Headlines on Tap

 

 

Curated by Dev Odedra.

 

 

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Ah, LDV. Time was when Leyland Bus and Truck was the global leader in - well, buses and trucks. The Leyland Atlantean and its close sibling the Daimer Fleetline are still the iconic vehicles that underpin (in spirit, at least) the world's public bus transport system even today. Now a mere shadow of its former glory, LDV makes light vans - and does it very well. But it's a highly competitive market.

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Having failed in its initial bid to gain support from the British government via Peter Mandelson, TATA is now playing hard-ball with the UK's Labour Party in its bid to get its purchase of Jaguar Land Rover underwritten by the UK taxpayer. It's getting dangerously close to a foreign company playing power broker in UK politics.

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It might sound ridiculous but when Ford announced today that it had lost "only" USD 1,400 million people were happy. For they had expected it to lose more.

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Whilst Obama lords it over a meeting of his new best friends - the bankers - Rick Waggoner of GM becomes the scapegoat - someone had to go to prove Obama's got steel under that smile.

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It is difficult to understand the failure of Ssangyong. They make great cars, build them well and sell them at keen prices. Yet for the third time in just over a decade, it stands on the brink of disappearing.

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India's TATA, which has had all manner of problems in getting factories set up due to local opposition, yesterday brought the Nano to the market. The eagerly anticipated "one-step-up-from-a-motorbike" car will sell in India only. It's price a jaw-dropping low of under GBP2,000 (equivalent). And everyone wants to know more.

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It may say "Daimler" on the doors, but it says "Mercedes-Benz" on the cars, and that's what has attracted almost euro2 milliard of Abu Dhabi money into the company.

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Maybe the surprise popularity of the Peugeot RCZ has inspired more manufacturers to be daring, moving what would once have been concept cars into production - and at an affordable price. At the Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo, the nicer end of the Fiat range, has announced the 4C and it's creating stirrings in places that usually only upmarket sports cars reach.

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It's widely being touted as a done-deal. But there is a small phrase in Chrysler's statement about links with Fiat that show that the deal is far from complete.

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GPS tracking for four-wheelers and even people has been around for a while. Xact Technology(TM), LLC says its a new patent pending GPS portable tracking device is adapted particularly for power sports enthusiasts.

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As US Automakers pray that sharply lower petrol prices will mean customers buy the mountains of "gas-guzzling" monsters that Detroit has pumped out without thinking that the market might drop, Hyundai has come up with a novel scheme. And many people will be foolish not to take it.

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B Ramalinga Raju: This is a beauty parade for a global audit firm to cover Satyam's audit requirements. Are you ready to bid?

Big Four: Yes, Yes. Just give us the chance.

Mr Katsuaki Watanabe is not a happy man. As the first head of Toyota to announce a loss in 71 years, he is standing down. The irony is that the losses are really not his fault.

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Almost in the face of some of his own cabinet, President Bush has announced that, in the dying days of his presidency, he will authorise support for the automotive industry - as little as ten days before GM is thought likely to run out of money. But it's not a grant or a gift. And it's a message to the financial sector: use the TARP money wisely or we'll take it back.

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What US Treasury Secretary Paulson did not mean when he spoke of "an orderly bankruptcy" for the US auto industry was closing it down. He means a variety of insolvency procedures designed to keep the businesses going.

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