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Peugeot on road to recovery after rescue deal
PSA Peugeot Citroen reported its first annual operating profit in three years thanks to an upturn in European sales, strong demand in China and sharply reduced costs. Peugeot swung from a Eur364m loss in 2013 to a Eur905m operating profit in 2014.
Volkswagen gets government approval for Thai plant
Volkswagen has won approval from Thai authorities to build a factory for fuel efficient cars near Bangkok ending months of delays. A spokesman for the carmaker said that it had received the go ahead, but the carmaker hasn’t yet decided whether to actually build the factory. According to previous reports, the Eur1bn plant is intended to build 1.4 litre cars and would be capable of making 300,000 units a year.
Mercedes recalls cars over fire risk
Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 147,000 mid-sized saloons and estates from 2013-2015 to check for risk of engine fire, the U.S. safety regulator said on Saturday. The cars have a rubber seal in the engine compartment that can fall onto the exhaust system and increase the risk of under bonnet fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Mercedes said U.S. dealers will begin notifying owners and repairing the cars in mid-March.
Teaching morality to driverless cars
A scientist at the University of Stanford has brought in a philosophical team to help him solve the problem of teaching cars to make ethical judgements. The questions are being raised as autonomous cars may one day have to make tough ethical choices in the real world. If, for example, a driverless car is carrying four passengers, and it can avoid a fatal crash by mounting the pavement and killing one pedestrian, is that the right thing to do?
‘Living rooms’ on wheels putting drivers in danger
Motorists are becoming increasing oblivious to the dangers of the road because cars are being turned into ‘living rooms’ on wheels, experts say. A rise in the numbers of safety features such as ABS and stability control is creating a sense of complacency among drivers, who are increasingly isolated from the driving experience. The Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive Sarah Sillars said that cars were now almost too easy to drive, which means motorists spend more time fiddling with technology on the dashboard than concentrating on the road. The comments come following figures showed a sudden rise in the number of serious accidents after a long-term decline.
VW camper sells for £67,500
A rare example of the Volkswagen Type 2 Samba Microbus sold at auction for £67,500. The car was never officially imported into Britain, and as a result the bus sold at auction is thought to be the only example of its type in the country.
Is Silicon Valley the future of US car
Although Apple remains silent on the project, the technology firm is rumoured to be working on an electric car with a 2020 target date. The reports were partially backed up by a lawsuit filed against the company by battery maker 123 Systems. The big three automakers in the US are taking the treat seriously, GM spokesperson Dan Flores said: ‘Given the company’s tremendous capabilities, it is no surprise to anyone.’