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Daily News RoundupBack

Hyundai/Kia Motors says it is “extremely concerned” at the investigation into FIFA executives


The Korean manufacturer is a FIFA partner and official automotive partner.

A company statement said: “As a company that places the highest priority on ethical standards and transparency, Kia Motors is extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against certain FIFA executives and will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

Nine current and former FIFA executives have been arrested and charged in Zurich following arrests on behalf of U.S. authorities.

The charges relate to corruption around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups.


In Car Cleverness partners with Novatel Wireless

In-Car Cleverness, has adopted specialised cellular solutions from Novatel Wireless, a leading provider of wireless solutions.

Together with Novatel Wireless’s advanced technologies, In-Car Cleverness can now support all five ‘plug and play’ engine OBD protocols (on-board diagnostics), while offering unique features for telematics applications, such as highly-sensitive dual accelerometers, advanced diagnostics, pin-point GPS and location technology, programmable platforms, and additional cellular services to refine its value added services.

The new solution will be deployed in the UK in May 2015 and will be commercially available throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for commercial and consumer telematics markets, where growth is expected to increase considerably.

Demand for in-car telematics has accelerated due to road safety initiatives throughout EMEA. These schemes advance the need for additional services like theft-tracking, emergency services, remote vehicle monitoring, roadside assistance, driver behaviour monitoring and vehicle diagnostics.

Novatel Wireless supplies In-Car Cleverness with its MiFi Drive portfolio of specialised cellular solutions, creating one of the most powerful telematics solutions available on the market today.

“Jointly, Novatel Wireless and In-Car Cleverness now offer one of the most advanced telematics solution for fleets, leasing companies, dealers and usage-based insurers, in an intuitive and easy-to-use package.” said Martin Bramwell, managing director of In-Car Cleverness.

“With Novatel, we can now offer unrivalled pinpoint vehicle tracking, precision accident detection and accurate driver behaviour profiling which gives our offering the competitive edge we were looking for.”

John Carney, Novatel Wireless’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, said: “In-Car Cleverness delivers an impressive solution via the Onboard™ platform.

“The MiFi Drive telematics portfolio boasts rigorous compatibility testing standards combined with ICC’s ongoing robust real-world testing delivers a solution our customers can count on.”



Honda targets new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency

Honda will put the real-world fuel economy of its 1.6 i-DTEC engine to the test in an 8,500mile drive across all twenty four contiguous EU countries. The aim is to set a new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency.

On Monday, June 1, 2015, two members of Honda’s European Research & Development (R&D) team will start their journey in a Honda Civic Tourer and start their trip taking them through Aalst, Belgium. Heading towards the Netherlands and Germany, their trip will see them navigate the Continent in a clockwise direction, with the aim of returning to their starting point twenty five days later, on June 25th, having covered a planned total of eight thousand four hundred and fifty nine miles.

The Guinness World Records title has never been attempted before in Europe.


Versatile 4×4 FUSO Canter is specially adapted for Network Rail

Network Rail has commissioned a new fleet of 20 all-wheel drive FUSO Canter trucks specially adapted for operation on rails as well as on roads.

The 6.5-tonne chassis are fitted with additional sets of rail wheels at front and rear, which can be hydraulically raised for normal road operation or lowered to allow the vehicles to run on rail infrastructure.

The 4×4 Canter 6C18Ds have Double crew cabs and were supplied by South Wales Mercedes-Benz Dealer Euro Commercials – the German manufacturer’s franchised network also sells and supports the FUSO light truck range in Great Britain.

They were converted for their highly unusual role by rail industry specialist GOS Tool & Engineering, of Blaenavon, South Wales, and undertake a variety of maintenance duties.


EU emissions type approval to include “real world” testing

New approved European Commission emission tests is the first step in ensuring a marked reduction in NOx emissions, claims Emissions Analytics.

From 2017, part of the type approval process for passenger cars in Europe will include a compulsory real-world test using a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS). For the first time, official tests will be conducted outside the laboratory to measure NOx levels emitted in real driving against the regulated limits.

“Our data on the very latest Euro 6 diesels shows an improvement on Euro 5 of 49%,” explains Nick Molden, CEO of Emissions Analytics. “We believe the manufacturers, anticipating this legislative change, have really stepped up their game and the results are encouraging, although still mixed.”

As a provider of real-world emissions data, Emissions Analytics has data on over 350 diesel cars. The earliest Euro 6 diesels produced levels of NOx on average 7.1 times the legislated limits, as shown in the report from the International Council on Clean Transportation in 2014, to which Emissions Analytics contributed. Recent Euro 6 diesels show marked improvements in NOx emissions, but are still more than three times the legislated limit of 0.08g/km.

However, a recent project with The Sunday Times highlighted that, although car manufacturers have made considerable progress, there’s still a sizable challenge ahead. Emissions Analytics concluded that the average variance of all the Euro 6 diesel cars so far tested is 4.4 times the legislated limit, but what was particularly striking was the variance between model types, as manufacturers employ different approaches to reducing emissions.

The newly approved Real Driving Emission (RDE) test procedure has been designed to tackle the long standing discrepancy between lab-based testing and real-world results.

Molden said, “We think this is a good decision by the Commission and member states. Emissions Analytics started testing tailpipe emissions on the road four years ago as we identified this was the only way to truly understand real-world performance. It is good to see this is now being recognised in the legislation.”


Petrogas floats to accelerate growth

Petrogas has announced that it intends to float with the aim of raising £50m to fund expansion of the business and upgrades of existing sites.

It also revealed that it will be renaming the company, using its Applegreen brand name instead, so Petrogas Global Limited will become Applegreen plc.

The Irish company currently owns about 100 sites in the Irish Republic, and was ranked fifth in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies with 54 UK sites. It also owns two sites in Long Island in the US. Last year the head of its UK arm, Michael O’Loughlin, was crowned Retailer Champion of the Year at the Forecourt Trader Awards.

Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen, said: “We are delighted to announce our intention to float, which will provide an important platform to pursue our long-term growth strategy. We believe there are significant opportunities for expansion across the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“Applegreen is a leading retail petrol forecourt operator, with a proven track record of significant growth through the recession and has built a strong brand and consumer offer that is compelling, profitable and highly cash generative.

“The group is well positioned to benefit from recovering economic growth and increased disposable income in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, as well as favourable market trends as the oil majors exit the forecourt market.

“The intended IPO will enable us to execute on our growth strategy and further expand and rebrand our portfolio of sites. I am enthusiastic about our future, and look forward to the next stage of our growth as a listed company.”

In its statement the company said the proceeds of the flotation would be used to fund:

• an upgrade and rebrand up to 70 sites across the group’s existing network of sites in Ireland and the UK;

• to accelerate expansion in Ireland and the UK – which currently stands at about 20 sites a year – both by number of sites and by geography;

• to develop new service area sites in Ireland and the UK; and

• to take advantage of other opportunities that may arise including building a platform for growth in the US and opportunistic acquisitions of portfolios of sites that may become available.

It is expected that the flotation will take place in the second half of June.


New regulations affect zero hours contracts

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has alerted members that new regulations have come into force banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hour employment contracts.

The ban on these contracts, which prevent employees from working for another employer even though they themselves do not guarantee any hours of work, became law through the government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Zero-hour contracts are not widely used in the convenience store sector, but they can provide important flexibility for store owners and employees. We have actively supported plans to remove exclusivity clauses from zero-hour contracts and will work with retailers on the best employment options for their staff.”


JTI rolls out campaign against illegal tobacco

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is rolling out a nationwide media campaign to combat the sale of illegal tobacco in the UK.

Running across more than 70 regional newspapers on the 29th May, full page adverts reaching almost five million people aim to help protect legitimate local businesses against the criminals who sell illegal tobacco in their communities.

The adverts highlight how illegal tobacco brings crime to local communities and the action JTI is taking to tackle the issue, such as terminating relationships with shop owners convicted of selling illegal tobacco and informing relevant authorities of known activity. Both HMRC and Crimestoppers numbers are included on the advert to encourage the public to report criminal activity.

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI head of communications, comments: “By raising awareness of the dangers illegal tobacco represents we aim to increase the number of people reporting these crimes and criminals.

“Our commitment to support the actions of HM Revenue & Customs and Trading Standards is steadfast. It’s clear we must work together to eradicate this trend.

“Anyone who knows of criminals supplying illegal cigarettes in their area owes it to their local community to report them and can do so anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or the Customs Hotline on 0800 595000.”

JTI says its ‘Don’t Be Tempted’ campaign in 2014 reached over 10 million people through regional print, online and broadcast media, and in the past year it has removed nine gantries from retailers found to be breaking the law.


Opel CEO rules out deal with Fiat

Opel (GM.N) CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann on Thursday ruled out a deal with Fiat (FCHA.MI) but said he sees the need to improve volume, scale and utilisation in the auto industry and at Opel.

“In principle (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne is right, the auto industry develops the same things ten times over,” Neumann said, referring to an email, Marchionne sent to GM’sChief Executive Officer Mary Barra in March suggesting combining the automakers.

The need for European cars to cut fleet emissions to an average 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre means carmakers are developing very similar engines. The cost of making next generation smaller engines can be cut by sharing development costs between brands.

“It was a big mistake for Opel to search for scale with PSA (PEUP.PA) and not within GM,” Neumann said, referring to an alliance with the French carmaker Peugeot.

Neumann has pared back the extent of cooperation projects with Peugeot and focussed on using Opel’s parent company General Motors’ platforms instead.

Source: Reuters

Ford to make EV technology patents available to rivals

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is following Tesla Motors in opening up hundreds of patents on electric-car technology to competitors in a move aimed at accelerating development of electrified vehicles.

Ford’s plan differs from Tesla’s, though, in that Ford is licensing its patents for a fee, whereas Tesla last year made its patents available to anyone for free.

“Innovation is our goal,” Kevin Layden, director of Ford electrification programs, said today in a statement. “The way to provide the best technology is through constant development and progress. By sharing our research with other companies, we will accelerate the growth of electrified vehicle technology and deliver even better products to customers.”

Ford said it has more than 650 patents and about 1,000 pending patent applications related to hybrid and plug-in vehicles. The automaker said it filed more than 400 patents for those technologies last year alone, accounting for more than 20 percent of its 2014 filings, and plans to hire 200 more electrified-vehicle engineers this year to further its research in that area.

Among the patents Ford is making available are ones covering a method for extending battery run time and overall life, a technology to maximize the amount of energy recaptured through regenerative braking, and a system that monitors a person’s driving and provides feedback on how to improve fuel economy.

Source: Automotive News Europe

Car Loan 4U hits the fast lane with Zuto rebrand

Car Loan 4U, a leading online motor finance specialist, has rebranded to Zuto (pronounced Zoo-toe).

The new brand identity signals the changing shape of the business and has been developed to reflect the business’ unique support to the UK car-buying public, while also elevating the brand against competitors, says the company.

At the heart of the brand, they say, is a distinctive positioning solely focused around delivering customer support at every point of their car-buying journey, from securing finance right through to driving away in their new vehicle.

James Wilkinson, CEO of Zuto, said: ‘When we started out in 2006, we wanted a functional name that described accurately what we did. Car Loan 4U worked perfectly. However, as time has moved on, so have the services we offer.

‘Buying a car can often be a stressful experience because there are a lot of unknowns. However, we don’t just help in finding a finance solution, we also offer a car-finding service, free vehicle history checks, free valuations and help with the paperwork – and it is these services that reassure customers.

‘No-one else is doing this and the name Zuto offers us a real point of difference, just like our services.

‘Zuto offers a blank slate for us to set about our ambitions for the future. We’ve grown 100 per cent year-on-year in the past four years and in the coming year will be investing over £15m in our marketing to continue to grow our business.

‘Being only four letters also helps enormously with customer recognition, as we found out in extensive customer research.

‘We want to make a real dent in the industry, educating car buyers so they can take complete charge of what is one of the biggest purchases they may ever make – and make Zuto into a household name.”

Announcement of the rebrand follows the company’s recent expansion into central Manchester, opening a brand new 6,465 sq ft office and creating 50 new jobs in addition to its 12,000-plus sq ft at Winterton House on Lyme Green Business Park in Macclesfield, where the firm already employs over 250 people.

Source: launches new partnership with

PRICE comparison giant has partnered with to make it easier for people to compare the best car-buying options. will provide dealer used-car stock as part of the network, while will provide car shoppers with visibility of the key costs involved in owning and running a car.

The partnership will see promote as its exclusive car insurance partner, enabling a more informed search solution within the millions of used-vehicle searches completed on the site each week.

The car-comparison site will mark the fourth network addition by Manheim-owned in just 12 months, following exclusive partnership deals with Preloved, the Carsite network, News UK-owned Sun Motors and The Sunday Times Driving.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 28/05/2015