Ferrari boss talks of unified front to help F1 through downturn

Ferrari boss talks of unified front to help F1 through downturnStuttgart  - Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes Formula One's governing body the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) have found the right measures to help the sport come through the current global economic slowdown.

The two groups held crisis talks in Monaco Wednesday about the future of F1 where escalating costs and Honda's shock withdrawal last Friday were discussed.

Mercedes sports chief Haug calls on F1 to scrap hybrid system

Mercedes LogoStuttgart - Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug has called for plans to introduce the hybrid system KERS in Formula One to be scrapped as a cost-saving measure.

Haug, whose company is part of the McLaren-Mercedes team, told the German weekly Motorsport aktuell published Tuesday that "the time for games is over" as motorsport seeks ways to rein in costs.

From next season teams will be allowed to use KERS - Kinetic Energy Retention Systems - to harness the energy created by a car's brakes and reuse it as a source of power.

Shorter working week at carmaker Daimler

Shorter working week at carmaker DaimlerStuttgart - Daimler AG has put thousands of workers at its biggest car plant on short time in a bid to offset a dramatic slump in sales, the head of the employees' council said Monday.

Eric Klemm said two-thirds of the 30,000 employees at the Sindelfingen plant in southern Germany would be affected by the move, which is due to last from January 12 until March 31 in 2009.

Discussions on working hours with employees at other Daimler plants in Germany are also taking place, he said.

Give Babbel a chance as Stuttgart coach, says keeper Lehmann

Jens LehmannStuttgart - Stuttgart goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has called for Markus Babbel to be given a chance as coach of the Bundesliga club even without the German football federation's coaching badge.

The former Germany international defender Babbel has led Stuttgart to wins in both matches since succeeding the sacked Armin Veh a fortnight ago. Babbel, who was an assistant to Veh, has initially been made interim coach.

On Saturday he comes up against Bayern Munich, one of his former clubs, in the last day of the Bundesliga season before the winter break.

Mercedes mulling plans to sell A and B Class in United States

Mercedes mulling plans to sell A and B Class in United States Stuttgart, Germany  - Mercedes is mulling plans to sell its small A and B Class models in the United States, the Vice President of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz in the US, Stephen Cannon, told Germany's auto-motor-sport magazine.

"We are feeling the trend towards smaller cars. The B-Class is already running well in Canada," Cannon said, adding that a final decision had not yet been made.

Recycled car parts - saving on costly repairs

Stuttgart, Germany  - Repairing a defect in your car not only means expensive costs, but you may find that the part that needs replacement is unavailable or costs a small fortune. Motorists tend to overlook that in many cases, recycled or reconditioned car parts are a real alternative.

Reconditioned parts are not as risky as used parts and not as expensive as an original, new replacement part. Reconditioning of defective or used parts is often undertaken by professionals at the firms that originally manufactured the accessory.

"Our experience is that more and more workshops are asking for just such parts," says Ulrich Dilchert from the German auto industry association (ZIV) based in Bonn.