Mercedes to introduce new headlamp system for 2009

MercedesStuttgart, Germany  - From 2009, Mercedes will offer a new headlamp system that automatically adapts its range to the distance of vehicles ahead or to oncoming vehicles.

According to the car maker, the system will enable the driver to more easily recognise other road users, pedestrians or danger spots.

The dipped-beam range can be increased from around 65 metres to as much as 300 metres without dazzling other road users. Should the system recognise oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead, it continuously adjusts headlamp range so that the headlamp cone falls in front of other road users.

Porsche stocks slide after dull full-year sales " alt="Porsche stocks slide after dull full-year sales " title="Porsche stocks slide after dull full-year sales " width="130" height="140" align="left" />Stuttgart  - German luxury automaker Porsche, which holds a controlling interest in Volkswagen, reported Wednesday lower-than- hoped sales for its own Porsche cars, sending shares in the group sharply lower.

Porsche preferred shares slid 8.6 per cent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to 69.27 euros (97.67 billion dollars).

A company spokesman in Stuttgart suggested Porsche would limit output.

Daimler in talks to sell remaining Chrysler stake

Daimler in talks to sell remaining Chrysler stake Stuttgart  - German automotive group Daimler confirmed Wednesday it was in talks to sell its remaining Chrysler stake and finish the story of its unhappy merger with its US rival.

In a statement from its main office in Stuttgart, it said it was in "discussions with Cerberus Capital Management regarding the redemption of its remaining 19.9-per-cent stake in Chrysler."

Private-equity investor Cerberus owns the other 80.1 per cent of Chrysler.

A Daimler spokesman in New York, Han Tjan, declined to give further details. (dpa)

Mercedes to increase hybrid-drive offers by 2015

Stuttgart - Mercedes to increase hybrid-drive offers by 2015Mercedes-Benz is planning to offer every fifth car with hybrid-drive by the year 2015 starting with a new hybrid every year from 2009, the car maker announced recently.

The head of the car maker's marketing division, Klaus Maier, said that the combustion engine would remain a key element of the model line-up for the next 20 to 30 years.

Strange excuses for using cell behind the wheel

Stuttgart - German motorists are offering curious excuses when stopped by police for using a cell phone behind the wheel, according to the Auto Club Europe (ACE).

"I didn't use it to make a call. The warm battery is against earache," said one motorist while another said: "It is a support for my seesawing jaw."

Both cases went to court, but the judge rejected the "unconvincing excuse" in both cases.

A driver also failed to impress authorities with the argument that he was using an electric shaver whilst singing to a tune on the car radio.

Porsche ups VW stake to 35 per cent, takes effective control

Stuttgart  - Porsche has increased its stake in Volkswagen (VW) to 35.14 per cent, taking an effective controlling stake in Europe's largest carmaker, the luxury producer announced from its Stuttgart headquarters Tuesday.

The move gives Porsche an effective majority at VW general meetings and makes VW a Porsche subsidiary under German company law. (dpa)

Germany's Daimler pushing electric car programme

DaimlerStuttgart, Germany  - Daimler AG is pushing ahead with its programme on electrically powered cars, aiming at producing around 10,000 vehicles by 2012, Thomas Weber, director for research and development said in Stuttgart Saturday.

"By 2010 we will be very close to series production and aim to start with limited numbers in the hundreds," Weber told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"Our aim is to cover costs by 2010. By 2012 we would be producing around 10,000 units," he said.

Daimler was also pushing ahead with research on fuel cells, Weber said.

Standard Smart car to be fitted with micro-hybrid

Stuttgart - Daimler will fit the petrol-engined Smart fortwo with a micro-hybrid start-stop system beginning in October this year, the car maker announced.

The system would reduce fuel consumption by an average 8 per cent with up to 20 per cent savings possible in city driving conditions, the company said.

In addition the Smart fortwo cdi will be equipped with a closed diesel particulate filter that almost completely eradicates particulate emissions.

Daimler lists average consumption of both the 52 kW/71 hp and the 45 kW/61 hp engines with a micro-hybrid at 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres with a carbon dioxide emission figures reduced to 103 grammes per kilometre.

Daimler cuts earnings forecast, sending its shares sharply lower

Stuttgart, Germany  - German carmaker Daimler AG cut its 2008 earnings forecast Thursday in the face of a slowing world economy, a surging euro and increasing raw material costs.

The announcement by the manufacturer of luxury Mercedes Benz cars that it had revised down its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to more than 7 billion euros (11 billion dollars) sent the group's shares sharply down.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker had previously said that it expected EBIT from the group's ongoing operations to top the 7.7 billion euros it posted in 2007.

Daimler's shares dropped by about 8.0 per cent to 39.30 euros following the announcement.

Expensive printer food: When to reach for a refill

Expensive printer food: When to reach for a refillStuttgart  - It's easy to feel like you saved money when you bring home an inkjet printer. The devices themselves are often inexpensive. Yet reality usually sets in when it comes to refilling the printer cartridges. A set of black and coloured inks often costs at least 50 dollars or more, sometimes putting the expenditure on a par with the printer itself.

Daimler delivers 300 Travego coaches to Saudi Arabia

GermanyStuttgart, Germany - Daimler is to provide Saudi Arabia Public Transport (SAPTCO) with 300 luxury Travego coaches, mainly for commuting between the Muslim holy places, the German company announced at its Stuttgart headquarters Wednesday.

Mercedes' bus division said half the coaches would be delivered this year and the remainder early next.

The company provided no details on price. (dpa)

Austria's Magna Steyr to build Porsche's Boxsters

Stuttgart - Luxury German sports carmaker Porsche SE said Thursday it was shifting production of its Boxer model from Finland to Austria.

The Stuttgart-based group said it had chosen Austrian auto group Magna Steyr to build its Boxster-model from 2012.

As a result, Magna Steyr will replace Porsche's current partner Valmet Automotive after the Austrian company presented the most attractive offer, Porsche said.

Valmet has produced more than 200,000 units of the Boxster series since 1997. (dpa)

Volunteer work camps can beat summer holidays on the beach

Stuttgart  - Lounging on the beach is one way to spend the summer holidays. Too boring? How about restoring a river in France, organising a festival in Lithuania or working at an environmental centre in Belgium?

All of these activities, and many more, are possible at volunteer work camps. Short camps are held during the summer holidays, and even young people under 18 can take part.

Porsche and Lower Saxony both raise Volkswagen stakes

Porsche and Lower Saxony both raise Volkswagen stakesStuttgart - Porsche and its rival, the German state of Lower Saxony, have both moved to enlarge their stakes in Volkswagen, leading the European Union to delay Wednesday its verdict on Porsche's plan to take management control of the German carmaker.

Porsche, which has announced plans to ultimately acquire more than 50 per cent, disclosed it had signed a contract to buy 4.92 per cent of Volkswagen equity, but had not actually acquired the stock yet.

The move would lift Porsche's stake, now 31 per cent, to more than 35 per cent.

Daimler to build new car factory in Hungary

Stuttgart  - Giant German carmaker Daimler AG is planning a new car factory in Hungary to build compact models of its flagship Mercedes Benz brand, the company announced Wednesday.

Press reports in the build-up to the announcement said Stuttgart- based Daimler had also considered Poland and Romania as possible sites for the new factory.

The new factory in the Hungarian town of Kecskemet is to build the next generation of Mercedes A-class and B-class cars.

Daimler is to continue manufacturing both A-class and B-class at its factory in the German city of Rastatt.

However, the new site in Hungary will allow Daimler's Mercedes Benz Group to produce new models based on lower production costs.

New VW Golf at Paris Motor Show, roadster planned

Stuttgart, Germany  - The new sixth generation Volkswagen Golf will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October, Germany's auto-motor-sport magazine reports.

The magazine revealed several spy shots of the new Golf, indicating it will come with a new front grille and headlamp design.

At the same time the car maker is planning a roadster version of the new Golf for a launch in March 2010. A study of the open-top version will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November, the magazine said. The vinyl roof construction would be shared with the Audi A3 Roadster.

New-look for Mercedes CLC coupe

New-look for Mercedes CLC coupeStuttgart  - The new-look Mercedes CLC two-door coupe is in European showrooms next month, featuring new engines, modernised chassis and revised interior.

Two diesel and four petrol engines are available. The diesels come either with a 90 kW/122 hp motor or 110 kW/150 hp engine. Fuel consumption is listed at between 5.8 and 6.3 litres with a carbon dioxide emission of 152 to 166 grammes per kilometre.

The petrol engines range between 105 kW/143 hp to 200 kW/272 hp. The most powerful version has a top speed of 250 kilometres an hour but with a fuel consumption of only 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

Electrics and engine problems main cause of breakdowns

Stuttgart  - Electrical and engine problems are the main causes of car breakdowns with a trend toward "major damage" to engines and chassis, the Auto Club Europe (ACE) said in a report.

The auto club, which analysed 90,000 breakdowns in Germany last year, said a defective battery (26.27 per cent) still topped the list.

A report released earlier this year by Germany's largest automobile association ADAC also showed a similar trend with four out of ten breakdowns resulting from faulty electrics or battery problems.

There was a slight improvement on figures compared to 2006 but this could be attributed to a mild winter, the ACE said.

Expert calms German alarm over Italy-based insects

StuttgartStuttgart  - Fears of dangerous mosquitoes from Italy spreading across the Alps and fanning out to spread fatal disease are overstated, a leading academic entomologist said Tuesday.

The Asian tiger mosquito, scientific name Aedes albopictus, has become widespread in the Tuscany region and other parts of Italy since the 1990s and has been sighted in Germany. Striking in daytime, it bites rapidly before it can be swatted.

Claus Zebitz, entomologist at Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, "Even if it can spread dengue fever, which is dangerous and common in Africa, the risk in this country is very limited.

Eat something before spending the night outdoors

Stuttgart - Outdoor enthusiasts should always have a meal before sleeping in the great outdoors, according to the Stuttgart- based magazine Outdoors.

A camper's body turns the extra food into fuel to help stay warm during the night. Pre-camping meals should be warm and easy to digest.

Campers who do not eat special meals can make do with an energy bar and a hot tea. If you find you're already freezing before you even get into the sleeping bag, it's best to get your circulation going by walking vigorously around the tent or doing push-ups or knee bends. (dpa)

Syndicate content