US$13 billion (1.55 trillion yen) for the business year ended last month, probably more than any Japanese company, while GM is struggling to make money. It lost US$3 billion in 2006 and US$12 billion the year before.



5-Star For Polo, 4-Star For Camry Hybrid & GWM SUV

While the new VW Polo scored the top ranking 5-star ANCAP rating in new results released yesterday, Australia’s newest hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, scored a 4-star safety rating as did the Great Wall Motors (GWM) X240 SUV.
ANCAP Chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, said “the 4-star result for Camry – which is the first of the environmentally-friendly vehicles to come off Toyota’s Australian production line – was the same result as the Camry tested by ANCAP in 2007”.


Rukus By Name, Rukus By Nature

Toyota Australia today announced it will launch an all-new model for Australia, to be known as “Rukus”, before the middle of the year.

New Toyota Rukus is an urban utility vehicle with head-turning styling that projects an aggressive appearance.

Toyota Australia’s marketing manager Scott Thompson said Rukus is designed to bring young, urban trend-setters to the Toyota family – especially those who have never previously considered a Toyota.

“It will be a case of ‘Rukus’ by name and ruckus by nature,” Thompson said.

“This is a car that’s designed to be different, with a boxy shape that has become iconic,” he said.

“When it’s launched late in the first half of this year, it will certainly stir up the small-car market – creating a ‘ruckus’, if you will.”

Thompson said Toyota Rukus will be offered to urban dwellers as a blank slate.

“It will be loaded with great standard features, but we expect many owners to express their individuality by making their car stand out from the pack.

“That might involve wild paint jobs, funky wheels or other ideas, limited only by the imagination of owners – and what’s legal.

“Potential customers have told us they want this style of car. We’ve listened and we’re responding.

“Rukus is designed to be different: it’s not for everyone. It’s a bit like Vegemite: it’s an acquired taste,” Thompson said.



The 80th Geneva Motor Show Opened Its Doors Today

The 80th Geneva Motor Show opened its doors to the public today, with a promise of green cars to come and plenty of optimism in a market battered by a couple of years of trifling sales boosted only by cash for clunker programmes.