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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class


The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor


Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.

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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 


ContiTech invests in new Russian plant

ContiTech is investing over US$17 million in a new plant for air-conditioning and power steering lines in the Russian city of Kaluga. Construction of the plant is expected to begin in February next year; the first series parts are scheduled for production in December 2013.

“Following our acquisition of the US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation’s automotive air-conditioning pipes operations, this investment will help us to further expand our global presence and broaden our customer base,” explained Matthias Schönberg, head of the fluid technology business unit. “The Russian automotive market is one of the strongest-growing markets in the world. This new factory will help our air conditioning and power steering and chassis control segments to gain a foothold in this strategically important market.” Analysts say that with this move, ContiTech is following its customer Renault-Nissan, which holds a majority stake in Russian automaker AvtoVaz.

The manufacturing facility will be constructed on the 60-hectare site where a Continental tire plant is currently being set up. Both facilities will be able to share the existing infrastructure. The fluid production hall measures 4,800m2, and an administration building will also be constructed. The workforce in the new fluid plant is expected to increase to 160 by 2015. The first employees are already being trained in Germany.

The plant will initially supply air-conditioning and power steering lines for Renault/Dacia and power steering lines for AvtoVaz (Lada). In future, all products for the Russian market are to be manufactured directly on site owing to the better proximity to customers.

14 December 2012


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