Showing posts in the category of Reports

Bentley to Double Annual Sales by 2020 to 20,000 Units

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In 2013, Bentley delivered 10,120 vehicles worldwide and its plan called for 15,000 by 2018. Now, though, the VW-owned luxury automaker is setting its sights higher with a 20,000 sales target by 2020.

Iowa Wants a Smartphone App to Work as Driver’s License

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While Iowa is not the first of the US states to come to mind when the adoption of the latest tech trends is in discussion, the “corn state” wants to be the first to have smartphone-based driver’s licenses. Yes, it will be an app which is currently in the works for iOS and Android devices.

Skoda Starts Producing the Fabia Combi, First Deliveries Expected in January

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Skoda has begun production the new Fabia Combi at its main plant in Mladá Boleslav, the Czech Republic. Arriving in European markets in January 2015, the new Fabia Combi is being launched just weeks after the sales debut of the Fabia hatchback model.

China Will Soon Become Smart's No. 1 Market, CEO Says

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China is rapidly becoming every carmaker’s main market. Even city car manufacturer Smart expects China to become its leading market in a few years, leaving behind Germany and Italy. For the moment, China is behind only Germany in Smart sales.

Mini Superleggera Vision Still A Definitely Maybe For Production

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It's been getting positive reviews from the public and people are already lining up to buy one, but executives are unsure whether to give the Mini Superleggera Vision concept the green light for production.

Milan Residents Paid to Leave Cars at Home, Use Mass Transit

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Residents of Milan, the industrial core of the Italian economy, are now being asked to leave their cars at home and use the public transport system in an effort to cull widespread congestion.

According to the Financial Times, People who comply and are enrolled in the “Park Your Car and Go Public!” project will receive an SMS voucher that’s worth €1.50.

Mazda to Provide Engines for Indy Lights in 2015

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The all-new 2015 Dallara Indy Lights chassis will be powered by a Mazda engine next year, the Japanese automaker announced during the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. This is the latest addition to Mazda’s Road to Indy driver development program.

Alonso Joins McLaren for 2015, Button Stays as Team Mate

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Rumors about Fernando Alonso joining McLaren for 2015 have been circulating since last summer, when former Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo said the Spaniard would leave the Scuderia disappointed by its lackluster performance.

Bugatti Veyron Replacement Will Reportedly Get 1,500hp, Due in 2016

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What VW Group head honcho Ferdinand Piech wants, he gets. One of those things was a Bugatti supercar with an output of 1,000PS – and after a quite long gestation period, the 1,001PS (987hp) Veyron was launched in 2005.

Spyker Goes Bunkrupt, Owner Quotes Churchill, Vows to Resurrect it

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Dutch supercar maker and former Saab owner Spyker has been declared bankrupt by a district court, which ended a moratorium of payments that was granted to the company on December 2.

Cars Identified as the Next Targets of Cybercrime

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Did you know that there are six ways someone can hack into your car wireless-ly?

Neither did we, but someone can do so through systems like the tire pressure monitor or the keyless entry; and in some cases, he/she doesn’t even have to be close.

As one counter-hacker told Wards Auto’s John McElroy, “once you’re on the CAN bus, you’re in”. That’s the acronym for the Controller Area Network, which is akin to the central nervous system of any modern vehicle. Apparently, it’s not that difficult to “get in”, and then lots of bad things can happen.

Imagine, for example, a car-theft ring that will sell Vehicle Identification Numbers and GPS coordinates to any interested party. “I’m looking for late-model BMWs within half a mile of 4th and Broadway. Do you have anything for me?” With a few keystrokes, the thief would be supplied with all the info, choose which vehicle he wants and then unlock the doors, start the engine and simply drive away.

Want to eavesdrop into someone’s private conversations? If they are pairing their phone to the car infotainment system makes them a target. Imagine what that would do for industrial espionage – or even paparazzi…

One way to hack into a car’s CAN bus is by corrupting a song file and use social media to make people download and play it into their car. A CD or a USB drive would do the job just the same.

The main threat identified by cyber security specialists are car thieves. Then, there are kids and people who do it for fun and “are generally not malicious”. The worst-case scenario involves terrorists. They may, for example, hack into a car dealership or service center by compromising an employee’s laptop and install malicious software, like a Trojan horse, to a fleet of cars. Then, a preset “trigger”, which may be anything from a day and time to a GPS location, allows them to take control. How do you stop them?

That’s the problem automakers and suppliers are rushing in to solve. The first CAN bus networks were first installed in vehicles in the late ‘80s. Back then, no one would have thought of anything like this. Now it’s the digital age and cars feature all sorts of infotainment and connectivity systems. Which may make your life easier but, if a hacker decides to mess up with your vehicle, a nightmare.

Thankfully, hackers need access to a lot of expensive equipment and reverse engineering of the car’s software. Given enough time and money, though, it will become easier and those expensive options you ticked (or were they standard?) will compromise the security of your car.

Factor in the autonomous-driving cars that all major companies - and Google - are developing and it can all end in tears. Who knows - maybe updating your car’s security (antivirus?) software will become routine.

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Opel Starts Production of the New 170PS 2.0-Liter Diesel in Kaiserslautern

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Opel’s engine manufacturing plant in Kaiserslautern, Germany, has begun producing the new 2.0-liter diesel engine that debuted at this year’s Paris Auto Show.

Aston Martin Reportedly Raising Money to Build New Models, Including SUVs and Hybrids

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It’s not exactly a secret that Aston Martin doesn’t have a solid financial situation at the moment, but it appears the company is now preparing to raise funds to expand its range of models.

2016 Cadillac CT6's Rearview Mirror Will Get Video Streaming Function

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Following in the footsteps of Nissan, Cadillac will introduce high-resolution streaming video for the rearview mirror of the upcoming CT6 sedan late next year.

Porsche 918 Spyder is Sold Out, US Grabs 1/3 of its Production

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That’s it, ladies and gentlemen: the last of the three hybrid hypercars that was still available to order, the Porsche 918 Spyder, was sold as of November 10. If you missed out, you’ll have to wait for one to come out, sooner or later, in the “used” market – and with a hefty premium.

It's Good to Be Bad: Bond Villain May Drive Jaguar C-X75 in Spectre

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I don’t know about you, but I think the actor/stunt playing the villain in the next James Bond movie is going to have more fun than 007 himself, at least during car chasing scenes.

New Mercedes-Benz C-Classe Coupe Might Arrive Sooner Than You Think

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According to German media, clients will be able to place orders on the Coupe version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class as soon as September 2015, following the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Nissan Says its Leaf Converted Half of UK Adopters to Keep Buying EVs

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The popularity of the Nissan Leaf is undeniable, as is the fact that Elon Musk was right in saying it’s okay but doesn’t do anything in particular very well. Even so, it’s good enough to impress people and now Nissan says it’s actually converting buyers into EV fans.

2017 Nissan Silvia Based On IDx Rumored To Rival Scion FR-S

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Nissan is allegedly reintroducing the iconic Silvia sports car to rival the Toyota GT86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ triplets, says an unofficial source (read: unreliable source). According to, the new Nissan Silvia will be based on the Nissan IDx concept and is slated for a late 2017 release.

GM, Audi and JLR Halt Sales in Russia Due to Ruble’s Collapse

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The ruble has been devalued by more than 40 percent since last June in what is Russia’s greatest financial crisis since 1998. In the past weeks, Russians have been buying cars, especially expensive ones like Porsches, in order to convert their money into something tangible.